Save Armie Hammer!
It was last summer when we discovered that Taylor Kitsch would never star in a movie again. A former stand-out on the phenomenal and beloved television program Friday Night Lights, 2012 saw Kitsch poised to take the mantle of movie stardom and enact those “bigger things” that everyone expected him to. After an at-least memorable portrayal of Gambit back in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it looks like Kitsch would conquer the box office with not one, but two summer blockbusters he was the lead of.
It didn’t happen.
Because those movies were John Carter and Battleship. Both managed to underperform beyond belief, with Carter losing about $200 million of Disney’s money (because who the hell is the audience for a summer blockbuster based upon a series of Mars-set sci-fi novels from 1912?) and Battleship performing about as well as any sane person would expect a movie based on a board game to perform, but far, far worse than Paramount thought it would perform given how much money it threw at the project. Because of that absolutely paltry summer, it’s likely that Taylor Kitsch will never star in a movie again. He is box office poison of Hepburn-level proportions.
And I fear that this is exactly what is about to happen to Armie Hammer.
Hammer emerged on the scene a few years ago. I first caught him in a small recurring part on the ill-rated but well-remembered show Reaper, still by far the best show the CW has ever aired. As the sinister and charming son of the Devil Morgan, Hammer showed all the traits necessary to be a true movie star.
Most people, however, will remember him for his fantastic turn in David Fincher’s future classic film The Social Network. As a pair of cunning Ivy League twins, Hammer proved that he could bring more to the table than a handsome face and some pretty strong charisma. He had real acting talent. He turned Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss into two separate and unique characters, each with their own wants and traits. There are entire scenes that are just him talking to himself that are both riveting and seamless, and I truly feel that Hammer has snatched the crown away from Eddie Murphy when it comes to acting with him, partially by virtue of the fact that he has not worn a fat suit.
SIDE NOTE: I’ve always assumed that The Nutty Professor and Norbit were supposed to have other actors in those roles, but were all vacated when the actors realized they’d have to talk to Eddie Murphy, so Murphy each time has been forced to bear the cross that is putty on a fat suit and pretending to be your own grandmother.
It was then that Hammer should have taken off. All the other stars of The Social Network did. Andrew Garfield went on to be Spider-Man, Jesse Eisenberg was in a Woody Allen movie, and Justin Timberlake has been fine for a while now. Hammer’s response to all this? Mirror Mirror, one of two dueling Snow White projects that came out last year.
If you are reading this and for some reason happen to be Armie Hammer’s agent, you should just know that your job could not be easier if you tried. You represent a handsome, charismatic guy who can actually act. This should be a cake walk. It’s like you’re Steve Buscemi’s manager, who has an incredibly talented commodity on their hands that they have to sell under his teeth. He should be Captain America, not playing some pathetic man-in-waiting to Julia Roberts. At least, I think that’s what he does in that movie. I, like most of America, did not see it.
Soon, Armie will be appearing in the long-awaited-but-by-who big screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger, a movie that supposedly cost $250 million to make and that I predict will flop incredibly. It looks awful, a trifle racist, and seems to entirely take place on top of a train. (That racism bit is important, but I’ll talk about it much more next week in my “Save Johnny Deep” piece). All the pieces are in place for the Hammer to fall, just like Taylor Kitsch did around this time last year.
Please, please don’t let that happen. Give him a sitcom or something. Did I mention that he would be a great Captain America? I obviously have a lot of sway over at Marvel, so I’ll see what I can hook up for the poor guy. He may have to settle for Ant-Man. What am I saying? He’ll have the PRIVILEGE of being Ant-Man!
Throw the guy a bone, Hollywood. Or at least a romantic comedy.
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog written by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and Rango superfan. Be sure to follow or subscribe above to keep hearing about how terrible The Lone Ranger is going to be. Stay tuned for more of this Good Stuff to come, as well as a weekly Mexican Standoff, and the upcoming best in movies and TV.
You can also find Kevin on Twitter, livetweeting the 100th time he watches The Social Network.
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