Just now, the original “Black Widow” Scarlett Johansson and Disney’s lawsuit basically ended.
The two parties seem to have ended this once heated lawsuit in the form of a settlement.
The beginning of the event
A few weeks after the “Black Widow” movie was released earlier, Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney, accusing it of violating the relevant contract with her.
The lawsuit stated that Disney had previously guaranteed that “Black Widow” would only be shown in theaters, and Scarlett Johansson’s income was determined based on box office revenue.
But in fact, the film was released on streaming media on the same day, violating the contract with Scarlett Johansson.
Moreover, after Disney adopted this distribution model, it did not re-negotiate with Scarlett Johansson on the adjustment of film revenue.
The impact of events
Since the lawsuit was first filed on July 29, Disney has responded to Scarlett Johansson’s actions.
Disney denied the basis for its filing of the lawsuit and accused Scarlett Johansson of ignoring the adverse effects of the epidemic on film distribution and safety issues.
Disney also tried to move the case to closed-door arbitration.
Scarlett’s legal team called Disney’s response “an attack with disrespect for women,” and criticized Disney for allegedly defrauding Johnson of $50 million in box office revenue.
The two parties had a quarrel about this for a while, and it was rumored that Disney had banned Scarlett himself, and the related cooperation intention projects were cancelled.
As the lawsuit between Johnson and Disney continues, the film industry has made various reactions.
But many people also expressed support for Scarlett, even Marvel actors.
Elizabeth Olsen, the actor of Wanda, also expressed support for the actor.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Pictures, is said to be “angry and embarrassed” about Disney’s handling of this matter.
It is reported that Emma Stone has also considered filing a lawsuit against Disney over the distribution of “Cruella” on streaming media.
It was later confirmed that the two sides continued to return to the sequel with Stone, and then used some methods to deal with it and reached an agreement.
Although the details of the agreement between the two parties are not yet clear, Patrick Whitesell, the executive eldest brother of the media and entertainment agency Endeavor, said: “The agreement shows that a fair solution to the problem can be found to protect the actors, while at the same time it can also benefit the studio’s Connect talents”
Currently, Disney has no information indicating the release date of “Cruella” or more content plans.
But at least it has been shown that the relationship between him and the actors can be maintained.
On the other hand, the settlement of the Emma Stone incident may benefit to some extent from Scarlett’s litigation.
Therefore, these turmoil may make it difficult for Disney to gain the upper hand in dealing with similar events with stars in the future.
Similar to Stone, Emily Blunt once weighed the question of whether she chose the legal path for similar encounters in the “Jungle Cruise” project.
Because Disney also released this film on streaming media when it premiered in theaters, but the follow-up did not cause much disturbance.
The actor has revealed that he will return to this movie sequel with Dwayne Johnson.
However, regarding her “Quiet Place II”, she and director/co-star John Krasinski took legal action against Paramount regarding the issue of the delay in theaters leading to the shortening of the film’s release time.
The Emily Blunt team publicly stated that she would agree to appear in “Jungle Cruise 2”, but there are still some things that need to be negotiated.
Inspired by Scarlett and Disney’s litigation, Emily Blunt may request more revenue from “Jungle Cruise 2.”
Another major influence caused by the Scarlett lawsuit is the Russo brothers, the directors of “Avengers 3: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4: Endgame.”
Because this incident made them worry about Disney’s release strategy for Marvel movies, he was no longer willing to participate in future Marvel projects.
Although the Marvel project is generally not difficult to attract top directors to participate, the news that the Russell brothers rejected the MCU project at this time is bound to make many well-known directors agree with many opposition to the simultaneous release of movies on streaming media.
If this distribution strategy is not changed, it may prompt more filmmakers to leave Disney and MCU.
Therefore, Disney started with “Free Guy” and no longer released it on streaming media at the same time.
During the anxious period of the “Black Widow” litigation, Scarlett’s lawyers and Disney representatives issued multiple strong statements to attack each other.
Disney uses the prevention and control of a special period as an excuse to try to make Scarlett look like a reckless villain and a greedy woman.
Disney accused her of being unsatisfied even though she had already received $20 million in compensation.
This has indeed caused this widow sister, who has been loved by MCU fans, to be questioned by the public.
However, most Hollywood and outside observers were on Scarlett’s side, which made the incident finally resolved quickly before entering the court.
The terms of the settlement agreement between Scarlett and Disney were not immediately disclosed.
However, according to individual media rumors, Disney will pay Scarlett US$40 million as part of the settlement.
But when Disney will pay this amount, and in what form (return to the movie or directly in the form of funds), it is still unknown.
The estimated $50 million in lost revenue previously cited by Scarlett’s team was based on the film’s box office performance under normal conditions.
So far, the box office of “Black Widow” is 387 million U.S. dollars.
Sales on Disney+ pushed the movie’s total box office revenue to more than $500 million, but this still will not reach the expected box office revenue during the normal period.
Therefore, the $40 million settlement agreement reached this time should be relatively fair to both parties.
Now that Scarlett’s lawsuit is basically over, the follow-up cooperation between her and Disney should return to normal.
She is still expected to participate in Disney’s “Tower of Terror” movie, which also increases the possibility that Scarlett will continue to return as a black widow in the MCU.
Who is the real winner
Despite the successful resolution of the Black Widow battle between Disney and Scarlett Johansson, there is still a clear winner.
Find out who benefits more.
On July 29, 2021, Scarlett filed a lawsuit against Disney in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that Disney’s release of “Black Widow” in streaming media and theaters at the same time violated the contract.
A Disney spokesperson called the lawsuit “no value,” and seemed to suggest to the outside world that Scarlett is severing relations and stopping any future cooperation.
But a month later, Disney began to promote private arbitration.
Disney’s unwillingness to adopt a public form was strongly opposed by Scarlett’s team of lawyers, who hoped that the incident could be resolved publicly in court.
And it is determined that the first court hearing will be held in March 2022.
Now that there is news that the lawsuit has been settled by both parties.
Although there are no details of the settlement agreement, Disney at least avoided a lawsuit in terms of reaching a settlement.
This means that all proceedings will be removed from public supervision.
In doing so, Disney avoided more adverse effects caused by this incident.
After all, after this lawsuit occurred, several projects of Disney and Marvel have been greatly affected.
The studio’s reputation was also potentially threatened, because many fans expressed strong dissatisfaction with Disney’s personal attack on Scarlett.
Even Wanda’s actors expressed support for Scarlett, and Benedict Cumberbatch of “Doctor Strange” also publicly expressed disappointment at Disney’s handling of this lawsuit.
So although Disney’s reputation may be affected to some extent in the first few months of the case.
But this time through a peaceful settlement, Disney actually avoided the consequences of suffering more blows.
Regardless of what the two sides have said about this incident, Scarlett and Disney have resolved their differences, which is a happy thing.
In June, Scarlett’s original film “Tower of Terror” was canceled when the lawsuit was fermented.
But in a statement recently issued by Scarlett, she expressed her desire to continue cooperating with Disney and Marvel.
At the same time, Alan Bergman, the big brother of the Disney Studios screenwriter, expressed his appreciation for Johnson’s iconic role in building the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Likewise, he will look forward to “cooperating on many upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”
After this incident, Disney also re-evaluated its future film distribution strategy, especially the distribution model of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
CEO Bob Chapek announced that the MCU movie works after “Black Widow” will be exclusively shown in theaters 45 days before being transferred to Disney+.
Obviously, Scarlett’s lawsuit may prompt Disney to examine and change its distribution strategy.
This also avoids similar conflicts with actors in the future, which may also be lucky for Disney.
The legal dispute between Disney and Scarlett is just one of many contract disputes in Hollywood.
Most of them were actually resolved before the hearing started, and only a few went to court to attract public attention.
Although this incident eventually avoided legal disputes, this lawsuit reminded many actors and studios.
No matter which path they choose, the talent and the studio will eventually reach a peace agreement, which is a win-win situation.