A new rumor claims that The Walt Disney Company has cut ties with Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson after she filed a lawsuit against the company claiming they breached her contract when they released Black Widow via Disney Plus Premier Access the same day it was released in theaters.
The lawsuit specifically claims that “Disney intentionally and improperly induced Marvel to breach its agreement with [Scarlett Johansson] by releasing [Black Widow] on Disney+ simultaneously with its release in theaters, in violation of the Agreement which required a ‘theatrical release of the Picture’ as the parties understood that term at the time of contracting, meaning an exclusive theatrical release of the Picture.”
The actress specifically claims that “Disney acted with malice, oppression, or fraud, and in willful disregard of [her] rights and interests.”
She is seeking monetary and punitive damages against Disney.
Following the lawsuit, a Disney spokesman responded to it stating, “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, 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,” the spokesman added.
Then a rumor surfaced from former editor at The Hollywood Reporter Matt Belloni that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige was “pissed.”
In his newsletter titled What I’m Hearing, Belloni claims, “[Feige’s] a company man, and not prone to corporate showdowns or shouting matches. But I’m told he’s angry and embarrassed.”
“He lobbied Disney against the day-and-date plan for Black Widow, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to upset his talent. And then s**t hit the fan, the movie started tanking, and Johansson’s team threatened litigation, he wanted Disney to make this right with her.”
Interestingly enough, in that same What I’m Hearing newsletter, Belloni also noted that Johansson is at the end of her Marvel deal and “for that reason, Disney doesn’t have to care about an ongoing relationship.”
Now, a new rumor from Giant Freakin Robot claims that Disney has indeed cut ties with Scarlett Johansson.
Giant Freakin Robot’s Faith McKay claims, “Thanks to one of our trusted and proven inside sources, we’ve learned that Disney has closed their ties and future projects with Scarlett Johansson.”
McKay adds, “We can count on this meaning that Disney intends to not move forward with the projects they’ve publicly announced, like Tower of Terror. It also means that projects that were quietly in the works for Scarlett Johansson are now out of the question.”
Collider reported back in June that Johansson would be producing a Tower of Terror film via her These Pictures company with the script for the film being written by Josh Cooley.
Not only was Johansson reportedly attached to a Tower of Terror film, but back in October 2019 New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan indicated that Scarlett Johansson appeared at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event where she detailed that Black Widow was its own standalone franchise, teasing that sequels could be coming.
Johansson was an executive producer on the Black Widow film as well.
What do you make of this latest rumor that Disney has cut ties with Scarlett Johansson?