Scarlett Johansson: from indie darling to box-office hitmaker

The actress is suing Disney for breaking their contract over the release of 'Black Widow'

Stars Insider

30/07/21 | StarsInsider


The public has witnessed Scarlett Johansson go from a talented child actress to a celebrated, award-winning star. Along the way, naturally, there have been a lot of movies, featuring plenty of hits and misses. She started her career working on lower-budget indie movies, but these days she's one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. 

Unfortunately, it's one of her recent box office hits that's currently causing a lot of trouble. Johansson starred as the eponymous hero in the 2020 'Avengers' spin-off, 'Black Widow,' produced by Disney. The movie was released in July of 2021, and Johansson quickly initiated a lawsuit against Disney. She claims that they breached their contract by releasing the movie on Disney Plus at the same time as its theater release. Johansson states that the decision cost her millions in backend compensation because it relied on the movie's box office success, which will be hugely reduced if fans can watch the movie at home. 

Disney representatives were definitive and damning in their response. They stated that there was no merit whatsoever to the lawsuit and that they had complied with the terms of the contract. They went as far as to call the legal action taken Johansson sad and distressing, and accused her of “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” They also claimed that the release of the movie on Disney Plus actually offered Johansson more opportunities to continue earning profits, on top of the US$20 million she was originally paid. Johansson's lawyer claims that Disney executives are clearly breaching contracts with their artists in order to increase their own revenue through Disney Plus subscriptions. 

There are always two sides to the story, but only time will tell how Johansson fairs in a legal battle against one of the biggest media corporations in the world. In the meantime, let's take a look back at the celebrated actress' career.


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