Friday Jul 30, 2021
Scarlett Johansson has reportedly sued Disney after it released Black Widow simultaneously in movie theaters and on Disney+ streaming service.
On Thursday, Johansson knocked at the court's door in Los Angeles to seek justice, alleging that Disney breached her contract when it released this summer's blockbuster Black Widow on its Disney+ streaming service at the same time that it was released in movie theaters.
In the lawsuit obtained by a media outlet, the 36-year-old actress said her Black Widow contract with Disney's Marvel Entertainment was for a guaranteed exclusive movie theater release, with the bulk of her salary depending in large part on the film's box office performance.
"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," the suit said.
In conversation with PEOPLE, Scarlett's attorney John Berlinski said: "It's no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company's stock price — and that it's hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so. But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court.
John added: "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."
Scarlett Johansson has won hearts as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow since 2010's Iron Man 2 and has since been an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically the company's Avengers films. Her character died in 2019's Avengers: Endgame.