It could all have been so beautiful. After over 10 years of Marvel service, Scarlett Johansson celebrates the swan song of her Avengers character with Black Widow, Marvel fans can review their best and worst MCU moments and everyone dances funny into the superhero sunset. But that’s not how it happened: Shortly after the theatrical release, Johansson sues Disney for breach of contract. What had happened?
Scarlett Johansson and Disney are in a fierce battle over Black Widow
The core of the lawsuit was money – a lot of money: According to Johansson’s lawyers, Disney had promised the actress an exclusive Black Widow release in the cinema, but then released the film on Disney+ at the same time. Since Johansson, as the star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit, was contractually involved in the cinema revenues, this strategy could have hurt her financially considerably: Some sources (via Variety ) speak of a Loss of $50 million.
Scarlett Johansson fights with Disney
The publishing strategy itself is no more surprise in the Corona period: At the latest since producer Warner announced last December that he wanted to release Wonder Woman in 1984 both in the cinema and in the stream, the examples of this double tactic have accumulated. Disney blockbusters such as Cruella with Emma Stone and most recently Jungle Cruise with Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson have also been released according to the same pattern.
But while Warner offered Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot compensation for the cinema revenues, which were probably undermined by the simultaneous streaming launch, Disney made no concessions. On the contrary the decision to launch Disney+ at the same time is fiercely defended.
Disney response to Scarlett Johansson is brutal
Because in the reaction of the mouse company (via Variety ) there was no trace of understanding or even giving in. The action was “without value“, “sad” and “frightening in their heartless ignorance of the consequences of the corona pandemic“.
Disney’s response to Johansson’s lawsuit is unusually fierce
The tone of voice is unusual for a legal dispute between actor and studio, which are often settled for the benefit of both sides with as little attention as possible. It seems as if even for the unassailable Disney colossus it is suddenly more about principle than about public opinion. Suddenly, the rules seem different and a precedent is emerging that could change Hollywood for decades to come.
Scarlett Johansson’s battle with Disney hints at a Hollywood revolution
Recently, such a legal dispute seemed more or less unthinkable. Few actors with a penchant for their careers would have seriously wanted to take on the most successful production studio in the world. For most, it would be was a fight of David against several Goliaths.
But thanks to Johansson’s lawsuit, these proportions no longer seem so clear. With Scarlett Johansson, one of the greatest Hollywood actresses of our time has stood in the way of the mouse company. She’s immensely successful, excellently networked and as one of the few MCU stars not on
Instructed: Even beyond her Black Widow career, she has been a celebrated actress for decades. Many of her friends – such as Bryan Lourd, head of her talent agency – are considered key Hollywood figures.
Also reportedly considering legal action: Emily Blunt
Although the superior power of the Disney Group is undeniable, support for Johansson seems to be spreading, especially among the first lamplight squad. According to a report (via Screenrant ) her fellow actors Emma Stone and Emily Blunt are also consideringnext steps against Disney – they are interested in Cruella and Jungle Cruise, but the reason is the same.
For the first time, the streaming tactics of the big film corporations now seem to be under scrutiny, which previously seemed untouchable: the studios seemed too overpowering, the calculation of streaming profits and too gruelling the permanent state of emergency between pandemic fears, release postponements and closed cinemas.
How will the Black Widow battle between Disney and Scarlet Johansson turn out?
That apparently even Marvel guru Kevin Feige is “angry” at Disney because of the legal dispute (via Screenrant ) shows what a rift runs through Hollywood – and thus the cinema landscape, at least in the Western world. The consequences could change the way we watch movies in the long run.
Does Emma Stone also want to sue?
Should Disney be able to dismiss the lawsuit, the dam for cinema streaming double tactics would probably be broken once and for all. It would be expected that even beyond the end of the pandemic, major blockbusters will be released in two tracks. A Disney victory In addition, the previous concessions of the studios to actors or cinemas would possibly relegate to the realm of the past.
On the other hand, many Marvel fans are hoping for a triumph for Johansson. Many compare the legal dispute with the Studio system in the golden Hollywood era of the 40s and 50s, when companies like Warner co-determined every part of film production and had great power over the careers of their stars. Even then, it was mainly female actresses such as Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis who complained against the monopoly of power of the studios and thus changed Hollywood permanently.
The future of Hollywood is hard to predict
If Johansson successfully sues, a successful cinema first exploitation could gain in weight again compared to the streaming release at the studios. First and foremost, the stars would benefit, but of course also the cinemas. The legal dispute would be a warning to all studios to strictly comply with the statutes of the contracts in the future.
the Power of the big studios will not break the Black Widow war – compared to the 1940s, the publication channels have simply multiplied too rapidly and too profitably. However, if Scarlett Johansson can sue for her profit share, it should be a lesson for many studios: Creatives also have a say in the streaming revolution.
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