Why Hollywood Won’t Cast Tim Allen Anymore


Tim Allen’s success on the standup circuit
led to him starring in the long-running sitcom Home Improvement, which gave him nationwide
fame. He eventually went on to star as the voice
of Buzz Lightyear in Disney’s beloved Toy Story movies and as Santa in the Santa Clause
franchise. His comic talent and everyman charm made it
seem like he was poised to become a major movie star. But over the past decade, he’s almost disappeared
from the big screen. Here’s a look at why you won’t see too many
movies starring Tim Allen anymore. His shtick is old Tim Allen has always been identified with
a very specific type of character: the ordinary, politically incorrect man’s man. That made him a big hit in the ’80s and ’90s
on television, but hasn’t translated to modern movie audiences, which according to the MPAA’S
research, are attended by more women than men. Which doesn’t quite suit Allen’s style. “The bathroom has everything, including the
brand new Lazy Bowl reclining toilet.” So it’s not really a surprise that Allen has
stuck with television instead, where he can still safely target that same male demographic. Third in line Even when Allen was at his absolute hottest,
he was rarely anyone’s first choice for film roles. For instance, The Santa Clause was reportedly
written with Bill Murray in mind. When he passed, a long-standing rumor says
it was offered to Chevy Chase before finally going to Allen. And he allegedly was third in line for Buzz
Lightyear too, with Pixar pitching the role to both Jim Carrey and Billy Crystal first. Considering how difficult it was for him to
get good roles even when he was at the height of his popularity, it’s no wonder he seems
to have even fewer opportunities now. Big screen disappointment While the Toy Story and Santa Clause franchises
have both been big hits, most of Allen’s other movies have been either critical or box office
disappointments — and usually both. His most recent efforts, like Crazy on the
Outside and 3 Geezers!, had brief or nonexistent theatrical runs, and his filmography is littered
with movies like Jungle 2 Jungle, Wild Hogs, and Christmas With the Kranks—all of which
currently sit below 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even when critics like his films, they don’t
always hit it big with fans. The martial arts drama Redbelt, for instance,
grossed less than $2.5 million despite favorable reviews. And while Galaxy Quest has become a true cult
classic, with many science fiction fans counting it as one of their favorites, it only made
a modest $71 million against a $45 million budget — respectable, but hardly enough
to change Allen’s reputation as someone whose success comes from his franchises instead
of the other way around. Played out Both of Allen’s big franchises seem to be
pretty much played out, artistically if not financially. Every installment of the Santa Clause trilogy
got worse reviews and made less money than the previous one. And while Toy Story 4 is in production, it
seems kind of like a cash grab considering Toy Story 3 clearly was intended as a series
coda. Even if it becomes the massive box office
hit everyone expects, that probably won’t translate to new film roles for Allen — though
it will mean he gets to milk the series for even more voicework in Toy Story shorts, made-for-TV
movies, video games, and rides at Disney World. Hey, money is money. Family friendly flops Allen primarily achieved fame through family-friendly
comedy on Home Improvement, and he helped cement “family friendly” as his big-screen
genre with Toy Story. However, a number of other all-ages projects
fizzled. In 2006, for example, Allen appeared in three
movies: The Shaggy Dog, Santa Clause 3, and Zoom. While The Shaggy Dog and Santa Clause 3 at
least earned their budgets back at the box office, Zoom was a complete disaster, and
all three were critically panned, to the point where Allen earned a Worst Actor nomination
at the Razzies for his collective incompetence. That’s… pretty unfriendly. “You are a sad, strange little man. And you have my pity. Farewell!” Works well with others Allen works best as part of an ensemble cast. For example, his portrayal of Buzz Lightyear
wouldn’t be half as charming without having Tom Hanks’ Woody to bounce off of or without
his interaction with the rest of the colorful cast. His critically beloved turn in Galaxy Quest
was so successful in large part because he was playing off of some very heavy hitters,
including Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. “C’mon! Without my crew, I’m not a commander, eh?” Even Wild Hogs, a critical pariah, was financially
successful primarily because it also featured Martin Lawrence, John Travolta, and William
H. Macy. If you were creating a recipe for a hit movie,
Allen is less of a key ingredient and more of a condiment or garnish. Busy TV career Of course, perhaps the most obvious reason
that Tim Allen isn’t regularly starring in movies is that he, well, just doesn’t have
to. In 2010, he tried his hand at directing with
Crazy on the Outside. When that flopped, he simply returned to TV
in 2011 with Last Man Standing, a sort of spiritual reboot of Home Improvement where
Allen brings his blue collar alpha male schtick into the 21st century. “He’s a man’s man. But lately, he’s realizing…” “What happened to men?” “… he’s not in a man’s world anymore.” The show, which Allen executive produces as
well as stars in, has been critically panned from the beginning. And yet, it shows absolutely no signs of slowing
down, with six seasons as of the making of this video. With Last Man Standing offering steady work
for steady ratings, we’re guessing Allen isn’t eager to run away from his small-screen success
anytime soon. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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