Avengers Director Joe Russo Reacts To Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow Lawsuit Settlement

The Russo brothers were apparently in discussions with Disney/Marvel for a new movie but hit an impasse due to the lawsuit.


Joe Russo, who directed the final two Avengers films with his brother Anthony, has reacted to the recent news that Disney and Scarlett Johansson had settled their high-profile lawsuit. Speaking to Variety, Joe Russo said it's good news that the suit has been settled, in part because it highlights how there is a "significant change" happening now in the film business for how talent gets paid as more and more movies bypass theaters and release on digital and streaming platforms.

"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," he said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Joe and Anthony Russo were in negotiations with Disney/Marvel for a new superhero film but talks hit an impasse due in part to the Johansson lawsuit. The suit is now settled, but Joe Russo wouldn't be drawn into commenting on whether or not he and his brother will make another MCU film.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment on a deal if we were in the middle of it," Russo said.

He also commented on the state of the movie business these days, predicting that half of all studios will vanish in the next 5-10 years, with only the giants remaining. "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.

Independent movies releasing theatrically will go away, Russo predicted, in part because the producers can get more money to release them digitally.

Johansson and Disney settled their lawsuit recently, with Disney apparently paying Johansson $40 million.

The Russo Brothers are staying busy, as they recently wrapped production on the movie The Gray Man starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans for Netflix. They are also coming back to make Extraction 2 with Chris Hemsworth.

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