Marvel apparently paid Yelena co-creator only $5000 for Black Widow

Yelena Belova’s co-creator Devin Grayson reportedly only got $5000 for the character in the MCU film Black Widow.

Yelena Belova was created in 1999 by comic book writer Devin Grayson and illustrator J.G. Jones. The character later made an appearance in Black Widow, the film about the character of the same name. Yelena was played by Florence Pugh in the movie, and she’s the adoptive sister of Black Widow.

But it recently came out that the co-creator was only given $5000 for the character’s appearance in the movie. Apparently, Grayson and Jones both thought they’d be getting as much as $25000 due to an agreement they signed with Marvel. But that total eventually decreased to $5000, seemingly without any explanation from the company.

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Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Kevin Baker. (C)Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. (Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+

Why the low payment?

It turns out that Marvel split the $25000 figure with other creators, rather than giving it to each individual creator. The agreement was reportedly designed in a confusing way that only a lawyer could truly understand. But for Grayson and Jones, it was a trick that caused them to lose out on money they thought they were agreeing to.

Black Widow grossed $379 million at the box office. That’s actually below average for the MCU, but it’s still a huge sum of money. Surely they could’ve afforded to pay the original creators a little more?

And it’s not the only MCU controversy to emerge recently. When Black Widow came out, Scarlett Johansson sued Disney for putting the film on Disney+ right away, which caused her to lose money. The lawsuit was settled and Johansson seemingly got her payment.

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And on social media, VFX editors have revealed that Marvel treats them poorly and demands constant changes. The films are pumped out so quickly that these editors are forced to work in a reportedly unhealthy way.

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