Disney Files Motion in Ongoing Legal Battle with Scarlett Johansson

By | August 21, 2021

Another update in the ongoing legal battle between Scarlett Johansson and Disney has come, this time with Disney trying to move things to arbitration.

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over Black Widow Release Structure

According to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has filed motions with the Los Angeles Superior Court to move Johansson’s suit into arbitration. In the motion, Disney essentially states that it had previously agreed with Johansson to move into arbitration should any issues arise, and is asking the courts to help them in that end.

“The plain and expansive language of the arbitration agreement easily encompasses Periwinkle’s Complaint,” states the motion. “In a futile effort to evade this unavoidable result (and generate publicity through a public filing), Periwinkle excluded Marvel as a party to this lawsuit––substituting instead its parent company Disney under contract-interference theories. But longstanding principles do not permit such gamesmanship.”

The move comes just a few weeks after Disney’s longtime attorney Daniel Petrocelli called Johansson’s suit nothing more than “a highly orchestrated PR campaign,” and said that Disney had upheld its part of the contract by releasing Black Widow on 9,000 U.S. screens and 30,000 screens worldwide.

Johansson’s argument seems to stem from the fact that the decision to make Black Widow a day-and-date release in theaters and online via Disney+’s Premiere Access service harmed the actress and the box-office threshold bonuses she may have received. According to Petrocelli, the company releasing the film on Disney+ acted as a boost, because the revenue from the Premiere Access service factors into box-office tallies.

RELATED: Disney Attorney Calls Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit ‘an Orchestrated PR Campaign’

However, it seems as if Johansson’s team is still confident that Disney was in the wrong here, so it will be interesting to see where this battle goes next.