Leonardo DiCaprio earned $30 million for his performance in Don’t Look Up. Coming off past critical successes like 2015’s The Big Short and 2018’s Vice, Don’t Look Up will be the third politically-conscious film from writer/director Adam McKay, who was previously known for directing various Will Ferrell comedies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence receiving top billing, Don’t Look Up has truly assembled one of the most astonishing ensemble casts in recent memory, which includes Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Chris Evans, and many more.
Billed as a social satire, Don’t Look Up follows two low-level astronomers (DiCaprio and Lawrence) who must embark on a global media tour in an attempt to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy Earth. The first look at the film came when Netflix teased their 2021 movie slate in a sizzle reel offering a brief look at the two stars in character. A teaser trailer for Don’t Look Up aired recently during the Tokyo Olympics, yet the trailer has curiously not been released elsewhere online. In the meantime, some interesting details about the film were recently unearthed.
As part of Variety‘s all-encompassing report on the biggest movie stars’ salaries, it has been revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio was paid $30 million for Don’t Look Up, just a tick above his co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who earned $25 million. DiCaprio’s salary is right on par with what Mark Wahlberg received for another Netflix exclusive, last year’s Spenser Confidential.
Today, the Hollywood landscape has drastically changed due to the advent of streaming. Now, a movie star is no longer strictly judged by whether or not their film secured the top spot at the box office, but by streaming numbers and other digital quantifications. In fact, actors are now able to earn more by ditching theatrical-only releases in favor of streaming. This is evidenced by the two highest salaries of the year, Dwayne Johnson and Daniel Craig, which were from the Amazon and Netflix exclusive releases Red One and the Knives Out sequels.
Following his grueling performance in The Revenant, which netted DiCaprio his long-overdue first Academy Award, the thespian took a short break from acting to recoup and produce his climate change documentary Before the Flood, before returning to the screen for another acclaimed performance in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. Following another break due to COVID-19, DiCaprio is poised for a big 2021 with McKay’s apocalyptic comedy and then Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon to follow, which might not be ready until next year. DiCaprio’s payday for Don’t Look Up is just the latest reminder he is one of the greatest actors working today.