In the few weeks since Wonder Woman was unleashed, it has grossed a whopping $600 million worldwide, and broken numerous records, as well as smashing the glass ceiling. Wonder Woman's star, Gal Gadot, has become one of the highest grossing action heroines of all time, so fans were pretty irate to learn that she was only paid $300,000 for the part, while (now-debunked) rumours circulated that Henry Cavill's Superman earned $14 million for a similar role in Man of Steel.
Before we get back into this disparity in pay, it's important to point out that none of this information has been made available to the public, and reports of actors' salaries have been coming from Israeli TV shows and #celebrity magazines, so of course we have to take the rumors about her salary with a pinch of salt. However, if this figure is accurate, many feel it is criminally low for a starring role in a successful franchise — especially one that has brought in so much bank at the box office. Some are heralding it as yet another prime example of the Hollywood gender pay gap.
Up until now, the actress herself has been keeping pretty schtum on the issue, but was cornered by TMZ to reveal her feelings on the alleged pay disparity. Humble as always, Gadot simply told TMZ reporters:
“I’m grateful and happy.”
When the reporter stressed that the actress should have earned more for the part, Gadot laughed and said:
“I think I should get you as my lawyer to do the negotiations.”
Variety extensively debunked the claim that Cavill had earned $14 million for one movie, but stated that actors' salaries get bumped up for various reasons, and $300,000 usually covers the base salary for a franchise actor like Gal Gadot. They explained:
"Hollywood contracts are notoriously complicated things—salaries are often sweetened by box-office bonuses, bumps in pay for sequels, or even “points” on the total gross for megastars."
This all suggests that Gadot's overall Wonder Woman jackpot will be a lot higher, given the movie's overall commercial success. It's also good to point out that several other movie superheroes took home similar starting salaries for their franchises. The MCU's Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. all earned under $500,000 for their first outings, but managed to jack up the price tag when the franchise took off — with Downey Jr. famously earning $50 million for later appearances in the MCU. This could be kind of bank Gadot will be looking at in the future.
Gadot signed a three-movie deal as Wonder Woman which she has now fulfilled with #DCEU's Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman and the upcoming #JusticeLeague movie. There are already talks of a Wonder Woman sequel, so I imagine her lawyers will be bargaining hard to secure her an even bigger pay rise to don the shield for a second time.
It's clear why the 32-year-old actress hasn't been keen to discuss her earnings, especially when it is such a personal and legal minefield. However, it is great to see that she's hardly bitter about allegedly earning less than her contemporaries, and embracing the aspects of playing Wonder Woman that don't come with a price tag instead.
Do you think Gal Gadot deserved to be paid more for Wonder Woman? Let us know in the comments!