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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for ‘Black Widow’ OTT release, studio calls the lawsuit ‘sad and distressing’

Scarlett Johansson, in her suit, claimed that Disney did not honour its commitment to release the film only in theatres and simultaneously made it available on the streaming platform Disney+...

2021-07-30T05:37:00Z
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Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson, the star lead of the latest MCU film ‘Black Widow’, filed a lawsuit against Disney, which owns Marvel Studios. The lawsuit alleged a contract breach as the film was simultaneously released in theatres as well as Disney+ in the US and a few other countries, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The film was initially supposed to have a theatrical release, unlike other Marvel films. However, as the theatres in some parts of the world are shut, owing to the current Covid-19 situation, Disney decided to premiere the latest MCU film theatrically and on the streaming platform, at the same time.

Johansson, in her suit, claimed that Disney did not honour its commitment to release the film only in theatres and simultaneously made it available on the streaming platform Disney+. This led the actor to lose a hefty amount and sparked a legal battle between the Black Widow star and the studio.

Incidentally, the studio reportedly earned 60 million dollars from Black Widow’s Disney+ Premier Access release alone in the opening weekend. This was in addition to 158 million dollar box office, by far the best for a pandemic release. 

The suit said, “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” as per the WSJ report.

Scarlett Johansson has been playing the character of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the release of Iron Man 2. Her character met with the end in ‘Endgame’ hence Black Widow acts as a prequel in the storyline. The film will feature the Russian spy turned superhero facing demons from her past in the latest release.

Responding to the lawsuit, Disney in its statement said, “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,” as quoted by Variety.

Black Widow saw a hybrid release in the US, UK and a handful of other countries could pay 30 dollars or equivalent to watch the movie in the comfort of their home.


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