The road to Black Widow’s release has been long and winding. After years of supporting roles in male-dominated MCU films, Johansson finally gets to play the lead role in Natasha Romanoff’s solo feature. Scarlett Johansson now appears to be facing her own set of challenges with Marvel Studios, a Disney subsidiary. The word on the street is that she could end up working with DC after all. How? And why is that? Here’s the deal with the tea.
Johansson’s payment for her leading part in Marvel Studios’ new blockbuster “Black Widow” was to be dependent mainly on box office revenues, according to a complaint she filed against Disney. Marvel, a Disney company, purportedly guaranteed a “theatrical release,” which Johansson interprets as a release restricted to theaters. Meanwhile, as theaters are discouraged due to Covid-19, studios created the dual release strategy. First, releasing it on Disney+ simultaneously.
According to Disney’s public statement, the film produced over $60 million in its debut weekend on Disney+ Premier Access. Given Disney’s intention to delay the premiere of Black Widow, Johansson claims she attempted to revise the conditions of her contract. However, the studio did not react. If it’s genuine that the studio looked over the starring actress in one of its biggest franchises and that should be a major issue. However, despite knowing about these commitments, Johansson claims that Disney instructed Marvel to publish Black Widow on the Disney+ streaming platform the day it was released in theaters. The lawsuit is a bold move, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a prominent celebrity to openly assert their influence.
What is Disney’s stand?
Disney objects to the case saying it had “no merit.” The studio says that its callous disrespect for the devastating and long-term worldwide implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The case is exceptionally tragic and upsetting. The statement also claims that “Disney has fully complied with Ms Johansson’s contract and 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” According to a revelation in the Wall Street Journal, Johansson’s combo release cost her around $50 million in missing incentives, according to individuals close to Johansson.
On the other side, several supporters have come out to offer their support. Matt Belloni, co-founder of Puck News, author of an entertainment industry weekly, and former editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, thinks that Johansson’s case captures everything that’s going on within the industry right now as it transitions to digital. “The battle lines are being set over how stars will be compensated in the new economy, and this is the most important flashpoint,” observes Matt.
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What is the significance of the lawsuit?
Observing it from the outside, the biggest striking thing to many people isn’t that Disney didn’t uphold its contract. What strikes us the most is how little Disney appears to realize how damaging this is to its brand. The case isn’t just about Johansson or Disney. It has significance for the whole entertainment industry, as well as the overall theatrical vs online controversy.
Many directors are concerned that the theater model, which was never strong, to begin with, is now facing a long and painful death as a result of the pandemic. However, if the plaintiff’s accusations are true, she has every right to fight back in the trial. Despite this, Disney has portrayed her as greedy and money-grubbing for attempting to put them into the contract she feels they established with her.
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Looks like DC is taking the cake
Disney has spun itself into a tangled web with Marvel star Scarlett Johansson. Iant Freakin Robot report DC has offered a mystery role to Johansson . The outlet’s source tells them DC reached out to the Avengers: Endgame icon very soon after her split with Marvel went public. They are currently talking with her about a potential future in the DC universe. For the most part, this is just speculation. However, it isn’t a hidden fact that DC pounces at every possible chance to acquire a Marvel talent when they part ways from the MCU.
With Marvel actress Scarlett Johansson, Disney has woven a twisted web. According to Giant Freakin Robot, Johansson has been given a mysterious DC job. For the most part, this is just a hypothesis. It’s no secret that when Marvel exits the MCU, DC spits venom on every opportunity to recruit a Marvel star.
Take, for example, James Gunn, the creator of The Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. called him only days after being (temporarily) sacked from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In interviews, Gunn has raved about his pleasant work environment with DC. Hence, Johansson will be enthusiastic if the comics powerhouse can give Johansson comparable creative control.
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So is Marvel cutting off ties with Natasha Romanoff?
As per a source at We Got It Covered, Disney is considering not collaborating with Scarlett Johansson anymore. The studio has called the case “meritless” and a “PR stunt” on two occasions. They now want to fully break connections with their Black Widow and end everything they have planned for her. This also implies that Johansson won’t be a part of Tower Of Terror or the project will be cancelled.
There has been no confirmation from the studio or Scarlett Johansson on this. But it appears to be a strong probability given how Disney is handling Johansson’s case. Stay tuned for more information on this lawsuit and Marvel Entertainment’s future.
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