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Josh Brolin Is Done 'Sh***ing On' the 'Jonah Hex' Director

By Dustin Rowles | Film | February 28, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | February 28, 2024 |


From our review of Jonah Hex in 2010:

At a paltry 81-minute run time, you don’t have time to enjoy yourself. It’s like the studio gave up halfway through, which was about a half-hour past when the cast stopped caring. It’s a terrible cowpat minefield of a film, but what do you really expect when you get a flick scribbled haphazardly by the verbal equivalent of 5-hour Energy Drink, Neveldine and Taylor. The script reads like someone tried to make a movie out of the lyrics to Kid Rock and Big & Rich songs. If this were a horse, you’d shoot it … If you’re some kind of asshole, you might want to draw comparison to The Quick and the Dead, but [director] Jimmy Hayward couldn’t hold Sam Raimi’s spittoon.

Jonah Hex went down as one of the century’s biggest flops, right along with Cats and R.I.P.D., although both of those films at least earned over $75 million worldwide. Jonah Hex earned $11 million. Globally. This is despite a cast that included Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and John Malkovich.

For many years, Josh Brolin — who put that film together — blamed its director, Jimmy Hayward, but while Brolin will never “stop shitting on Jonah Hex because it was a shitty fucking movie!” he’s decided to soften his approach with Jimmy Hayward, as he tells GQ. Brolin takes some responsibility for the film’s failures, too, even though most of that responsibility he says comes in the form of his decision to hire Jimmy Hayward (he said he was given only two weeks to choose a director).

The real reason, it seems, is that Jimmy Hayward is a person with feelings who also has cancer, and Brolin is no longer interested in dragging him. From GQ:

They recently reconnected; Hayward apologized for his part in the mess, then revealed that he’s been in and out of the hospital with an agonizing form of bone cancer, which has required multiple facial reconstructive surgeries.

“It reminded me [that] you can’t just keep shitting on somebody. I don’t know what the fuck’s going on in his life. I mean, total facial reconstruction, the whole thing.”

Sometimes it’s hard to forget that directors — even not great ones — are people, too, and after 15 years, it’s OK to let go of those grudges.