Over the years, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has had its fair share of actors joining the franchise, each bringing their unique style and charisma to their respective characters. While some of the biggest names in Hollywood have stepped into the world of DC, only a few have managed to command top dollar for their performances.
Actors such as Henry Cavill, Joaquin Phoenix, and Gal Gadot have brought iconic characters to life and have made millions for their hard work and talent. Whether it's for their lead performances in blockbuster films or for taking on more obscure characters, some DC actors have proven time and again that they are at the top of their game and deserve every penny they have earned.
Jason Momoa, Margot Robbie, and other top 8 highest paid DC actors of all time
1) Dwayne Johnson
After a decade-long pursuit, Dwayne Johnson finally got to play the lead in 2022's Black Adam. Despite the movie receiving mixed reviews, he expressed gratitude for the experience on Twitter. However, as per Variety, the actor got an impressive salary of $22.5 million.
He increased his earnings by serving as a producer on the film and promoting it via social media. This is considered to be the highest salary of any actor in the DCEU, and a Warner Bros. executive noted that if anyone justifies that salary, it should be an actor of Johnson's caliber.
2) Joaquin Phoenix
Phoenix played the lead in the film Joker in 2019, and his portrayal was a striking success that earned him the Oscar for best actor and $4.5 million, as reported by Variety. Despite the film's modest budget of $55 million, it grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
This success earned Phoenix a much larger amount for the sequel, Joker: Folie À Deux, with Variety reporting the salary to be $20 million. It remains to be seen if the sequel will live up to the massive profits of its predecessor and secure Phoenix an even bigger payout in the future.
3) Jason Momoa
The New York Post reported that Jason Momoa earned $3 million for his lead role as Aquaman in the 2018 film. This is more than what his co-stars Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot received for their first solo feature in DCEU.
Momoa is already a well-known figure globally for his role as Khal Drogo in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. The success of Aquaman, which grossed over $1 billion worldwide, allowed Momoa to renegotiate his deal for the sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. According to Variety, he earned $15 million for the upcoming film.
4) Will Smith
Will Smith joined DCEU as a highly established star known for commanding large salaries for his leading roles in blockbuster movies. He was reportedly paid $13 million for his role in Task Force X, as reported by Deadline.
While $13 million might seem modest compared to the $100 million Smith earned for Men in Black 3 four years ago, Smith has since gone on to make even higher salaries, receiving $35 million for Emancipation and $40 million for King Richard, according to Variety. Despite this, $13 million is a good payout, and taking creative risks is priceless.
5) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck made his DCEU debut as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With a successful acting career that includes films such as Good Will Hunting and Gone Girl, and an acclaimed directorial portfolio consisiting of The Town, Argo, and Gone Baby Gone, it's estimated that Affleck received an eight-figure salary for his first appearance in DCEU, according to Deadline.
He reportedly made $12.5 million for Suicide Squad, a lesser amount of screen time than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although this figure is considered standard for him in a feature film, Warner Bros. likely paid him above his standard rate to star opposite Henry Cavill. Regardless, it's safe to say that his salary was substantial.
6) Henry Cavill
In 2017, rumors swirled that Henry Cavill earned a stunning $14 million for his debut as Superman in the DCEU compared to Gal Gadot's $300,000. However, The Hollywood Reporter later revealed that both actors received similar salaries for their initial roles.
Before he became the Man of Steel, Cavill had only starred in smaller films like Stardust and Immortals. Despite this, his performance in Man of Steel skyrocketed his profile, allowing him to negotiate higher pay for future appearances as the superhero.
Although the exact salaries for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League have not been disclosed, it is believed that Cavill received an increase in earnings, similar to Gadot's $10 million for Wonder Woman.
7) Gal Gadot
Before playing Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot was known for her role as Gisele in the Fast & Furious franchise. She was relatively unknown until she landed the role of Diana of Themyscira in the DCEU, and her career took off.
Despite the success of Wonder Woman, which grossed $822 million globally, Gadot's starting salary was just $300,000, which is standard for a newcomer in the industry.
However, she received a substantial raise for the sequel Wonder Woman: 1984, earning $10 million, according to Vanity Fair. She also took on the producer role, which likely contributed to her salary increase.
8) Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie's salary for Suicide Squad has not been publicly confirmed, but based on her co-stars' salaries, it's believed to be in the seven-figure range. However, for Birds of Prey, her salary rose significantly.
Forbes confirmed that she was paid $10 million for her role as the offbeat queen of Gotham City. Moreover, she served as an executive producer for the film, giving her more creative control and a female-focused direction. It's estimated that she earned roughly $10 million for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad (2021).
9) Jared Leto
Jared Leto starred in the 2016 film Suicide Squad as the infamous Joker and received $7 million for his role. However, most of his scenes were cut, which resulted in less than eight minutes of screen time, equating to approximately $1,000,000 per minute.
Despite being absent in the recent Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad (2021), Leto had previously expressed interest in reprising his role and potentially adding millions more to his bank account as he made a cameo appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
10) Amy Adams
Accomplished actress Amy Adams was part of the Man of Steel cast as Lois Lane, where she received a seven-figure salary, according to Vulture, surpassing her co-star Henry Cavill's pay. Adams reprised her role as Lois Lane twice more in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and Zack Snyder's Justice League.
Moreover, Forbes listed her as one of the world's highest-paid actresses in 2017, earning $11.5 million. No salary information for her later DC films was released, but her earnings from Justice League can be estimated based on her past figures.
It's important to note that the figures mentioned are estimates and can differ based on factors like bonuses, back-end agreements, and other rewards. These numbers only reflect the actors' basic pay and don't encompass any extra earnings they might have received from other ventures or productions.