They are some of the most iconic movies of their time, but they could have looked a lot different if they lead actors hadn’t been second choice for the part. Some of Hollywood’s biggest parts have been turned down by some of Hollywood’s biggest names. So here’s 10 of the biggest names to cost themselves a small fortune, and in several instances save us some major goddamn misery!
Sean Connery:- Gandalf the Grey
Yes that’s right, believe it or not, Connery was actually considered for the role of Gandalf the Grey before turning it down. He had negotiated a $30m contract and 15% of the franchises box office takings, a move which has rumored to have cost Connery a whopping $450m! Even better he turned down the role to play the lead in “The League of Extra Ordinary Gentleman” the critically panned box office flop which eventually resulted in his retirement from acting. Apparently after reading the script and the book he didn’t understand what was going on, here’s a clue Sean…. ££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££
Michael Madsen:- Vincent Vega
Quentin Tarantino’s favorite acting buddy in the entire world was originally offered the role of Vincent Vega in his cult classic Pulp Fiction, a role that eventually went to John Travolta and won him a best actor nomination. Madsen was forced to turn down the role as he was currently working on the film “Wyatt Earp”, a film which Madsen loves dearly and enjoyed playing his part in…. NOT.
Molly Ringwald: Vivian Ward
She was the darling of the 80’s, an up and coming star with nothing in her way, except the fact that she wouldn’t know a good role if it came up to her and drop kicked her in the t*ts. She was offered and turned down the part of Vivian Ward in the movie Pretty Woman, a role which was picked up by Julia Roberts and made iconic. Eager to protect her wholesome image she turned down the role, concerned that playing a hooker would effect her career. Demonstrating similar aptitude for role selection she also turned down the role played by Demi Moore in Ghost. Since then Ringwald has used her wholesome image to take her career to new heights even in the 21st century, now 45 Ringwald is presumably still turning down world class offers which would explain her bulging filmography since the dawn of the 90s. We at TMT haven’t seen either Pretty Woman or Ghost, but I’m told that’s a big deal.
Will Smith:- Neo
That’s right, Minds Blown! Before Will Smith was started peddling his kids to every Hollywood Hack, he was originally offered the part of Neo in The Matrix. Why didn’t he do it I hear you ask? He turned the role down to play the title role of Jim West in the critically acclaimed and box office smash Wild Wild west. Rather than fight 200 Hugo Weaving’s he chose desert hijinks with Kevin Kline. Presumably Smith wasn’t allowed to sing the theme tune for the Matrix.
Harrison Ford:- Oskar Schindler
Ford was originally offered the role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s epic Schindler’s list. However he turned the role down for artistic reasons. After reading the script Ford realized how powerful the script was and how important the movie could be so he turned it down, fearing his own star power could overshadow the importance of the file. The role was eventually given to Liam Neeson who went on to be nominated for Best Actor and the film won best film at the 1993 academy awards. Very noble Mr Ford, very noble indeed.
Sean Connery: Morpheus
That’s right. Connery was offered the role of Morpheus in the Matrix, but once again turned it down because he didn’t understand the material. Its probably for the best in this instance, it would seriously effect the realism of the film if an octogenarian was trying to kick Keanu Reeves’s ass or Will Smith’s as it may have been in those training scenes. In fact, I cant think of anything less believable.
John Travolta: Forrest Gump
Can you Imagine, John Travolta as Forrest Gump. No Neither can we? What about Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? They all turned down the role of Forrest Gump, the part was expertly played by Tom Hanks who won a 1994 best actor academy award. Travolta can count this amongst his biggest regrets, though naturally as he can’t really act an academy award would have been out of the question. I think as a film loving public we should be thrilled things turned out as they did.
3:Sylvester Stallone: Terminator
Stallone was the studio’s first choice for the T-800 but turned the role down, as did Mel Gibson before the studio turned to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though Stallone is similarly robotic in his delivery its difficult to imagine the role played by anybody other than The Governator. Mel Gibson would have been a Terrible Choice, we can all agree that.
Tom Hanks: Jerry Maguire
Hanks turned down the role of Jerry Maguire which eventually went to Tom Cruise. Despite writer and director Cameron Crowe stating he wrote the role with Tom Hanks in mind he was busy directing “That Thing You Do”. Still, Hanks did alright for himself I suppose.
Tom Selleck: Indiana Jones
Left to deal with cameos in “Friends” Selleck was offered the role of Indy but had to turned it down because it interfered with the filming of “Magnum P.I”. Naturally Selleck is gutted he turned down the role, if only because it took until “Blue Bloods” for Selleck to appear on any screen as a leading man again. Still, Indiana Jones with a moustache? Doesn’t sound right does it really?