It wasn’t too long ago that Taylor Kitsch was featured prominently in big movies, and here’s why he’s rarely seen in them now. Kitsch has been part of the entertainment world since 2006 when he popped up in several small roles across various projects, including John Tucker Must Die and Snakes on a Plane. But this was also when he got his big break as Tim Riggins in NBC’s Friday Night Lights show.
By playing the running back – and a bad-boy-with-a-heart – for the Dillon Panthers, Kitsch’s role expanded as the show progressed and made Tim a central character in the ensemble. The Emmy-winning series elevated Kitsch’s profile and resulted in major movie projects looking his way. He took on the role of Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as his time on Friday Night Lights was coming to a close and then was the star of Disney’s John Carter and Universal’s Battleship. So why isn’t Kitsch a routine casting choice for more blockbuster films?
Unfortunately for him, these early attempts to make him a star all were massive disappointments critically and/or financially – and so, his stardom has fallen by the wayside. X-Men Origins: Wolverine only has a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it did still gross $373 million worldwide (on a reported $150M budget). As for John Carter, Kitsch was at the center of a movie that had mixed reviews but is known for being one of Disney’s biggest flops after earning just $284M worldwide on a $250M budget. Then when Battleship arrived later that summer, it received a 34% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $303M on a reported $200M+ budget.
Three failures of this size have largely kept Kitsch out of blockbusters ever since. It is unclear, though, who is responsible for the lack of blockbusters on Kitsch’s filmography. After these experiences, it would be understandable if Kitsch decided these roles weren’t the ones he wanted to take. But this may also be the result of studio executives being weary of having him take on a large role again after his previously mentioned films. The answer could even be a mixture of both.
It’s true that Kitsch hasn’t been starring in major movies as of late, but he has spent the last several years building out his résumé in other ways. His ability as an actor hasn’t been the problem with, as he’s shown what he’s capable of elsewhere with roles in Lone Survivor and Only the Brave. Like many actors, Kitsch has also moved back to the small screen recently, with a role in True Detective season 2 and Waco.
If he continues down this path and gains recognition for some smaller roles, then it might only be a matter of time before he’s courted for bigger movies again. Hollywood is full of second chances and career revivals, so Kitsch’s moment could still come. He’ll next be seen in 21 Bridges opposite Chadwick Boseman, so the success of the Russo brothers-produced film could go a long way in determining what comes next for him.
Next: What To Expect From True Detective Season 4