Even Before Her Disney Feud, Scarlett Johansson Worried Disney Would Kill Her $90M Movie

scarlett johansson disney jojo rabbit
Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Even prior to her public feud with the Walt Disney Company, Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson was once worried the company would cancel her $90M film.

ScarJo’s feud with Disney during former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s tenure is well-known. The actress sued the company over the Marvel Cinematic Universe Black Widow film release for a breach of contract when Disney released the movie on Disney’s streaming service Disney+ on the same day as its theatrical release. Reportedly, the plan had not included a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release.

scarlett johansson as natasha romanoff the black widow and a frowning bob chapek

Scarlett Johansson and former Disney CEO Bob Chapek / Credit: Disney

However, while many of us are familiar with the Black Widow issue, there was one instance prior to this more well-known controversy wherein the actress was worried that Disney would not release a $90M movie she had starred in, directed by the renowned Taika Waititi.

Scarlett Johansson Worried About the Release of Jojo Rabbit

Fandomwire reported that the actress was once concerned that the Walt Disney Company might halt the release of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. The movie was produced by Searchlight Pictures, which in turn was owned by Fox. Disney had only recently acquired Fox when the film was set to premiere.

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow / Credit: Marvel

Johansson shared, “The Disney execs were saying, ‘We’re excited about Jojo.’ They had just acquired it. I said, ‘How is that going to be?’ Because Searchlight’s made quite a lot of subversive films. It’s harder and harder to try to find a home for something that’s more off-color or subversive and push the limit. I thought, ‘There’s no way Disney would bring [Jojo Rabbit] out.”

Was Jojo Rabbit Made by Disney?

It’s important to note that Jojo Rabbit wasn’t, in fact, made by Disney. The film was set to release soon after Disney’s historic (and controversial) acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019. The film had already been directed and produced and was in its final stages of pre-release.

However, the film is a humorous take on Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany, tackling the thematically difficult subjects and concerns from the horrific time of World War II. Because of these tough themes, Johansson wasn’t sure if Disney would actually release it.

However, Disney is known for keeping the creative DNA of its acquisitions relatively untouched, and to that end, the executives reassured the actress that the film would see the light of day. Not only that, the movie event went on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, among a host of other nominations.

More on Jojo Rabbit

Per IMDb, Jojo Rabbit is a movie about “A young, lonely German boy in the Hitler Youth whose hero and imaginary friend is the country’s dictator [Adolph Hitler] is shocked to discover that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.”

It is from director Taika Waititi and written by Christine Leunens and Taika Waititi. The film stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, and Luke Brandon Field, among a larger cast.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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