Joe Russo co-helmed two of the biggest blockbusters of all time: Avengers: Infinity Wars and Avengers: Endgame. You would think that would give him a free pass in Hollywood to do whatever he wants.
Apparently not, as the director recently shared his thoughts on the Scarlett Johansson Black Widow lawsuit. As reported by Variety, Russo said:
“There’s a lot of tension [in the film industry], just like there is in a lot of industries, because there’s a lot of disruption. People’s nerves are fraying, and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen or where anything is going.”
Johansson famously sued the Mouse House on July 29, saying that when Disney released Black Widow on both Disney Plus and theaters at the same time, it hurt box office numbers.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” the suit said.
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Disney claimed the suit had no merit since Johansson already made $20 million. The company eventually settled for an unknown sum, although the famous actress was seeking $50 million.
Russo said the outcome of the lawsuit “speaks volumes” about the new state of movies in the COVID era.
“I don’t see a resurgence of independent movies in theaters in the future. I just don’t,” he said.
“You get more money to make them digitally. Less headaches. The easiest thing for Netflix to do is to greenlight a smaller film. 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.”
Joe Russo and his brother Anthony are collectively known as the Russo Brothers. They’re currently in a standstill in negotiations about directing their next Marvel movie over streaming uncertainty.
Russo said he couldn’t comment on the suit, saying “it would be inappropriate for us to comment on a deal if we were in the middle of it.”