It sure sounds like it. Granted, Josh Brolin is a good actor, and deserves all the accolades he got for “No Country for Old Men”. I haven’t seen “W.”, but from what I’ve seen, he seems to have nailed Dubya. Or at least, the caricature of Dubya that we’ve been spoon fed by the late-night comedians over the years. But are Hollywood suits really dumb enough to think that a suddenly hot actor is capable of making all the decisions on a big-budget movie? Maybe, maybe not. With more maybe than the maybe not, considering that Hollywood is such a star-driven machine, and someone who has become as suddenly desirable as Brolin could, possibly, manage to even get the writers and would-be directors of a movie kicked off the team if he said the right things to the right people.
So what were those right things? It might have been what Brolin told MTV a few days ago about the script for “Jonah Hex”, written by the “Crank” duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who, coincidence would have it, have just recently departed the project due to “creative differences”.
“When I first read it I thought, oh my God it’s awful!” Brolin exclaimed to MTV News. “And then I had a moment a week later and I thought why is it awful? Maybe the thing to do is to do the most awful movie I can find.”
Ouch. Can you imagine a studio suit obsessed with the idea of being able to say, “We’re doing a Josh Brolin movie, it’s gonna be big!” to other fellow studio suits hearing that? Let me assure you this: his first thought isn’t, “Hmm, maybe Josh Brolin is wrong?”
But wait, there’s more! As if kicking the “Crank” boys in the family jewels wasn’t enough, Brolin started in on their shins soon after:
According to Brolin, it’s the zaniness of the story that attracts him to the project. “[I love] the absurdity of it,” he said. “It almost allows you to create a new genre. I love going back into the spaghetti western idea and completely turning it around.”
When pressed further if and when he plans on making an official announcement regarding taking the role, Brolin replied, “Soon. In the last couple months I’ve been going back and forth about it. I went back to my gut. Is it a sell out? What is it I like about this movie? … It’s so tongue in cheek. It’s so ridiculous. But once I started putting people in my mind and saying what if I put Malkovich in this role then what does this movie become? Now let’s put this producer and director on it and think about how it plays out. Then it becomes fun. Now I love that movie. If you have a great filmmaker come in then suddenly these gags and characters become interesting.”
Translation: “Hey, Hollywood suits, you want me in this movie? You do what I say, and what I say is that this movie stinks until you clean house and let me bring my own people in. And oh, by the way, I want a huge pay-or-play deal where you pay me even if, two years from now, I’m still bitching about how this thing isn’t right, and we can’t shoot it as is. Got that?”
Of course, I could be wrong. Just don’t ask Mark Neveldine or Brian Taylor. You don’t badmouth an actor who has suddenly just developed enough clout to get you fired off a movie just by talking about it in the press. But hey, that’s Hollywood for ya. Enough people tell you you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, you start to believe it.
Below: “Look, Jason, it’s that Josh guy. You think he’ll be cool to work with?”