Hollywood went into massive chaos over the lawsuit between Scarlett Johansson and The Walt Disney Company. The lawsuit was regarding her payments for the Black Widow movie, which led to a loud and ugly back-and-forth between the actress’ team and Disney.
This in turn affected Marvel severely and stole their chances of bringing back widely appreciated talent into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Wall Street Journal reported the legal fallout and a noteworthy point made by them has invited indecisiveness for the dynamic duo Anthony and Joe Russo. They’re now reconsidering ever coming back to Marvel for a new movie.
The Russo brothers gave Marvel Studios four fabulous and biggest of all-time movies (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame) and after the last one that came out in 2019, the duo seems to have perished from the MCU.
During the tenure, however, the Russos formed a close relationship with Marvel’s favored face Scarlett Johansson aka Natasha Romanoff. While Johansson appeared in every movie directed by them, Romanoff’s character might have been the last to be seen in Black Widow.
This shocking news was apparent when Disney+ released Black Widow on the same days as its theatrical release. Johansson sued Disney+ for the action as the actress lost her chance at receiving the desired response an exclusive release of the solo film would have gotten her.
Both the parties involved have not been taking things well and public statements are constantly being given as the lawsuit proceeds. While Disney+ clearly comes across as the villain in the scenario, it does have the advantage of being an internet giant, which could make the suit fall into their favor.
Reassurance has been rolling out for Johansson from all over Hollywood, but Kevin Feige has been seemingly displeased about the way the lawsuit has been turning around. With such a turn of events, the Russo brothers are alarmingly upset and have said how they would not want to return to MCU if their bottom line is threatened.
The Wall Street Journal mentioned that the pair “hit an impasse in negotiations to direct another Marvel movie” and that the conflict that arose between them and Marvel Studios “left them unsure how their next movie would be distributed and how they would be paid.” While the brothers refuse to comment on it, their actions, or the lack thereof, says otherwise.
In addition, in a previous interview with MTV in 2019, Joe Russo had said,
“I keep saying Secret Wars because that was one of the first books that I really fell in love with as a kid.”
When talked about returning to Marvel, he added,
“This notion of, you know, event storytelling, and I think that’s part of the reason that we gravitate so strongly towards these event films and these ensemble films is the notion that you can contain so many different characters and so many different points of view and galvanize them around a story point is really compelling to us.”
It is evident that they had always had plans about coming back. The pair has repeatedly talked about wanting to bring X-men and Fantastic Four characters into MCU, which is now, even more, a possibility after their takeover of 20th Century Fox. We know that Marvel has already given Jon Watts the new Fantastic Four movie, but there is still no news regarding the making of the X-men series.
But with the Black Widow lawsuit might now fend off any probability of the Russos’ return. This in turn could be one of the biggest fallouts for Marvel because of Disney+, leading to a dispute between Kevin Feige and the channel itself.
While things do not look on the brighter side now, there is no denying that the future might bring some negotiations that help the Russo brothers finally see eye to eye with Disney+ and Marvel Studios. Whether it is through a fair deal with Scarlett Johansson or by a concise disclosure of how payments can be made in the future, there are chances of things working themselves out.
The Russo brothers could very well make a massive return with Secret Wars, which is rumoured to have been in the planning stage for years now. If it is any help, Phase 4 of the Marvel movies gives the impression of a subtle groundwork having been laid for the same.
However, in the end, it all depends on how the Black Widow lawsuit concludes. A lot of the Russo brother’s duo return counts on it.
Release Date: 17 Feb 2023
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Release Date: 5 May 2023