Scarlett Johansson and Disney resolve their Black Widow legal spat
Scarlett Johansson and Disney's legal battle has come to an end.
"I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney," Johansson said in a statement. "I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come."
"I'm very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow," Disney Studios chair Alan Bergman also said in a statement. "We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney's Tower of Terror."
In July, the longtime Marvel actress made headlines when she filed a lawsuit alleging that the Walt Disney Co. breached her contract by releasing Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time. In Johansson's suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the actress argued that her compensation was based largely on box office receipts, and she claimed that she had a contractual promise that Black Widow would be a "theatrical release." Instead, the suit alleged, Disney chose to use Black Widow to promote its streaming service Disney+, at the expense of Johansson's compensation.
At the time, Disney vehemently denied Johansson's allegations, countering that her complaint had "no merit whatsoever." In a rare blistering statement, the company also said that Johansson's complaint showed "callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" and that the actress had already received a payout of $20 million.
Johansson's lawsuit was a rare example of a major movie star publicly feuding with a studio, and it quickly turned into a war of words, with both parties slamming each other in the press. The dispute also came at a time when the future of the theatrical movie business has never been more in question: For decades, many A-list stars' salaries have been tied to box office performance, but as more and more studios shift toward streaming-first content, those traditional contracts have come into question. (The pandemic also exacerbated many of the same issues, with movie theaters remaining closed for months worldwide and studios choosing to shift many theatrical releases to streaming.)
The exact terms of Johansson and Disney's deal were not disclosed, but the two parties appear to have settled on good terms, with both saying that they "look forward" to working together in the future. Bergman also confirmed that a planned Tower of Terror movie is still in the works, with Johansson still confirmed to star.