It’s been over five years since DC Comics / Warner Bros. Jonah Hex failed spectacularly on the big screen, but for some folks involved with the production, that result still stings. I’m specifically talking about Josh Brolin, who infamously played the title comic book character, a disfigured antihero bounty hunter living in 19th century America. The film, initially written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank), landed in the unsure hands of Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who) when the directing duo departed the picture a few months before the scheduled production start. With production delays, script rewrites, reshoots shot by Francis Lawrence and a ballooning budget, Jonah Hex ultimately flopped, bringing in just under $11 million worldwide after costing an estimated $80 million.
So in a wide-ranging chat with Nerdist (via The Playlist), Brolin spoke openly about his reaction to the poorly performing film, the drama that went on behind the scenes, and how he would have done things differently. By the end of this chat, you might just want to launch a Kickstarter for Brolin to direct his own version of Jonah Hex.
Right out of the gates, Brolin doesn’t pull any punches in talking about his experience on the film after being complimented on always playing his characters straight:
“Oh, ‘Jonah Hex,’ hated it. Hated it. The experience of making it — that would have been a better movie based on what we did. As opposed to what ended up happening to it, which is going back and reshooting 66 pages in 12 days and that being…
Far from simply complaining about a failed film and a bad experience shooting it, Brolin elaborated on why he originally signed on and what he would have done differently:
“Listen, I understand it’s financiers, you’re trying to save their money and it becomes a financial thing, but if — there’s this thing called revenge trading. And I’m disciplined enough to know you never do it. But with ‘Jonah Hex,’ if I had $5 million — which is always how I saw that movie.
I remember when I was talking to Warner Bros. about doing that movie, ‘High Plains Drifter’ is what I put on the TV, I said, ‘That’s what I wanna do.’ I would do that movie still. If I ever had the balls to spend $5 million, which I don’t, I would do that movie, ’cause that’s the version of that movie that would have been successful, for sure. And it didn’t need to cost anything more than $8-$10 million.”
I have a hard time believing Brolin doesn’t have a spare $5 million on hand, though I do understand the reluctance to pony up that amount of cash while the specter of the previous film’s failure hangs over his head like a gallows noose. So while we wait for Brolin to launch his own version of Jonah Hex, fans of the character can start watching The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, where Johnathon Schaech will step into the bounty hunter’s boots sooner than later.
Find out more on that version of Jonah Hex at the links below:
- ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Star Johnathon Schaech Puts Jonah Hex’s Guns on Display
- ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Finds Its Jonah Hex
- ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Will Bring in Jonah Hex Later This Season