Scarlett Johansson is allegedly suing Disney for releasing Black Widow on Disney+.
The 36-year-old actress starred as Natasha Romanoff and her titular alter ego in the recently released Marvel movie, which is available to view in cinemas and on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.
However, TMZ has reported that Scarlett is now suing the media giants for putting the movie on the streamer, because she believes this violates a clause in her contract relating to her salary.
In legal documents filed by Scarlett and her legal team, the star said her contract with Disney stated the movie would be exclusively released in cinemas, and so releasing it on Disney+ at the same time broke that deal.
Scarlett also claims her salary for Black Widow was tied to how well the film performed at the box office, and with the film available to view at home on the streaming service, less people ventured out to see it in cinemas.
TMZ reports that other studios have dealt with similar issues and given their stars additional compensation to make up for their backend loss, and Scarlett has alleged that she tried settling with Disney but was unsatisfied with the response she got.
Media reports say the contract breach is said to have cost Scarlett US$50 million in lost bonuses.
Black Widow grossed US$80 million (S$108 mil) in the US box office opening weekend, as well as another US$78 million overseas and $60 million from home purchases on the streaming platform.
Per Variety, Disney responded to Scarlett's lawsuit in a statement, saying, "There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The company added that the star has already received US$20 million for her work and argued that "the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the US$20mil she has received to date."— BANG SHOWBIZ