The "Black Widow" star, 36, filed a lawsuit in July in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that Disney breached her contract when the media company simultaneously released the superhero film on both Disney+ (for a $30 fee) and in theaters.
Johansson says in the suit that her contract guaranteed exclusive theatrical release of the film and a large part of her salary hinged on the film having successful ticket sales, which were diminished after the company offered the film to customers on its streaming platform.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, alongside Jason Sudeikis, Olsen was asked about her "Avengers: Endgame" co-star and whether or not she’s worried for her. Olsen noted that she is not worried about Johansson, but fears for what disputes like the one she’s having with Disney will mean for smaller filmmakers.
"I’m worried about a bunch of things. Not worried on Scarlett’s behalf," Olsen explained. "But I’m worried about small movies getting the opportunity to be seen in theaters. That was already a thing pre-COVID. I like going to the movies and I don’t necessarily want to see only an Oscar contender or a blockbuster. I would like to see art films and art house theaters. And so I do worry about that, and people having to keep these theaters alive."
Indeed there is concern among theater companies that have been impacted hard by closures and restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, prompting many to wonder if the future of new releases lies in streaming rather than the traditional trip to the theater.
"But when it comes to actors and their earnings, I mean, that’s just, that’s just all contracts. So it’s either in the contract or it’s not," Olsen concluded of Johansson.
Sudeikis also chimed in, noting that he is worried about Johansson since she’s married to his "comedy brother," Colin Jost. The "Ted Lasso" star called Johansson’s legal move "appropriately bad-a--" and "on brand."
Disney filed a motion to move Johansson's lawsuit to arbitration Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The entertainment conglomerate also revealed it had initiated arbitration against Johansson on Aug. 10, according to court documents obtained by Fox Business.
Although Johansson has accused Disney of reducing the potential for her bonuses by making the movie available on Disney+, the company notes that "Black Widow" played on 9,000 screens, despite only being required to show the film on no less than 1,500, according to the current court filing.
Johansson's lawyer John Berlinski told Fox Business that Disney is attempting to "hide its misconduct" in arbitration.
"After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration," Berlinski said in a statement given to Fox Business.
"Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public? Because it knows that Marvel’s promises to give Black Widow a typical theatrical release ‘like its other films’ had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions. Yet that is exactly what happened - and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it."
Disney spokesperson previously told Fox Business the lawsuit has "no merit whatsoever."
Fox Business' Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.