Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company over her payments for the Black Widow movie rocked Hollywood in a big way after it was announced. Not only did a nasty back-and-forth take place between the actress' camp and the House of Mouse but it also has apparently effected Marvel Studios' ability to bring back talent into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a report on The Wall Street Journal about the fallout of Johansson's legal filing, the outlet claims that the uncertainty the lawsuit has created has caused filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo to think twice about returning for a new Marvel movie.
With four Marvel Studios movies under their belts (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame), the Russo brothers seemingly departed the MCU after directing the biggest movie of all time in the 2019 feature film. The pair have frequently spoken hypothetically about returning for projects, films like an adaptation of Secret Wars and re-casting Wolverine in the MCU have been their benchmarks for coming back, but according to this report they may not want to if their bottom line is being threatened.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that since the lawsuit has been filed that the pair "hit an impasse in negotiations to direct another Marvel movie" and that the discord between talent and the studio "left them unsure how their next movie would be distributed and how they would be paid." The Russo declined to comment for the initial report.
"I keep saying Secret Wars because that was one of the first books that I really fell in love with as a kid," Joe said in an interview back in 2019 with MTV about returning to Marvel. "This notion of, you know, event storytelling, and I think that's part of the reason that we gravitate so strongly towards these event films and these ensemble films is the notion that you can contain so many different characters and so many different points of view and galvanize them around a story point is really compelling to us."
The pair have also pointed to characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four being brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (now possible thanks to the acquisition of 20th Century Fox) as options that might be too fun to pass on if they were approached. As we know Marvel Studios has already hired Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts to helm their new Fantastic Four movie, but no official plans for the X-Men have been confirmed (save for a Deadpool 3 featuring Ryan Reynolds).
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