Will Smith wanted a $20 million payout to star in the upcoming live-action Dumbo adaptation, and Disney was unwilling to part with that much for the role, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film currently has Eva Green and Danny Devito on their roster, and is in talks with Colin Farrell (possibly about the role Smith turned down). Smith decided to find his $20 million elsewhere and instead signed on to star in Netflix’s Bright.
The Reporter also discusses Disney’s penchant for penny-pinching when casting for their live-action films. Emma Watson reportedly made only $3 million upon filming for Beauty and the Beast, with the possibility of making up to $15 million if the feature performs well. Given how it has performed so far, it would be surprising if Watson did not collect the full sum.
Disney is willing to part with Smith-levels of money if it makes sense to them though. Angelina Jolie reportedly made a similar $20 million for Maleficent, with a possible sequel in the future.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted one producer in regards to Disney’s casting decisions, who said, “The IP is the star of the movie. If you hired Jennifer Lawrence as Belle, would it really make a difference in the opening [of Beauty and the Beast]? Unlikely.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter