Scarlett Johansson made some serious waves yesterday when the new broke the actress was pursuing legal action against Disney over Black Widow scoring a hybrid release on Disney Plus Premiere Access, which she believes to be a breach of contract that’s significantly impacted the money she was due to earn from the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster.
Naturally, the Mouse House responded in double quick time, and the outfit didn’t mince their words. Absolutely blasting the actress for her “callous disregard” in pursuing additional remuneration when the planet is still recovering from the biggest health crisis in generations, Disney also made sure to reiterate the point that she’d already received $20 million in salary and bonuses, presumably in an attempt to paint the two-time Academy Award nominee as greedy.
Caught in all of this is Kevin Feige, one of The Walt Disney Company’s most valued and powerful employees, who has a personal and professional relationship with Johansson dating back to when she was first announced as the MCU’s Natasha Romanoff in March 2009. A new piece from former editor of The Hollywood Reporter Matthew Belloni now clams that Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer is not happy at how the situation is playing out, as you can read below.
“Feige is a company man, and not prone to corporate showdowns or shouting matches. But I’m told he’s angry and embarrassed. He lobbied Disney against the day-and-date plan for Black Widow, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to upset his talent. And then when the sh*t hit the fan, the movie started tanking, and Johansson’s team threatened litigation, he wanted Disney to make this right with her. (Disney declined to comment on Feige.)”
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We’d been hearing a lot of chatter last summer that Feige was doing everything in his power to try and keep Black Widow as a theatrical exclusive, with the Premier Access compromise ultimately being made instead. The architect of the MCU finds himself caught in the middle of a battle that might be about to get very ugly, especially when Marvel prides itself on being a fun and fair place to work for all of the talent involved.