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Marvel’s Kevin Feige Reportedly ‘Angry and Embarrassed’ at Disney Over Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit

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Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is reportedly “angry and embarrassed” over Disney’s response to Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit, feeling the company did not do enough to make it right with one of Marvel’s biggest stars.

In the What I’m Hearing… newsletter from former The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni, Feige apparently lobbied Disney to keep Black Widow a theatrical-only release to not upset Johansson. 

“[Feige is] a  company man, and prone to corporate showdowns or shouting matches. But I’m told he’s angry and embarrassed,” Belloni reports. “He lobbied Disney against the day-and-date plan for Black Widow, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to upset his talent.”

Furthermore, the report says that when “the sh*t hit the fan, the movie started tanking and Johansson’s team threatened litigation,” Feige tried to get Disney to “make this right with her.”

Scarlett Johansson, who has played Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow since 2010, filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging the company intentionally breached her contract when it decided to put Black Widow day and date in theaters as well as on Disney Premier Access.

According to Johansson’s legal team, a large portion of her salary actually depended on the box office performance for Black Widow, and when it was decided the film would also premiere on streaming, Disney failed to re-negotiate her contract.

 Johansson is one of the most important actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which Feige has spent over a decade building. Given how much the two have worked together, Feige’s stance isn’t too surprising.

Disney did hit back, however, saying in a statement that it “fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract,” and that the lawsuit is “sad and distressing in its callous disregard” for the COVID-19 pandemic. Johansson’s team says she may have missed out on over $50 million in pay from the streaming move while Disney says Premier Access “significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”


Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.

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