Scarlett Johansson Reflects on Disney Dispute & Black Widow’s Legacy

Scarlett Johansson confirms she's done as Black Widow!

Black Widow Iron Man 2 Marvel Studios

In 2021, as the pandemic continued to impact the world, Disney made the bold decision to release its Marvel Studios movie Black Widow on its short-lived “Premier Access” service through Disney Plus. This move, while providing a home-viewing option for fans, ultimately led to the film’s box office failure, causing issues for its leading star, Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel contract included a clause for backend compensation amounting to millions of dollars. The manner in which Black Widow was released breached this contract, as a guaranteed theatrical release had been a part of her deal. Consequently, Johansson sought to claim what she was owed.

In response, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek publicly disclosed that Scarlett Johanssonhad been paid $20 million upfront, an act considered a breach of Hollywood etiquette. Eventually, Disney resolved the issue, and the Avengers: Endgame star reportedly received over $40 million, according to Variety.

During a recent interview with Variety, Scarlett Johansson opened up about her feelings during the dispute, stating: “I was sad and disappointed. But mostly sad. It was such a surreal moment because we were all isolated and just sort of emerging a little bit. I was also really heavily pregnant, too, which in a weird way was amazing timing.”

The Black Widow star went on to describe how her pregnancy provided a welcome distraction from the situation, and how the support she received from strangers was overwhelming. “I couldn’t even walk through a restaurant without somebody saying, ‘Good for you. Stand up for yourself.’ I could see that it had a bigger impact. I got support from strangers that have no skin in the game at all.”

Scarlett Johansson remains in business with Disney

Since then, Scarlett Johansson and Disney have reconciled, and the 38-year-old actress remains involved in Taika Watiti’s upcoming film based on the Tower of Terror theme park ride. When asked about her feelings regarding Natasha’s story coming to a close, Johansson expressed a mixture of sadness and gratitude.

“Yeah, I am sad, of course,” she said. “I absolutely loved every filming experience I had, working 10 years with Marvel and with that amazing cast, and I love the character Natasha. I have a lot of empathy for her, and it was amazing to build that character over such a long period of time.”

The Hollywood icon also spoke about the dignity of the legacy of Natasha Romanoff, saying, “I also feel really good about her story coming to a close. I think she has a lot of dignity in her legacy.”

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Michael Bezanidis

Michael Bezanidis

Michael is the Managing Editor of Heroic Hollywood. When he's not playing video games, he's usually writing about film and television.