Monday, December 10, 2012


I followed a random link on the Internet the other day and came across the kind of thing I love. Now, I hate movie websites that focus all their attention on what actor might be cast in a role, but I love stories of actors that were almost cast in a role. I've written before about Tom Selleck getting but not keeping Indiana Jones, Kurt Russell almost getting Han Solo and Eric Stolz getting but not keeping Marty McFly, but here are a few others that never came to pass.

All of these actors turned down these roles, by the way.

Sean Connery as Gandalf in LORD OF THE RINGS and Morpheus in THE MATRIX: I don't know exactly how much different either of these films would have been, but probably a lot.

Emily Blunt as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2 and subsequently THE AVENGERS: I'm in love with Emily Blunt, so this would have been awesome for me. Had to turn it down because she was already attached to the Jack Black masterpiece GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.

Kevin Costner as Andy Dufrense in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION: Tim Robbins killed it in this movie (one that I will watch from any point whenever it's on TV), so I'm actually really glad Costner passed on this to make his critically-adored, award-winning magnum opus, WATERWORLD.

Molly Ringwald in both PRETTY WOMAN and GHOST: She passed on both of these and no one has heard from her since.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Dirk Diggler: Leo says this is his biggest regret in regards to roles he turned down. I love Marky Mark, but if hadn't gotten this role, we not have to hear about him starring in another piece of shit TRANSFORMERS movie. I don't know which way I lean on this one.

Johnny Depp as Ferris Bueller: He probably would have been awesome, but it would have been a much, much different movie. Ferris would have had some deep-rooted emotional problems that would have dwarfed anything wrong with Cameron Frye.

Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone: Not the biggest fan of THE GODFATHER movies (I like them, I just don't worship them), but I definitely think Nicholson would have done more harm than good here.

Matt Damon as Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT and the lead in AVATAR: Happy he turned these down. Neither of them fit what he does as an actor and he must have known it.

Richard Greico as Jack Traven in SPEED: Another movie I will watch any time it's on TV and dare I say it actually has a lot to do with how good Keeanu Reeves is in it. It's the perfect movie for him. Greico, not so much.

Will Smith as Neo in THE MATRIX: Just think about Will Smith talking about weird shit with Sean Connery for a minute. Would we have had to watch two shitty sequels with such high expectations with these two in the lead roles?

Mickey Rourke as Axel Foley in BEVERLY HILLS COP: I think this was the movie that turned Eddie Murphy into a superstar. It would have been just awful with Rourke trying to crack wise while stuffing bananas in tailpipes. Great actor, but this movie would have suddenly not been a comedy.

Nicolas Cage as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in THE WRESTLER: Cage had this role then dropped out in order to pursue a string of weird, awful and forgettable movies. Much to the delight of Rourke who had been kind of MIA since passing on BEVERLY HILLS COP.

Matthew McConaughey as Jack Dawson in TITANIC: McConaughey waxing intellectual about high school girls while drowning in the Atlantic might have made this movie more watchable for the first and third hours. The middle part, when the boat is sinking, is actually pretty awesome and enjoyable. I hate everything else about this movie, but McConaughey might have given it a little comic relief just for being so out of place.

Burt Reynolds as Han Solo in STAR WARS: Harrison Ford was probably their last choice and the only guy not famous for his mustache.

I love this kind of thing. I'm sure there are tons more, but we'll save those for another day.

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