Marvel fans were in shock earlier this week when it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson had filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company due to breach of contract in regards to the release of Black Widow, with her Avengers: Infinity War co-star Dave Bautista weighing in on the matter, joking that Marvel Studios should have given Drax a solo film instead of Natasha. Given that Johansson has been involved in the MCU for more than a decade, it came as a major surprise to fans to see the conflict with the studio, with Bautista's comment sure to ignite more speculation among fans about whether he's supporting his co-star or siding with the studio, potentially implying there wouldn't have been a lawsuit if they made a Drax movie.
"Told em they should've made a [Drax] movie but noooooo!" Bautista shared on Twitter.
Black Widow was initially slated to hit theaters last May, only for the coronavirus pandemic to cause movie theaters around the world to close for the better part of 2020. Even though theaters were operating close to full capacity when Black Widow opened, thanks to vaccinations, Disney still offered the title through their Disney Premier Access platform, with films like Raya and the Last Dragon, Mulan, and Cruella also being available through that outlet.
Black Widow might have had the best opening weekend box office since the pandemic started, but Johansson's lawsuit notes that her initial contract was for a theatrical-only release and that debuting it on Premier Access, which her contract did not compensate for, impacted her earnings.
"Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel," a statement from Johansson's reps reads.
While one would think Disney would be quick to resolve the issue by any means necessary, hours after news of the lawsuit emerged, the company released their own statement on the matter.
"There is no merit whatsoever to this filing," their statement reads. "The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date."
Stay tuned for details on how the situation unfolds.