Emma Stone’s Cruella received the same simultaneous streaming release as Black Widow (Picture: Disney)
Emma Stone is reportedly ‘weighing her options’ after Cruella and Emily Blunt is said to be keeping a close eye on Jungle Cruise box office figures in the wake of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney.
The Marvel star, 36, alleges Disney was in breach of her contract by allowing for a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release of Black Widow, which she claims damaged her earning potential as a large part of her salary is based on the film’s box office performance, which dropped 67% after the film’s opening weekend.
Now ex-editor of The Hollywood Reporter and former entertainment lawyer Matt Belloni has claimed in his industry newsletter, What I’m Hearing…, that Stone, 32, and Blunt, 38, could be gearing up to take the studio to court if necessary.
Stone appeared as lead Cruella in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians live-action prequel, released in May 2021, while Blunt is co-lead Dr Lily Houghton in Jungle Cruise, which came out on Friday.
Both films launched simultaneously on Disney Plus and in cinemas, and the actors are believed to also have contractual agreements with Disney which would see them earn a certain percentage of box office royalties.
According to Belloni, as reported by MailOnline, Stone is watching the numbers for Cruella before she decides whether to seek lost earnings, while Blunt is also ‘mulling’ over taking action against Disney, depending on how well Jungle Cruise performs.
Emily Blunt stars in Disney’s big summer blockbuster Jungle Cruise (Picture: Disney)
Belloni has also indicated that more suits could follow as ‘the floodgates might be opening’.
He revealed: ‘There is an unusually high amount of cheering going on today in the talent community, which indicates these issues aren’t going away anytime soon. Disney is notoriously difficult to deal with.’
In a statement reacting to Johansson’s filing, Disney claimed there was ‘no merit whatsoever’ to it and that the company had ‘fully complied’ with her contract.
The company also labelled the action ‘sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Johansson’s agent Bryan Lourd then hit back at Disney’s response to the actress’s lawsuit, branding it a ‘direct attack’ on her character.
Disney has faced criticism from the industry over their response to Johansson’s lawsuit (Picture: Marvel)
He added: ‘The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman [Johansson has earned $20million (£14.3m) from Black Widow as her base salary], as if that were something she should be ashamed of.’
Women’s groups including Time’s Up have since come forward to accuse Disney of a ‘gendered attack’ on Johansson, asserting that they ‘stand firmly against Disney’s recent statement which attempts to characterise Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights’.