Famous Stars and the Roles They Didn’t Get

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, The Godfather: there are some films so titanic so as to be preserved in the public conscious as pop cultural treasures. For films like these their stars cease to become actors and actresses and instead become part of the movie’s universe, inseparable from their characters from the first film trailer. But what if these immortal roles had belonged to someone else? Check out for the surprises in this list of the almost-cast that could have changed the history of these famous films.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The moustachioed Tom Selleck auditioned for the role of Indiana Jones but it was Harrison Ford who eventually picked up the whip.
The Godfather
The Godfather had several almost-cast actors and actresses. Though Marlon Brando immortalised mobster Vito Corleone, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn were all considered. Robert Redford and James Caan were both in the running for Al Pacino’s part as Vito Corleone. Ann Heche auditioned for Mary Corleone.
Star Wars
The part of Han Solo will forever belong to young Harrison Ford but at the time several big name actors were considered including Christopher Walken and Kurt Russell. Sissy Spacek was originally cast as Luke Skywalker’s sister Leia, while Carrie Fisher was set to film Brian de Palma’s Carrie. But Fisher would not do the nude scenes in the horror classic and swapped roles with Spacek.
The Terminator
O.J. Simpson was offered the role of the Terminator was later ironically thought ‘too nice’ to play the cybernetic killing machine. Schwarzenegger took over the part and played it pitch perfect with burly muscles and a limited Germanic vocabulary.
Speaking of beef-cakes, Jean Claude van Damme was to play the alien predator, facing off against the human team as a more agile alien. But after complaints about the conditions and a lack of face time he was fired from the project.
Catherine Zeta-Jones won an Oscar for her portrayal of the murderous vamp Velma Kelly in the musical Chicago but for some time Madonna was considered for the role. One wonders whether Madonna would Entrepreneurs Meaning have made a success of the role as Zeta-Jones did. To quote Sharon Stone referring to her own attempts at singing: “I felt so out of place! Kinda like Madonna at the Academy Awards.” Ouch.
The Matrix
Will Smith was originally offered the part of Neo in The Matrix but later turned it down.
There are hundreds more but other notables: Tommy Lee Jones and Dustin Hoffman were considered for Deckard, played by Harrison Ford in Blade Runner; Usnews Today Julia Robert’s part as Vivian in Pretty Woman was first turned down by Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jennifer Connelly.

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