The flood gates have opened. Hours after Scarlett Johansson filed suit against Disney over Black Widow royalties, Gerard Butler has pulled a similar move regarding Olympus Has Fallen. Butler and his team filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday against Nu Image, Millennium Media, and Padre Nuestro Productions. The suit alleges Butler is owed at least $10 million from the producers of the film after it grossed nearly $170 million globally.
In the suit, which was first obtained by THR, Butler's legal team references an ongoing battle between the same producers and the Directors Guild of America regarding pension payments. Furthermore, the suit says the film's producers concocted a "comprehensive, premeditated scheme" to hide net profits in an attempt to forgo paying Butler additional royalties.
Johansson's lawsuit is similar in that she says the Mouse violated her contract by moving Black Widow to a combination theatrical and streaming release. Johansson's suit says if the movie was strictly theatrical, as her contract allegedly states, she would have made more money after the film was released in theaters.
"This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts," Johansson's legal team offered in a statement after filing suit.
Disney quickly dismissed the notion it had violated any agreements with Johansson and her team.
"There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic," a Disney spokesperson said after news of the suit first surfaced. "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."
It also appears these two cases will be far from the last to pop up as studios struggle with their respective release schedules. Early Friday, news started to circulate suggesting Emma Stone and her team were actively mulling over similar arrangements regarding the day-and-date release of Cruella in theaters and on Disney+.