We’re only three films into the DC Extended Universe, but they’re already starting to come at us fast and furious (oh, wait, that’s a different franchise). DC’s answer to rival Marvel’s highly successful cinematic universe began in 2013 with Man of Steel, and after a three-year wait, we got both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad this year. DC and Warner Bros. plan to continue the schedule they set this year, with at least two films a year on deck from 2017 to 2020.
All that being said, the DCEU continues to expand, which means the roll call of actors within it will continue to expand and will most likely continue to get richer as a result of their DCEU exposure. Which segues nicely into this list. We’ve rounded up the highest profile actors so far in the world of the Justice League, and discovered their net worth over at celebritynetworth.com (with one exception). Incidentally, you won’t find Ezra Miller, who’s playing the Flash, on this list, with his reported $500,000 net worth, but that will surely skyrocket in a hurry. You also won’t find Dwayne Johnson, who has been announced as Black Adam in 2019’s Shazam!, and has a mammoth net worth of $190 million, but he hasn’t officially appeared on screen yet in the DCEU.
Let’s hope The Joker doesn’t steal their money bags, because they’re the 20 Richest Actors In The DC Extended Universe.
20 JASON MOMOA (AQUAMAN): $4 MILLION
Former Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa has barely gotten started in the DCEU. We’ve only seen him in a brief, wordless cameo via a video on a computer screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But surely his $4 million net worth will continue to climb in the coming years as Aquaman takes a more prominent role, first in next year’s Justice League, when he’s recruited by Batman and Wonder Woman, and then in his own feature, Aquaman, in 2018.
The long-haired Hawaiian started accumulating his millions during the final few seasons of Baywatch, from 1999-2001 before leaping into the hearts of the Comic-Con/fantasy/sci-fi crowd as Ronon Dex on Stargate: Atlantis in the mid-aughts. But, of course, it was his immortal stint as Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki people, during the first season of Game of Thrones that broke him into the mainstream. It was surely that shirtless role more than anything else that made him an early favorite for Aquaman. Although, maybe his shirtless role on Baywatch helped, too.
19 RAY FISHER (CYBORG): $5 MILLION
While the rest of the net worth figures on this list came from celebritynetworth.com, Ray Fisher’s numbers didn’t appear there, so his $5 million figure comes from networthtomb.com. We’re going to take it with a grain of salt, because with all due respect to the folks at Net Worth Tomb, their numbers don’t quite add up to 5 mil. And it’s hard to believe, given the vast differences in experience, that he’s worth more than Momoa.
At any rate, even if Fisher is not actually a millionaire now, he surely will be soon. Prior to his brief, computer-screen cameo in Batman v Superman, in a scene evidently depicting the moment Victor Stone became Cyborg, he was a virtual unknown. He was discovered playing Mohammad Ali in an off-Broadway play, but his only major screen credit before BvS was an episode of The Astronaut Wives Club in 2015. But now the strapping 6’4” New Jersey native is set for stardom as Cyborg in Justice League, The Flash (2018) and a solo Cyborg movie.
18 JOEL KINNAMAN (RICK FLAG): $6 MILLION
So far Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman has only appeared in one DCEU film, with no other appearances currently lined up. In this summer’s Suicide Squad, he was an Army Special Forces Colonel tasked with leading the titular group of supervillains. Of course, that role wasn’t the first that earned him notice among the geekeratti. That came when he took the title role in the 2014 RoboCop remake. Interestingly, he could’ve had a key role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he was at one point a candidate to play Thor.
Of course, anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time binge-watching Netflix has surely caught him in his breakthrough American role as Seattle detective Stephen Holder during all four seasons of The Killing. But prior to that, he'd had huge success back home in Sweden. He won a 2011 Guldbagge Award (that would be the Swedish Oscar) for Best Actor in a film called Easy Money and played a key role in the long-running Johan Falk film series. What? You don’t know Johan Falk? What rock have you been living under?
17 MARGOT ROBBIE (HARLEY QUINN): $8 MILLION
As unhinged Joker-loving villain Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, Australian actress Margot Robbie was one of the brightest lights in a somewhat uneven film. In our review, we called her performance dynamic, with “bubbly physical comedy, and several of the film’s best lines.” So it’s not at all surprising that Robbie will pick up her deadly baseball bat again in a Harley Quinn solo movie.
Quinn is arguably Robbie’s most high-profile role on this side of the pond, but she broke through in The Land Down Under on the uber-popular soap opera Neighbours, playing Donna Freedman/Donna Brown from 2008-2011. She left Australian stardom to try to get her name in lights stateside, and quickly landed the short-lived 1960s-set flight attendant drama Pan Am in 2011. That was before her breakthrough role in The Wolf of Wall Street, which led to high-profile roles such as Quinn and Jane in this summer’s The Legend of Tarzan.
16 MICHAEL SHANNON (GENERAL ZOD): $8 MILLION
Square-jawed and intense, veteran character actor Michael Shannon made his DCEU debut in the very first DCEU movie, Man of Steel, as its main villain, General Zod. He certainly gave Superman a run for his money as a fellow superhuman son of Krypton. He had big shoes to fill after Terence Stamp’s amazing performance in the ‘70s/’80s Superman series, but he did an admirable job. Mild spoiler alert: due to events in Man of Steel, Shannon has a rather muted role in Batman v Superman, but we can give him credit for two DCEU appearances.
Chances are good that Shannon is done with the DCEU, but he will surely continue to do just fine and build on that handsome $8 million fortune. Zod wasn’t even his first comic book role, having played Doc “Cross” Williams in Jonah Hex back in 2010. The 42-year-old actor has made a career out of playing interesting supporting characters, often with dubious morals, even earning an Oscar nomination in 2009 for his supporting role in Revolutionary Road.
15 JESSE EISENBERG (LEX LUTHOR): $10 MILLION
In Batman v Superman, Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg played a younger, harrier (mostly) and spazier Lex Luthor than we’re used to seeing on the big screen. It was a far cry from the often chrome-domed portrayals in the past by older actors like Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman. But it was no doubt an interesting take, and one that we’ll see more of, since he’s currently busy filming Justice League with many of the other actors on this list.
He got his start making that sweet showbiz green alongside fellow teen actor Anne Hathaway (who, of course, played a famous feline DC character pre-DCEU) in the short-lived, turn-of-the-century Fox series Get Real. But it wasn’t until his 2009 “land” series, with Adventureland and Zombieland, that he really started to make his name. It was his Oscar-nominated performance as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network in 2010 that really opened the door for big-time dough.
14 GAL GADOT (WONDER WOMAN): $10 MILLION
By many accounts, Gal Gadot’s performance as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince in Batman V Superman, as brief as it was, was quite possibly the best part of the movie. As we said in our review, Gadot steals every scene she’s in, and her character lays the groundwork for the larger DCEU we’ll see in future films. The former model and 2004 Miss Israel will be all over that larger universe over the coming years, set to appear in next year’s Justice League and Wonder Woman, plus 2019’s Justice League Part Two.
Her income from these films likely makes up a large chunk of her $10 million fortune, but she’s not new to the action-movie scene. Her first feature film role was Gisele in 2009’s Fast and Furious, the fourth film in the series, and she went on to reprise the role in the next three Fast films. The DCEU comprises almost all of her upcoming output, but she’ll also appear in the action comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses in October, alongside Isla Fisher and Jon Hamm.
13 HOLLY HUNTER (SENATOR FINCH): $14 MILLION
Holly Hunter is one of those actresses that it seems has been around forever and can’t not do quality work, often in an unheralded sort of way. That’s exactly the kind of work she’s done in the DCEU. She has only appeared in Batman v Superman, and it’s highly likely that will be her only appearance in this universe. Regardless, she did an impressive job playing an intense U.S. senator who calls Superman to appear in Washington to answer for the destruction he’d caused while battling bad guys, and to decide whether or not he had the right to commit his heroic acts without government consent.
We said the Georgia native often appears in an unheralded sort of way, but that’s not entirely accurate. Winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Piano in 1993 is about as heralded as it gets. She’s been nominated three other times as well, but not since 2003, so that’s where the unheralded part comes in. The fact is, she hasn’t appeared in too many huge films since then, but she was busy from 2007-2010 surely raking in a good portion of her $14 million net worth as the star of the TNT fantasy/drama Saving Grace.
12 JEREMY IRONS (ALFRED PENNYWORTH): $16 MILLION
Finally, we leave the younger superhero/villain characters behind and land on one of the four veteran actors in the DCEU. British actor Jeremy Irons has been around a long time, with a career dating back about 45 years. In fact, he spent most of the ‘70s on British TV before busting out on this side of the pond alongside a young Meryl Streep in 1981’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman. In ‘88, he creeped out the world in Dead Ringers, and he masterfully voiced the evil lion Scar in The Lion King a few years later.
Nearly 68, he’s still extremely busy, as the DCEU exposes him and his dark, dry humor to a younger audience. As Batman’s trusted butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman v Superman, he takes over for fellow Brit Michael Caine, who mastered the role in the Dark Knight trilogy. Irons gave an admirable performance, and we’ll see more of him in Justice League next year. And you’d have to think he’ll follow that up with a spot in the solo Batman movie.
11 CARA DELEVINGNE (ENCHANTRESS): $17 MILLION
Cara Delevingne is a true blue-blooded Brit, with ancestors that include viscounts, baronets, and mayors of London, so she had a head start in the ol' bank account. But her DCEU character is a little beyond even that. In Suicide Squad, Enchantress is the spirit of an evil goddess in possession of an archaeologist’s body. She has a haunting presence in the film, almost akin to the brooding, dark-haired creepiness of The Ring’s Samara.
The 24-year-old Delevingne is also a major player in the fashion model biz, twice winning Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, so a good chunk of her net worth comes from her runway gigs. But Enchantress certainly wasn’t her first acting job. She first appeared on screen in a small role in the 2012 big-screen version of Anna Karenina. She really busted out, though, with her co-starring role last year in Paper Towns, which earned her Teen Choice Awards for Choice Summer Movie Star: Female and Choice Movie Breakout Star.
10 HENRY CAVILL (SUPERMAN): $20 MILLION
The latest actor to play the all-American superhuman alien is British thespian Henry Cavill (how's that for a sentence full of accurate contradictions?). Just seven years after Brandon Routh donned the blue tights and red cape, Cavill squeezed his bulked up bod into them in 2013’s Man of Steel. It was a somewhat darker take on the the last son of Krypton than we were used to with Routh and Christopher Reeve, but it was the film that officially launched the DCEU. Of course, this year he battled Batman in Batman v Superman, and despite that flick’s ending, it’s not too spoilery to say that he’ll return as Supes in the two Justice League films, and there’s reportedly another solo Superman movie in “active development.”
After cutting his teeth with his first major role in a motion picture, as the Robin Hood-like Hunter in an atrocious adaptation of Red Riding Hood in 2006, the 33-year-old Cavill finally made a respectable name for himself in The Tudors TV series as King Henry’s best friend, Charles Brandon. He then used 2011’s Immortals to introduce the world to the idea of him being an evil-fighting warrior.
9 LAURENCE FISHBURNE (PERRY WHITE): $20 MILLION
Veteran actor Laurence Fishburne has come a long way since he was a skinny kid in Apocalypse Now back in 1979. It seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s still a relatively young 55 years old, with over 100 screen credits under his belt. Though he’s done a lot of TV lately (CSI, Hannibal, Black-ish), he’s taken time out to portray gruff Daily Planet newspaper editor Perry White, boss to Clark Kent and Lois Lane, in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
Fishburne has accumulated his tidy $20-million fortune in part due to his impressive versatility. Here’s an actor who has hammed it up as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse and played much more intense and serious roles in the likes of Boyz in the Hood, What’s Love Got to Do with It, and he even brought a slick action game to The Matrix trilogy. White isn't even his first comic book character: on the Marvel side, he voiced the Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007.
8 CHRISTOPHER MELONI (COLONEL NATHAN HARDY): $30 MILLION
Charismatic character actor Christopher Meloni slips onto this list thanks to his role in Man of Steel. As Colonel Nathan Hardy of the United States Air Force, he wasn’t a superhero, but he certainly was heroic, paying the ultimate sacrifice to help save the world from an alien invasion. While he’s probably done in the DCEU, this was not his first time playing a DC character. He voiced Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in the 2009 animated film Green Lantern: First Flight.
While the 55-year-old has been working since the late ‘80s, mostly in TV in the early years, it wasn’t until he starred as bisexual inmate Chris Keller on HBO’s Oz from 1998-2003 that he really broke out. For a while, he simultaneously appeared as a regular on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and went on a crazy-long, 272-episode run there, through 2011, making good money on a popular show. In fact, he made a reported $395,000 per episode there at his peak. That’ll do.
7 DIANE LANE (MARTHA KENT): $35 MILLION
Like Fishburne, Diane Lane’s acting career goes all the way back to her teen years, so she’s had a lot of time to stash away that $35 million. Though she started early, some of her biggest and best roles came in her 30s and 40s, culminating in an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in 2002 for Unfaithful. For nearly 10 years, Lane was married to a relatively new Marvel Cinematic Universe star, Josh Brolin, who has appeared uncredited as Thanos in two films, with two more coming up.
But younger audiences now know her best as Clark Kent’s adoptive mother Martha in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Never mind that she’s 51 and Cavill, her on-screen son, is only 18 years her junior at 33. Let’s just assume Martha married young. At this point, we know for sure that she’ll be back as Martha in Justice League, but any further involvement in the DCEU is unknown.
6 JARED LETO (THE JOKER): $40 MILLION
Where have you gone, Jordan Catalano? That, of course, was the name of his character on the so-'90s teen drama My So-Called Life, where we first saw Jared Leto’s intensity and multi-disciplined talents as an actor and musician, playing a high-school kid as a 23-year-old. Speaking of his musicianship, surely a good chunk of his impressive $40 million net worth comes from his successful prog-rock band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. So, now 44, he’s been around for a long time doing some pretty amazing things and clearly making some pretty amazing cash.
The latest amazing thing he’s done is the big screen's latest take on The Joker, after iconic live-action performances in the past from the likes of Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero. That performance came in this summer’s Suicide Squad, despite his relatively brief screen time. Hopefully, we’ll see even more of the Best Actor Oscar-winner (Dallas Buyers Club) as The Joker in Justice League and a potential Suicide Squad 2.
5 AMY ADAMS (LOIS LANE): $50 MILLION
It’s kind of surprising that Amy Adams has out-earned Jared Leto in her career, considering how much longer Leto has been around and the fact that he has two incomes (movies and music). Nevertheless, Adams comes in at a tidy $50 million. Surely a good chunk of that has come from her turn as hard-nosed journalist/damsel in distress Lois Lane in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, plus a role in the upcoming Justice League.
We first saw her in the 1999 pageant parody Drop Dead Gorgeous in a supporting role, and she continued to make a name with her comedy chops on TV during a guest run on The Office and on the big screen in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, not to mention her Oscar-nominated turn in 2005’s Junebug. She’s gone on to be a practically perennial Oscar nominee, with a total of five noms under her belt – a good way to become one of the highest-paid actresses in the biz.
4 BEN AFFLECK (BATMAN): $85 MILLION
Ben Affleck recently made our list of the highest-paid actors of 2016, and the biggest reason for that had to be his salary for playing the iconic “world’s greatest detective” Batman in Batman v Superman. “Batfleck” is set to become arguably the most significant character in the DCEU. He had a small role in Suicide Squad, but appears to be the man assembling the Justice League in the trailer for the film of the same name. After that, we imagine he’ll have a major role in Justice League Part 2, and he’s set to both direct and star in a solo Batman movie.
It’s no secret where Affleck’s vast fortune comes from. He’s been starring in blockbusters since he first became a pop culture phenomenon, winning an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay with buddy Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting in 1998, a film in which he also had a supporting role. Sure, he’s been notoriously hit-and-miss, but overall, things have worked out rather well for him, and the fact that he’s become a critically-acclaimed director and Oscar-winning producer (Argo) only adds to his fortune. He’s also on board as an executive producer for Justice League and the Batman movie, so a ton of back-end cash will surely be unloaded into his bank account from those in the coming years.
3 RUSSELL CROWE (JOR-EL): $95 MILLION
Oscar-winner Russell Crowe doesn’t have a massive role in the DCEU, but he’s in there, and his net worth is pretty massive, at $95 million. He plays Superman’s biological father, Jor-El, in Man of Steel. If you know anything about Superman lore, it’s not exactly a spoiler to say Jor-El dies during the destruction of his home planet, so it’s unlikely he’ll reprise the role in a future film, unless it’s in some sort of flashback.
It’s not difficult to figure out how Crowe has raked in his massive fortune. After breaking out in 1997’s L.A. Confidential, he took on all comers in Gladiator three years later and became an Oscar-winning megastar. After the gargantuan success of that film, he routinely took home salaries between $15 and $20 million for films like A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Robin Hood. It’s tough to say if the 52-year-old Aussie makes a ton of cash from his music career, but it’s a long-standing side project for him. In fact, it dates all the way back to the '80s, when he wrote a song called “I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando,” which is exactly what he’d go on to do, as an Oscar winner who portrayed Jor-El (Brando played him in the original Christopher Reeve Superman movie).
2 KEVIN COSTNER (JONATHAN KENT): $150 MILLION
Kevin Costner was one of the biggest stars in the world in the late '80s and early '90s, thanks to hits from The Untouchables to Field of Dreams to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to Dances with Wolves. He also directed the latter Oscar-winning film, which led to gigantic budget opportunities with movies that subsequently flopped like Waterworld and The Postman. To borrow a '90s phrase, mo money, mo problems, right?
Nevertheless, he made a boatload of cash even as he transitioned out of the blockbuster game in the aughts. That is, until he appeared as Kal-El’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel, humbly raising the man who would become Superman. Costner also popped up briefly in Batman v Superman, but it would appear his time in the DCEU may be up. But it’s not just movies that have helped Costner roll in dough. He’s also made some good cash developing oil separation machines, of all things.
1 WILL SMITH (DEADSHOT): $260 MILLION
While Will Smith certainly doesn’t play the biggest household-name character in the DCEU, he’s by far the richest actor in it, with a net worth of $110 million more than the last actor on our list, Kevin Costner. In the DCEU, he’s not Batman or Superman or even a notorious supervillain like Lex Luthor or The Joker. But he is the top-billed actor in Suicide Squad and the de facto leader of the titular team, as the gun-for-hire Deadshot. There are no current official plans for a return to the DCEU at the moment, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we assumed he wouldn’t be back as the gifted assassin at some point.
It’s no secret how Smith has made over a quarter of a billion dollars in showbiz. After busting out playing a hilarious version of himself on the long-running sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the early '90s, the man who is one half of the rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince became arguably the most bankable star in Hollywood, seemingly starring in a gigantic blockbuster every year, igniting hugely successful franchises like Men in Black and Bad Boys. Outside of his action-comedies, he’s earned a couple of Oscar nominations, he’s become a film producer, and he surely also made some good cash from his music career. Cleary, “moving with [his] auntie and uncle in Bel-Air” was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Who do you think will be the richest actor in the DCEU when all is said and done? Let us know in the comments.
Wonder Woman is slated for release on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash and the Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.