Scarlett Johansson looks to earn a record-breaking salary for her Black Widow movie role. Johansson is one of the longest running members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She began her superhero career in Iron Man 2 and has appeared in five MCU movies so far. She's already completed her role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, but those films won't mark the end of her MCU run either. Marvel Studios is finally moving forward with the solo Black Widow movie fans have long been asking for.
The biggest sign of intent came last week when it was revealed Jac Schaeffer is set to write the script for Black Widow. She and Johansson are set to meet in the coming weeks to discuss the film and craft the story. These developments happened without public knowledge of Johansson's MCU contract, but she presumably extended it for this solo outing. Not only that, but Marvel is set to make her the highest paid actress.
Daily Mail exclusively reports that Johansson's base salary for Black Widow is a record setting $25 million. This will be the biggest payday for a woman in a single film. Not only is Johansson guaranteed to take that record salary, but she reportedly has a $6M bonus in place. Said bonus will be awarded to Johansson if Black Widow earns more than $900M worldwide. That is a very high number, but according to Daily Mail's sources, Disney believes that the Black Widow solo film will outperform even Wonder Woman. Johansson is also reportedly working to get producer credit.
This is clearly an example of Disney putting their money where their mouth is, as it surely isn't coincidental they would make this gesture on a non-solo movie. Johansson has consistently been a highlight in many of her MCU appearances, but those have just been supporting roles. She is more than capable of leading her own film, and Johansson has proven to be a box office draw outside of the MCU. It is easy to see why Johansson will get such a big payday, especially after the success of Wonder Woman.
Speaking of Gal Gadot's DC solo movie, Disney looking at Black Widow as a potentially bigger film may be setting expectations too high. The MCU brand always carries a significant amount of weight at the box office, but Black Widow taking in $900M is still a high bar. None of Marvel Studios' 2017 movies eclipsed that number, so Johansson will need her solo film to have long legs and play well overseas to possibly hit the mark. That said, Black Widow won't be deemed a failure if it doesn't hit $900M.
Lastly, Johansson possibly getting a producer credit could be significant too. Marvel Studios has never given an actor producing credit on one of their films. The practice is not uncommon in Hollywood, but not regularly seen in superhero films or any big blockbusters really. If Johansson does get the producer credit too, it could make for just another layer of negotiations should the studio want to continue on with some of their other A-listers.
Black Widow is in development but does not have a release date.
Source: Daily Mail
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019