The world of superheroes has expanded tremendously over the past decade. Kicking off when Marvel opted to begin rebooting the Avengers franchise in 2008, we have seen dozens of superhero films released to substantial commercial success around the globe to this point. Not every release has gone so smoothly however, especially not in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Widow released both in theaters and through Disney+ earlier this summer, prompting a lawsuit from the film’s star Scarlett Johansson; now, the directorial-duo known as Russo Brothers are seeing their production stalled as Disney responds to the litigation.
The Russo Brothers have made quite the name for themselves in Hollywood and Marvel especially, directing films such as Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and two Captain America films. One would think that after all this, in a span of just five years no less, they would have full creative freedom and liberty. However when one is forced to respond to a lawsuit of this nature, it’s understandable why stopping dead in your tracks might be the best option and that’s seemingly just what Disney did here. Johansson is suing the media empire over the Disney+ release of Black Widow, arguing that her contract stipulated for a theater exclusive release and that she suffered lost wages as a result. While Disney has yet to formally respond, it will be interesting to see how Johansson’s suitt is handled and the subsequent implications it has for the entertainment industry, especially Marvel and the Russo Brothers.
The wide web that is Marvel is spun in magnificently complex fashion, to the point that it is almost difficult to keep track of. Johansson’s character in Black Widow was initially a secondary character, however with the success of the Avengers franchise she now warranted a standalone film. That film also ended up being a box office success, and Johansson understandably wants her just due. While it is unclear what project the Russo Brothers are working on for Marvel at this time, it is assumed they are hoping just as much as Johansson that this is handled swiftly and with grace so they can get back to work.