The suit has now been settled for an undisclosed amount and the two parties seem to be amicable again.
The legal tiff between actor Scarlett Johansson and Disney has come to an end after the two parties have reached a settlement. Earlier this year Johansson had filed a suit claiming that Disney's decision to launch Black Widow both as a standalone film on Disney+ and cinema is a breach of contract. The concern about the film being given a multi-platform release was raised in 2019 by Johansson’s lawyers, as per the complaint, reported The Guardian. But Disney fired back at the time calling the lawsuit "especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard" of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This suit has now been settled for an undisclosed amount. “I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” said Johansson in a statement, as per Deadline. “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.” The film has become the highest-grossing domestic movie of 2021 with $181.5 million in America. Johansson had been paid $20 million upfront for the film at the time.
In a complete turn of events, the two parties showed no signs of vitriol as they did just a while ago. Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on several upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.” Their statements are in stark contrast to what it was earlier. The suit was a huge statement made by the CAA-repped star against Disney. It would have led to dramatic implications for all of Hollywood’s major studios if the case went in Johansson's favor.
Johansson vs. Disney marked the latest in the profit-participation dispute where actors fight studios over their backend compensation or the definition of "net profit." Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, attorney James Sammataro said of the case: "The exception is when there’s so much money involved or if there’s a level of acrimony that has reached a point of no return, and people are going to stand on principle. That statement by Disney confirmed the latter, but it still is a shocking statement to make — to paint someone as being insensitive and playing the whole, ‘You’re so out of touch’ card. You could probably make the same argument about Disney; ‘Yeah. You’ve been generating millions, if not billions, during the pandemic.’”
When the lawsuit was filed, it was rumored that many other A-listers were planning to do the same. Johansson had even received support from actor Jamie Lee Curtis, Marvel’s WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen as well as mogul Jason Blum. Despite other big-budget movies, such as Cruella and Jungle Cruise, Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 also saw a parallel theatrical and online release this year, Johansson was the only one to sue.