Often appearing as an action hero, Hollywood’s most celebrated actor Tom Cruise once wished for his career to span into Disney movies. Apart from tackling difficult stunts and challenging projects, the actor wanted to explore a sci-fi live-action movie by Disney. However, despite Cruise’s undoubted power play in the entertainment industry, he lost the role to another actor who was nearly 20 years younger than him.
Celebrating 11 years anniversary of Disney’s John Carter, it is safe to say Tom Cruise luckily dodged a bullet by getting rejected from his role. Irrespective of Cruise being desperate for the project, the rejection somehow saved his career from a massive downfall.
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Tom Cruise Lost A Million-Dollar Disney Role
Well-known action star from the 80s, Tom Cruise built his career with his evergreen projects like Top Gun and Cocktail. Carrying along his charm and intensity, the actor became one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, following his dozens of hit films. Spanning his career through decades and presenting his audience with nail-biting action scenes, Cruise acquired a power play in the entertainment sector.
However, despite his dominance and fame, Tom Cruise faced several rejections throughout his career. But the one that stands out among all, is his rejection from a 2012 sci-fi Disney film John Carter. Reportedly lobbying for the role in the movie, Cruise didn’t get it, as the opportunity went on to another actor Taylor Kitsch, 20 years younger than him.
“I had Taylor already in mind by the time Tom made his interest known. Tom had a long history with the material, so it wasn’t too surprising to discover he still had interest in it.” co-writer/director Andrew Stanton shared in an interview with The Wrap.
Recalling Cruise’s desperate attempts of winning the role with his breathtaking audition, actor Lynn Collins mentioned the issue with the actor’s age.
“I mean the people who were testing were the people that they were considering and they were all 20 years younger than him…I mean, it may have been a desire. I don’t know how practical that desire was.” Collins shared.
Thus, it turns out Andrew Stanton eventually settled for Taylor Kitsch over Cruise. Although the rejection must have felt demotivating for Cruise at the moment, it sure appeared as a blessing later on.
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Tom Cruise Luckily Saved His Career From Downfall
Andrew Stanton directed John Carter (2012) is a Disney sci-fi movie about Civil War veteran John Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch). Navigating the story as the pivotal character mysteriously awakes on the surface of a barren planet Barsoom, the movie takes on an adventurous mode portraying 12-foot-tall barbarians, seemingly inhabiting the planet. Held captive by the barbarians, John Carter learns about his superhuman capabilities and rescues a princess on the run.
Upon learning the storyline, no matter how bollocks it sounds, the movie further disgraced itself with its box office loss. Appearing as a major financial miss, Andrew Stanton directed John Carter as a mega-budget disaster competing with other flop movies like Heaven’s Gate and Ishtar. Earning $284M worldwide, the movie failed to achieve its production cost, which ranged between $250M to $307M. Walt Disney thus took a $200M loss on the picture and made it serve as a cautionary example for filmmakers.
Considering the failure of John Carter it can be stated with utmost clarity, Tom Cruise dodged a bullet by gracefully accepting his rejection. Although Taylor Kitsch who played the main character, further acted in several high-profile projects like HBO’s critically-acclaimed series True Detective, it took years for the young actor to get over the loss. Thankfully Cruise didn’t face the repercussions, as his career went uphill following massive hit films.
Watch Disney’s John Carter only on Disney+ Hotstar.
Read more: “I wouldn’t change a thing”: John Carter Star Taylor Kitsch on Box Office Flop Becoming a Disney Cult Hit Celebrated Across Generations