Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the simultaneous streaming release of Black Widow, which debuted the same day in theaters and on Disney Plus through its Premier Access service.
The suit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleges that Johansson’s contract with Marvel Entertainment, which is owned by Disney, ensured a “wide theatrical release” of the film. The suit says it’s “well understood” that the agreement meant an exclusive release that would not include streaming. Johansson’s salary was in part based on the box office performance of the film, the suit says, meaning the streaming offer could meaningfully cut into her paycheck.
“Disney knew that the cannibalization of [box office receipts] by Disney+ would save Marvel (and by extension, Disney) ‘very large’ amounts of money that it would otherwise owe Ms. Johansson,” the lawsuit states. “On information and belief, 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.”