With the shadow of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over Black Widow profits still looming, the Mouse House has closed a major deal with Emma Stone to return for a Cruella sequel. It suggests that tkhe problems faced by Johansson have been ironed out between Disney and Stone, as the situations for both actresses were similar.
Deadline confirms the news of Stone signing on for Cruella 2, which we knew Disney was developing with returning writer Tony McNamara and director Craig Gillespie. This wa far from a sure thing. Stone saw the same thing happen to her as Johansson. Cruella was meant to be a blockbuster theatrical release, but due to COVID-19 it opened in theaters and in Disney+ Premier Access. The result was a $222M worldwide total, and drastically reduced backend profits for Stone.
So we can surmise that Stone, who was reportedly weighing her options about another Cruella film, has worked out any financials with Disney ahead of time. It also means they won’t have to worry about getting sued by the actress, too.
You know things worked out favorably for Stone, meaning Disney backed up the money truck to her door, because her agent released a statement that is basically one long flex.
“While the media landscape has been disrupted in a meaningful way for all distributors, their creative partners cannot be left on the sidelines to carry a disproportionate amount of the downside without the potential for upside. This agreement demonstrates that there can be an equitable path forward that protects artists and aligns studios’ interests with talent. We are proud to work alongside Emma and Disney and appreciate the studio’s willingness to recognize her contributions as a creative partner. We are hopeful that this will open the door for more members of the creative community to participate in the success of new platforms.”
Don’t be surprised if Disney makes similar deals in the near future to counter the hit of negative press they received over Johansson’s lawsuit.