Four years before he joined the MCU as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, Josh Brolin headlined his own comic book movie based on DC’s western hero, Jonah Hex. The 2010 film took several liberties with Hex, including giving him a supernatural ability to speak with the dead that was never a part of the comics. And despite its modest $47 million dollar budget, it bombed with only around $11 million worldwide.
During a recent interview with Variety, Brolin was very frank about where he felt the movie went wrong. In his mind, Brolin feels that he made a mistake when selecting Jimmy Hayward to direct Jonah Hex.
“Everybody knows how I feel about Jonah Hex,” said Brolin. “But the biggest thing with Jonah Hex is rushing into hiring somebody. I remember Jeff Robinov, who I’m still close with, who was running Warner Brothers at the time and he was like, ‘look, you’ve got to get a director in the next two weeks, otherwise we’ve got to can this thing.’ And then you meet somebody who has a lot of knowledge, Jimmy Hayward, and I remember it didn’t feel right. I loved that he was excited, but he just didn’t have the experience and he didn’t treat it like I would imagine somebody would want to treat it — to run back to their house at the end of their every day and watch tonal inspirations and Scorsese movies or this or that. He would be out partying instead.”
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Brolin also lamented that the cast that he helped assemble wasn’t given a movie worthy of their efforts.
“Not that I had a ton of pull then, but I brought in Megan [Fox,] who I thought was perfect for that role,” recalled Brolin. “Maybe not the best actress at that moment, but for that type of parody, forget it. Her, at that moment? You couldn’t do better than that. And [Michael] Fassbender? One of our best actors, who had done Shame and Hunger, are you kidding me? [John] Malkovich, who had just been ripped off by Bernie Madoff, and we’re asking him to do it for a third of his price. He said yes. I mean… I still owe these people… So the intention was there, I just think we made a big mistake with the director — not to blame it all at him, because that was my choice, that was my bad choice.”
Additionally, Brolin noted that the studio’s cut of the film didn’t help things at all.
“The studio took it over and every time that’s happened, in my experience, it has only gotten worse,” said Brolin. “That’s what happens when you start cutting to this idea of pandering for an audience, and how testing can bite you in the ass. You don’t know what the audience is going to want. Jonah Hex was them taking the movie back and saying, how can we make this the most accessible movie? And they ended up making the least accessible movie.”
What do you think about Brolin’s reflections on Jonah Hex? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Jonah Hex: Shadows West
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