Little-known sci-fi fact: The incredibly small fee Lucas got paid for his first sci-fi movie

Sure, in many ways he's the father of modern sci-fi cinema, but before that, George Lucas wasn't exactly what you'd call a top-tier earner.

Before Star Wars, there was THX 1138, a Lucas-written/directed dystopian sci-fi flick that starred Robert Duvall. And while Lucas's 1984-esque take on the future has been lauded as a sci-fi masterpiece (even now it sports 90% on Rotten Tomatoes), it didn't exactly make George a millionaire overnight.

Want proof? Warner Bros.' corporate archive was opened recently, and in it there was quite an unexpected find -- a payroll memo showing exactly how much Lucas was paid for the 1971 classic and in what installments. Let's see how he made out, shall we?

$2,500! Now, that may not sound like much, and in George Lucas terms it sure isn't, but there are two things worth noting here. For one, if we take inflation into account, that $2,500 is the equivalent of more than $14,000 today. The other thing of note is the job description -- writer. Lucas did also direct this picture, so chances are he was paid for that as well.

Still, it's cool to see the humble beginnings of the man who would go on to create one of the greatest film trilogies of all time.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)


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