“Shut this sh*t down, get four more writers on it”: Charlize Theron Regrets Not Taking Tom Cruise’s Advice to Save $52M Sci-Fi Action That Nearly Killed Her Career

“Shut this sh*t down, get four more writers on it”: Charlize Theron Regrets Not Taking Tom Cruise’s Advice to Save $52M Sci-Fi Action That Nearly Killed Her Career

Charlize Theron is not someone to mess around with. Neither does she want to be taken lightly. For the actress who is a UN Peace Ambassador in real life and a defiant gun-toting, axe-wielding action hero in films, there is no turning back from the unassailable image she has created on the big screen ever since her role in Æon Flux.

The movie was a maker and a breaker of things: for one, it established Theron as an action star and despite failing to break even at the box office, destroyed her image as a supporting actress boxed in with romantic dramas. Now, as time goes on and the actress becomes even more of an unpredictable force of Hollywood gusto, Theron travels back to her roots and reveals it was not always the case for her, who had otherwise seemed pretty sure of herself and where she wanted to go up until then. 

Æon Flux
Æon Flux (1991-95)

Also read: “Oh my God, that’s so embarrassing”: Charlize Theron Struggles to Break the Curse of Getting Sick and Injured After Finishing Her Movies

Charlize Theron Talks Abot Æon Flux and Expectations

For those familiar with the world of action in animation, one of the obsessive works of television that garnered the attention of every teenager back in the 90s was Æon Flux. With a bold, brash, sensual, charged, and above all, amoral personality, the character populated the screens across the world to bring a drama-fueled animated sci-fi series about a mysterious secret agent who doles out swift and bloody justice, taking lives along the way like the Grim Reaper himself. For Charlize Theron, the show was meant as a refuge during a period of darkness in her life. 

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And so, when the opportunity did arise to star in the live-action adaptation of the widely popular sci-fi animated series, she grabbed it by the horns – although not quite in the right manner or for the right reasons. 

“It was one of the scariest things, to walk onto a set of a show that’s so developed and so brilliant. But I think I needed that, to put myself out there in a different way, because people thought of me as someone who was f–king depressing, like my mother shot my father. And I just fucking loved that show, and this is going to sound so ‘poor me,’ but I do feel like sometimes, as women, we get one shot and I knew that ‘Æon Flux’ was going to be a f–king flop. I knew it from the beginning, that’s why I did ‘Arrested Development.’”

Æon Flux
Charlize Theron in Æon Flux (2005)

Also read: Charlize Theron Gained 50lbs For Her Movie That Made Only $2,000,000 Profit at Box Office, Went Through Depression For Her Concerning Weight

Having had a few of her own motives invested in the development and production of the film, Theron not only walked in guns blazing to quell her own thirst and need for a place and a status in this expansive industry, but destroyed the possibility of a live-action remake of the series so viciously that it has been condemned to the bottom of the shelf, to not be considered worthy of a reboot or a sequel again – until 2018, at least. 

Teen Wolf series creator, Jeff Davis, announced the live-action reboot of the project which is expected to air on Paramount+. He will serve as the writer, director, and showrunner of the series, with a majority of the first season’s script having already been penned down. 

Charlize Theron Wants To Be More Like Tom Cruise

With the little knowledge that Charlize Theron possessed about the genre of action and the authority of producers, the South African actress destroyed the possibility of having her critically and correctly panned 2005 film worthy of a sequel for almost 2 decades. Peter Chung, the creator of the original animated series claimed he was left feeling “helpless, humiliated, and sad,” in the aftermath of the 2005 film, while Theron decisively stated, “We f—ed it all up.

However, with time, Theron began to grow familiar with the range of power and authority she could have wielded on set as a producer to prevent Æon Flux from sinking. 

“You fight until the bitter end. With that one, I don’t know if I had the answers for how to [fix it], but I definitely knew we were in trouble. I wasn’t a producer on it, and I didn’t really have the experience to say what I believe Tom Cruise has maybe said for the past 20 years, which is, ‘Shut this sh*t down, get four more writers on it and let’s figure this out.’ Instead, I’m going, ‘Oh God, I’ve just got to get through this day, I have bronchitis, but let’s keep shooting.’ Now I imagine all these male actors going, ‘Shut it down for six months!’ And it’s like, f–k, no one told me that was an option.”

The Old Guard (2020)
Charlize Theron as Andy in The Old Guard (2020)

Also read: “You can’t say no”: Charlize Theron Wants Tom Cruise in $6.6 Billion Dwayne Johnson Franchise

With a production company of her own, Denver & Delilah, that she founded 20 years ago in 2003, Theron sets out to do what she initially failed to with her ’05 action flick — produce amazing projects in film as well as television. Over the years, the company has churned out productions that are each more impressive than the next – Netflix’s Mindhunter, The Old Guard (2020), Bombshell (2017), Atomic Blonde (2017), and the Oscar-winning Monster (2003) among a few of the brilliant ones. 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Written by Diya Majumdar

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.