Scarlett Johansson, case against Disney settled for “Black Widow” – The Hollywood Reporter



Scarlett Johansson and Disney settle a breach of contract lawsuit over the star Black Widow payday, Hollywood journalist has learned. Terms of the contract are not disclosed.

“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” said Johansson. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have really enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in the years to come.

Disney Studios President Alan Bergman added, “I am very happy that we were able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate his contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s. The tower of terror. “

The explosive lawsuit, filed by the actress in July in Los Angeles Superior Court, claimed the studio had sacrificed the film’s box office potential in order to develop its new Disney + streaming service. Disney replied that Johansson was paid $ 20 million for the film.

The settlement ends a public relations battle that pitted the CAA star against the studio over the past two months and was poised to have dramatic implications for major Hollywood studios. Johansson’s cause has received industry support as both talent and executives – including Jamie Lee Curtis, Marvel’s WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen and mogul Jason Blum – spoke on his behalf.

At the time of the complaint, a spokesperson for Disney said, in part: “The lawsuit is particularly sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. CAA Co-Chair Bryan Lourd retorted that Disney “shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an effort to make her appear as someone they and I know that it is not “.

In her complaint, Johansson said the Marvel tent pole was guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release when she signed her contract. She alleged that her contract was broken when the film was simultaneously released on Disney +.

As the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in Hollywood over the past 18 months, Black Widow was one of many big budget movies that Warner Bros. ‘ Wonder woman and disney Cruel and Jungle cruise which bowed simultaneously in streaming and theaters. But to date, Johansson is the only major movie star to sue. She claimed that Disney had sacrificed Black Widowthe box office potential of in order to develop its streaming service.

Why would Disney forgo hundreds of millions of dollars in box office revenue by releasing Picture in theaters when it knew the movie market was ‘weak’, rather than wait a few months for is this market recovering? ” the complaint asked. “In terms of information and belief, the decision to do so was made at least in part because Disney saw the opportunity to promote its flagship subscription service using Picture and Ms. new monthly paid subscribers, retaining existing subscribers and establishing Disney + as a must-have service in an increasingly competitive market.

Black Widow, which has grossed $ 379 million at the global box office to date, debuted in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access at the same time for an additional $ 30. But in what was seen by executives at rival studios as a major miscalculation, Disney boasted on July 11 that Black Widow won $ 60 million worth of purchases through Disney + ‘s Premier Access paywall, opening the door to a fierce clash. After all, Johansson had been considering litigation for several months, a source familiar with the lawsuit said. Until the afternoon of July 28, she believed Disney would make an offer and she wouldn’t have to file a complaint. But Disney has remained in the “Let’s Keep Talking” mode, the source adds. Johansson was particularly enraged by the announcement, which appealed to Wall Street but not to the talent and representation community.

According to the complaint, Disney’s decision “not only increased the value of Disney +, but it also intentionally saved Marvel (and therefore herself) what Marvel itself called a” very big box office bonus. “which Marvel would otherwise have been forced to pay Ms. Johansson.

Johansson vs. Disney marked the latest iteration of a profit-sharing dispute that’s all too common in Hollywood, with actors battling with studios over their final pay or the definition of bottom line. Very few of these battles come to the surface because they are often settled before the lawyers intervene or the actor’s contract contains an arbitration clause in which the whole process remains confidential. (A source close to Johansson’s lawsuit said his contract contained an arbitration clause, but his lawyers were ready to test it.)

“The exception is when there is so much money at stake or if there is a level of acrimony that has reached a point of no return, and people are going to stand up on principle,” he said. lawyer James Sammataro. THR. This Disney statement confirmed the latter, but it’s still a shocking statement to make – to paint someone as being callous and playing the ‘You’re so out of touch’ card. You could probably make the same argument about Disney. ‘Yes. You made millions, if not billions, during the pandemic.’ “

In the wake of Johansson’s lawsuit, more than a handful of other A-listers are said to be considering filing similar lawsuits. (Jungle cruise star Dwayne Johnson was not one of them given he has a different pay structure than Johansson.) But that has yet to materialize. CruelEmma Stone of Emma Stone struck a deal two weeks after Johansson’s trial to star in a sequel to Disney’s live-action film, offering a sign that Disney was struggling to find talent in a busy atmosphere.

While Disney has come under fire for handling talent deals during the pandemic, WarnerMedia has taken a different approach by proactively distributing up to $ 200 million to pay off a long list of stars including Warner Bros. movies. opened simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, including Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Will Smith.

Johansson is represented by Kasowitz’s partner John Berlinski, while Daniel Petrocelli represents Disney.


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