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Photograph: Paramount Pictures

Kerr-ching! Hollywood A-listers’ pay has been revealed

Leonardo DiCaprio is getting $30 million for his new Scorsese movie

Phil de Semlyen
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Phil de Semlyen
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If you’re feeling a little underpaid, it’s definitely worth avoiding a newly published list of Hollywood A-listers’ pay cheques.

Following news that Tom Cruise is taking home $100 million for Top Gun: Maverick, Variety has the figures on many of the star’s peers’ take home, and they are, well, punchy.

While it’s quite not the ’80s all over again, with monster A-list pay cheques sparking a frenzy of Hollywood pay inflation, the financial muscle of the big streaming sites is proving a fantastic boast for big stars’ bank balances 

Leonardo DiCaprio’s salary on Martin Scorsese’s new period drama Killers of the Flower Moon is a cool $30 million, a figure that shows how unlikely this film would be to get made without Apple’s colossal financial clout.

Brad Pitt is seeing an identical figure for Apple’s so-far untitled Formula One flick directed by Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski.

Top Gun Maverick
Photograph: Paramount PicturesTom Cruise made more than $100 million on ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

And Will Smith’s next payday outstrips them both. He’s getting $35 million to appear in Antoine Fuqua’s runaway slave thriller Emancipation – another Apple production.

Fresh for Thor: Love and Thunder, Chris Hemsworth will be getting $20 million from Netflix for a sequel to his action flick Extraction.

Enola Holmes 2, meanwhile, will see Millie Bobby Brown taking $10 million back to the Bank of the Upside-Down

As Variety notes, these big paydays are not limited to the streaming platforms: Dwayne Johnson’s $22.5 million pay cheque for playing DC superhero Black Adam and Jason Momoa’s $15 million for reprising Aquaman in the sequel will both come out of Warner Brothers’ coffers.

Luring an actor back to a make a sequel to a surprise hit is a costly business too. Joaquin Phoenix made $4.5 for playing the Crown Prince of Crime in 2019’s Joker, but would be seeing closer to $20 million if he agreed to a sequel.

Of course, Cruise, Pitt and Johnson and others are also paid as producers on their films, and there are back end clauses in places to rewards stars when their films are a hit.

And plenty of A-listers do sacrifice big salaries for the love of the material. Christopher Nolan’s new film, Oppenheimer, is starry but modestly budgeted, with Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt all taking a drop in pay to work with the British director.

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