In 2016, a movie called All-Star Weekend — directed and starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) – was shot but never released. In the sports-comedy, Foxx and Jeremy Piven (Entourage) play two best friends who go on a crazy adventure to get to the NBA All-Star Game. Also in the cast: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) — portraying a Mexican man.
“I called Robert and said, ‘Listen, I need you to play a Mexican,’” Foxx told Joe Rogan on his podcast in 2017. “He says, ‘Dude, here’s the deal – sure, f–k it.’ But then he texts back and said, ‘I’m nervous to play the Mexican.’ I said, ‘Well, s–t, you played the Black dude [in Tropic Thunder] and you killed that s–t.’ We got to be able to do characters.”
So, will All-Star Weekend, which also stars Eva Longoria (Overboard) and Oscar winner Benicio del Toro (Traffic), ever see the light of day? He doesn’t think the public is ready for the movie because the comedy landscape has changed so much in the last six years.
“It’s been tough with the lay of the land when it comes to comedy,” Foxx told CinemaBlend. “We’re trying to break open the sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again. We hope to keep them laughing and run them right into All-Star Weekend because we were definitely going for it.”
In May, Piven made a comment on the podcast Get Some with Gary Owen that he didn’t think audiences would ever see the All-Star Weekend. “Jamie doesn’t want to release it,” he said.
Downey Jr. got very little push back in 2008 when he wore blackface to play an Australian method actor who darkens his skin to play a Black character in a movie. Maybe it was because people considered it more of a satirical take than anything else, but the role even earned an Oscar nomination. But it’s difficult to see how him playing a Mexican today – just like James Franco playing a Cuban or Catherine Zeta Jones playing a Colombian – wouldn’t land without a huge clamor.