Russo Brothers Reportedly Worried About Sticking With Marvel After Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Marvel and the Russo brothers go together like peanut butter and jelly. The directing duo made two Captain America movies before signing on to helm Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: EndgameThose films were two of the most popular Marvel movies. So it’s safe to say they’re good at what they do.

Rumor had it that the brothers Russo would be coming back for another Marvel movie. Now, sources are saying that the Russo brothers are done with Disney and Marvel thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit. 

Scarlett Johansson sued Disney 

Black Widow was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It was scheduled to premiere in May 2020, right after most countries locked down. Fans were dying to see the standalone Black Widow film after years of waiting. By the time Disney felt comfortable releasing the film, in July 2021, things still weren’t back to normal. Theaters around the world were operating under strict capacity restrictions, if they were open at all. 

Disney’s decision to release Black Widow on streaming and in theaters simultaneously seemed like the safest option for film fans, but it was a stab in the back for Johansson. The Black Widow star claimed in her recent (and now settled) lawsuit that the mouse cost her a lot of money by allowing fans to stream the movie. According to the AV Club, she claimed she didn’t get a cut of the streaming revenue, and that it was a breach of her contract. 

The Russo brothers may have backed out of another Marvel movie thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit 

The Russo Brothers Joe (L) and Anthony (R) Russo attend Marvel's 'Avengers Endgame' UK Fan Event on April 10, 2019, in London, England.
The Russo Brothers Joe (L) and Anthony (R) Russo attend Marvel’s ‘Avengers Endgame’ UK Fan Event on April 10, 2019, in London, England. | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Disney obviously disagreed with Johansson. But they don’t have an immediate reason to keep that relationship going. After all, Natasha Romanoff died at the end of Avengers: Endgame. The film introduced a new Black Widow, played by Florence Pugh, in the movie. If Johansson won’t sign another contract with Disney, they won’t be out a star. 

But the Russo brothers have now said that they’re probably not going to direct another Marvel movie. According to the Wall Street Journal, which does not quote them directly, the Russo brothers have decided that after Disney’s treatment of Johansson, they just can’t trust the media giant. The Russo brothers have proven themselves to be box office gold, and they likely wouldn’t appreciate having one of their projects dumped on a streaming service. 

What Marvel movie were the Russo brothers going to direct?

The Russo brothers haven’t commented directly on whether or not they’ll work with Disney again. The Wall Street Journal spoke to a source close to them, but anything can happen. Fans shouldn’t give up hope. To be fair, however, the Russo brothers don’t actually have a project ongoing with Marvel right now. At least not an official one. 

Years ago, Joe Russo made a comment about the Secret Warsa 1980s comic featuring many Marvel favorites. The brothers are fans of the series, although it is too much material to cover in one movie. There haven’t been any official announcements about Secret Wars, but there have been some signs that Marvel may be moving in that direction.

Secret Wars writer recently claimed that Marvel tried to get him to sign over his rights to the material, which may indicate they plan to include the material in a project at some point. There’s no indication that the Russo brothers were ever officially involved in this ‘project,’ if it can be called that. 

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