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 Posted:   Jul 15, 2020 - 9:50 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Al Pacino was pretty much set to play Ron Kovic in BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY in 1979 with Oliver Stone directing. He backed out at the last minute and instead did the movie AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY was put on hold for 10 years until director Oliver Stone cast Tom Cruise in the Kovic role.

Robin Williams was close to playing Harvey Milk in THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET back in the 80's. That project never came to fruition and in 2008 Sean Penn played Harvey Milk in MILK and won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

Can you think of more roles that actors (male and female) almost played in their careers?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2020 - 9:58 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Dustin Hoffman was almost Deckard in Blade Runner, there's storyboards drawn that looked like him.

Jon Finch was cast as Kane in Alien but had a diabetic episode during filming (which you can see the footage of) and was recast with John Hurt.

Patrick Swayze was signed to play Quaid in Total Recall when the movie began preproduction in Australia with Bruce Beresford as the director. In early preproduction, Dino De Laurentiis' company went bankrupt. Arnold Schwarzenegger persuaded Carolco to buy the script for him.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2020 - 10:08 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Gene Wilder was being considered to play the role of the schizophrenic ventriloquist Corky in MAGIC by director Richard Attenborough. Anthony Hopkins played the role in the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2020 - 11:12 PM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

John Candy as Louis Tully in Ghostbusters. But he wanted to be German and have German shepherds and asked too money. He was also drawn in the storyboards.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 4:17 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

I read that Frank Sinatra was set to play Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry but had to bow out because his hand was injured. Some dude named Clint Eastwood got the role as a result.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 4:20 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I guess one of the most famous is Tom Selleck almost getting the Indiana Jones gig, untill MAGNUM PI commitments got in the way.

Leslie Nielsen's audition tapes for Messala in BEN HUR are intriguing. I wonder which way his career would have taken if he had gotten that; he probably wouldn't be the 'comedy guy' we know him as today. Stephen Boyd eventually got the role.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 4:56 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Eric Stoltz actually DID get the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future and completed half the film when director Robert Zemeckis realized he just wasn't working out and brought in Michael J. Fox.

Sorry if that's off topic.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 6:14 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

John Candy as Louis Tully in Ghostbusters. But he wanted to be German and have German shepherds and asked too money. He was also drawn in the storyboards.

?

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 6:31 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Eric Stoltz actually DID get the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future and completed half the film when director Robert Zemeckis realized he just wasn't working out and brought in Michael J. Fox.


That had to sting. Especially how successful the film was and made MJF a movie star.
There's probably a million examples of actors who almost got the gig.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Scott McOldsmith   (Member)

I guess one of the most famous is Tom Selleck almost getting the Indiana Jones gig, untill MAGNUM PI commitments got in the way.

Similarly, Pierce Brosnan was set to play James Bond in The Living Daylights until the procuders of Remington Steele pulled him back, leaving it open for Timothy Dalton. It worked out in the end, obviously, and he was arguably better suited as a more mature actor anyway. He may have backed out to care for his ailing wife Cassandra who passed away in 1991.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 7:41 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

James Remar was Hicks in Aliens, even filmed a few scenes and is also in one scene of the final film with his back to camera. He also personalised the armour that the character wears. Apparently he was a bit coked up and argumentative and replaced by Michael Biehn, who didn't like the heart painted on his body armour.

I think Lance Henriksen was supposed to be The Terminator originally before Arnie stepped in, and Henriksen then became the detective character.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

John Candy as Louis Tully in Ghostbusters. But he wanted to be German and have German shepherds and asked too money. He was also drawn in the storyboards.

?


Apparently Candy had a vision for the charcater that nobody else did. It sounds random but i've seen it on at least two documentaries mentioned by Ramis and Aykroyd.

Also the original Ghostbusters Aykroyd had in mind while writing were meant to be Aykroyd, John Belushi and Eddie Murphy. But Belushi died, and i think Murphy didn't want to do it (not entirely sure, maybe he was too expensive too).

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Charlton Heston was in line to play Brody in Jaws but had just done two other "jeopardy" films (Earthquake and Airport 1975) and the producers thought a third such film for him wouldn't be taken seriously. Go figure.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Dustin Hoffman was offered the role of Neary in Close Encounters but turned it down. He thought the subject matter sounded silly. He later regretted the decision. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Bette Davis turned down MILDRED PIERCE. The part went to WB "newcomer" Joan Crawford, who received an Oscar for her effort.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Nightingale   (Member)

Like in Back to the Future, Harvey Kietel was cast as Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now and part of the movie was filmed with Kietel, including an expensive opening scene that could thus not be used and the Martin Sheen motel room scene was born.

Would love to see the footage.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I remember reading in Charlton Heston's Journal Book that he turned down the Gregory Peck Ambassador Thorn role in THE OMEN.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

It was announced that Lou Costello was to star in a film about Fiorello LaGuardia when he had another bout with rheumatic fever. He died soon afterward and Fiorello went to Broadway.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I think the producers of THE GODFATHER wound up buying Al Pacino out of a movie called THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT to play Michael Corleone in Coppola's Epic. Then Robert De Niro took the Pacino role in THE GANG. I may be wrong, as I know producer Robert Evans despised Pacino, but he did wind up playing Michael. And Robert Evans got dumped by Ali McGraw for Steve McQueen.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2020 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Paul Newman and Steve Mcqueen almost played opposite roles in THE TOWERING INFERNO. I believe Irvin Allen offered one of them their pick of the two starring roles as the Architect or the Fire Chief. Pretty sure Newman picked the Architect for himself. Seems it worked out as I believe McQueen preferred the more "gritty" Fire Chief role.

 
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