UPDATED: Warner Bros. and DC have a massive, seemingly unstoppable hit on their hands in the form of “Wonder Woman” — which has so far pulled in over half a billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales — but that doesn’t mean that everyone involved with the project are currently lining their pockets with cold, hard cash. And that includes even star Gal Gadot.
As Variety reported in January of 2014, the actress is signed for a three-picture deal with DC, including “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Wonder Woman,” and the upcoming “Justice League” film. For each film, the Israeli star is set to receive just $300,000. You read that correctly. (Update: Over at BuzzFeed, a new report holds that “Gadot was paid ‘at least’ as much for ‘Wonder Woman’ as [Henry] Cavill was paid for ‘Man of Steel,'” more on that below, though the reported $300,000 amount has not been debunked.)
By way of comparison, her fellow DC player Henry Cavill reportedly earned $14 million for his part in “Man of Steel,” as first reported by Forbes back in 2016. However, that deal likely includes bonuses and other financial sweeteners that were not included in his initial paycheck. (Update: Vanity Fair has noted, “Though the details of Cavill’s reported $14 million could not be verified, a source with knowledge of studio negotiations on franchise films told Vanity Fair, ‘It certainly isn’t for one picture. That’s insane.'”) It’s currently unclear if Gadot can also expect to pull in those kinds of funds, but it’s hard to imagine she won’t benefit from at least some form of bonus. “Wonder Woman,” massive hit, maybe you’ve heard of it?
But as CBR notes, Gadot’s paycheck isn’t unheard of in the comic book movie universe, sharing that Chris Evans also earned just $300,000 for his role in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which was also his solo superhero debut. Unlike Gadot, however, Evans had yet to appear in any MCU film when he starred in the origin story feature.
It’s striking that Gadot was initially given such a paltry (okay, by Hollywood standards) payday for her big, breakout hit, and it’s even weirder that she’s reportedly earned the same pay rate for “Wonder Woman,” which she is the star of, and “Batman v Superman,” which only sees her showing up for a handful of scenes and one battle sequence.
And it’s difficult to ignore a seeming disconnect between the money-making star power of “Wonder Woman” — a film that’s made a ton of money while also earning stellar reviews from critics and regular moviegoers alike — and its own studio, which reportedly didn’t even realize the huge hit they had on their hands until the film premiered.
As we noted earlier this month, Warner Bros. was reportedly trepidatious about the feature even in the weeks leading up to its release. That report was tied to yet another head-scratcher — that director Patty Jenkins has yet to be signed for a sequel, despite making one of the franchise’s best films yet — and included word from THR that “Warners execs also may have been a bit unprepared for the level of success and acclaim ‘Wonder Woman’ has achieved…Some insiders say it was only in recent weeks that ‘Wonder Woman’ buzz began to grow on the Warners lot in Burbank, so the studio wanted to wait for the opening weekend results before initiating any negotiations.”
Time to put your money where your biggest hit is.
“Wonder Woman” is in theaters now.