Why Hollywood Couldn’t Turn Taylor Kitsch into the Next Big Thing

Hollywood has tried to make an action hero out of Taylor Kitsch but failed.

You know when you see a new actor and think, “This dude’s going to be huge?” Yeah, we all had that feeling about Taylor Kitsch back in 2011 and 2012.

Hollywood was pushing him big time, giving him lead roles in movies like “Savages,” “Battleship,” and “John Carter.” He even played Gambit in “Wolverine”! But despite all these attempts to turn him into a next-gen action hero, it didn’t quite stick.

MORE: Not Hugh Jackman but THIS Actor Was The First Choice to Play Wolverine in The X-Men

The High Hopes

At the dawn of the new decade, Hollywood was on the hunt for the next big male superstar. They needed someone who could captivate audiences, command the big screen, and handle the demanding physicality of action roles.

Enter Taylor Kitsch, a young Canadian actor who seemed to tick all the boxes. He had the looks, the charm, the physicality, and more importantly, he had a spark of charisma that many thought could be nurtured into full-blown star power.

Kitsch was not an entirely new face; he’d already shown promise in his role as Tim Riggins on the TV show “Friday Night Lights.” Hollywood bigwigs saw potential in this young actor and decided to invest in him.

They lined up big-budget projects for Kitsch, casting him in lead roles in films like “John Carter,” “Battleship,” and “Savages.” He was even given the chance to join the X-Men cinematic universe, playing the role of Gambit in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The plan seemed foolproof. By putting him at the forefront of high-profile movies, Hollywood hoped to mold Kitsch into the next-gen action hero, a successor to the likes of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. The stage was set for Kitsch to take the film industry by storm. But, despite their best efforts, things didn’t go as planned.

When Things Went South

Despite the best efforts of Hollywood, Kitsch’s ascension to stardom hit a series of roadblocks. Unfortunately, these roadblocks came in the form of box office flops. His first starring role in “John Carter,” a $250 million Disney sci-fi adventure, was a significant letdown. The film was panned by critics and barely recouped its budget, making it one of the biggest flops in movie history.

The story wasn’t much different with his other two 2012 films, “Battleship” and “Savages.” While “Battleship” had some international success, it was still considered a box office disappointment. As for “Savages,” it received mixed reviews and did not perform well at the box office.

Even his stint as the charming Cajun mutant, Gambit, in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” didn’t help elevate his profile. While the film itself did decently at the box office, it was critically panned, and Kitsch’s performance didn’t receive much attention amid the film’s many criticisms.

The streak of failures was a harsh blow for Kitsch, who went from being on the cusp of superstardom to struggling to prove his worth in Hollywood. These flops served as a stark reminder that not every bet Hollywood places on an upcoming actor pans out as expected. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Kitsch. Despite the setbacks, he continued to show his acting chops, notably in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.”

Picking Up the Pieces

While Kitsch’s early film career was marked by commercial and critical disappointments, he didn’t let this setback define him. Instead, he took a step back from the big-budget Hollywood projects and found his footing in roles that allowed him to showcase his acting abilities rather than just his action-hero physique.

One such role was in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective”. While the season received mixed reviews overall, Kitsch’s performance was generally well-regarded. His portrayal of the deeply troubled highway patrol officer Paul Woodrugh showcased a depth and complexity that hadn’t been fully visible in his earlier roles.

He also made notable appearances in smaller films like “Only the Brave” and “American Assassin”. These roles allowed him to keep demonstrating his talent and versatility without the weight of carrying a multi-million dollar blockbuster on his shoulders.

Kitsch continued to work steadily in both film and television, proving that while he may not have become the next Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise as Hollywood initially envisioned, he’s still a talented actor capable of delivering strong performances.

He’s found his place in the industry, not as the ‘next big thing,’ but as a solid actor who brings depth and nuance to his roles, proving that there’s more than one way to make it in Hollywood.