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“I had Dwayne Johnson on board”: Director Reveals Career Disaster by Turning Down $464M X-Men Movie for The Rock Film That Made Only $374,000

"I had Dwayne Johnson on board": Director Reveals Career Disaster by Turning Down $464M X-Men Movie for The Rock Film That Made Only $374,000

Over the past two decades of his acting career, Dwayne Johnson has given multiple hits and some films that did not make it big at the box office. One of the films that the actor himself describes as “disastrous” and many describe as a “weirdo masterpiece” is the 2006 black comedy Southland Tales. Directed by Richard Kelly and starring an ensemble cast, including Seann William Scott, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake, and many others, the movie failed to make a mark.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

During an interview with Cinemablend, the director of the film shared that he gave up working on the 2006 X-Men movie to work on Southland Tales. While the film has gained a cult-like following over the years, at the time of its release, it ended up failing miserably among the critics and its audience.

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Director Turned Down an X-Men Movie For Dwayne Johnson

Richard Kelly was allegedly the frontrunner to direct the 2006 movie X-Men: The Last Stand. The director himself confirmed the news during an interview with Cinemablend. He shared that he was set to direct the X-Men film, but had to turn it down due to Dwayne Johnson’s 2006 film. He said,

“I did have a meeting on that project, and I think I was definitely very much in the running. That was an opportunity that I could have aggressively pursued.” 

Richard Kelly
Richard Kelly

However, he was working with the Baywatch star in Southland Tales and was hesitant to leave the film. He shared that not only Johnson, but multiple actors had already committed to the film. And he did not want to leave the project in between.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

“I mean, I had Dwayne on board, and I was not going to turn my back on him, ever,” he said. Kelly also shared that despite the “rollercoaster ride” of the 2006 film, he is grateful to work on the movie. Southland Tales follows movie star Boxer Santaros, who plans his next film in a dystopian Los Angeles.

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Dwayne Johnson Describes Southland Tales as Disastrous

The Dwayne Johnson starter Southland Tales premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival prior to its release, which was met with plenty of boos at the film festival. Critics described the film as “the biggest, ugliest mess” and the reception led the director to shorten the final cut for its theatrical release.

Southland Tales (2006)
Southland Tales (2006)

And years after the release of the movie, its lead star also admitted that the film was “disastrous.” He said in a tweet, “Disastrous is an understatement.” He further mentioned that he is grateful for the few “hard-earned career lessons” he learned after starring in the 2006 film.

During an interview, the Jumanji star also shared that seeing the negative reception for the film was really hurtful, as the whole cast believed that the film could do so much better. Still, Southland Tales managed to earn over $370 million at the box office on a $17 million budget.

Southland Tales is available on Prime Video.

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Source: Cinemablend

Written by Laxmi Rajput

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.