Is This The Funniest Comedy You’ll Never Watch — Because of Cancellation Culture?
In 2016, Jamie Foxx, 54, and Jeremy Piven, 57, began filming All-Star Weekend, a movie about two NBA-obsessed friends in Indiana. Piven’s character is Steph Curry’s biggest fan, while Foxx worships LeBron James. The two win tickets to the NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, and on their way west they meet a group of wacky characters and get into a dangerous situation with their basketball idols.
The premise and the cast, which includes Robert Downey Jr., Benicio del Toro, Gerard Butler and Eva Longoria, feel like a hit. And Foxx, who made his directorial debut with the film, gave many enthusiastic interviews about the project.
“It’s so relevant right now,” Foxx told the Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “Comedy right now needs a movie like ‘All-Star Weekend’ and something you’ve never seen before.”
The film was originally scheduled to be released during the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, but was pushed back to the 2019 basketball extravaganza due to post-production delays. It never came out at the time, and now the film seems to have been shelved indefinitely.
Last week, Foxx suggested the humor was too inappropriate for today’s tense comedy climate, in which comedians like Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais have landed in hot water for jokes that have touched the third rails of society.
“It’s been difficult with the state of the country when it comes to comedy,” Foxx told CinemaBlend last week when asked about the “All-Star Weekend.”
“We’re trying to break down those delicate corners where people laugh again,” he said, while remaining vague about the film’s status.
In the groundbreaking flick, Robert Downey Jr. plays a Mexican and Foxx plays a “white racist cop.”
Foxx has been vocal about the need for provocative comedy. In a 2017 appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he said he never reads comments on social media because it stifles his creativity.
“If I read all the comments, I would never tell a joke again,” he said. “I got a film that we just did for little or nothing called ‘All-Star Weekend.’ The jokes are all out there… If you read the comments, you’ll take it,” he said, calling the project “brilliant.”
“There are some things where you can go ‘ooh’, you can see there’s something going on,” he said of the independent film, which was never attached to a studio.
In the same interview, he defended Robert Downey Jr., who played blackface in the 2008 Vietnam War satire Tropic Thunder, and said he suggested Downey Jr. play a Mexican in All-Star Weekend.
“I called Robert and said, ‘You have to play a Mexican.’ He initially agreed, but the “Iron Man” star got cold feet and wrote to the Oscar winner that the role made him nervous.
“I said, ‘S–t, you played black and killed that s–t.’ We need to be able to play characters.”
The role of Tropic Thunder earned Downey Jr. an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor — and plenty of backlash. But he doesn’t regret it. During a 2020 interview with Joe Rogan, Downey Jr. acknowledged the delicacy of the role and that Sean Penn “possibly wisely” turned her down.
“And 90 percent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great.’ I can’t disagree [the other 10 percent], but I know where my heart beats. I think it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of time, but for me it blew the cap [the issue]. I think having a moral psychology is task one. Sometimes you just have to say, ‘Yes, I did it.’ In my defense, “Tropic Thunder” is about as bogus [blackface] is, so I take offense.”
Co-star Piven seemed to suggest that the delay wasn’t the potentially objectionable material, but rather Foxx’s perfectionist streak. during one May Appeared on “Get Some with Gary Owen”, Piven was candid about the future of the film.
“We did a movie with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. and Benicio del Toro and Gerry Butler and you’ll never see it. Jamie doesn’t want to publish it.
“And it’s one of those things where Foxx is probably the most talented guy that I’ve ever seen, that I’ve ever heard of. He’s the funniest guy in the room. he can sing There’s nothing Foxx can’t do.
“I’ve had the time of my life … Foxx is really hard on himself. He’s one of those guys, you know, he wants it to be perfect, so he’s been holding on to this thing for five years.”
Perfectionist or not, comedian Luenell, who also starred in All-Star Weekend, gave the film and Foxx a resounding endorsement in 2017.
“A lot of people are in it, and it’s a really good role. It’s more than a cameo. And it’s really funny. Jamie doesn’t trash,” she told the St. Louis Dispatch.
Another potential issue is timing. When originally slated for release, the film had a perfect real life basketball peg. Then-Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and Golden State guard Steph Curry spent four years competing in the NBA Finals — but the ongoing rivalry ended with the 2018 series.
Putting a finished film on hold is a rarity in Hollywood, especially one with such big stars. Warner Brothers made headlines earlier this month when The Post reported that the studio ripped up “Batgirl” after it was poorly received by audiences during test screenings. Similarly, Jerry Lewis insisted his 1972 film The Day the Clown Cried would never see the light of day, as the story about a clown imprisoned in a Nazi camp was also poorly received at test screenings.
According to Deadline, the film was funded, but it’s unclear if Foxx’s investors were repaid.
All-Star Weekend producer Avram “Butch” Kaplan said “no comment” when asked about the mysterious delay, and Foxx reps did not respond to a call for comment.
“It will be a historical drama when it is released,” Piven added.
https://nypost.com/2022/08/16/did-cancel-culture-kill-jamie-foxxs-all-star-weekend/ Did Abandon Culture Destroy Jamie Foxx’s ‘All-Star Weekend’?