Jamie Foxx’s directorial debut may never actually debut. This is mainly due to the controversy over casting Robert Downey Jr. in what has only been described as a Mexican. While promoting his latest, the vampire comedy Day ShiftFoxx discussed the status of his shelved basketball-centric comedy All-Star Weekend.
It’s been tough…with the lay of the land of comedy…We’re trying to break open those sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again.”
It seems Foxx was actively avoiding the hot-button phrase “cancel culture”, a modern form of backlash that a movie like, say, Tropic Thunderdodged by a few years.
Obvious comparisons can be made to Downey Jr.’s role in that movie, in which he (in)famously played a white Australian actor who gets “pigmentation alteration” surgery to play a Black soldier. That role did draw controversy–and was especially risky considering it was in the immediate aftermath of Downey Jr.’s post-Iron Man resurgence–but it also earned him an Oscar nomination. Some question whether Tropic Thunder could get made in today’s climate.
It turns out Downey Jr.’s role in All-Star Weekend would have been more of a cameo, as he reportedly was only on set for four hours. The movie would have reunited Foxx and Downey Jr. after 2009’s The Soloist and 2010’s Due date.
All-Star Weekend stars Foxx and Jeremy Piven as two basketball-obsessed truck drivers who score tickets to the NBA All-Star Game. (Foxx also stated he has another role as a “white, racist cop.”) It was originally intended to be released in 2018 around the time of the NBA All-Star Game and then again in 2019, before being shelved altogether.
What are your thoughts on Foxx’s statement about why his debut was shelved? Is cancel culture playing too big a role in movie releases? Do you think Tropic Thunder could be released in 2022? Let us know your thoughts below!