Why Hollywood Won't Cast Drake And Josh Anymore

From the moment the infectious theme song "Found a Way" rang its first notes, Drake & Josh was an instant classic. The Nickelodeon show ran for four seasons between 2004 and 2007, building a legacy of brotherly love. So, what happened to the show's iconic stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck? Hollywood hasn't always been so kind, and it turned out that the nerdy brother who you know wasn't going to peak in high school really didn't peak in high school. The same can't be said for Drake Bell.

Drake and Josh were so recognizable, it was always going to be difficult to break away from their childhood characters. For Josh, he reinvented himself with major weight loss, and after a difficult Hollywood studio bankruptcy stalled his career, he found great success in voice-acting, prime time sitcoms and YouTube.

Things didn't go as well for Drake. With a couple DUIs, a bankruptcy and a nude photo scandal, Bell fell from glory like many of the childhood stars that came before him. Here's the real reason this dynamic duo shied away from red carpets since their iconic show's last season.

Bell tried to get Justin Bieber deported in a weird cyberbulling attack

Bell certainly knows how to gain publicity, but it's not necessarily always the right kind. For a time in 2013, the actor was featured in headlines more for an inexplicable, one-sided feud with Justin Bieber than for anything else.

According to Buzzfeed (because you know the Tweets have more or less been deleted), Bell fired off a series of social media posts slamming Bieber. First, he made fun of him for allegedly not writing his own music; then he teased him for wearing makeup and looking like Miley Cyrus. To make things even worse, he accused Bieber of being the same height as "12-year-olds." Of course, Bieber hasn't responded to Bell's quips. When you're that famous, you know your Beliebers will fight your battles for you — and they did. Bieber's fan base thew death threats at Bell, and of course, Bell came out swinging with a few ill-advised comebacks.

The year after Bell sparked this random feud, he actually tried to get Bieber deported back to Canada. It was during that phase in the "Sorry" singer's life where he was getting DUIs and egging his neighbor's house. Bell tweeted a link to a petition calling for his deportation.

All in all, it's probably never a good idea to pick on one of the most beloved musicians in America when you're trying to pave your own way in the music industry but haven't made enough money to pay your mortgage.

Peck's epic weight loss made the premise of 'Drake & Josh' feel weird

Drake & Josh worked because of how different the two brothers were. You had the silly, overweight nerd (Josh Peck) and the handsome, popular musician (Drake Bell). It was a play on personality vs. superficiality, so when Peck epicly lost over 100 pounds towards the end of the series, things got kind of weird. By the time Drake & Josh ended, Peck was a full-fledged dream-boat just like his on-screen brother, and found himself at a crossroads. Could he still be cast as a goofball or would he have to adopt more serious roles like he did in The Wackness?

Even Peck admitted the massive weight loss (as amazing as it was) confused viewers. In an interview with Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss (via Just Jared Jr.) the actor said, "... There are so many reruns, so on a Tuesday they could see 2002 Josh Peck about 290 [lbs.], 5'8". And then they could run into to me on the street at like 6'0, 180 [lbs.] and be like, 'What happened?'"

Either way, Peck looks fabulous, but it's always a struggle when actors change their look and and find themselves up for roles outside of their traditional scope of work.

Peck's comeback movie after 'The Wackness' was shelved for 3 years

Right after Drake & Josh's final season, Peck starred in the coming-of-age drama The Wackness. His breakout performance was applauded by critics, and it looked like he would become one of the few stars to break out of Nickelodeon fame and make it on his own. Unfortunately, his career stalled because of a shelved project.

Peck was supposed to follow up The Wackness with Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 Cold War classic set to release a short year after The Wackness' premiere. Starring alongside Chris Hemsworth was going to be the one-two punch that would cement his fame outside of the Nickelodeon studios lot. Then, MGM filed for bankruptcy, and the project was shelved for three years.

When asked if postponing Red Dawn may have hurt his career, Peck admits that it was a very real disappointment.

"Listen, acting is very much like sales: you're only as good as your last one. And then 'out of sight, out of mind' is definitely a fear. You know, that you'll go away for too long. Totally," he told The Huffington Post.

In 2012, the film finally was released and garnered an abysmal 13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Bell filed for bankruptcy after making just $14,000 a year

Six years after Drake & Josh aired its final episode, Bell found himself in some pretty hot water. The actor's career failed to gain traction. One of the only on-camera roles he managed to snag was a live-action version of The Fairly Odd Parents, which turned out to be fairly odd according to critics. He starred as an adult Timmy Turner. In order to make ends meet, Bell turned to voice acting, where he nabbed the role of Peter Parker and Spider-Man in various Marvel animated films and video games. This was not enough to keep his finances afloat, and Bell filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

According to TMZ, Bell was in the hole for $581,000 after pulling in a paltry $2,820 a month. While some people could make that salary work, Bell's expenses totaled over $18,000 monthly. He actually owed more on his $1.58 million home that its value. According to The Los Angeles Times, it was eventually foreclosed.

TMZ claimed that during Bell's worst year post-Drake & Josh, he pulled in just $14,099. In his best year, he pulled in $408,000. He also reportedly also owed a bunch of taxes.

Bell left Hollywood for the music biz, but broke his wrist

Throughout Drake & Josh, Bell was always portrayed as an aspiring singer-songwriter. Though he released some music in 2005 when the show was still on the air, he  got to fully realize these dreams after retiring from Nickelodeon. Unfortunately, his undeniable talent was marred by a major injury.

According to TMZ, Bell broke his arm diving into a pool during his brother's birthday party in 2015. He slammed his wrist on the concrete after misjudging the depth of the water and shattered the bone. Bell needed surgery and got plates and screws put in his wrist, but the injury was so severe that doctors allegedly told him he'd never play guitar again even after it healed.

Bell has released music since the accident, but it's not the guitar-based pop rock he's known for. He took an electronic angle that doesn't rely on the fine motor skills of shredding during a live performance (and it ironically sounds pretty similar to his mortal enemy Justin Bieber). It's unclear how his injury is affecting his live show, but the star always has his signature voice to fall back on. He's even playing some guitar in one of his recent music videos, so maybe he's healing up better than expected.

Bell made transphobic comments about Caitlyn Jenner

Nickelodeon stars are notoriously PC because that's what keeps their squeaky clean careers running like a well-oiled machine. Remember the controversy when Ariana Grande started licking doughnuts and had to go on an apology tour across morning TV? Bell found himself in a similarly deplorable spot when he made a transphobic remark about Caitlyn Jenner.

In 2015 (the same year as Grande's doughnut incident), Bell took to Twitter to share what he thought about Caitlyn Jenner's landmark Vanity Fair cover. According to US Magazine, who caught some of the tweets before they were deleted, the star wrote, "Sorry...Still calling you Bruce." A Twitter storm ensued forcing Bell to clarify that he didn't have any ill will and that he wasn't being transphobic.

"I'm not dissing him! I just don't want to forget his legacy," he wrote. "He is the greatest athlete of all time! Chill out!"

Similarly to Bell's swoopy haircut circa '04, a transphobic Twitter storm is never a good look.

Bell faced jail time after two DUIs

There's nothing like a DUI to tarnish a wholesome, teeny bopper career. It happened to Lindsay Lohan. It happened to Amanda Bynes. It even happened to Drake Bell.

Bell allegedly found himself drunk behind the wheel on not one — but two occasions. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence for the first time in 2015. Police told Entertainment Tonight that the star failed a field sobriety test, and they could smell alcohol wafting out from inside of the car. During this time, Bell was doing pretty OK in his music career. He was awaiting a sold out show in Mexico when he was pulled over.

A few months later, Bell was pulled over again after swerving and driving 55 in a 35 MPH zone. He was sentenced to 96 hours in jail with four years probation because it was his second DUI. Though the Nickelodeon star undoubtedly served some looks in his mugshot, the irony was not lost after he mocked Justin Bieber for his own DUI before landing in the slammer.

Drake and Josh had major wedding drama

Drake Bell and Josh Peck may have played TV brothers but they certainly fight like real-life siblings. If there was ever a reason for Hollywood to shy away from Bell, it's because he's constantly causing drama. Bell's fallen on some hard times, ones Peck seemed to avoid, which is probably why it stung when he found out about Peck's wedding on social media.

In a now-deleted tweet (via Page Six), Bell quipped, "Ties are officially cut. I'll miss you brotha." According to E! News, the rant continued with, "When you're not invited to the wedding the message is clear ...." Cryptic!  To make matters worse, Peck invited his Grandfathered co-star John Stamos and Drake & Josh producer Dan Schneider.

Bell's tweets went viral and so did the controversy that ensued after. It was revealed that Bell allegedly never texted Peck congratulations, which hurt the actor's feelings, and the pair allegedly weren't as close as Bell made it seem. Peck managed to stay silent and enjoy his wedding day, and Bell later admitted that he was caught off-guard because he "hadn't heard anything about it. He's been my best friend for 18 years. In all honesty, we talk all the time, we've been talking."

It is pretty sad when you put it that way, but now it's all water under the bridge. Bell appeared in Peck's YouTube video titled "Drake and Josh Reunion" where they joked about the wedding drama.

Josh Peck ditched Hollywood for YouTube

Josh Peck hasn't really nabbed any major Hollywood roles as of late, but that could be because the actor actually took his career into his own hands. He's a budding YouTube star with over one million subscribers. The top YouTube stars can make millions, meaning his plight to vlog his life could actually be more lucrative than acting, and he gets to do it on his own terms.

Peck launched his YouTube career by appearing on David Dobrik's channel in front of Dobrik's audience of nearly 6.5 million subscribers. Dobrick's brand of comedy is undeniably reminiscent of Drake & Josh; it's just a bit more adult. Peck was completely in his element from the start and created his own channel shortly after his wedding in 2017. Today, the star regularly appears in Dobrick's videos where he shares his deepest secrets and has surprise reunions with Drake Bell. According to Dobrick, they're "best friends forever," and from the outside, it appears that Peck has found a new Drake to his Josh.

As lucrative as the former Nickelodeon star's YouTube career may be, YouTube celebrities generally aren't considered serious actors, though they may get small roles. This may or may not affect his future in Hollywood, but overall, it does allow him the financial freedom to choose the parts he truly wants.

Drake Bell took up acting in b-list horror films

Starring in a low-budget horror film is often the nail in the coffin for an actor's dwindling career. We saw it happen when Lindsay Lohan made her comeback in the poorly received I Know Who Killed Me. Tara Reid found herself in a straight-to-DVD disaster movie franchise about poorly CGI-ed shark tornadoes. It can happen to the best of us, and it certainly happened to Drake Bell.

Bell went from winning constant Kids' Choice Awards for one of the biggest children's sitcoms of the early aughts to nabbing a minor role in American Satan, which pulled in an abysmal $237,708 in the box office and was only played at 55 theaters nationwide. As The Verge put it, the movie "captures some of the worst acting ever committed to film." If that bugs you, at least there was a ton of nudity to soften the blow. Yeah, it sounds like every other low-budget horror film that ever existed. 

It should be noted that newcomer Andy Biersak, who's best known as the charismatic singer of Black Veil Brides, actually nailed his breakout performance. Being a rock star comes naturally to him, after all. For Bell, the film was a total backslide, or maybe it was actually a step-up — it's hard to tell. The actor's 2015 horror-satire L.A. Slasher scored an astounding zero percent on Rotten Tomatoesand his character didn't even get a full name.

Josh woudn't touch Drake's career after his money problems

More money, more problems! Josh Peck may not be seen constantly in front of the camera (unless it's in a YouTube video), but it's hard to deny the actor has been massively successful in voice acting. Peck landed the role of Eddie in the Ice Age films, which were massive blockbuster hits. He also voiced Casey Jones on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nonetheless, Peck shrugged off the idea of supporting his on-screen brother's career after the actor filed for bankruptcy.

Though Peck didn't seem opposed the idea of throwing Bell some cash if he could, it didn't look like he had any intentions of pulling him into one of his own projects.

"I've been working a lot on my own, and I know he's pursuing his music, but — you never know," he told TMZ about working with his TV brother. "For now, probably not."

Thus went the nicest Hollywood snub TMZ has ever pulled out of someone.

A recent nude photo scandal could be the nail in the coffin

In recent years, Josh Peck has branched out from Drake & Josh days and finally found mainstream success on his own. He's taken his career into his own hands with YouTube, a highly lucrative side gig. He's already snagged major voice-acting roles (Ice Age is nothing to scoff at), and his Fox sitcom Grandfathered launched him into the world of prime time TV. Currently, Peck's slated to star alongside the renowned Richard Dreyfuss in Nate & Al.

On the other hand, Drake Bell's career is singing to an entirely different tune (one with plenty of EDM whooshes). Though Bell launched new music in 2018, his year has already been tarnished with an alleged nude photo scandal. Apparently, hackers leaked a series of nudes in April which included a racy Snapchat video. In the very least, Drake Bell was trending on Twitter for a while because fans were shocked, but he's pretty much given us a glimpse of everything but in the past. To promote his new song "Rewind" in February 2018, the singer dropped an nude photo on Instagram which showed him covering his delicate bits with his palm. Any publicity is good publicity, right? No? Okay.