Earlier this year, the Black Widow stand alone movie was confirmed when Cate Shortland was announced as director and now it seems that Marvel are set to break down the “pay barrier” to secure their star.

Scarlett Johansson, who has appeared in six movies as Black Widow, is set to take home a $15 million payday for the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That salary is the same as what Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth earned for playing Captain America and Thor, in Avengers: Infinity War. Evans and Hemsworth also nabbed that same salaries for Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok, respectively, as well as the upcoming fourth Avengers film.

Marvel isn’t known for opening up its chequebook for first outings, with Robert Downey Jr. taking home $500,000 for the first Iron Man. Johansson pulled down about a low-seven figure salary for the first Avengers movie in 2012 (compared to Downey’s $50 million) after making her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Though there has been some exceptions, with Chadwick Boseman bagging a seven-figure paycheck to star in Black Panther (rumoured to be $2 million, which well tops Downey’s first showing). Brie Larson, whose Oscar win for 2015’s Room was apparently considered when negotiating her deal, will be paid in the region of $5 million for next year’s Captain Marvel (in exchange for a generous deal, she has signed a seven-picture deal that locks her into multiple franchises.)

While the numbers would be astronomical, even debilitating, for most studios people, it does make sense when figuring in the appeal of Marvel movies, now over 10 years into their cinematic universe. While the star salaries account for more than $100 million of Infinity War’s budget, the studio can rest easy knowing that each Avengers movie easily crosses the $1 billion worldwide mark, with Infinity War breaking the $2 billion mark.

While THR posted the news and claim it came from trusted sources, a Marvel spokesperson, in response to this story, said in a statement: “Marvel Studios disputes the accuracy of these numbers, and as a matter of policy, we never publicly disclose salaries or deal terms.”

Are you excited for the Black Widow film? What stories or characters do you think should be in the film?