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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over Black Widow release on Disney+

Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over Black Widow release on Disney+
© Marvel
Scarlett Johansson files a lawsuit against Disney for its decision to release Black Widow simultaneously in cinemas and through Disney+.

Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson has launched a lawsuit against Disney for its decision to release the film via Disney+ in addition to through cinemas.

Lawyers for the 36-year-old, who has played Natasha Romanoff in the MCU since 2010, claim that the change to the movie's planned release denied her the opportunity to earn lucrative bonuses tied into the box office performance of Black Widow.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, argues: "Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.

"Disney chose to placate Wall Street investors and pad its bottom line, rather than allow its subsidiary Marvel to comply with the agreement. To no one's surprise, Disney's breach of the Agreement successfully pulled millions of fans away from the theatres and toward its Disney+ streaming service."

Disney has since hit back with a furious statement, insisting that it has not broken its agreement with Johansson and also revealing that she has already been paid $20m (£14.3m) for the film.

"There is no merit whatsoever to this filing," the company said. "The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date."

So far the film is thought to have grossed more than $80m (£57.3m) combined at the box office and through Disney+.

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