The math must have seemed easy to the Hollywood executives behind The Tourist, says Kevin Fallon at The Atlantic. Take the "most powerful person in Hollywood" — Johnny Depp — and add the "only woman in Hollywood who can carry an action film" — Angelina Jolie. Voilà... a formula for box office gold. But history shows, writes Fallon, that when two of the brightest stars in the Hollywood firmament align, the results aren't always "surefire hits." Here, an excerpt:
It's a rare occurrence for stars of this magnitude to align at exactly the time they are most bright (ask an astronomist, really). We're not talking about the teaming of two charming A-list actors, like Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal starring in a mostly nude romp about degenerative disease and Viagra. We're talking about people with Oprah Winfrey levels of fame. In year 2010, that is undeniably Depp and Jolie.
There are perhaps only two examples in cinematic history that parallel this pairing: Julia Roberts teaming with Brad Pitt in The Mexican and Elizabeth Taylor playing opposite Richard Burton in Cleopatra. In the case of both ventures, the two stars collided, combusted, and left behind of supernova of studio executives, agents, and journalists wondering what in the world went wrong.