Back in 2009, Megan Fox became a sex symbol thanks to the popularity of the Transformer franchise. When Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body hit theaters at the time, the marketing team decided to go all in on Fox’s sex appeal in the horror comedy. The movie was far more skin deep than Hollywood executives gave the film credit for. However, it flopped at the time, making just $31 million worldwide and suffering poor reviews.
Over ten years later Jennifer’s Body is a cult classic, especially within the LGBTQ community, as it cleverly subverts the teen genre, comments on toxic masculinity and female sexuality. Looking back, Megan Fox recently explained her feelings on the film’s release and how she felt her public image at the time affected the film’s marketing and release:
I was being vilified a little bit when the movie was getting ready for its release, it was that interesting juxtaposition to shooting up to extreme heights of fame right before the movie was released and then… the tearing me down was starting to happen. Then I had this media fallout with someone I worked in the industry. That happened right when I was on the press tour for Jennifer’s Body. I think it all sort of exploded at once. I felt people definitely viewed me as negative or having bad intentions or just being really shallow and selfish, if it could be reduced and simplified even down to that.
Megan Fox was 23 when Jennifer’s Body came out, and as she previously opened up about, she was being objectified constantly in the public space. At the time, Fox said the problem was so prevalent in her life that she had a “genuine breakdown” and wanted to retreat completely from the public eye. Despite what the filmmakers had intended for Jennifer’s Body, the focus of the marketing was on the actress’ makeout scene with Amanda Seyfried and her ascending from a lake.
Jennifer’s Body was ahead of its time in a sense. At least it has been reexamined today among a community of fans. As Megan Fox said on her appearance on the Eli Roth’s History of Horror: Uncut podcast:
It’s a nice circle. I didn’t expect it to grow like that. But to see it being appreciated now, obviously makes me feel really good. I’m happy for Diablo and I’m happy for Karyn (Kusama, the director) — all these people put in a lot of hard work into making a really quality project that was panned for reasons that had nothing to do with them. A lot of it was just about my image at the time and who I was in the media at the time and the backlash to that. The movie never really stood a chance.
According to Diablo Cody, Jennifer's Body was marketed to a male audience even though its core audience was women. During a test screening with the “target audience,” the writer recalls a note calling for “moar bewbs” in the movie. I certainly remember the trailers for the film reflecting this strategy, even though it was not the intentions of the flick.
Megan Fox still takes some flack every once in a while, such as when she recently addressed allegations concerning Michael Bay’s treatment of the actress before she was of age, defending the director and pushing back against the idea he should be "cancelled." She is currently in a public relationship with Machine Gun Kelly since splitting with Brian Austin Green.
Megan Fox is returning to horror for a movie called Till Death. Check out all the upcoming horror movies set to come out through 2021.