BRINGING Big Little Lies back to the small screen has an eye-watering price-tag attached to it.
In a piece published by The Hollywood Reporter, it's been revealed that season two of the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning miniseries is going to be more expensive than anyone was anticipating.
According to the report, Zoe Kravitz, who made $470,000 for her work on season one, will be getting a massive pay increase for season two; she's now said to be raking in $3.7 million for reprising her role. Shailene Woodley is also said to be getting a substantial pay raise from her $2.1 million season one paycheck.
The most interesting paycheck news, though, is what Big Little Lies' biggest stars - Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman - are being paid. Sources claim that the two actors received $310,000 and $435,000 per season one episode, respectively, as well as executive producer credits and points on the show's back end.
Those credits and points are staying for season two, but it's rumoured that these two actors will also "get around $1.2 million an episode" for the show's second season. A big (not big little) congratulations goes to Kravitz, Woodley, Witherspoon, and Kidman. Suspiciously missing from this dollar-filled announcement is Laura Dern, but hopefully her shocking paycheck story is coming.
So why is this new season so expensive? Part of the problem has to do with Big Little Lies' status as a miniseries. Because all of the actors only committed to seven episodes of this project, all of their contracts had to be renegotiated when HBO decided to pursue a season two.
Add in that fact that Reese Witherspoon's massive Apple paycheck from her new show with Jennifer Aniston drove up the salaries for all of these actors, and HBO walked into the perfect, hyper-expensive storm. The untitled Apple series is reportedly paying each of its two leads $1.55 million per episode, which drove up the price that HBO had to pay to secure their services for season two.
"It's not a shock to anybody that having a second season of an ongoing series is easier to have with those deals in place," HBO programming president Casey Bloys said in the THR article.
"Every outlet has to make their own decisions about economics that make sense for them. I'm not going to shake my fist and say, 'Darn it, Apple!' If that's what made sense for them for that show, God bless."
Netflix and Amazon have already proven that they're willing and able to throw a lot of money at big projects in an attempt to dominate the market. Apple's step into the world of prestige TV further cements the fact that networks and streaming services will have to pay a lot more for big stars to grace the small screen.
This story originally appeared in Decider and is republished here with permission.