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The Historical Drama That Almost Ruined Colin Farrell's Career

Nearly all of Hollywood's best actors have achieved star status through a mix of talent, chance, and incredibly smart decisions. One great choice can catapult a career toward lasting success, while a single ill-timed misstep can prove disastrous. 

Whether it's poor casting, writing, direction, or financial complications, a lot can go wrong with even the most highly-anticipated movies. Box office statistics have chewed up and spit out some of the greatest actors of this generation, halting their rise in the industry or even destroying it altogether. From Ben Affleck to Nicolas Cage, no one is safe from accidentally taking on a role that ends up bombing at the box office, and Colin Farrell is no stranger to nearly ruining his acting career with a poorly-received film. 

While he (thankfully) survived this particular blunder by the skin of his teeth, there's one expensive, and critically loathed costume drama from his past that he probably wishes he could go back and undo.

The award-winning actor is currently on deck to play The Penguin — aka Oswald Cobblepot — in Matt Reeves' highly anticipated "The Batman," starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. So, he's doing fine, but before any of that, Farrell almost lost it all to "Alexander," a movie that must have seemed like a no-brainer on paper, but proved to be anything but. The film about the famous Macedonian conqueror also starred Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, and Val Kilmer. What could go wrong?

Alexander the not-so Great

Unfortunately, quite a lot. Audience response was incredibly poor, most likely due to the fact that it was released alongside some of the most popular films of the early 2000s, according to Box Office Mojo, including films like "National Treasure," "Saw," and "The Incredibles." The discontent led "Alexander" to a big box office deficit. Pretty brutal for Farrell, considering he had recently come off of box office hits like "S.W.A.T.," "The Recruit," and "Daredevil" (although hated, it made a huge profit). 

When asked about it in an interview with the Los Angeles Times from 2016, Farrell said that he enjoyed the "Alexander" experience immensely. The experience of shooting the film was "extraordinary," and he even went on to say that he'd do it all over again, despite the film's critical and financial failures.

It took a little while for Farrell to start getting roles after the "Alexander" bust, especially anything close to a lead (via IMDb). Fortunately, he had already gained enough traction beforehand in successful movies that it only knocked him out of the game for a short stint. For a lesser performer — or some even slightly less determined — "Alexander" could have been fatal.