I read the headline, and my immediate reaction was, no. Why would it? My initial reasoning was that, it’s just one movie; and, the film’s surprise opening weekend success wasn’t entirely due to Halle Berry’s presence in it. It’s a WWE Studios-backed project (as in the film subsidiary of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc), and they did a great a job in terms of reaching out to not only Halle Berry’s audience, but also the WWE’s own rather large base, who may all not necessarily be big Halle Berry fans. According to THR’s report, 48 percent of the overall audience cited Halle Berry as the reason for seeing the film.
But then I actually read the Hollywood Reporter article and learned a few things:
– First, because of The Call’s $17.1 million opening, Halle suddenly finds herself in a position to leverage, and is fully in the driver’s seat when it comes to what she does next.
– That she will earn the same per-week salary as her former X-Men co-stars, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, in Bryan Singer’s upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.
– That she’s expected to see a salary bump and higher-profile job opportunities for future projects; like, maybe most interestingly, she was recently courted by director Ivan Reitman to play the female lead role opposite Kevin Costner in a film called Draft Day (which is said to be based on this year’s No. 1-ranked Black List script). We didn’t know that. It may not have been reported because a deal hasn’t been worked out. But they mention it to give you some idea of what she’s being considered for, suggesting that she’s still in some demand, now in large part because of the opening weekend success of The Call.
– That, despite the fact that she has yet to book a role beyond X-Men: Days of Futures Past, her agents at CAA (who she’s been with for a relatively short period of time – since 2010) have been quietly orchestrating a reboot of her career, from booking her in Cloud Atlas, to The Call, and negotiating her return to X-Men, ensuring that she gets paid what the others are.
The Call is expected to fare a lot better overseas than here in the USA, which should only help with her international appeal, and leverage. However, as it’s often about what comes next, the fact that she has yet to book any other roles beyond what will be a bit part in X-Men, speaks to a wider industry problem that sees much fewer roles for women over a certain age; a problem that’s amplified if you’re a woman of color.
She was once attached to star in the drama Tulia, which John Singleton was to direct. But neither is attached to that project anymore.
Let’s see what else CAA’s careful orchestration career reboot plans will yield down the road.