The $7 million man
Talk about your two-income households. First Goldie Hawn lands a $30 million, seven-movie deal with Disney. And now Kurt Russell reportedly is commanding $7 million for Stargate, a sci-fi opus set to film in September.
Russell’s salary is well above his usual $2 million asking price — and he wasn’t even first or second choice.
Initially, Hexagon Films offered Sean Connery $12 million to play the movie’s Indiana Jones-style archaeologist, sources say. When he declined, the producers called on Wesley Snipes, Connery’s costar in the upcoming Rising Sun and, like him, a Creative Artists Agency client. But Snipes passed on a rumored $9 million offer, not wanting to follow his next film, Demolition Man (in which he teams with Sylvester Stallone), with another action-adventure.
When French-based Hexagon came calling on Russell with a $2 million offer, his agents insisted he was worth as much as Snipes. And how did they know what Snipes had been offered? Perhaps because Russell is also a CAA client.
Many think $7 million may be too high a price to pay for an actor whose last film, 1992’s Captain Ron, earned only $22 million. ”You hire someone for a lot of money because he opens your picture,” says producer Edward Feldman (Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Forever Young). ”If you wind up paying a lot for someone who doesn’t mean anything at the box office — and there are only about eight people who do — you got snookered.” Rick Nicita, Russell’s agent, confirms the actor’s involvement in Stargate but would respond only with a cryptic ”maybe” when asked about the $7 million.