Where were we? Oh that’s right!
Here is the second part of my list of well known movies, that were supposed to star different actors.
THE TERMINATOR – O.J. Simpson
Hasta la vista, O.J.? That’s right, before Arnold played our favorite cyborg, the role was offered to former NFL great O.J. Simpson. Insert your own O.J. killer jokes now.
FACE/OFF – Arnold Schwarzeneger/Sylvester Stallone
As much as I love Face/Off and Travolta/Cage switching bodies and the amazing action by John Woo…am I the only one who doesn’t think that Arnold/Sly could have been excellent in this? Face/Off could’ve been an even bigger hit with this tandem, but could they have done a better acting job than Travolta and Cage? John Woo didn’t think so, he pulled the plug.
STAR WARS – Kurt Russell, Christopher Walken, Nick Nolte, Cindy Williams, Jodie Foster, William Katt, Robbie Benson
The casting of Star Wars is a great “what if“. Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken all auditioned for Han Solo. Cindy Williams and Jodie Foster were considered for Princess Leia. Robby Benson and William Katt screen tested and nearly got the part of Luke Skywalker. The great Japanese actor, Toshiro Mifune, was considered as Obi-Wan.
THE GODFATHER – Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson
Director Francis Ford Coppola nearly got fired for his choice of an unknown Al Pacino to play Michael Corleone in the classic, The Godfather. Studio execs wanted better known actors like Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson for the part. Can you picture anyone else in that role besides Pacino?
COLLATERAL – Russell Crowe/Adam Sandler
Before Jamie Foxx drove Tom Cruise all over Los Angeles, on a killing spree, director Michael Mann had two other actors in mind. In the role of the hitman, Vincent (Cruise), Mann picked Russell Crowe. I can see that. Cruise was great, but Crowe could have been even better. In the role of Max, the cab driver (Foxx), Mann initially chose Adam Sandler. What!? Hey driver, pull over!
BATMAN – Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Pierce Brosnan
When Tim Burton decided on Michael Keaton as Batman, the movie-going public was in shock. As it turned out, Keaton was a perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman. Before agreeing on Keaton, Warner Bros. wanted Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray and Pierce Brosnan to play The Caped Crusader. On a side note, Robin Williams has been the first choice for two Batman villains (Joker, Riddler).
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – Tom Selleck
This one might be the mother of all casting what ifs! Tom Selleck was the first choice to play Indiana Jones. He had also just agreed to star in a new TV show called Magnum P.I. It was a tough decision, but he chose TV. Selleck ended up becoming a big TV star, but he never had a solid career on the big screen. While Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones go together perfectly, I do wonder how Tom Selleck would have done as our favorite adventurer?