The pay disparity debate continues in Hollywood, and it's getting louder with each new movie that comes down the pipeline pairing a couple of very popular actors. The problem is when they are of the opposite sex, and the male is netting way more than the female. Sometimes this is justified. But some folks are questioning the latest news that The Rock is going to cash a bigger check than Emily Blunt when it comes to Disney's live-action ride adaptation Jungle Cruise.
Dwayne Johnson is one of Hollywood's biggest leading men in every sense of the word. And he has strived hard to be on the tip top of the A list. All that hard work is paying off, as he's cashing a pretty thick check for his work as a steam boat captain in next year's Jungle Cruise. Playing a greased-up hunk named Frank who knows his way around the Amazon river, The Rock is getting $22 million for his troubles.
That sounds great on the surface, but there's some rumbling of a huge pay disparity with co-star Emily Blunt, who, from what we know about the movie, is just as much a part of the action as her male co-star. The pair are sharing lead role duties, though Blunt is only taking home $9 million for her part. That means The Rock is getting an extra $13 million. Is this fair?
Some will argue yes, and some will argue no. At 46, The Rock has quite a bit of big screen experience under his belt and has worked his rocks off getting to where he is. But Blunt isn't just some geek of the street. At 35, She's just as acclaimed as her co-star, and in just 2018 alone, starred in two of the biggest movies of the year, with a co-lead in A Quiet Place, and the lead in the long anticipated Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns.
Dwayne Johnson is a huge box office success, and has continued to prove his popularity with fans. His Fast and Furious movies are always huge earners, though there he is part of an ensemble. His Jumanji sequel also broke the box office this time last year, but again, he was part of an all-star ensemble. Left to his own devices, his action thriller Skyscraper faltered at the box office, and Baywatch was a big wet bomb. So he's not without his faults. The WWE Superstar turned actor belted up a solid $120 million for the year, coming in as the second highest paid thespian in Hollywood. He also just received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, something Blunt has not secured at this time.
That said, Blunt is a powerhouse on the awards circuit, and it's unlikely we'll be seeing The Rock pick up an Oscar or Golden Globe any time soon. She has locked in Critics Choice, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards, and there is heavy talk that she may score an Academy Award nomination for her work as Mary Poppins. But apparently these honors do not make her as bankable as Dwayne Johnson, who will next be seen in the WWE biopic on Superstar Paige called Fighting With My Family.
Pay disparity is as old as the Hollywood hills, but it has been shoved more into the spotlight with the #MeToo movement taking off last year. Most recently, Black-Ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross found herself in a fight to be paid the same as her on-screen co-star Anthony Anderson when it came time for contract renegotiations. What we don't hear about are times when the female leads make more than their male co-stars, but those instances are few and far between. Disney's Jungle Cruise will sail into theaters on July 24, 2020. This was first reported at The Jasmine Brand.