Jonah Hex (film)

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Jonah Hex
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJimmy Hayward
Screenplay byNeveldine & Taylor
Story by
  • William Farmer
  • Neveldine & Taylor
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyMitchell Amundsen
Edited by
  • Fernando Villena
  • Tom Lewis
Music by
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 18, 2010 (2010-06-18)
Running time
81 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$47 million[2][3]
Box office$11 million[3]

Jonah Hex is a 2010 American Western superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name.[4] Directed by Jimmy Hayward (in his live-action debut) from a screenplay by Neveldine/Taylor, the film stars Josh Brolin in the title role, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon and Wes Bentley.

Produced by Legendary Pictures, Andrew Lazar's Mad Chance Productions and Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road Pictures, the film was released on June 18, 2010, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was a commercial failure, having grossed only $11 million against a budget of $47 million. It received generally negative reviews from critics.


Jonah Hex is a Confederate soldier who refuses an order from his commanding officer Quentin Turnbull to burn down a hospital. Hex is forced to kill his best friend Jeb, Turnbull's son, who draws a pistol on Hex. Turnbull later tracks Hex down at home and takes revenge for Jeb's death by killing Hex's family and branding Hex's face. Hex is found near death and healed by the Crow people; the experience leaves him with the ability to speak to the dead. Turnbull fakes his death in a hotel fire and Hex, unable to seek revenge, becomes a bounty hunter.

In 1876, a gang of men led by Turnbull hijack a train carrying components of an experimental weapon invented by Eli Whitney. President Grant realizes that Turnbull is planning to rebuild the weapon and use it to attack the U.S. on the Fourth of July. Grant instructs Army Lieutenant Grass to find Hex and hire him to track down and stop Turnbull. Grass' men find Hex in a brothel with a prostitute named Lilah and inform him that Turnbull is still alive.

Hex travels to meet Grass at his encampment and uses his ability to interrogate a dead soldier. The soldier tells Hex to find former Confederate Colonel Slocum, who now runs an illegal fighting pavilion in South Carolina. Hex confronts Slocum, who refuses to reveal Turnbull's location and sarcastically suggests he ask his dead friend Jeb. Hex throws Slocum to his death and burns the pavilion down. He decides to travel to Gettysburg and dig up Jeb's body to ask him for help. Jeb and Hex briefly fight before Jeb accepts Hex's apology for killing him. He grudgingly reveals that his father is at Fort Resurrection. Jeb also warns Hex to avoid death because many in the afterlife have plans for him.

Hex confronts Turnbull at the fort and kills several men before he is shot point blank in the chest. Hex escapes by horse and travels back to find the Crow people. Turnbull orders a man named Burke, who helped kill Hex's family, to track down something Hex loves and bring it to him. While Hex is being healed again, Burke finds and kidnaps Lilah. Turnbull assembles the weapon and conducts a test on a small town in Georgia, completely destroying it.

Hex sends a message to Lt. Grass with Turnbull's location and requests backup. Hex travels to Independence Harbor and infiltrates Turnbull's ironclad warship. He kills Burke, using his abilities to bring him back from the dead and incinerate him. Turnbull holds Lilah at gunpoint and forces Hex to surrender. Hex and Lilah escape their holding cell as Lt. Grass arrives and attempts to arrest Turnbull. Grass and his crew are destroyed by the weapon and Turnbull begins his attack on Washington, D.C.

Hex attacks Turnbull, as they fight Hex jams the weapon with a hatchet before locking Turnbull's neck in the machine. Hex and Lilah escape the boat as the weapon backfires and explodes, killing Turnbull and all of his men. The next day, President Grant gives Hex a large reward and a full pardon before offering him a job as Sheriff of the entire United States. Hex declines, but assures the president they can find him if they need him; he leaves the city with Lilah. The film ends with Hex visiting Jeb's grave to apologize for his father's death before riding off.


The film also includes John Gallagher, Jr. as Lieutenant Evan, Tom Wopat as Colonel Slocum, and Julia Jones as Cassie; as well as an uncredited Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Jeb Turnbull. Mastodon guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds also made a small cameo appearance.[12]

Prior to Brolin's casting, actor Thomas Jane petitioned the studio for the role by hiring a makeup artist to give him the appearance of Jonah Hex. Jane instead voiced Hex in the 2010 animated short DC Showcase: Jonah Hex.[13]


Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and Michael Fassbender promoting the film at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International.

In 2000, 20th Century Fox developed a one-hour television adaptation based on the character, with producers Akiva Goldsman and Robert Zappia involved, but the project never came to fruition.[14] In July 2007, Warner Bros. held the film rights to the character and sought to make a film. Goldsman paired with Andrew Lazar as producers, and Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor wrote the screenplay,[15] which adapted an incarnation of the comic books that combined the Western genre with supernatural elements.[16] In October 2008, Josh Brolin entered talks to be cast as Jonah Hex under the direction of Neveldine and Taylor.[17] The following month, Neveldine and Taylors stepped down from being directors due to creative differences with the studio.[18] The studio explored the possibility of hiring Andy Fickman or McG and by January 2009, it chose Jimmy Hayward (who previously directed Horton Hears a Who!) to direct Jonah Hex.[16] By the following February, Brolin was set to star alongside John Malkovich, who was cast as the antagonist Quentin Turnbull.[5] Filming began in Louisiana in April 2009.[11] Director Francis Lawrence was brought in to supervise a number of reshoots.[19]

Brolin would later admit that he hated the experience making the film stating that at one point they had to "[reshoot] 66 pages in 12 days", implying that the filming schedule was hectic.[20] He would go on to blame the film's failure on studio interference in the film's post-production and on director Hayward, who he called "inexperienced" and a "bad choice (of director)".[21] Initially Megan Fox was also very critical of the movie stating she doesn't even want her kids to see it: "It would be nice to make some things that they can see, yeah, because something like Jennifer's Body I'm not going to let them see for a long time. Something like Jonah Hex I'm not going to let them see ever, no one should ever see that movie."[22] She slowed down her feeling about it years after as she believes it was a "decent" movie: "While I shouldn't have been nominated for an Oscar for it, I'm definitely not bad in it".[23]


Heavy metal band Mastodon scored the film.[24] Troy Sanders, bassist/vocalist of Mastodon, on their contribution to the film:

"Some of it was heavy, some of it was very moody. A lot of it was spacey, Melvins B-sides, Pink Floyd-like, surreal outer space, like Neil Young's Dead Man. Swirling, nausea music". Sanders added that the collaboration felt natural: "Since day one, we've always written albums thinking the music was the score of a movie. Then we'll create the lyrics or storyline on top of that, as if we're writing the dialog to match the movie's cinematography".

The soundtrack is an hour-long instrumental, including five full songs and numerous smaller musical themes. Selections were added to scenes in the film by composer John Powell (Shrek, The Bourne Identity), and others were adapted for the London Orchestra for exceptionally epic moments. Sanders explained: "We wrote variations on themes for each character, different variables for a bunch of riffs: faster, slower, heavier, lighter. It's the Darth Vader approach".



The film was released in the United States on June 18, 2010, the same day as Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3.


  • Tonner Doll Company, Inc. released in May 2010 Saloon Lilah as a doll.[25]
  • NECA has released an assortment of 3 action figures (Hex, Lilah, and Turnbull), and prop replicas from the film.[26]
  • WizKids has released a HeroClix Battle Pack consisting of Hex, Lilah, and Turnbull.[27]
  • DC Direct has released a Jonah Hex bust,[28] a Lilah bust,[29] and a 1:6 scale Jonah Hex Collector Figure.[30]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on both DVD and Blu-ray on October 19, 2010, with some special features (DVD contains Deleted Scenes). It was then released in the United Kingdom on December 13 the same year, on DVD, Blu-ray and Double Play. Special features include Deleted Scenes, The Inside Story of Jonah Hex and a Picture-In-Picture Commentary.


Box office[edit]

Jonah Hex failed at the box office, opening at No. 7 during its debut weekend with only $5,379,365 in 2,825 theaters, averaging $1,904 per theater.[31] On its second weekend, the film only managed to gross $1,627,442, falling to No. 10. The film ended its theatrical run on August 12, 2010, having grossed only $10,547,117 in total on a $47 million budget. Due to its negative domestic take, the film was not widely released internationally, grossing less than $500,000 outside the United States.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Jonah Hex has an approval rating of 12% based on 153 reviews and an average rating of 3.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Josh Brolin gives it his best shot, but he can't keep the short, unfocused Jonah Hex from collapsing on the screen".[32] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 33 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[33] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[34]

Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club gave the film a rare "F" rating, stating "the 81 minutes (including credits) of Jonah Hex footage that made it to the screen look like something assembled under a tight deadline, and possibly under the influence".[35] Roger Ebert gave the film a negative review, saying that the film "is based on some DC Comics characters, which may explain the way the plot jumps around. We hear a lot about graphic novels, but this is more of a graphic anthology of strange occult ideas".[36]


The film was named "Worst Picture" of the year by the Houston Film Critics Society at their 2010 awards ceremony.[37][38] It was given two nominations at the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actress (Megan Fox) and Worst Screen Couple (Josh Brolin's face and Megan Fox's accent).


  1. ^ "JONAH HEX (15)". British Board of Film Classification. June 30, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Fritz, Ben (June 17, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Toy Story 3' appears blessed, 'Jonah Hex' cursed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Jonah Hex (2010)". Box Office Mojo. August 12, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  4. ^ "Gob Bluth Says Jonah Hex Will Be Dark and Serious". June 18, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Michael; Dave McNary (February 11, 2009). "Malkovich, Brolin set for 'Hex'". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Seijas, Casey (November 20, 2008). "Josh Brolin Declares 'Jonah Hex' Script 'Awful…I Love It', As Directors Leave Project". MTV Splash Page. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  7. ^ "Jonah Hex Hexed with Reshoots". Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (March 3, 2009). "Megan Fox lines up two film projects". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  9. ^ "The Megan Fox renaissance is here. It's long overdue". The Washington Post. July 2, 2021. Archived from the original on July 2, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2024.
  10. ^ "Michael Fassbender Talks Jonah Hex". August 10, 2009. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (March 31, 2009). "Will Arnett joins 'Jonah Hex'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 8, 2009. (Subscription only)
  12. ^ George 'El Guapo' Roush (June 15, 2010). "Interview: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and Jimmy Hayward Talk About Jonah Hex". Latino Review. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  13. ^ Billington, Alex (June 20, 2008). "So That Truly Was Thomas Jane as Jonah Hex!". First Showing, LLC. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Laski, Beth (January 20, 2000). "DeVito has a 'Revelation' on crowded Canton slate". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (July 24, 2007). "Warners puts 'Hex' on comic". The Hollywood Reporter.
  16. ^ a b Kit, Borys (January 6, 2009). "'Horton' helmer has 'Hex' next". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. ^ Fleming, Michael (October 9, 2008). "Josh Brolin eyes WB's 'Jonah Hex'". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  18. ^ Fleming, Michael (November 19, 2008). "Neveldine, Taylor leave 'Jonah Hex'". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  19. ^ "Jonah Hex Headed For Reshoots". Empire. October 12, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  20. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 9, 2016). "Did You Hate 'Jonah Hex'? So Did Josh Brolin". Collider. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  21. ^ Josh Brolin on Owing 'Jonah Hex' Co-Stars an Apology and Finding His 'Almost Famous' Audition Tape
  22. ^ "Megan Fox Says No One Should Ever See Jonah Hex Movie". Movies. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  23. ^ "The Megan Fox renaissance is here. It's long overdue". Washington Post. July 2, 2021. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  24. ^ Knowles, Harry (September 2, 2009). "JONAH HEX news so mind-meltingly awesome that only Satan's Mighty Balls are cooler!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  25. ^ "Meet Saloon Lilah, a Jonah Hex Comic-Con Exclusive from Tonner". June 18, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  26. ^ "National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc". April 23, 2010. Archived from the original on April 27, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  27. ^ "Jonah Hex coming to HeroClix in 2010 : – Wizkids/NECA, Inc". June 1, 2010. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  28. ^ "DC Direct". April 21, 2010. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  29. ^ "DC Direct". April 21, 2010. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  30. ^ "DC Direct". April 21, 2010. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  31. ^ "Weekend Box Office Review: Toy Story 3 Opens With Massive $110m, Jonah Hex Makes Just $5.3m". June 21, 2010.
  32. ^ "Jonah Hex (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  33. ^ "Jonah Hex Reviews". Metacritic.
  34. ^ "Cinemascore".
  35. ^ Keith Phipps (June 17, 2010). "Jonah Hex Film Review". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved June 26, 2010. Rating F.
  36. ^ "Jonah Hex - A hero from Stunk Crick foils a terrorist plot.". Chicago Sun-Times. June 16, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  37. ^ Pond, Steve (December 18, 2010). "Detroit, Houston Critics: 'Social Network', Ho Hum". The Wrap. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
  38. ^ Laydon, Joe (December 18, 2010). "'Social Network' lauded by Houston crix: Film continues dominance of award season". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2010.

External links[edit]