Last July, Scarlet Johansson shook the entertainment world when she publicly sued Disney over how they released Black Widow. The actress claimed that the hybrid theatrical and Disney+ debut broke her contract and prevented the star “from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel." It was strange to see one of the MCU’s biggest heroes turn against the company behind her most well-known character, who had just released a solo film.
Disney’s response? The company responded to the lawsuit by saying how “there [was] no merit whatsoever to [the] filing” and that it somehow was a “callous disregard” for the “global effects of Covid-19.”
The entire situation was eventually resolved, including an additional payment of over 40 million dollars from the mouse to Johannson.
In a new interview with Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame directors, the Russo Brothers brought up the messy topic once again and aimed to offer some comments on why it may have happened in the first place.
That ‘Disturbing’ Johansson Debacle
In an interview with Den of Geek, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame directors the Russo Brothers commented on why studios may be devaluing their stars, specifically referencing the big incident between Scarlet Johansson and Disney.
Joe Russo mentioned how tech companies “can pay more [for their projects] and that’s starting to scare the studios:”
“We’re certainly concerned with the trend in the market that’s moving away from artists… there’s been a lot of value in tech companies getting involved in making content, but there’s also some downsides to that. And those downsides include tech companies like Netflix and Apple and Amazon having much deeper pockets than studios do, and they can pay more and that’s starting to scare the studios.”
In response, the director mentioned how studios are “trying to downplay their need for stars… [instead forcing] IP to be their star:”
“So the studios are having a conservative reaction, and they’re trying to downplay their need for stars. They’re trying to force IP to be their star, and in accordance with that, they’re also then trying to underpay and diminish the need for stars on their projects.”
When the Scarlet Johansson lawsuit came up, Russo made it clear how the both of them believed “that was really not an appropriate way for them to handle that situation:”
“That was really not an appropriate way for them to handle that situation. It was disturbing to us as artists. Scarlett is a good friend of ours, and we were disheartened by how it was handled. We’re glad it’s resolved.”
For those wondering if there’s any update on the duo potentially returning to the MCU, they sadly declined comment.
Will the Russo Directors Be Back?
This isn’t the first time that the famous duo has been associated with the messy Black Widow disagreement. Before it was resolved, it was reported how the entire disagreement caused the directors to reach an impasse in negotiations with Marvel Studios to direct another movie.
Since they didn’t comment on that within the quotes above, fans sadly still have no update on if anything has gotten better between the two parties. It’s hard to imagine fans wouldn’t want the two of them to return—they did direct the MCU entries many consider to be the best Marvel Studios have ever offered.
If the situation works out, what might the two tackle next? Well, all signs point to an adaptation of Secret Wars. Not only have the Russos actually commented on how they love the story, but it’s also an Endgame level event. So, they’re more than qualified for the undertaking.
Black Widow is now streaming on Disney+.