Black Widow actor Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney: What’s happened so far


Shortly after Black Widow‘s release in North America and several other markets on July 9, it was reported that Scarlett Johansson had sued Disney for a hybrid (both theatrical and streaming) release of Black Widow.


Scarlett Johansson  has forged a fruitful partnership with Disney through the latter’s subsidiary, Marvel Studios. She played Black Widow six times before reprising the role, possibly for the last time, in her self-titled standalone film directed by Kate Shortland.

However, shortly after the film’s release in North America and several other markets on July 9, the Wall Street Journal reported that  it had sued the House of Mouse for  a hybrid (theatrical and streaming simultaneously ) release of the film. 

Black Widow: Here’s a timeline of everything that happened in this whole matter so far:

29 July

Scarlett Johansson sued Disney to claim that the film’s simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+ violated the terms of her contract with the studio,  robbing her of up to $50 million in bonuses. Most of the pre-pandemic films are saved after a certain period of time for cinemas to be released on streaming. After being hit by the pandemic and disrupting the theatrical business, big studios like Warner Bros. and Disney changed their stance.

“Disney intentionally abets Marvel’s breach of agreement without justification to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefits of her deal with Marvel,” the lawsuit states.

29 July

Disney’s response was surprisingly swift and aggressive. The same day, it issued a statement saying that Johansson’s lawsuit “has no merit. It continued,” this lawsuit is particularly sad and worrying because of the dire and prolonged global impacts of the COVID-19  pandemic . It has been harshly disregarded  .” The statement also revealed Scarlett’s base salary for the film: $20 million.

July 30

Scarlett Johansson’s agent, Brian Lord of the Creative Arts Agency (CAA), condemned Disney’s response. In a statement, he accused Disney of attacking the actress’s character and disclosing her $20 million salary for the superhero film “in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and a businessman.”


Reports surfaced the same day that claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige was “outraged and embarrassed” by the whole thing, although there was no official statement.

August 2

Disney Bob Iger’s executive chairman and former CEO was reported by TheWrap to be “dead” by recent developments.

21 August

Scarlett said  through his lawyer  pulled Disney for his “false attack”. The statement also added that the studio is now trying to “conceal its misconduct in confidential arbitration”.

Black Widow
Black Widow

“Why is Disney so afraid of publicly prosecuting this matter?” asked John Burlinsky. “Because it knows that Marvel promised Black Widow a specific theatrical release like its other films, it has everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney will not cannibalize box office receipts to promote Disney+ subscriptions.” will. Yet the same – and we are keen to present overwhelming evidence to prove it, “the statement added.