How some popular movies might have been

20 Actors who turned down iconic roles.

Interesting list.

Will Smith with of made for an interesting Neo.

Sylvester Stallone as Axel Foley is a big one to leave off that list.

Ronald Reagan was supposed to be Rick in Casablanca.

Yeah, that one makes me shudder with terror (and relief), as does the story about Tom Selleck being cast as Indiana Jones.

I wonder if you went to a parallel universe where those castings happened, would the movies still have been hits, and would people be going “thank God they didn’t use Bogey in Casablanca!” etc.? Or would they have bombed?

Snopes tags the Reagan/Casablanca story as fake. Tom Selleck, on the other hand, was very much choice #1 for Indy, so we’ve got to be thankful to CBS for holding him for Magnum.

The list mentioned Julia Roberts for Godfather III, which I hadn’t heard about. All I know is that I was extremely disappointed when Winona Ryder dropped out of the Mary Corleone role.

Finally, while it doesn’t fall into the category of “roles turned down”, I have to wonder what Terminator starring Lance Henriksen or OJ Simpson would have been like.

John Travolta - Turned down the role of Forrest Gump.

And thank God for that. Chin as Forrest? Come on now. Life is like a box of choc-lates.

Tom Hanks turned down Jerry Maguire? That strikes me as a weird pairing.

The movie-that-almost-was that I would most like to see is The Truman Show. So the screenplay is credited to Andrew Nichol, the guy who wrote and directed Gattaca. The story was always essentially the same, but the original intent was a lot darker than what ended up on screen. It took place in Manhattan, and Nichol wanted to direct with Gary Oldman starring as Truman. They did some test shots, which apparently included a scene in which Truman grabs a woman’s baby and holds it over his head, threatening to throw it on the ground if they won’t admit that his world is fake.

The studio decided to go in another direction. The guy who directed Witness seems like a good choice, but The Truman Show ended up being a huge disappointment for me.

I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but a couple of years ago it wasn’t that hard to find Nichol’s original screenplay on the web, if you’re interested.

I would have liked to have seen the Pfeiffer/Foster Thelma and Louise.

From Lord of the Rings:

Daniel Day Lewis was offered the Aragorn role a couple of times.

Sean Connery has publically stated that he turned down the Gandalf role.

Stuart Townsend was cast as Aragorn and went to New Zealand for several weeks of training before shooting started. A few days into the filming, Peter Jackson changed his mind and released Townsend.

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke were both supposed to have secondary roles in the trilogy, but were unable to make their schedules work. The exact characters they were going to play are unconfirmed, but most speculation is that Thurman would have played Eowyn and Hawke Faramir.

All those LOTR ones bum me out, especially Daniel Day-Lewis. I like the Jackson trilogy but I never considered them ‘great’ movies, mostly because of the acting.

James Caan is sort of famous for turning down big roles. I don’t know if he has a terrible agent or just doesnt have a lot of range or what, but that dude could have starred in the French Connection, Kramer vs. Kramer, MASH, The Goodbye Girl and Superman (as Superman!)

See, I actually think the movie was very well cast, with the exception of Aragorn. Not that Mortensen did a poor job, he did a very good job. It just wasn’t quite “right,” IMHO. It’s hard to explain.

I thought Aragorn was played a bit sk8r boi for my tastes.

For the most part those are A-list actors who turned down OK roles. There’s nothing in there like Cary Elwes turning down Top Gun or something, no one on that list missed a chance to make it big.

I loved Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, but I can’t help but think how cool it would have been if Daniel Day-Lewis had played the part. But to be fair, there isn’t a male role out there that wouldn’t have been cooler if Daniel Day-Lewis had played it. I defy you to think of one. You just can’t do it.


The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Please. Daniel Day-Lewis would have been awesome as the lead in 40-Year-Old Virgin. And you know it!


Molly Ringwald was offered acting roles after 1990? And she turned them down?


also, travolta did do phenomenon, so maybe he might have pulled off gump.


Edit: No, wait, serious answer. Tobias Funke.

You’re trying to tell me the star of My Left Foot couldn’t have played Tobias Fünke?