Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Disney, alleging that the company violated her "Black Widow" contract regarding compensation. Johansson claims that simultaneously releasing the film both theatrically and on the Disney+ streaming service breached her contract, as her compensation is partially tied to the film's box office.
- According to Johansson's suit, she was assured by Disney executives that the films would receive an exclusive theatrical release, a pledge that was ultimately retracted.
- In a statement, Disney referred to the lawsuit as meritless and said it reflected "callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."
- "Black Widow" had originally been scheduled to hit theaters in May of 2020 but was repeatedly delayed by the pandemic; Disney released the film earlier this month to both theaters and Disney+ (for a $30 rental fee).
- Several other actors and filmmakers have complained about being "blindsided" when their films shifted from theatrical to streaming releases, including "Infinite" star Mark Wahlberg and "In the Heights" director Jon M. Chu.
- The Wall Street Journal originally reported news about the lawsuit.