The lawsuit alleges that by releasing the film on Disney+ simultaneously with the theatrical release, “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.” Johansson reportedly took a partial back-end deal, in which her salary for the film was derived from the box office sales which, the lawsuit alleges, were undercut by the Disney+ sales. Disney later released a statement calling the lawsuit “sad and distressing.”
Though he has not released an official statement, Marvel President Kevin Feige is reportedly upset with Disney over the situation. Former The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni reported in a What I’m Hearing… newsletter that Feige is, “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 when the sh** hit the fan, the movie started tanking, and Johansson’s team threatened litigation, he wanted Disney to make this right with her. (Disney declined to comment on Feige.)”
Keep checking WDWNT as we learn more about this developing lawsuit.