Disney Will Seek Arbitration in Lawsuit Filed by Scarlett Johansson

The last couple of weeks have brought forth interesting developments in the case of Scarlett Johansson suing the Walt Disney Company for breach of contract in regards to the release of the recent Marvel film Black Widow.

Black Widow Poster

As the two parties prepare to deliberate, more developments have come to the forefront regarding Disney’s desires to move the fight out of the courtroom.

We’re learning now that, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Disney will seek to move the fight from the courts to arbitration.”

Black Widow ©Disney

According to Dan Petrocelli, a lawyer representing the Walt Disney Company, the studio has “complete control and decision-making over distribution of the movie,” despite Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit which claims Disney failed to renegotiate her deal which allegedly guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release with bonuses based on Black Widow‘s box office performance.

©Marvel Studios

This move comes after Disney released a statement in response to the lawsuit, claiming that “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation.”

©Frank Pallotta | @frankpallotta on Twitter

By deciding to simultaneously release Black Widow in theaters as well as on Disney+, Johansson claims Disney breached her contract. In addition to its traditional theatrical release, Black Widow is currently available for $30 via Premier Access on Disney+, allowing viewers to stream the film at home. The film will be available for not additional cost on October 6th.


Johansson has garnered the support of several organizations in Hollywood, including her talent agency CAA, whose Co-Chairman Bryan Lourd stated that Disney “very deliberately moved the revenue stream and profits to the Disney+ side of the company.” Vanity Fair also reported recently that Screen Actors Guild, the professional film and television union of which Johansson is a member, also lended their support, saying that the actress is “shining a white-hot spotlight on the improper shifts in compensation that companies are attempting to slip by talent as distribution models change.”

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

We’ll continue to monitor the developments in this lawsuit and we will let you know if we hear of any additional updates or news!

Click here for our list of the best original Disney+ series thus far!

If you’ve seen Black Widow, did you watch it on Disney+ or in theaters? Let us know in the comments!

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