James Hetfield talks about ‘bittersweet’ experience of Metallica’s ‘Through the Never’ movie

The band lost a fortune on the 2013 release

James Hetfield has addressed the financial failure and his bittersweet feelings over Metallica‘s 2013 movie release ‘Through The Never’.

Talking with fanclub magazine So What!, Hetfield talked about how he feels perception influenced the film’s success, and feeling that people didn’t really understand the movie:

“It’s very bittersweet, the whole movie bit,” Hetfield said. “We put a lot of money, time and effort into it, and how awesome we thought it was, and how ‘wow, this is pretty unique’ we felt about it, at the end of the day, was its downfall. It was not so much a concert film, not so much an action drama, it was somewhere in the middle; it just fell right down the crevasse. It disappeared. And it was sad to see that.”


Hetfield continued: “The way life is now in the entertainment field, especially movies, two years of work came all the way up to a Friday night. ‘Okay, the movie’s released!’ By Friday night, you know pretty much what the full picture is and how the movie is actually gonna do at the box office.”

“But management said — and I agree with this; it makes total sense — that Hollywood is about perception. Hollywood is about rumors spreading and things like that, so if someone tweets, ‘Hey, the movie’s great,’ if that spreads, then it helps. A lot of people don’t go to movies because of reviews, I guess… I don’t understand that so much.”


Hetfield also describes how he went through a range of emotions on the financial side of the movie, with Metallica thought to have lost in excess of $15 million all things considered.

“There was a time when I was just pissed,” he said. “Like, ‘What the f–k?’ That was stupid. I wanted to just point fingers everywhere. The distributor people. ‘They didn’t say what they were gonna do.’ Or just pointing at Hollywood in general. ‘They’re a bunch of grigging shysters, man. They sold us on something that they knew was bulls–t.’ Blaming the director, the producer, the casting… And blaming the management. ‘You all f—ed up, man.’”

He continues “We really took a giant risk on this. Maybe we should’ve thought a little more about it. Building that stage – there was a lot of money put into that thing. But at the end of the day, it’s on us. It’s our fault! We agreed to it, and there you go. So we’ve learned a lesson.”

Metallica recently announced a limited-edition 16-disc live vinyl boxset. Kirk Hammett has also suggested that their next album will ‘most likely’ arrive in 2016.


Talking to 103.3 The Edge WEDG-FM, Hammett said:

“Well, you know, we’re moving forward. We’re hoping that the album will be released next year. It’s pretty much more along the same lines as ‘Death Magnetic’ — kind of like that direction. And, you know, we’ll see.”

“We’re into it”, he continues. “I don’t wanna say that we’re a third into it, or two-thirds into it, or an eighth into it, ’cause anything could happen that’ll just change that number. But, eventually, you will see a new Metallica album, and it will most likely be in 2016, and at the very worst, at the beginning of 2017.”