Every time Emily Blunt gets asked a question about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can almost see her dying just a little bit more on the inside. If things had gone according to plan, the actress would have reported for duty in the superhero franchise over a decade ago, but the widely-panned Gulliver’s Travels got in the way.
Blunt was the first choice to play Natasha Romanoff in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, but due to a contractual obligation she had with 20th Century Fox, the studio essentially didn’t leave her any option but to turn down the part of Black Widow. To be fair, it’s not as if The Devils Wear Prada star has been shy about her feelings on the film she ended up making instead, with “I didn’t want to do Gulliver’s Travels” the exact words to have come out of her mouth.
In the end, the modern-day update of the classic novel landed a 20 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, secured Jack Black a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor, and earned a middling $237 million at the box office on a $112 million budget. Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson was drafted in as Tony Stark’s new “secretary,” which went on to become a decade-long run as one of the most popular figures in the most successful franchise in the history of cinema. Ouch.
Gulliver’s Travels is basically Jack Black doing Jack Black things on a micro and macro scale, which will almost entirely inform your opinion on the movie. Clearly, though, iTunes subscribers are in the mood for puerile humor, over-the-top mugging, and exuberant energy doing its damndest to paper over the gaping holes in every other aspect of the failed fantasy folly’s entire existence, with FlixPatrol outing the forgotten flop as a surprise streaming success story.