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Joe Russo points to tension in film industry in regards to Scarlett Johansson-Disney suit


Avengers co-director Joe Russo points to tension in film industry in regards to now-settled suit between Scarlett Johansson and Disney

  • Russo said that he was ‘glad that the lawsuit’s resolved’ in the conflict 
  • The director said that the settlement is ‘indicative of significant change that’s been happening’ 
  • The suit between the actress and the studio was settled last month 
  • Johansson in July filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court over the business arrangement 


Filmmaker Joe Russo pointed to ‘a lot of tension’ in the entertainment industry when commenting on the now-settled lawsuit between Scarlett Johansson and Disney over the movie Black Widow.

‘There’s a lot of tension, just like there is in a lot of industries, because there’s a lot of disruption,’ Russo, the co-director of Avengers motion pictures such as Endgame and Infinity War, told Variety Thursday. ‘People’s nerves are fraying, and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen or where anything is going.’

‘I’m glad that the lawsuit’s resolved. I do think it was indicative of significant change that’s been happening. The resolution speaks volumes about the respect for artists moving forward in this changing landscape.’

The suit between the actress and the studio was settled last month after Johansson in July filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying that her contract for the Marvel Studios motion picture had stipulated that the film would only be released in theaters at first

The latest: Filmmaker Joe Russo, 50, pointed to ‘a lot of tension’ in the entertainment industry when commenting on the now-settled lawsuit between Scarlett Johansson, 36, and Disney over the movie Black Widow

The suit between the actress and the studio was settled last month after Johansson in July filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying that her contract for the Marvel Studios motion picture had stipulated that the film would only be released in theaters at first; and that Disney had breached it by putting it out in both theaters and on its Disney+ for $30 in rental fees.

Prior to the suit being settled, a report from The Wall Street Journal indicated that Joe and his brother Anthony were at an impasse amid negotiations for their upcoming Marvel film, pending further definition of their compensation.

Asked about the report, Russo said that ‘it would be inappropriate for us to comment on a deal if we were in the middle of it.’

Russo told the outlet that he feels ‘corporations are panicking at the moment’ amid massive changes in the field.

Details: Russo, pictured with brother Anthony in NYC in 2019, said that while he doesn't think that the movie model is finished, it has been changed amid the rise of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Details: Russo, pictured with brother Anthony in NYC in 2019, said that while he doesn’t think that the movie model is finished, it has been changed amid the rise of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic

The lawsuit from Johansson was settled last month, with both sides issuing a joint statement clarifying they were going to continue to work on projects with one another. The A-list actress was snapped in LA last year

The lawsuit from Johansson was settled last month, with both sides issuing a joint statement clarifying they were going to continue to work on projects with one another. The A-list actress was snapped in LA last year 

‘I think that half the studios are going to disappear in the next five to 10 years, and the game has changed dramatically,’ he said. ‘There are content producers who can outspend any studio, and it’s just a rounding error for them, because they’re $1 trillion companies. We’ve never seen that before in the business.’

Russo said that while he doesn’t think that the movie model is finished, it has been changed amid the rise of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘I don’t see a resurgence of independent movies in theaters in the future,’ he said. ‘I just don’t. You get more money to make them digitally. Less headaches. The easiest thing for Netflix to do is to greenlight a smaller film.

Joe and brother Anthony were snapped in 2019 at the Avengers: Endgame premiere

Joe and brother Anthony were snapped in 2019 at the Avengers: Endgame premiere 

‘What I’ve found, and what a lot of other filmmakers have found, is that nobody really bothers you. That’s an incredible experience to have.’

The lawsuit was settled last last month, with both sides issuing a joint statement clarifying they were going to continue to work on projects with one another.

Disney Studios Content chairman Alan Bergman said he was ‘pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement’ in the settlement.

He said of Johansson, ‘We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects.’

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