Taylor Kitsch is not having a year to remember by any stretch of the imagination. So far in 2012 he has headlined two huge box office flops; John Carter and Battleship. With Savages coming out later this year this could be his last chance to crack Hollywood as a leading man. It could have all been so different for Taylor Kitsch.

Kitsch’s first major role was in television show Friday Night Lights and, despite not having a high viewership it went down very well with critics and, the odd episodes I saw, I really enjoyed it; Kitsch himself was praised for his performance as the hard drinking and womanising running back Tim Riggins. It was his performance on the show that got him his big chances in Hollywood in the first place, so he must have some quality as an actor.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was Kitsch’s introduction to mainstream cinema audiences in the role of fan favourite X-men character, Gambit. This was only a smaller part in an ensemble cast and although the film was heavily criticised (especially by comic book fans) I thought Kitsch portrayed Gambit well and it’s a shame he won’t be reprising the role for The Wolverine.

John Carter of Mars was Taylor Kitsch’s big chance. It was hugely budgeted by Disney and prolifically marketed yet for one reason or another it just didn’t have enough pull to draw in audiences and cost Disney huge losses (which thankfully are now being recovered by The Avengers). Battleship was a chance for Kitsch to win back fans and critics with another starring role in a big budget film and yet this film failed again, largely because of the success of The Avengers. I think anything released at the same time as The Avengers was never going to do as well as it could have done another month.

Later on this year Taylor Kitsch is playing the lead role in Oliver Stone’s Savages. Stone is a well acclaimed director and the rest of the cast includes Aaron Johnson, Benicio del Toro, John Travolta and Uma Thurman so these factors could make Savages a success and bring Kitsch to public prominence which I think he deserves. Before casting Taylor Kitsch in the lead role Stone asked to see 30 minutes of footage from Battleship to get an idea of how Kitsch could handle being a leading man and something obviously impressed Stone enough to cast him.

I think that Taylor Kitsch is a good actor and deserves a proper chance. Perhaps it was a bit unfair throwing him in at the deep end in films with huge budgets because huge budgets tend to take away from actors performances and so people will see Kitsch as a failure because of the loss of money rather than his performances. If he started with movies that were more low budget then he would have had a better chance at making it as a leading man; it would have been helpful to build up an audience first before throwing him in as a lead action hero. However, I don’t think this is his fault, it is that of the studios.

Savages could be Kitsch’s last chance at being a leading man without having to start again because with potentially three huge flops with his name on it in the space of a year will not look good on his CV.

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