Now in its third week of release, Wonder Woman has surpassed all expectations. It’s officially set records in the categories of female-directed films, films featuring a standalone female character and most successful films within the comic book superhero genre. But as the movie itself continues to rake in the superlatives and the dough, some have been surprised to learn that star Gal Gadot’s paycheck appears startlingly low.
In 2014, it was reported that Gadot had signed a three-picture deal to appear as Diana in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as Wonder Woman and Justice League - to the tune of $300,000 per film. While those numbers seem dismal in comparison to the millions Hollywood stars often make, they’re actually common for so-called “entry level” actors signing on to a tentpole franchise for the first time.
For Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans walked away with a comparable $300,000, while Chris Hemsworth reportedly earned $200,000 for the first Thor movie. There are some exceptions to this, but they’re largely based on whether or not the actor has been signed to appear in multiple film installments and if they have the name recognition to potentially negotiate for more. Robert Downey Jr. is one notable example of this; he was paid $500,000 for the first Iron Man film, but by the time The Avengers came around had brokered his way up to a sweet $50 million.
The Hollywood wage gap undoubtedly exists, but it doesn’t really apply in this instance. Based on the numbers alone, Gadot’s takeaway for Wonder Woman was at least on par with several of her male counterparts acting within the superhero genre - and considering the film’s box-office performance to date, she could stand to potentially earn even more. While some outlets were reporting that Gadot’s BvS co-star Henry Cavill pocketed $14 million for his first appearance as Superman in Man of Steel, that number is staggeringly misleading and more than likely takes into account Cavill’s multi-film deal as well as box-office bonuses. Considering that Wonder Woman is on track to be a more financially successful film, Gadot could actually be on track to earn more, not less, than Cavill in the long run.
Either way, both Gadot and director Patty Jenkins have the advantage heading into contract negotiations for Wonder Woman’s already-planned sequel - and could earn bigger paychecks as a result. Based on the success of Diana’s first solo outing, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t see a sizable step up in take-home pay.