It’s no secret that Hollywood, like much of the rest of the world, has a gender pay gap. Multiple stars have publicly called out the issue; plentiful (and depressing) research has been done on the subject. But when the biggest female star of one of the biggest films of the year is being out-earned by her male counterparts, that’s when you know the problem is serious.
Gadot signed up to appear in three Warner Bros. pictures – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and the upcoming Justice League – back in 2014. It was reported at the time that she would be paid around £235,000 ($300,000) to appear in each movie, a fee which The Daily Dot notes isn’t entirely out of the ordinary for superhero blockbusters, especially for a relatively unknown actor.
Chris Evans, for example, reportedly earned the same amount for Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, with members of the Avengers ensemble cast being paid around £157,000 ($200,000) to appear in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But when you take certain factors into account, Gadot’s fee starts to look a little miserly. Both Captain America and the Avengers films were part of the Marvel Studios universe, and Marvel is famously tight-fisted when it comes to shelling out big sums for actors (unless that actor happens to be Robert Downey Jr).
Wonder Woman, in contrast, is a DC Comics character – and DC Films usually pays its male leads handsomely. Henry Cavill earned over £10million ($14m) for his role as Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel, while Christian Bale got paid more than £7m ($9m) for his first Batman film in 2005.
Patty Jenkins’ film has also proved Gadot’s commercial and critical star power, smashing box office records and earning rave reviews all around the world. Wonder Woman made over £451,000,000 ($573,500,000) at the international box office in just three weeks, a figure that far surpasses the international lifetime gross for Captain America. (It also means, rather incredibly, that Gadot’s salary makes up less than 0.01% of the film’s total earnings.) Jenkins now holds the title for the biggest US opening weekend by a female director, and her film currently has a 92% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In other words, Wonder Woman is nothing short of a phenomenon – so you’d kind of hope that Gadot would be reimbursed as such. (Especially given as we recently learned she was five months pregnant while performing some of those stunts.)
But given that Gadot has now fulfilled all her contractual obligations to Warner Bros., and Jenkins was only ever contracted to direct one film, both women are now in a strong position to negotiate much higher salaries for the Wonder Woman sequel.
And yes – you’d better believe there’s going to be a sequel. Here’s everything we know about it so far…
Images: Rex Features