Harrison Ford could make more than $34m (£23m) for reprising his role as Han Solo in the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Ford’s galactic payday is based on a $25m upfront payment – placing the 73-year-old star in the very top echelon of Hollywood earners – backed up by a 0.5% share of the film’s gross earnings, which could be worth another $9m if the film hits $2bn at the global box office. The basic figure is more than 56 times the $450,000 flat fee received by British newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley – who will also start to receive a cut once the film grosses $1bn worldwide – and crucially, 17 times the $1.5m sum Carrie Fisher is due to receive for returning to the role of Leia Organa.
If The Force Awakens does make that kind of money – some are tipping the new episode to break Avatar’s $2.7bn all-time world record – Ford would find himself catapulted into the top 10 highest-paid annual earners list, with only six actors having earned more than $34m during the most recent year on record (2014-15) tallied by Forbes magazine.
“Harrison is the key to making this movie work,” a Disney source said. “He’s the link between the old generation and the new. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were good to get, but the film could have lived without them. You couldn’t make it without Harrison Ford.”
However, according to the Mail, Ford’s fee could eventually be dwarfed by the sum received by Abrams. The Star Trek director is reportedly on $5m plus a 2% share of gross earnings – meaning that, if The Force Awakens does break Avatar’s record, he would pick up almost $60m. The pay packet received by the 64-year-old Hamill to reprise his role as Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker has not been revealed.
Ford, who also received $1.5m in compensation from Disney after breaking his leg on set, is said to have picked up just $10,000 for his role as Solo in 1977’s Star Wars, which was the highest-grossing film of all time when it debuted in cinemas.
Despite the huge payouts if The Force Awakens smashes box-office records, Disney looks likely to make a large profit from the new episode. Abrams’s critically acclaimed film opened to a record $238m at the North American box office this weekend, and was just $7.9m short of Jurassic World’s all-time record global bow of $524.9m.