Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit might stop the Russo brothers from directing a new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Scarlett Johansson and the Russo brothers developed a close working relationship during the last several years of the MCU. Johansson starred in every MCU movie helmed by Anthony and Joe Russo. While the Russos took a much-needed break from Marvel after Avengers: Endgame, Johansson’s journey as Natasha Romanoff officially concluded with Black Widow‘s release.
In a surprising turn of events following Black Widow‘s same-day theatrical and Disney+ release, Johansson sued Disney because her solo MCU movie didn’t receive an exclusive theatrical release. The fallout of the lawsuit continues to unfold, with Disney and Johansson continuing to issue statements publically. Despite possibly having the advantage legally, Disney has so far been positioned as the villain of this scenario. Johansson has received support from all corners of Hollywood, including fellow MCU stars. Now, it appears the Russo brothers are the latest members of the Marvel family to side with Johansson, and their feelings could lead to the directing duo not coming back to the MCU.
A recent report from The Wall Street Journal broke down Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit and the repercussions of the legal battle. One of the notes included in the article is that the Russo brothers were in discussions to make their MCU returns and direct another movie. However, the Russos and Disney are now said to have “hit an impasse” in these negotiations. The report specifies that the Black Widow lawsuit made the Russo brothers question how their movie would be released and how they will be paid. It is unknown what movie the Russos brothers were in talks to direct, but it appears those talks have cooled, at least for now.
The idea that the Black Widow lawsuit might prevent the Russo brothers from returning to the MCU would make the possible collapse of this deal the biggest falling out to occur because of Johansson and Disney’s dispute. Now that this news is public, it could put even more pressure on Disney to make this situation right. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was already reportedly upset with how Johansson’s lawsuit played out, so the possibility that the MCU’s two biggest directors won’t return because of it won’t make him any happier.
Although the Russos and Disney/Marvel might not see eye-to-eye right now, that doesn’t mean they ultimately won’t return to the MCU. They could be using their own power to help put pressure on the studios to work out a favorable deal with Johansson. There’s even the chance the Russos’ return included plans for Johansson to return, which surely won’t happen right now. If the Black Widow lawsuit ends better than it started, then the Russo brothers very well would feel comfortable returning to work for the Mouse House once more. As for what movie could bring them back, Secret Wars has long been their answer. Phase 4 is already laying the groundwork for a Secret Wars adaptation, so now Disney will need to figure out the Black Widow lawsuit if they still want to bring the Russo brothers back into the fold.
Source: Wall Street Journal