‘The Ice Road’: How Much Did Liam Neeson Get Paid for Netflix’s Action Thriller?

The Ice Road is one of Netflix‘s latest original films. It debuted on the streaming platform in June 2021 and spent some time in the top 10 on the streaming giant, despite some very critical reviews. Its cast included one actor who has made a name for himself in over-the-top action: Liam Neeson. From memes to Netflix originals, Neeson has become synonymous with action. The Irish actor has starred in numerous films, with many of them in recent years especially being somewhat corny action movies with almost ridiculous plot lines. So how much Neeson was paid for The Ice Road? Although there’s no real way of knowing, some educated guesses can be made.

‘The Ice Road’ starts with a bang

Liam Neeson on 'The Ice Road'
‘The Ice Road’: Liam Neeson as Mike, Amber Midthunder as Tantoo. | Netflix

The Ice Road begins with a mining accident — an explosion — in the frozen reaches of northern Canada, and the only equipment available to dig the trapped miners out needs to be transported along a treacherous ice road. Neeson plays Mike McCann, who would like to retire but needs the money. 

In an odd twist, the substantial amount of money the drivers will be paid for the trip will be allocated to the survivors, if any of the drivers die. Add in some unscrupulous mining executives and drivers after all of the money, and it’s not the ice road that’s the treacherous part of the journey. 

Initial reviews called it completely unrealistic and even contrived, but that seems to be a common theme for some of Neeson’s recent outings. 

How much did Liam Neeson get paid for ‘The Ice Road’?

Netflix picked up the action flick for $18 million, according to Deadline. Apparently, other platforms were interested, but Netflix beat them out in the record deal. They only saw a promo, but with both Neeson and Laurence Fishburne starring, that was perhaps all they needed to see to drop millions of dollars on The Ice Road

Critics at IndieWire, though, found that The Ice Road was “mildly refreshing,” but ultimately forgettable. The twists are odd, and the critics found it unfortunate that the actual ice road didn’t play more of a role as a man vs. nature antagonist. Instead, the movie rushes toward a confrontation that ultimately, while fun to watch because it’s Neeson beating up bad guys, isn’t what the movie could have been.

Jonathan Hensleigh directed The Ice Road. He previously worked on movies like Die Hard with a Vengeance and Armageddon. Over-the-top action seems to be his genre. The movie also stars Amber Midthunder.

Critics say that Neeson himself is the saving grace of this movie, and it’s clear the actor enjoys this type of lower-budget, but ultimately fun, action flick. It’s impossible to find out exactly how much Liam Neeson was paid for The Ice Road, but with a paycheck of $18 million attached to the film, it wasn’t just pocket change. 

Neeson himself has a net worth of $145 million, which makes him one of the richest actors alive, according to Wealthy Gorilla

Neeson has a couple more movies ‘in the pipeline’

Neeson turns 69 in 2021. He’s been the lead on movies like The Commuter, Run All Night, and Non-Stop, which are all similar to The Ice Road. With over-the-top action and unrealistic storylines, Neeson has cemented a place for himself as the go-to actor for these types of movies. 

Neeson seems to enjoy this type of fun action. He told the Daily Mail that there’s “a couple more” that he’d like to do, and that they are “in the pipeline.” After that, he says he’d like to be done. That will “probably be it,” Neeson says. 

It would be the end of an era, for certain, when Neeson does hang it up, but he has treated us to some fun action romps in the last few years.

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