12 Movies that Damaged, or Completely Killed, the Careers of the Stars
With the low standards in Hollywood today, a movie has to be pretty bad for it to kill the career of its star.
A lot of times you'll just be sitting there and the memory of a movie will pop into your head, making you wonder what ever happened to that actor. Then you look them up in IMDB and quickly realize they made a poor choice in roles and that's why they're a memory and not someone you're still watching today.
While careers can naturally fluctuate in Hollywood, there are movies that were so bad that the star's career was immediately halted, either for a little bit of time or permanently. These are 12 movies were at least one star's career saw a substantial decline as a direct result of the movie.
'The Love Guru'Careers Damaged: Mike Myers & Justin Timberlake
'The Love Guru' is a double-whammy as it was a career killer for Mike Myers, and one heck of a dent in the rising star of Justin Timberlake.
After successful films like the Austin Powers trilogy, 'So I Married an Axe Murder', and other comedies, 'The Love Guru' brought Mike Myers' career to a grinding halt, only appearing in bit parts since. Timberlake's movie career was also on the rise, and he fancied himself a comedic actor after several hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live. But his performance as the human equivalent of Pepe Le Pew took Timberlake out of leading man contention, sticking to voice work and not having a substantial live-action role in a major film since.
'Battlefield Earth'Careers Damaged: John Travolta & Barry Pepper
Another film that harmed more than one actor's career, 'Battlefield Earth' was a horrible blow to both John Travolta and Barry Pepper.
Travolta's career had been on a 6-year upswing after 'Pulp Fiction', but 2000's 'Battlefield Earth' made Hollywood second-guess Travolta's viability again. He had a few appearances in hit movies afterwards like 'Swordfish', and even worse (and even offensive) appearances like in 'Hairspray', but the fact that Travolta was riding a career high when 'Battlefield Earth' came out makes the fall from grace that much worse.
This movie was also meant to help elevate the career of Barry Pepper, who had a string of hits leading into this movie with 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Enemy of the State', and 'The Green Mile'. But any chance Pepper had to be a leading man in Hollywood was squashed when 'Battlefield Earth' failed hard, and he's stuck with lower level movies ever since.
'Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace'Career Damaged: Jake Lloyd
This is a sad one in that it happened to a child, and has resulted in lasting issues.
Yes, this movie wasn't as good as it should have been in following in the footsteps of the classic trilogy. And yes, Jake Llyod's performance as Anakin was a low point of the film, but the verbal abuse Lloyd received afterwards was brutal. The actor hasn't appeared in a movie for 18 years and has recently been struggling with his mental health.
'Superman Returns'Careers Damaged: Brandon Routh & Kate Bosworth
This movie was misguided from the start. Making a movie set 5 years after 'Superman II' with actors younger than Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder were? Yeah... makes sense.
Make no mistakes, no one came out of this movie in a bright light, but the two stars reaped the worst of it. Though praised for his performance as Superman, Brandon Routh's career afterwards was definitely harmed by his time in the red and blue suit, not truly recovering until appearing on another DC commodity, 'Legends of Tomorrow'. Though his career recovered, the leading man life that should be assured to someone playing the iconic superhero just never happened.
As for his Lois Lane, Kate Bosworth has yet to fully recover from this film. Since 'Superman Returns', Bosworth has basically fallen out of the public eye, still acting, but sticking to lower budget films and not appearing in a major Hollywood film in 11 years.
'Showgirls'Career Damaged: Elizabeth Berkley
There's taking a risk to shed your previous image, and then there's diving head first into an empty pool from the high dive.
Elizabeth Berkley was known by younger audiences for her time on 'Saved by the Bell', but she went from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds when she decided to jump straight into a mainstream film as an exotic dancer. 'Showgirls' was ridiculous and borderline soft-core porn, and was too much of a departure from the innocent Jesse Spano people knew her from. Becoming a pop culture joke, 'Showgirls' regularly shows up on lists of movies that are so bad they are good, and no one has been able to take Berkley seriously ever since.
'Spider-Man 3'Career Damaged: Topher Grace
When you watch 'Spider-Man 3', can't you just hear Topher Grace thinking, "I left 'That 70s Show' for this?!"
'Spider-Man 3' was coming off the heels of one of the greatest superhero movies ever with 'Spider-Man 2'. That's a lot to live up to, so Sam Raimi pulled out the big guns and brought fan-favorite 'Venom' to life. Unfortunately, he chose Topher Grace to play Eddie Brock, completely going against the image and attitude of the comic book character. The film was considered the worst of the Raimi trilogy, a blight on the history of comic book films, and made Topher Grace's attempts at a Hollywood career a futile gesture.
'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li'Career Damaged: Kristin Kreuk
So, how bad was this movie? It made people look at the Jean-Claude Van Damme 'Street Fighter' and say, "You know, in comparison, this is pretty good."
Kristin Kreuk was nowhere near a standout performer while being on 'Smallville', but she decided to leave the show to try her hand at Hollywood. Her first, and only, leading role was in a new Street Fighter movie, focusing on Chun Li. The movie had almost nothing to do with the beloved fighting game franchise and effectively ended the Hollywood aspirations of Kreuk who hasn't appeared in a major Hollywood film since and ended up on another CW series, 'Beauty and the Beast'.
'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation'Career Damaged: Robin Shou
'Mortal Kombat' was a surprise to people, being a movie adaptation of a video game that was not only faithful to the source material, but not that bad of a movie. Robin Shou's performance as Liu Kang was well received and led many to wonder if he'd be a new icon of Martial Arts movies. That never came to be though after being one of two returning cast members for 'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation', to this day still considered one of the worst video game movies of all time. Shou's career hit a major wall after the failure of 'Annihilation', not appearing in another film for almost 10 years when he showed up in the aforementioned 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li'.
'Rollerball'Career Damaged: Chris Klein
A remake of a cult-classic 70s movie, directed by the guy that made 'Die Hard', and starring one of the guys from 'American Pie' back when that meant something. This had the makings of a good movie, but just fell so flat.
Chris Klein seems to definitely be trying in this film, but just can't hold his own compared to LL Cool J and Rebecca Romijn. Add to that the terrible script and strange cinematography decisions, audiences didn't know what to think when they saw 'Rollerball'. It was ultimately a failure and Klein never had a chance to be a genuine leading man again. And like Robin Shou, he also showed up in 'Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li'.
'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star'Career Damaged: Nick Swardson
If you're a friend of Adam Sandler's, you're going to get your own movie. Unfortunately for audiences, Sandler doesn't have the criteria that is has to be a good movie.
Nick Swardson co-wrote and starred in the movie about a naive guy from the midwest who goes to Hollywood to become a movie star after finding out his parents were porn stars in the 70s. Bucky falls into the porn business and becomes a hit because he's so small below the waist that guys watching feel like they're a stud in comparison.
The movie has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Swardson bashed critics after the movie was released saying they just don't understand comedy. Swardson has not had a leading role since Bucky Larson, and has only continued acting thanks to appearances in Adam Sandler movies.
'Abduction'Career Damaged: Taylor Lautner
Its clear that John Singleton tried to surround Taylor Lautner with an experienced cast to make up for his lack of acting ability and charm. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough and Lautner's first starring role away from 'Twilight' bombed horribly.
The general plot of a high school kid finding out his adoptive parents are really secret agents assigned to protect him is interesting, but when you don't have a strong actor to lead the film, scenes fall apart quick.
With the failure of 'Abduction' and finishing the 'Twlight' series, Lautner has failed to continue with a strong career in Hollywood, mainly appearing in Adam Sandler movies now.
'10,000 BC'Career Damaged: Steven Strait
Steven Strait looked to have everything that Taylor Lautner didn't. He was a breakout of the cast of 'Sky High' and seemed to be the one that would go on to a lucrative career as a lead actor in Hollywood. But within 3 years of 'Sky High', his Hollywood career was pretty dried up.
After a dissapointing turn in 'The Covenant', Strait appeared as the lead in '10,000 BC', helmed by disaster-movie icon Roland Emmerich. The movie just bored and confused audiences, and killed all momentum Strait's career had. Since '10,000 BC' he's been more of a fixture on television, not appearing in any major films since.