Joe and Anthony Russo, who co-directed major Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, have “hit an impasse” during negotiations to direct another Marvel movie over concerns stemming from Scarlett Johansson’s recent lawsuit against Disney, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Johansson alleged her contract with Marvel had been breached after it released Black Widow on Disney Plus at the same time as in theaters, dampening the box-office performance and her alleged pay as a result. The dispute made the Russo brothers, according to the WSJ, “unsure how their next movie would be distributed and how they would be paid.”
The brothers had previously been linked to a Secret Wars movie, a project they said excited them and would likely be the “biggest movie you could possibly imagine.” Since directing Endgame, the second highest-grossing film of all time, the Russos have focused their efforts elsewhere, including Netflix original film Extraction that starred Thor actor Chris Hemsworth.
Although the Russos may be cautious proceeding with another Marvel movie, the studio may be more open to traditional film releases in a post-pandemic world, which would likely assure the brothers they would not lose out on money.