Black Widow Is Free to Disney Plus Subscribers Starting Today – IGN
Black Widow is officially free for all Disney+ subscribers starting today. Released alongside the season finale of What If…?, Black Widow can be watched at no extra charge to anybody with a Disney+ subscription. The Extras section on Disney+ contains 11 deleted scenes, a gag reel, a trailer, and three featurettes: Filmmaker Introduction, Go Big If You’re Going Home, and Sisters Gonna Work It Out.
Black Widow has been available on Disney+ since its release in theaters in July. In the USA, watching Black Widow on Disney+ charged users a one-time fee of $29.99 in addition to the price of a Disney+ subscription. As of Wednesday, Black Widow is available to all subscribers at no extra cost.
A story in The Hollywood Reporter published on Wednesday says investors are pressuring Disney to put more movies and shows into Disney+. THR says Disney sources describe Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek, as “a numbers-oriented, bottom-line-focused businessman lacking creative experience and without [ex-CEO Bob] Iger’s polish and flair.”
The day-and-date theater and streaming release of Black Widow culminated in a lawsuit from lead actress Scarlett Johansson who was supposedly promised a theatrical-exclusive release in her contract. THR’s sources believe that fight may not have happened if Iger was still CEO.
“Many Disney veterans and outside observers think the public fight with Johansson never would have happened on Iger’s watch, and even before that blew up, the feeling among many in Hollywood was that Chapek was using the pandemic as an excuse to throw movies onto Disney+, steamrolling talent in the process,” the THR article states.
Disney started off with a loud response to Johnasson’s suit by saying her lawsuit is “sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Disney also revealed Johansson’s $20 million salary for the movie.
Johansson’s agency shot back at the claim that Johansson isn’t taking COVID-19 into consideration and the revealing of her client’s salary. Disney settled the lawsuit at the end of September and is moving forward with Johansson on a movie based on the Disney theme park attraction Tower of Terror.
Marvel producer Kevin Feige was reportedly “angry and embarrassed,” over the lawsuit. But Feige also said that he was a fan of Chapek and the feedback that Chapek gives on his work. After Avengers: Endgame broke the opening weekend record in 2019, a Dole Whip machine was installed in Marvel’s office.
“I thought that was pretty cool,” Feige said. “I thought that was great.”
IGN’s Black Widow review praised the movie as a down-to-earth change of pace from the recent crop of Marvel movies and shows:
“Black Widow benefits from a post-Endgame era that has unshackled the Marvel Cinematic Universe from its own precise format, if mostly on Disney+. With WandaVision playing with the sitcom form and Loki serving high-concept science fiction, it feels natural for Black Widow to be styled like a James Bond espionage thriller, complete with a broody title sequence,” reviewer Nicole Clark wrote. “The film flits between international locales, motorcycle chases, rescue missions, and fight scenes in close quarters that have a real sense of urgency and mortality. It’s a nice dial back from Marvel films whose heroes can feel immortal, threatened only by a villain like Thanos and the power of the Infinity Stones.”
Be sure to check out the Black Widow Blu-ray cover art created by Marvel comic artists as well as IGN’s What If…? finale explanation to see where the Marvel universe goes from here.
Petey Oneto is a freelance writer for IGN.