Al Pacino has reportedly quit his role in “Despicable Me 2,” just two months before the film’s release, citing creative differences, Deadline reports. Universal confirmed the dispute in a statement.
It is of course fine for someone to take a stand for artistic integrity, but Al Pacino? He had a long string of hits and critically acclaimed performances, but lately he hasn’t been knocking them dead.
Here’s a look at some of the other questionable films Pacino didn’t say no to over the past 10 years.
Stand Up Guys (2013): You may have missed this one; it took in a whopping $3.3 million at the box office, despite its star-studded cast which included Pacino, Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken and Julianna Margulies. It tells the story of old, old criminals with a trailer that features them marveling at technology like a car with a button start. It also has a scene early in the film featuring Viagra jokes, with Pacino having a bad reaction after taking too much Viagra. Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%.
Jack And Jill (2011): The one where Adam Sandler plays both the lead and his twin sister. Pacino plays himself in a major role, with Jack trying to recruit Pacino to appear in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial as Pacino develops a crush on Jill at a Lakers game. The film was universally panned, though Rotten Tomatoes notes that Pacino delivers “an inexplicably committed performance.” That inexplicably committed performance netted Pacino Razzies for Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple. Pacino even went out and did promotion for this movie with Sandler. Oh, and Pacino does that Dunkin’ Donuts commercial — where he raps. Rotten Tomates score: 3%.
88 Minutes (2007): Pacino plays Dr. Jack Gramm, an expert witness at a serial killer’s trial who gets a call saying he’s going to die in 88 minutes. And you have to sit through over 20 minutes more than that 88 minutes in this movie, as it takes place in real time. Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea called it “A maddeningly mediocre, ineptly manipulative ‘real-time’ thriller.” Several top critics called it the worst film of the year, with a couple going so far as to say it was Pacino’s worst ever. Pacino also received a Razzy nomination for worst actor. Rotten Tomatoes score: 5%
Gigli (2003): The movie that made us hate Ben Affleck before we all loved him again. (Thanks, “Argo”!) Affleck plays Larry Gigli, a Los Angeles mobster who has to kidnap the mentally challenged brother of a prosecutor who’s going after Al Pacino’s character. Affleck also reports to then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, a lesbian who Affleck’s character is also attracted to. It gets worse. Critic Richard Roeper called it “one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen,” and it’s widely considered one of the worst films ever made. You can watch some of the worst moments here; it contains some adult content, but it’s so horrible you should probably stay away just on principle. Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%
So if “Despicable Me 2” had something in it bad enough to put Pacino off months before its release, does that mean it’s unbelievably bad? Or is Pacino’s recent record so bad that it’s actually a good sign for the film? You’ll be able to find out in theaters on July 3. While Pacino had already completed most of the film’s voiceover work, Benjamin Bratt is stepping in to voice Pacino’s role.