The Black Widow lawsuit is something that has been in and out of the headline since it was first brought to our attention. Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson filed a suit against Marvel and Disney for breach of contract due to the hybrid release nature of the movie. The basic idea was that her contract stated that she would get residuals from the box office, and those residuals would be lower because of the hybrid release. This is something that has come up a lot since the hybrid release model came into being during the pandemic, but this was the first legal litigation that the public has seen. Since then, there has been some back and forth from both parties, but The Wall Street Journal did a deep dive into the situation. One of the outcomes of the suit is that, reportedly, Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of four different Marvel movies, are hesitating about working with Marvel again because of the situation.
Since the lawsuit, brothers Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, directors of Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing movie of all time, hit an impasse in negotiations to direct another Marvel movie. The Johansson dispute left them unsure how their next movie would be distributed and how they would be paid, according to people familiar with the matter. The Russos declined to comment.
This was always going to be a possible outcome from the Black Widow suit. There were rumors immediately following the suit that other stars were looking to file their own suits against Disney, but those must have either been worked out behind the scenes or worked into new contracts. For now, we’re still waiting on the outcome of the lawsuit, but as the pandemic continues to get worse and not better, one has to wonder if hybrid releases really are as behind us as studios want us to think they are.
Summary: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O. T. Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz, and Ray Winstone. It was released on July 9, 2021, in theatres and on Disney+ with Premier Access.