There used to be a time, as recently as last year in fact, when there was a clear difference between a movie designed for a theatrical release and one destined for streaming. However, COVID-19 changed all of that, and we’ve seen a huge number of titles either being awarded hybrid releases very late in the day or getting pulled from the big screen altogether.
The entirety of Warner Bros.’ 2021 calendar, Disney‘s Artemis Fowl, Mulan, Black Widow, Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella and Jungle Cruise, Paramount’s Infinite and more have all been affected, and as we’ve seen from the Scarlett Johansson situation, it could lead to a slew of stars involved in a number of projects feeling slighted that they’ve missed out on significant performance bonuses tied to box office earnings.
We’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Disney were developing a sequel to Jon Favreau’s The Lion King long before Barry Jenkins was announced for the follow up – that more Mouse House alumni could be seeking to either renegotiate their deals or demand additional pay for lending their talents to streaming exclusives.
Looking at the upcoming roster of Disney Plus originals, there are a couple of titles that stand out in terms of the talent attached. David Lowery’s Peter Pan & Wendy stars Jude Law as Captain Hook, Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio is currently shooting with Tom Hanks as Gepetto and long-awaited sequel Disenchanted with Amy Adams wrapped earlier this month, and all three were initially announced for a theatrical release. If Johansson’s battle against the company brings results and other contracts haven’t been amended, then Disney could be in for a world of trouble.