[WARNING – SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” do not read any further because of plot details below.]
With its global bow now at a record $529 million, “Star Wars'” box office success will undoubtedly afford its cast members heftier pay cuts on their next projects. But just how much money did “The Force Awakens” actors earn to join a galaxy far, far away?
Sources tell Variety Harrison Ford came away the big winner on Disney and Lucasfilm’s sequel with a paycheck upwards of $10 million and as high as $20 million to reprise his role of Han Solo.
On Monday, the Daily Mail issued a report saying that Ford earned a staggering $25 million to return to the “Star Wars” franchise. A Disney insider tells Variety the story is completely false and way too high but other sources did confirm that the 73-year-old actor earned a substantially larger cut than his co-stars.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher took home salaries in the low-seven-figure range, according to sources. Newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were paid in the low-six-figure range ($100k-$300k).
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Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, meanwhile, received offers of mid- to high-six figures. Because Driver and Isaac had fixed quotes from previous film and TV work, sources say their deals were negotiated higher compared to Boyega and Ridley, who, for the most part, had never appeared in a large-scale film before.
Insiders tell Variety that Disney made a decision in 2014 prior to casting the new roles to create a “legacy pay scale” intended for talent like Ford, Fisher and Hamill, who had previously been a part of the “Star Wars” universe, and general pay scale for actors that would be appearing for the first time.
Hamill and Fisher’s salaries are expected to rise in upcoming installments as their parts grow with each film.
The salaries don’t include back-end bonuses from the pic’s box office haul that in a rare case doesn’t even kick in till the film crosses $1 billion worldwide, and following the success of “The Force Awakens,” deals are expected to be renegotiated before the next films get underway.
While Ford is considered the biggest star in the ensemble, the No. 1 reason the actor walked away with the most money had to do with the fact that this would be a one-off situation for him (MAJOR SPOILER), since his character dies in “The Force Awakens.”
As for the younger talent receiving lower salaries — it’s a fairly common practice in today’s market for newer actors, especially with so many negotiations involving back-end box office bonuses. For the first “Fifty Shades of Grey,” stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan received offers in the six-figure range and have since renegotiated multimillion-dollar deals for future installments.