Josh Brolin Says He "Still Owes" Everyone He Recruited for Jonah Hex, "We Made a Big Mistake"

The state of comic book movies in the late 2000s was a difficult time, as X-Men and Spider-Man kicked off the decade with the promise of what could be done in that arena, with studios quick to cash in on the genre without investing in the best approaches to various characters. One such character was DC's Jonah Hex, and despite tapping Josh Brolin to bring the character to life, the film ended up being a critical and financial disappointment, with Brolin himself recently reflecting on his regrets over the project, which includes the regret over bringing several talented people into the fray to suffer the backlash of the underwhelming experience.

"It was not successful creatively or monetarily. I mean, everybody knows how I feel about Jonah Hex. 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,'" Brolin recalled to Variety. "And then you meet somebody who has a lot of knowledge, [director] 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 [Martin] Scorsese movies or this or that. He would be out partying instead." 

He continued, "And not that I had a ton of pull then, but I brought in Megan [Fox,] who I thought was perfect for that role. 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? 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, f-ck, I still owe these people. Michael Shannon was in it, he was cut out. We just asked Michael to do George and Tammy because I pulled out of it, and he took my place and was amazing in it. 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."

Brolin went on to recall how this wasn't the only of his films that suffered some challenges and conflicts with studios, as his Old Boy remake was another disappointment that he feels is due to studio interference.

"And then the studio took it over and every time that's happened, in my experience, it has only gotten worse," the actor expressed. "They did it with Old Boy with Spike Lee. I thought Spike's cut was actually way better than the studio's, but the studio took it away and I thought they'd cut it very poorly and I thought it ended up having the opposite effect. 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."

Jonah Hex would go on to appear in The CW's DC's Legends of Tomorrow, as played by Johnathan Schaech.

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