Jamie Foxx’s ‘Diva’ Behavior Made Michael Mann Rewrite the Ending for This Blockbuster Film

Jamie Foxx is a multi-talented actor who’s been involved in very few celebrity scandals. In fact, most filmmakers and actors have nothing but kind words to say about the Oscar-winner, including director Michael Mann. However, there was one instance where Foxx allegedly had an attitude while working with the filmmaker. This resulted in Mann making one of a number of rewrites to his movie.

Jamie Foxx convinced Michael Mann to do a ‘Miami Vice’ film

Jamie Foxx wearing a silver business outfit and sunglasses.
Jamie Foxx | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Michael Mann and Jamie Foxx were cultivating a solid relationship since first collaborating in Mann’s Ali. Afterward, Foxx saw himself teaming up with the director again for 2004’s thriller Collateral. Starring opposite Tom Cruise, the film received praise from critics and earned Foxx a best-supporting actor Oscar nomination. The two would team up again for Miami Vice, a film that Foxx hounded Mann to make. Michael Mann, who was the producer of the original Miami Vice TV series, thought he’d left the series behind.

“The last two years were crap,” Mann once said to Entertainment Weekly. “I’m a bad executive producer. My attention span is two years.”

But Foxx saw potential in the classic series as a movie.

“I go up and say, ‘Hey man, you did that Miami Vice thing, right? Why are you playing around? You need to do Miami Vice: The Movie,” Foxx shared. “And he has an ominous presence. I was a baby petting a pitbull. The baby doesn’t know it’s a pitbull and the pitbull just growls.”

Talking to film critic John Maguire, Mann recalled how opposed he was to the very concept of a Miami Vice movie. But he changed his mind after revisiting his work on the TV series.

“Then I looked again at the pilot and some of the early episodes and I got kind of captured afresh by the deep currents and the emotional power of those stories, and I’m talking here about the first two seasons,” he said on Maguire’s blog Confessions of a Film Critic.

Mann would later relent and commence in making a Miami Vice film. Foxx would be in the lead along with Colin Farrell. But things wouldn’t go the way either Foxx or Mann envisioned.

Jamie Foxx’s alleged on-set behavior almost derailed ‘Miami Vice’

Slate reported that Miami Vice was met with trouble from the beginning.

“The whole of making this movie was filled with adversity,” Mann said according to Slate.

Part of the reason why was due to Foxx’s alleged attitude on set. For one, the actor, coming off his Oscar win for Ray, felt he was being underpaid for the film. Sources claimed Foxx complained about getting paid less than his co-star in Farrell. This resulted in Foxx getting a bump in his salary, and Farrell receiving a pay cut.

But apart from salary issues, Foxx was also upset at the idea of having to fly a commercial plane to Miami. Universal Studios would grant Foxx a private jet, and when he arrived on set the comedian came with an entourage. This also rubbed some crew members the wrong way.

Perhaps the height of his alleged diva behavior was when Foxx left the movie in the middle of production. Sources close to the film claimed a shooting took place when Miami Vice was being shot in the Dominican Republic. After this occurred, Foxx refused to do any work outside of the United States. This led to Mann having to rewrite the entire ending of the movie.

In comparison, his co-star, The Batman star Farrell, was reportedly a consummate professional.

“Yes, Colin comes to play around, but he always showed up on time and prepared,” a crew member said. “Jamie is more of a diva in the sense that he was afraid of boats, afraid of planes—there were a lot of things where he was afraid for himself. Colin will do anything.”

However, Mann refused to add fuel to these allegations. Instead, he complimented the actor instead while staying away from potential controversy.

 “I’m not going to dish dirt about Jamie,” he said. “He has a unique process of acting, and most people don’t understand it. He and I are real close. … That allows us to disagree about stuff.”

Michael Mann also caused problems on the ‘Miami Vice’ set

Michael Mann was also reportedly a bit intense during the making of the movie. The Heat filmmaker allegedly berated crew members, creating a tense working environment. But his behavior wasn’t relegated to just the crew, as he also butted heads with the film’s stars.

“Michael dressed down everybody and humiliated everybody,” a crew member said. “He’s an equal-opportunity guy.”

But Mann insisted that his methods were simply for the sake of his art.

“Sometimes folks are going to join this unit, and they may have a tough time,” Mann shared. “Guess what? They’re on the wrong movie.”

For Mann, it’s never anything personal. It’s simply about maximizing the potential of his work.

“You try to get the best out of a scene,” he shared. “You try to get the best experience for an audience. And you don’t settle. It’s really tempting to settle. And it’s really embarrassing to not settle.”

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