In a new cover story for the Hollywood Reporter, Cumberbatch was asked about the ongoing lawsuit, which was filed shortly after Black Widow premiered in theaters and as a premium VOD option on Disney+.
“It’s sad what’s going on between the lawyers,” Cumberbatch said when asked for his take on the situation. “Just the verbiage and the accusations of, ‘Put it in a global pandemic context.’ The whole thing’s just a bit of a mess. We’re trying to understand what the revenue streams should be for artists that contribute to the billion-dollar business that is Disney. And it has to be contractualized.”
According to ScarJo’s lawsuit, her contract was breached when Marvel released it on the streaming service. She claims an agreement was made with Marvel Entertainment that guaranteed a theater-only release, and her salary was based “in large part” on traditional box office performance.
In Disney’s initial response to the lawsuit—which many people criticized for being too harsh—the company said there was “no merit” to her claims. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement read.
“How does an artist’s normal compensation with box office bonuses, how does it work?” Benedict continued. “It’s a new paradigm, and it’s a very complex one. No one saw this coming, and no one should use hindsight to say, ‘Well, it should have been done.’ That was the first of these films that was going to get a cinematic release during the pandemic and got stalled and stalled and stalled. It’s very new territory.”