While Marvel Studios is finding its usual round of success through the MCU, not quite everything is sunshine and roses through the studio's latest round of releases.
The team behind the MCU finally got the opportunity to bring Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow to fans, which faced delays going back more than a year before coming as Phase 4's first movie release. However, due to the state of world affairs, this debut came both in theaters and via the Disney+ streaming service, eventually leading to a very public legal battle for Disney.
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson recently filed a lawsuit against Disney for reportedly violating her contract with the decision to make her solo movie a dual theatrical and streaming release. Aside from this being likely Johansson's final MCU appearance, this suit set off a firestorm within the entertainment industry over how blockbusters like this debut to the public.
The latest round of comments on this situation comes from another Marvel personality who's dealt with his own share of troubles in recent memory.
JAMES GUNN BACKS SCARLETT JOHANSSON
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn spoke with Variety about the ongoing legal battle between Scarlett Johansson and Disney over the release of Black Widow.
Not going into many details, Gunn admitted that he hasn't "really been fully up on" the lawsuit filed by Johansson. Only having "met Scarlett in passing," Gunn praised the Natasha Romanoff actress as "a great person" and put his trust in her during this difficult situation.
“I haven’t really been fully up on it. I’ve only met Scarlett in passing. I think she’s a great person. And I really think she’s, uh, you know — I trust Scarlett.”
SOME SUPPORT FOR BLACK WIDOW
While James Gunn didn't jump fully onto one side or the other in this unprecedented legal fight, he does have his own history of uncomfortable situations with Disney.
Gunn was publicly let go from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2018 after a deep look back through old Twitter posts, which quickly led to him being hired by Warner Bros. to direct The Suicide Squad. He was brought back to complete his trilogy less than a year later, which came with public celebration from Marvel staff and fans alike.
The director is going through quite the busy time himself with The Suicide Squad having just debuted, although his Marvel ties with Johansson certainly come into play to an extent. Gunn served as an executive producer on both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and while the two didn't interact much, they both played key roles for the MCU's Infinity Saga culmination event.
This may have been a somewhat diplomatic answer from Gunn, but it's clear that he understands how much stress Johnasson is dealing with after his own unceremonious exit from Disney three years ago. This legal battle will likely be one to last for some time, and the results should be telling when it all comes to an end.
Black Widow is now playing in theaters and streaming via Premier Access on Disney+. Gunn's work on The Suicide Squad is now in theaters and on HBO Max, and he will be moving on to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 starting in late 2021.