Disney Had No Idea Scarlett Johansson Would Sue Over Black Widow

Black Widow

Things have quietened down significantly on the Black Widow front, which may have something to do with the reports making the rounds that Disney were planning to settle Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit out of court. A resolution may be nigh, but the optics haven’t been great for the Mouse House.

Sure, $20 million is a fair chunk of change to take home, but Johansson’s issues were rooted in principle rather than monetary gain. The two-time Academy Award nominee’s contract wasn’t updated or amended to reflect the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s feature length Phase Four kickoff heading to Premier Access, and she may have lost out on as much as $50 million as a result.

Disney’s legal team publicly blasting her decision to file a claim and effectively calling her greedy didn’t sit well with a lot of people both inside and outside the industry, but a new report offers that the studio wasn’t even given a heads-up that the lawsuit was incoming and were blindsided by the news spreading across the internet like wildfire, which is why their response was said to be so heated.

It’s worked out well for Emma Stone at least, who purportedly leveraged both the Black Widow fallout and Cruella‘s hybrid release to negotiate herself a substantially increased payday for the sequel, although we’re still waiting to discover the outcome of Johansson’s battle against her former employers. It’s a fascinating scenario to see play out, and it might well end up influencing the next batch of contract talks Hollywood’s biggest outfits hold with their A-list talent, regardless of how much Disney ends up forking over to the disgruntled former Natasha Romanoff once the matter has been resolved once and for all.