The Marvel star filed documents in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday (29Jul21), accusing Disney chiefs of ignoring her contract to win subscribers for their streaming platform.
The actress' lawyer, John Berlinski, writes, "It's no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company's stock price - and that it's hiding behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so. But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court."
"This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts."
"Black Widow" became the first Marvel movie to open in theatres in two years, when it debuted earlier this month (Jul21). It quickly hit the $100 million (£71.5 million) milestone at the global box office and raced to $60 million (£43 million) on Disney+ worldwide.
Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Johansson's representatives tried to renegotiate her contract after learning of Disney bosses' plans to release "Black Widow" in theatres and on Disney+ but claim "Disney and Marvel were unresponsive."
Reports indicate Scarlett may miss out on a $50 million (£35.8 million) payday due to the Disney+ release.