Disney and Scarlett Johansson Settle Black Widow Lawsuit

The saga of Marvel star Scarlett Johansson and her lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company has come to a close with a joint release from Johansson and Disney making the announcement that the two sides have settled the matter out of court. After countless headlines about how it has effected Disney's negotiations with others moving forward, news that the two have come to an agreement will likely draw some sighs of relief in Hollywood. In confirming that they'd settled the matter, Disney Studios Content Chairman Alan Bergman also confirmed that future collaborations between Disney and Johansson are still happening as well.

"I'm very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow," Bergman said in a statement. "We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney's Tower of Terror." Johansson added: "I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney. I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come."

For those that were unaware, Johansson's dispute with Disney (owner and distributor of all Marvel Studios projects) came down to payday. When the contracts for the feature film were written up and signed it was in a pre-COVID-19 era when an exclusively theatrical release was a near guarantee. Amid the ongoing pandemic Disney opted to release Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access simultaneously over the summer, a move that Johansson argued likely cut into her potential revenue from the film and the box office milestone bonuses she had been entitled to.

In the time since her lawsuit became public and was talked about non-stop fellow Marvel actors like Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen have sounded off on the matter, even Jamie Lee Curtis added her two cents for good measure

There was perhaps an argument to be made that Johansson's compensation relative to Black Widow's box office success was hampered by the fact that some audiences chose to stream it at home rather than in theaters (with the Disney+ numbers perhaps not tied to the grosses from theatrical exhibition); but with the matter now settled it's almost assured that we won't hear firm details about where the two parties landed after negotiating. 

1comments

Disney CEO Bob Chapek previously revealed that the studio is now resetting their talent deals in the wake of the lawsuit, something we can only assume factored into Johansson's continued involvement in a new Tower of Terror movie too.