Scarlett Johansson’s journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) began with her role as Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, in “Iron Man 2.” However, her path to becoming a prominent MCU star was not without its challenges.
To secure her role in “Iron Man 2,” Scarlett Johansson went to great lengths to convince director Jon Favreau that she was the perfect fit for the character. She dyed her hair red and underwent rigorous strength training to embody the superhero persona. Her dedication paid off, and she became an integral part of the MCU.
From Modest Beginnings to Astonishing Salary Growth
Scarlett Johansson’s salary for “Iron Man 2” was a relatively modest $400,000. At that time, her journey in the MCU had just commenced. However, her consistent appearances in subsequent Marvel films catapulted her to the position of the “highest-earning box office star of all time.”
The most astounding aspect of Scarlett Johansson’s MCU journey is the staggering 4900% increase in her salary from “Iron Man 2” to “Black Widow.” For her solo film, “Black Widow,” Marvel compensated her with an astonishing $20 million. Notably, in 2019, Scarlett revealed that she received pay equal to her male co-stars for their respective solo films.
Scarlett’s earnings are on par with her male co-stars, such as Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, who received $15 million each for their solo outings as Captain America and Thor, respectively. However, Scarlett’s involvement went beyond acting in “Black Widow” as she also served as an executive producer. Consequently, her paycheck included both her acting fees and producer earnings.
Scarlett Johansson’s Remarkable Salary Growth
When comparing Scarlett Johansson’s initial appearance in “Iron Man 2” in 2010 to her leading role in “Black Widow” in 2021, her salary growth is undeniably one of the most remarkable in Hollywood history. Moreover, it’s worth noting that Scarlett Johansson is reported to be the second highest-earning Marvel actor, following in the footsteps of Robert Downey Jr.
The Disney Lawsuit Settlement
Scarlett Johansson’s journey in the MCU was not only defined by her exceptional salary growth but also by her legal battle with Disney. She filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant over the simultaneous release of “Black Widow” in theaters and on Disney’s digital platform, alleging a breach of contract regarding bonuses tied to the film’s box office performance.
The lawsuit was eventually settled around September 2021, with Scarlett Johansson reportedly receiving over $40 million from Disney. This legal dispute highlighted the complexities of the evolving film industry, especially concerning digital releases and compensation structures for A-list actors.
In conclusion, Scarlett Johansson’s evolution from her early days as Black Widow in “Iron Man 2” to her leading role in “Black Widow” is not just a testament to her acting prowess but also a remarkable example of salary growth in the entertainment industry. Her journey underscores the changing dynamics of Hollywood and the ongoing challenges faced by actors in an ever-evolving cinematic landscape.