After the overnight success of “Superbad” in 2007, offers were pouring in for Jonah Hill as an up-and-coming Hollywood star. But he famously turned down one of the biggest franchises of the ’00s, a decision which might have been made based on Seth Rogen’s advice, as The New York Times recently reported.
As Entertainment Weekly reported, Hill was in negotiations to appear in the sequel to “Transformers” alongside Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, which eventually became 2009’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The “21 Jump Street” star was reportedly offered the comic relief role of LaBeouf’s college roommate, according to People, a character which was eventually played by Ramon Rodriguez instead.
In a statement to MTV News at the time, Hill detailed his reason for turning down the Michael Bay blockbuster. “I just think like I have to prove myself more in what I’m doing now, making comedies and stuff before I do the big action movie or something, you know?” the actor explained. “I’m not proven yet.”
Now, his friend and co-star Rogen has opened up about how Hill came to him for advice before rejecting the role.
Rogen told Hill to make his own movie about robots
“I can see if Steven Spielberg’s calling you, asking you to do something, how that’s hard to turn down,” Seth Rogen told Jonah Hill, per The New York Times, recommending that the actor use his momentum to make something creatively fulfilling by himself instead. “You want to make a movie about fightin’ robots? Make your own movie about fightin’ robots. You can do that. That’s on the table now.”
Rogen also took his own advice. After the actor first moved to Hollywood to make the short-lived series “Freaks and Geeks,” his lawyer “threatened to fire him” because Rogen had turned down so many opportunities. “I’m not doing that, that’s not a movie I’d go see and it’s not a movie I’d want my friends to see me in,” was the “Knocked Up” star’s rationale at the time.
And his mention of Spielberg didn’t come out of thin air: as Rogen’s upcoming book reveals, he and his creative partner Evan Goldberg once rejected an offer from Spielberg to work together. The legendary director had suggested that they collaborate on a film based on 1984’s “The Last Starfighter,” but Rogen and Goldberg had already begun a similar project and felt that they could do it without Spielberg.
Hill may never have made a movie about “fightin’ robots,” but he did go on to work alongside Rogen in projects like “This Is the End,” so there were probably no hard feelings between the two friends.
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