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Black Widow

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
To be fair, we did get a very good mirror fight, it just didn't feature Taskmaster. The fight between Natasha and Yelena in Budapest was very well done.
I would have loved if the Nat/Yelena fight had Yelena pull off something really good against Nat. And in a later Taskmaster fight Taskmaster is going Nat vs. Nat and countering everything, and Nat then pulls off the Yelena move.
 

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I would have loved if the Nat/Yelena fight had Yelena pull off something really good against Nat. And in a later Taskmaster fight Taskmaster is going Nat vs. Nat and countering everything, and Nat then pulls off the Yelena move.

(Meanwhile at Disney)

Wait a minute, that sounds like good plot writing to me! We don't care for that here! Jimmy, show this man the exit!

-Sure, mister Mouse sir!
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
(emphasis mine.)

These are two amusing paragraphs next to each other, one as you say you couldn't even tell us the names of the Avengers villains, two as you not only name them but call out two of the three Avengers bad guys as "good villains".

Not really disagreeing, I was just tickled by the juxtaposition. Marvel does need better villains. And it can be done in a Marvel movie - in addition to the ones you mention (esp. Killmonger!), the Sony Spider-Man films in the MCU had well fleshed out villains with complex motivations. Vulture letting Peter go because he saved his daughter's life is a great example.
So I looked up the wiki entry for The Avengers. Apparently the bad guy was named "The Other" and the generic alien bad guys were the Chitauri. If either of these names is said in the film I do not recall when.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So I looked up the wiki entry for The Avengers. Apparently the bad guy was named "The Other" and the generic alien bad guys were the Chitauri. If either of these names is said in the film I do not recall when.
The Chitauri weren't the villain, Loki was. He was the focus the entire time, from mind controlling Barton onward. The Chitauri were just muscle that showed up at the end. The other was one giving Loki orders, but also not the main villain - he's barely in it, never interacted with the heroes, and didn't need to be defeated to win.

Loki, Ultron, and Thanos were the villains of the four Avengers movies.
 


So just pay up what she is owed.

It seems like Disney sometimes just decides not to pay people, and by and large gets away with it. It's just like the Alan Dean Foster issue.

Many legal issues are murky. There's a lot of gray areas, and small details that can make a lot of difference. And I will admit that I haven't read that actual contract involved. But I find it really, really hard to believe that this exact situation (theatrical vs. non-theatrical release) isn't spelled out pretty clearly in the contract. Hollywood contracts are notoriously long and arduous exactly because they spell out all this stuff down to a very, very fine point.

I'm disappointed in both the legal system and the various Guilds for not going after Disney harder on these things.
 

Ryujin

Hero
It seems like Disney sometimes just decides not to pay people, and by and large gets away with it. It's just like the Alan Dean Foster issue.

Many legal issues are murky. There's a lot of gray areas, and small details that can make a lot of difference. And I will admit that I haven't read that actual contract involved. But I find it really, really hard to believe that this exact situation (theatrical vs. non-theatrical release) isn't spelled out pretty clearly in the contract. Hollywood contracts are notoriously long and arduous exactly because they spell out all this stuff down to a very, very fine point.

I'm disappointed in both the legal system and the various Guilds for not going after Disney harder on these things.
In any industry your largest, highest paying employer tends to get to skate on a lot of things. Even with the unions.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
And I will admit that I haven't read that actual contract involved. But I find it really, really hard to believe that this exact situation (theatrical vs. non-theatrical release) isn't spelled out pretty clearly in the contract. Hollywood contracts are notoriously long and arduous exactly because they spell out all this stuff down to a very, very fine point.
.
From what I understand it is spelled out in the contract and essentuially says that she will gain additional bonuses based on Box office takings. Her argument is that because of the simultaneous streaming release the box office takings will be significantly smaller than they should of been and thus she loses $50 mil.
The court needs to determine if Streaming release has reduced Box office numbers, and if Johanssen has suffered damages as a result
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The legality and morality doesn't interest me. What intrigues me is what made it come to this very public clash, and Scarlett's true motivation.

For example, it would be awesome if she used the lawsuit just to force Disney to the negotiation table, and once there, they'd agree that Ms Johansson will donate an unspecified sum* to a fund for struggling actors (say) and Disney will then contribute twice that sum to the same foundation.

*) A sum insiders will guess to be in the region of maybe $10 to $20 million

And then Scarlett, with Disney CEO Bob Chapel by her side at a press conference, surprisingly says she's decided to start a fund for struggling actresses, and call it The Red Room, a term so generic Disney can try and fail to copyright, and that she's donating $150 million (most of her wealth) and then smiles at Bob. All the cameras turns to look at him compelling him to grin and fork over $300 mill then and there.

As many articles have stated Scarlett is one of the few actresses that don't need Disney. And as I am stating now, Scarlett is very suited to providing a very sweet "frak you" smile
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
I would have loved if the Nat/Yelena fight had Yelena pull off something really good against Nat. And in a later Taskmaster fight Taskmaster is going Nat vs. Nat and countering everything, and Nat then pulls off the Yelena move.
I would have loved if the Taskmaster's signature ability was made a big deal at all.

Just randomly posing as Captain America or Hawkeye? (And coming off more a Terminator than a superhero) That was soo weak.

The idea to shoot arrows like Hawkeye, for example, was just stupid. The arrows missed! What's the point of mimicking random superheroes when you still can't break the law that says the good ones always get away during act I?? If you pull off an Avengers move it needs to be successful!

Starting each fight by losing but then catching up scarily fast? Super cool.

So yes, I like your idea. The whole point was supposed to be you can't beat the Taskmaster without catching it off guard by a spark of true genius, inspiration or heroics only an Avenger like Natasha - or her successor - could come up with!
 

Stalker0

Legend
The court needs to determine if Streaming release has reduced Box office numbers, and if Johanssen has suffered damages as a result
No the real heart of the matter is whether the contract indicates any form of “exclusive box office release”

unless the contract specifies that, then it’s hard to argue that Disney does not has the freedom to release product on its own services…it just means you didn’t think through your contract carefully enough.

now you could have a argument if streaming didn’t exist when the contract was made, but that is unlikely to be the case
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Trying to add interesting articles about this development. Using the app so might make a mess of it.


 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
now you could have a argument if streaming didn’t exist when the contract was made, but that is unlikely to be the case
From one of the articles that @CapnZapp linked to:

"According to Johansson’s complaint, terms of her Black Widow release were initially finalized in 2017 — early enough that Disney Plus hadn’t been announced"

So streaming existed but pre Disney+ and pre COVID-19 the concept of an AAA film getting a concurrent streaming release didn't exist.
 

Ryujin

Hero
No the real heart of the matter is whether the contract indicates any form of “exclusive box office release”

unless the contract specifies that, then it’s hard to argue that Disney does not has the freedom to release product on its own services…it just means you didn’t think through your contract carefully enough.

now you could have a argument if streaming didn’t exist when the contract was made, but that is unlikely to be the case
Streaming certainly did exist at the time the contract was signed, however, a Marvel/Disney specific streaming service did not. The existence of that service and the need to drive subscriptions gave Disney a reason to interpret the contract in a manner favourable to themselves, despite the fact that industry standard, prior to this, had been a delay of between 90 and 120 days (approx.) between "wide theatrical release (the term that the filing says was used in the contract) and online release.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
One thing I would like articles that discuss the future of box office stars getting huge paychecks to mention, is the historic angle.

That is because the issues and dilemmas are nothing new. There has already been an era where the motion picture production companies owned the distribution channels, did not have to share any data, and more or less "owned" the movie stars. Much like how Netflix is described now, they preferred an endless stream of interchangeable faces, and that people talked about going to, say, the Metro-Goldwyn theater to see whatever it was showing; not that they talked about going to see Scarlett Johansson's latest movie, no matter what company that made it.

Boil it all down to its conclusion and you get a future where Congress prohibits Disney et al from both producing movies and distributing them. A Paramount decrees for the internet era, if you will.
 

One thing I would like articles that discuss the future of box office stars getting huge paychecks to mention, is the historic angle.

That is because the issues and dilemmas are nothing new. There has already been an era where the motion picture production companies owned the distribution channels, did not have to share any data, and more or less "owned" the movie stars. Much like how Netflix is described now, they preferred an endless stream of interchangeable faces, and that people talked about going to, say, the Metro-Goldwyn theater to see whatever it was showing; not that they talked about going to see Scarlett Johansson's latest movie, no matter what company that made it.

Boil it all down to its conclusion and you get a future where Congress prohibits Disney et al from both producing movies and distributing them. A Paramount decrees for the internet era, if you will.
it would never happen now Disney could just buy congress.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The existence of that service and the need to drive subscriptions gave Disney a reason to interpret the contract in a manner favourable to themselves, despite the fact that industry standard, prior to this, had been a delay of between 90 and 120 days (approx.) between "wide theatrical release (the term that the filing says was used in the contract) and online release.

It is slightly worse than that, in that Disney had recognized this was unfair before doing it. From Variety, emphasis mine:

"Johansson legal team said that representatives for the actress were worried that “Black Widow” would debut on Disney Plus even before coronavirus brought life to a standstill. As part of the suit, they share emails from the star’s management group that asked the studio to guarantee that “Black Widow” would premiere exclusively in cinemas. In response, Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi promised a traditional theatrical bow, while adding “We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses.”"

But apparently Disney made no effort to come to that understanding.

That this is happening right around when the Screen Actor's Guild is having elections is very interesting.
 

Ryujin

Hero
It is slightly worse than that, in that Disney had recognized this was unfair before doing it. From Variety, emphasis mine:

"Johansson legal team said that representatives for the actress were worried that “Black Widow” would debut on Disney Plus even before coronavirus brought life to a standstill. As part of the suit, they share emails from the star’s management group that asked the studio to guarantee that “Black Widow” would premiere exclusively in cinemas. In response, Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi promised a traditional theatrical bow, while adding “We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses.”"

But apparently Disney made no effort to come to that understanding.

That this is happening right around when the Screen Actor's Guild is having elections is very interesting.
I don't know if you have ever heard of copyright attorney Leonard French, or his Youtube channel "Lawful Masses", but he did a piece on the filings for Scarlett Johansson on his channel a few days ago. You might find it interesting.

 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't know if you have ever heard of copyright attorney Leonard French, or his Youtube channel "Lawful Masses", but he did a piece on the filings for Scarlett Johansson on his channel a few days ago. You might find it interesting.

Hm, yeah. The guy's assessment that this is probably never going to get to court seems reasonable.

I think the "You got $20 million, that's enough," response sounds intended to make her seem greedy, and that's a bad "pot calling the kettle black" move for the Mouse. It does not make them look good at all. And, with the confidentiality they seem to prefer, I'm a little surprised they spoke hard numbers about her compensation in public at all.

Just pay the talent, and move on, Mouse.
 
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