56 Responses

  1. Demetria Dixon at |

    I can't imagine any of these people in these roles. I think things worked out the way they were supposed to

    Reply
  2. jay at |

    Al Pacino, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken and Burt Reynolds as Han Solo?

    LIES!!!

    they wanted a cast of unknowns for starwars, and reluctantly chose Harrison Ford, as he had already been in American Graffiti before hand

    this list, like most of your lists are lies!

    (i bet that you'll delete this comment too)

    Reply
    1. Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

      Yo Gay…..you are a douche. Just like me. =)

      Reply
      1. Fredo at |

        McDouche…..man, I am still laughing. Thank you so much for your post. It is hilarious. Still laughing……….thank you……aAHAHRHAHRhahrharharhahrahrhar….

        Reply
    2. Doug E. Doug at |

      Al Pacino…never heard that…I don't know what you think you know, but it was actually Kurt Russell who tried out for the part, along with Harrison Ford. Are you just pulling names out of a hat? Damn stop wasting our time.

      Reply
      1. Tanya Bennett at |

        Perhaps you should take the time to read the other comments first – two links were posted to sources to back this up (see August 1, 2008 – TopTenz Master) below.

        Reply
  3. Luxz at |

    Bruce Willis also turned down a role in oceans 11 as Terry Benedict

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  4. banjo at |

    bruce willis can turn down whatever he wants because he is forever the man!!

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  5. FranklyMyDear at |

    Actually…….Being a major GWTW fan. Bette Davis wanted the part desperately, but was never offered it.

    Reply
    1. Blue at |

      FranklyMyDear, you beat me to it! You are correct. In fact, Davis wanted the role of Scarlett so bad that – after she lost it – she made the movie Jezebel which is almost a farce of GWTW. IIRC, she was widely critized for doing so. The actress who came closest to getting the Scarlett role was Paulette Goddard, at least until Vivien Leigh showed up – thank God!

      Reply
  6. paresh at |

    u missed Tom cruse & Arnold. thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Staz at |

    Don't forget Jet Li, who turned down Chow Yun Fat's role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Li's wife was pregnant and he wanted to be there for her.

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  8. RPO at |

    Will smith as Neo would have been odd

    Reply
  9. Jacko Crackso at |

    "thumbs down for the pop-up"

    Don, perhaps you'd prefer that we go back to web 1.0 and make people pay to read content again. If you expect content to be free online, don't complain about ads. Don't EVER.

    You see Don, one day a pretty little lady is come around here with a big bag of cash and say, we wanna take this site to the next level. We wanna give you $2 million in venture capital so that you can become the next Boing Boing. Or, hey, we're Gawker media, and we wanna assimilate you. But that ain't gonna happen if the site isn't turning any profit. And it sure as biscuits isn't gonna happen if the users complain about ads.

    Reply
  10. ELBSeattle at |

    Bette Davis did not turn down Gone With the Wind. She was very bitter that she wasn't cast as Scarlett. (And I think she would have been magnificent) She made Jezebel as a sort of consolation prize, or so the story goes …

    Reply
  11. dita at |

    i agree that judd nelson and keanu reeves were perfect in their respective roles.

    Reply
  12. wow at |

    Are these photos REALLY photoshopped!!!! i am in disbelieve!!! who would have even known… thank you soooo much for pointing that out!

    Reply
  13. italkfilm at |

    I have heard that Cary Grant was considered for James Bond . But the Al Pacino one is really hard to believe. They could have used his eyebrows to make the Chewbacca suit maybe?

    Reply
  14. URWrong at |

    I second the lies about the Han Solo casting. The only other "famous person" who was auditioned was Kurt Russel. They were going for unknown actors.

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  15. thid guy at |

    I think you might be confusing the SNL skit with the actual actors who auditioned for Han Solo. Sir Alec Guiness was the only seasoned actor that Lucas wanted in the film. Every one else was to be unknowns.

    Reply
  16. Huey at |

    No major picking, just that in countless interviews tarentino points out that he wrote Bill with David Carridine in mind so i very much doubt it was offered to Costner

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  17. Huey at |

    Oh and the Hans Solo thing is a famous for being true people, Lucus ended up going with unknowns because he quit the Directors guild and at the time the Screen Actors Guild wouldn't let its memebers work with no guild directors

    Reply
    1. randy at |

      George Lucas did not leave the Screen Actors Guild until after The Empire Strikes Back

      Reply
    2. ki4clz at |

      Harrison Ford was one of the carpenters on the set; £ucas asked him to stand in for a test to read lines because the other dude didn’t show… bonus features on da dvd

      Reply
  18. micromerger at |

    Will Smith is very fantastic in his acting, i always like to watch his movies.

    Reply
  19. Audrey at |

    You're totally missing one of the most important roles that was passed on…

    Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones!

    Steven Spielberg wanted him to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), but he was still under contract for the "Magnum, P.I." (1980) TV-series, so he had to pass on the role.

    Reply
  20. Danny at |

    lol Don should use firefox like somebody with more then half a brain.

    Reply
  21. Darkjedi at |

    Lol Danny, I was just thinking that.

    Good list, I like it, and you did a good job with the photoshopping of the pictures. Hell I hardly ever leave comments on anything too lol.

    Reply
  22. XUSNLT at |

    The SNL skit(s) based on Star Wars' casting couch is/are hilarious. Kevin Spacey plays Walken reading for Han Solo in the Kessel Run speech. Priceless. True or not, I laughed. This list just goes to show you how delicate a movie's chemistry can be. The characters are memorable "as cast" and there's no guarantee that different actors would have had the same effect. What if Keanu Reeves had never done "Bill and Ted"? How could he play the exact same character in every role since then…? Think about it.

    Reply
  23. Smelly Pete at |

    If it was possible I think it would have been cool if Will Smith played Han Solo, Then he could pimp Princess Leah like nobodys business!

    Reply
  24. Scott at |

    "He opted instead to direct Open Range in yet another poor career choice…cough, cough Water World."

    Huh?

    Was there something wrong with Open Range?

    Its 78% approval rating on RottenTomatoes is more than adequate; its 7.5/10 rating on IMDB is on the verge of being in the Top 250 (which extends to films with a rating of 8.0); it received moderate critical acclaim–Roger Ebert gave it 3.5/4 stars. While Open Range was not a "smash" hit at the Box Office, the film did take in nearly $70m in worldwide gross, compared to a $20m production budget.

    Now, one may say that Kill Bill would have been a BETTER career choice … but I hardly think that Costner's decision to direct Robert Duvall (you know, Gus from Lonesome Dove?) and Annette Benning in a classic, Biblical Western was a "poor" choice.

    Food for thought.

    Reply
    1. Biff at |

      Amen. great movie. Waterworld is one of those movies that gets better with age , as well.

      Reply
      1. Charley Waite at |

        Open Range is 100x better than either Kill Bill. Poor career choice? More like poor job of writing this article full of nonsense.

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        1. QuandraX at |

          I agree, Open Range is a great film. Perhaps in the few years after it was made people didn’t recognize it for the film it was. That tends to happen. And, Costner has always been “cool” to bash on, in the movie geek sense, while completely ignoring his excellent contributions to American cinema. Costner makes classic career choices. Kill Bill was passable, and I have no intention of decrying Tarantino’s efforts too hard, but it is his second weakest picture — Deathproof being the worst. Open Range just so happens to be Kevin Costner’s third best western. I’d say “well done, Mr. Costner.”

          Reply
  25. Vic at |

    Let's not forget that the lead role for the Indiana Jones series was supposed to be for Tom Selleck but he was already committed to Magnum P.I. so the role went to Harrison Ford instead.

    Reply
  26. wayne at |

    Charles Grodin turning down Dustin Hoffman's role in 'The Graduate' over money. Bad as Costner's boner decision.

    Reply
  27. Amber at |

    i like what will smith said about playing neo in the matrix. much as i love him, he would never have been able to pull it off. keanu does a fantastic job!!

    Reply
  28. Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

    no one, and i mean NO ONE can play John Bender like Judd Nelson did. Dont get me wrong, Cusack is one of my favorite actors, but, Judd was born to play Bender

    Reply
  29. Ron at |

    Regarding Kevin Costner — OPEN RANGE is very highly regarded as one of the great Westerns made in the last 20 years. The fact that it didn't fit your criteria does not make it a bad career choice….now WATERWORLD, on the other hand, would have been a bad choice for Flipper…

    Reply
  30. Vicky at |

    What about Back to the Future.
    Well I guess Eric Stolz actually didn’t pass on the roll, but just think of how different the movie would have been without Mchael J Fox!

    Reply
  31. Blue Silver at |

    Kevin Costner made a poor choice to direct, “Open Range”, instead of taking the role of Bill in “Kill Bill”?
    Are you serious? “Open Range’ is a great film and one of Costner’s BEST. Things worked out perfectly….and NO, Costner did not make a poor choice!!!!

    Reply
  32. JYP at |

    Other worthies-

    Peter Boyle turning down the Oscar winning role of Popeye Doyle in the French Connection (he fired his agent after that).

    One of the strangest was Anthony LaPaglia turning down the role of Tony Soprano (yes I know it’s TV but stil it’s a biggie). Can’t imagine anyone but James Gandolfini in the role.

    Another winner – Jack Lord as James Bond. He had the role but had to bow out because he was already in contract for Hawaii 5-0 so he took a smaller role in the movie Dr. No

    Reply
  33. KTSMOM at |

    Bette Davis didn’t turn down GWTW. She wanted it badly and made Jezebel as a kind of you know what to David Selnick when he didn’t cast her in the role. Paulette Goddard almost was cast and maybe would have played the part but Vivien Leigh came along. Selnick had issues with Goddard and her relationship with Charlie Chapman – also, in my opinion, her screen tests (that can be seen on the DVD special features) were just not quite right.

    Reply
  34. Charles Diggie at |

    Vivien Leigh ?? You mean Janet Leigh, don’t you ????

    On a related topic, why wasn’t/isn’t there a woman “Han Solo” considered?????

    Last, to me, Harrison Ford was/is the perfect person for the role of Mr’ Solo.

    And, I would’ve really loved it (the movie) if there was more romantic action in ‘the alien bar.’ Can be a same sex liaisons.

    Reply
  35. GML at |

    1. Al Pacino – Han Solo, Star Wars

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO……………….

    Can you imagaine? There might have never been an Indiana Jones after that.

    Reply
  36. Timothy Miller at |

    There are six they have forgotten on hear, A. Tom Selleck was originally chosen as Indiana Jones but do to his Magnum P.I. Committment he declined. B. Clint Eastwood was considered for the part of Superman before Christopher Reeve. C. Richard Geere was considered to play John Macclain ( did I spell that right?) but the producers wanted a blue collar look. Here are two from The Rocky series: D. Stallone originally wanted James Caan to play Rocky not himself, what happens I am not sure… E. Stallone originally wanted Joe Frasier to play Clubber Lang in Rocky 3 but during a try Frasier gave him a head butt that split Stallone open and after Stallone chose Mr. T and the rest is history. Finally, Blazing Saddles: Mel Brooks originally wanted co-writer Richard Pryor to play Sheriff Bart, but Pryor said: ” No, I have good drugs and good women you have your movie, see ya.” That last part is an embellishment and I know it is a bit different but is a nice supplement….

    Reply
  37. tone at |

    people only think these actors would have made things odd after the fact of seeing the roles already played. i would have liked to see will as neo..sophia stewart had a man of color in mind to play the lead role.

    Reply
  38. Peter Boucher at |

    Speaking of “The Wizard Of Oz”, Judy Garland was the third pick. MGM originally wanted Shirley Temple as Dorothy, she refused. The second choice for the role of Dorothy was Deanna Durbin and she refused. So Judy Garland took the role and the rest as they say, is history……..

    Reply
    1. Stephen Cook at |

      Good point. Garland was actually a little old to play Dorothy, but I can’t imagine an actress with a better voice for the part. IIRC, the studio thought she was too heavy & made her lose weight for the part. That’s the reason her clothes are particularly loose, because they thought she was too fat. I thought she was beautiful, but what do I know.

      Reply
      1. Peter Boucher at |

        Hello Stephen. Thank You for responding and yes, I am familiar with the anecdote of her loose fitting clothes. She took “uppers” to lose the weight but then turned to Barbituates so she could get to sleep. It eventually led to her untimely death of an overdose in 1969. There was a made for TV movie entitled “Rainbow” which I believe came out in the late 70′s. The Broadway Star Andrea McArdle (of “Annie” fame) portrayed Judy and its very hard to find. The movie primarily focuses on her youth growing up. Her actual name was Frances Gumm.

        Reply
  39. Cam at |

    I’ve heard about Cary Grant considered for Bond, but the guy was nearing 60 when the film series started… Way too old for a character who was meant to be in his early 30s.

    Walken and Pacino would’ve been interesting Han Solos, but I think the only other guy ( besides Harrison Ford ) to play him would’ve been Kurt Russell.

    Maybe he was thought to be too young ( 25 at the time ) for the role.

    Reply
  40. gray at |

    a famous film role refusal..lee marvin was spielbergs first choice to play quint in Jaws, he turned the role down as he was already going on a fishing holiday..so robert shaw got the role..the rest is history!

    Reply
  41. marc at |

    IDK, I bet Burt Reynolds could have done well as Han Solo. Think “the Bandit” in space. Cool means of transport, cute chick by his side, a history of smuggling and evading the law, big ugly ass-kicking sidekick.

    Reply
    1. Cam at |

      Agreed :)

      Reply

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