Monday, January 15, 2007

What could have been?

I read recently that Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in ‘The Matrix’ series, his basis being that he didn’t think it would work. The man does not believe in regrets (including ‘Wild Wild West’) but he does think now that it was the one role that maybe he should have accepted. The internet is full of rumours as to people who were to play now famous roles, many were just speculation (O.J. Simpson was considered for ‘The Terminator’!) but a number of genuine offers have gone down in lore and make you wonder could any number of careers have taken very different paths.

First up the Indiana Jones box set includes Tom Selleck’s screen test for ‘Indiana Jones’ and he was first choice until contractual commitments to ‘Magnum P.I.’ meant we never got to see a moustached Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford got to play another icon.

Ford himself turned down the Michael Douglas role in ‘Traffic’ and the George Clooney role in ‘Syriana’.

Michelle Pfeiffer turned off by the intensity demanded by the role decided not to play Clarice Starling in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ which lead to Oscar glory for Jodie Foster.

Its hard to imagine anyone other than Pfeiffer playing Catwoman (especially after the woeful Halle Barry effort) but the fact is Annette Bening had signed on to play the role and only pulled out after she fell pregnant.

Robin Wright Penn falling pregnant also meant she has to pull out of ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ and she also pulled out of playing Meridian Chase in ‘Batman Forever’, the role eventually going to Nicole Kidman.

Stephen Baldwin, Ed Harris and Halle Berry were the original line up for ‘Speed’. Could the movie have been lost forever to B-movie DVD boxsets?

Robert DeNiro was committed to ‘Meet the Fockers’ so could not play Bill the Butcher in ‘Gangs of New York’, scheduling conflict also meant he could not play the Martin Sheen role in ‘The Departed’.

Every actor under the sun was considered for ‘Superman’, the most seriously considered though was Nicholas Cage who with Tim Burton at the helm, terrified fans with his plan to play the hero as a wacko!

Chris Farley had recorded the dialogue for the character of ‘Shrek’ before he passed away.

Irish actor Stuart Townsend had committed weeks of acting to film in the role of Aragorn in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series before pulling out. The terms on which he left the project are the subject of much speculation.


Anonymous said...

Though apparently the much-heard rumour about Ronnie Reagan being first choice for the role or Rick in Casablanca is a load of hooey.

Declan said...

Interestingly Harison Ford has just turned down the role of Han Solo in a new Star Wars series.