Scarlet Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over Black Widow‘s streaming release rocked Hollywood, leading to much speculation that this first-of-its-kind case could potentially lead other stars to similarly hit back against the studio. For instance, there was some talk that Emma Stone was planning to sue Disney for Cruella‘s simultaneous Disney Plus release. As it happens though, Stone recently closed a deal to return for Cruella 2, suggesting things were rosy between her and the company.
The latest information, however, says that Stone actually made a shrewd business deal for the sequel and was emboldened to negotiate a new contract for Cruella 2 by Johansson taking Disney to town. Insider Matthew Belloni is reporting that Stone elected not to take legal action against the studio and to instead force Disney to “acknowledge for the first time that it should have negotiated a ‘buyout’ of her box office bonuses on the first Cruella, like Warner Bros. did for its 2021 movies.” Prior to this, Disney simply added the at-home upcharge to its box office figures.
This move is believed to have netted Stone an eight-figure sum that she will receive regardless of whether Cruella 2 even gets off the ground. Though obviously the Oscar-winning star would earn herself even more if it does get made. On top of this, Stone got Disney to let go of its insistence that she accept tiered bonuses and is instead on course to earn a more traditional back-end payment “that includes a royalty on each at-home sale on streaming.”
Another lawsuit leveled at Disney would no doubt have hit the company hard, even just on a reputational level, so the Mouse House must be relieved that Stone elected not to go down this route. That said, it appears that Stone and her team still came out on top of these negotiations, as Disney were likely cowed by the threat of another ScarJo situation into agreeing to the star’s demands.