16 Aug – While the world awaits whether Emma Stone will be the next star to sue Disney over contractual issues, it was reported that the actress has instead closed a deal to star in the sequel to "Cruella".
Scarlett Johansson had filed a lawsuit against Disney claiming that the studio had breached her contract by its simultaneous release of "Black Widow" in theatres and Disney+ as her salary is said to be largely based on box office receipts. She alleged that the two parties have agreed that it will be released fully in theatres.
In response, Disney called the lawsuit "especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" - earning backlash from Johansson's agency as well as Women In Film, ReFrame and Time's Up.
Many also speculated that fellow actress Emily Blunt will follow suit, with the latter's Disney movie, "Jungle Cruise" also being released in similar fashion recently, but nothing has been reported - meaning that the actress could be satisfied with her collaboration with the studio or that things have been settled behind closed doors.
Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of Emma Stone's agency, Endeavor, confirmed the news and expressed, "While the media landscape has been disrupted in a meaningful way for all distributors, their creative partners cannot be left on the sidelines to carry a disproportionate amount of the downside without the potential for upside. This agreement demonstrates that there can be an equitable path forward that protects artists and aligns studios' interests with talent."
"We are proud to work alongside Emma and Disney, and appreciate the studio's willingness to recognise her contributions as a creative partner. We are hopeful that this will open the door for more members of the creative community to participate in the success of new platforms," he added.
On the other hand, director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara will also be returning to the "Cruella" sequel.