I have a novel to finish. Which means I can’t spend time surfing websites. Normally, this isn’t an issue as I can exert enough self control to keep the word count going. But recently, I’ve found myself addicted to one site in particular: IMDB.com. For those of you aren’t familiar with the name, IMDB stands for Internet Movie Database. The have a listing for every TV show and movie ever made. And any and all actors and actresses who appeared in each show or movie.
That would be bad enough, as I like to look up different actors and see what other movies the were featured. But now I’ve found another part of the site. Trivia. near the bottom of the listing for each movie or show, they have a trivia section. Now I can learn the inside scoop on all my favorite movies and shows. And I have a lot of them. So I’ve cut myself off. Well. Until tonight. I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned so my feverish visiting of the site would produce at least a blog post.
Tonight’s post is about “Who Almost Got The Part”. I will share the actors who were almost cast in some very iconic rolls.
Most people now know Tom Selleck was first offered the roll of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but had to turn it down do to conflicts with Magnum P.I. Jeff Bridges turned down the roll. Steve Martin chose to do Pennies from Heaven instead of Raiders. Bill Murray dropped out due to conflicts with Saturday Night Live. Chevy Chase, Sam Neil, Nick Nolte and Jack Nicholson were also considered. To think, Indiana Jones could have been a “wild and crazy guy!”.
Seems Harrison Ford has been the beneficiary of several iconic rolls turned down by someone else. Han Solo, one of the most iconic rolls in cinematic history, was not supposed to go to Harrison Ford. Christopher Walken, James Caan, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro and Burt Reynolds all turned down the roll. Can you just picture Solo kicking in a door and shouting, “Here’s Hansie?” Or looking at Darth Vader and asking, “Are you talking to me?”
The Shawshank Redemption is the highest rated movie on IMDB’s top 250 movies and stars Tim Robbins as Andy and Morgan Freeman as Red. Neither were the first choices for their parts. Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen all turned down the roll. .Hanks to film Forest Gump, Costner to film Water World. One of them chose wisely. One did not. Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman and Robert Redford were all considered to play Red. Charlie Sheen and Clint Eastwood? Would the movie be the same?
4. Other Notables
Leonardo DiCaprio was offered the roll of Spider-man, which went to Tobey Maguire. Charleton Heston instead of Roy Scheider in Jaws. And for the roll of Batman which eventually went to Michael Keaton? How about this list: Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey Jr, Kevin Spacey, Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes, really), Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Pierce Brosnan and Tom Selleck. Oh and Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, Kevin Kline and Bruce Willis. “Yippie-ki-yay Mother-Joker”