Actor Scarlett Johansson and Disney reached a settlement on Thursday in her lawsuit over Black Widow’s hybrid release. Johansson will continue to work with the multimedia giant, including in the upcoming project Tower of Terror, according to Variety.
While details of the settlement were not disclosed, the actor had sued seeking $50 million as compensation from the studio.
Johansson filed her lawsuit against Disney in July, alleging breach of contract after the simultaneous release of Black Widow in theatres and on Disney+ on July 9. The actor, who played the role of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said her agreement with Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment came with the guarantee that the film would have an exclusive theatrical release, with the box-office performance determining her salary. She further said the film’s hybrid release was an intentional breach of the agreement in order to prevent her from realising “the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.”
Disney had earlier termed the suit “sad and distressing,” and called out Johansson for her “callous disregard” of the Covid-19 situation. The studio claimed that the digital release “significantly enhanced” Johansson’s chances of earning additional compensation on top of her $20 million fee. Disney had also filed for a stay on Johansson’s lawsuit, calling it a stunt to “generate publicity through public filing,” and moved for confidential arbitration.
The studio said the decision to go with a hybrid release for the film was reached taking into account the looming pandemic situation across the globe, and after consultation with Johansson.
Black Widow, based on Johansson’s character as a Russian spy, saw an opening weekend collection of more than $215 million, including $80 million at the US box office, $78 million in international box office earnings, and over $60 million through Disney+ Premier Access consumer spend globally. The film’s current worldwide collections stand at $378 million.
Post the settlement of the lawsuit, Johansson said in a statement, “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.”
Alan Bergman, chairman of Disney, reflected similar sentiments, and added, “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.”