Sorry, Internet, but you missed this time. A report surfaced on Tuesday saying that ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot was paid $300,000 against Henry Cavill’s $14 million he earned for ‘Man of Steel.’ Someone didn’t get facts straight…
The report went viral after someone tweeted (and then deleted) the grotesque difference between both paychecks. The user remarked how Gadot received 46 times less money than Cavill and slammed DC by saying “The most compelling DC villain is the pay gap.” It’s 2017, so naturally, the thing went viral in minutes, and everyone was feeling heck offended.
To clear things up: yes, it’s very likely that Gadot was paid only $300,000. Variety reported in 2014 that Gadot signed a contract with Warner Bros. in which she agreed to receive $300,000 for each DC movie she does. But before you start burning stuff in your closest movie theater, you need to know that that’s what actors and actresses get paid at their first time in a franchise.
For example, Chris Hemsworth starting rate for his starring debut in 2011’s ‘Thor’ was $150,000. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans were also reportedly paid less that $500,000 for their superhero solo debuts, but numbers increased with each new film.
The report forgot salaries include back-end profits
The story originated thanks to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. The initial report appeared on Elle, where they revealed Cavill’s earnings. The post took the $14 million number from an old Forbes story published in 2016, which in turn cited data from another website dedicated to shareable and viral content.
Elle’s visceral posture quickly spread through different media and fans from the Internet, until sources surfaced to clarify that the data shared was not true at all. Beginning with the fact that no one has confirmed – nor denied – that Cavill earned a total of $14 million, so for now, the number is just a speculation.
A source familiar with contract negotiations told CNN that “Gal Gadot was paid at least as much as Henry Cavill for their first pictures.” The thing is, the salaries are renegotiated as the series goes on, and actors and actresses end up earning bonuses and percentage of the profits earned at the box office.
So the $14 million Cavill allegedly earned for ‘Man of Steel’ include these bonuses and back-end profits, but his starting salary is nothing but far behind from these numbers because he’s just getting started. Even Amy Adams reportedly made more than Cavill for her role as Lois Lane in ‘Man of Steel.’ But Amy Adams is an established movie star and Oscar nominee, of course she should earn more than anybody casting at that movie.
Gadot’s final earnings are yet to be determined, but the movie has already made more than $273 million worldwide and it’s only its third week, and it’s been called the best DC title to date. ‘Man of Steel,’ on the other side, grossed around $290 million domestically, and was considered as a bad movie.
This misunderstanding – and awful, irresponsible journalism job – ends up hurting the efforts of people who are actually fighting against the ever-existent Hollywood pay gap.
Examples of this are few because film contracts tend to be secretive and complex. But there are known cases, like when Jennifer Lawrence confirmed that she and Amy Adams got paid less than their male fellows for ‘American Hustle.’
Unfair treatments like this need to stop and to be denounced every single time (but with facts confirmed, please).