Will Smith was paid $40 million for his role in the upcoming HBO Max biographical drama film, King Richard.
The film, based on a true story, follows Richard Williams (Smith), the father of Venus and Serena Williams, who coaches his daughters to become two of the most prominent tennis stars in the world.
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who is best known for Monsters and Men, King Richard stars Jon Bernthal, Dylan McDermott, Tony Goldwyn, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, and Demi Singleton.
Since his breakout role on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air in the 1990s, Smith has worked steadily in Hollywood and has become one of the most recognizable actors in the world.
Starring in everything from comedies to action flicks to serious dramas, Smith has proven himself an actor of great range (even if he’s never won an Oscar).
After it was announced in 2019 that Smith had signed on to star in King Richard, a bidding war ensued for the rights to the film from which Warner Bros. emerged the winner. The movie was filmed in Los Angeles during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and prevented Smith from reprising his role as Deadshot in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
In a recent article by Variety detailing the biggest movie star salaries for recent projects, it was revealed that Smith’s salary for his role in King Richard was $40 million. This figure is noticeably higher than the typical paycheck for a movie star in a big project, which currently sits at around $20 million.
Smith isn’t at the top of the list in terms of salary, but he does sit comfortably above the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, and Brad Pitt.
The only other actors to earn more than Smith are Dwayne Johnson and Daniel Craig, who tops out the list at $100 million for Knives Out 2 and 3.