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First choices for great roles.... and would they have been better???

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 07 Mar 2013, 12:38 pm

Read somewhere that Gere got An officer and a gentleman after Travolta (1st choice) turned it down!!!.........Think Gere did a better job than Travolta would have!!

Any others and would they in your opinion have been better???

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Post by Galted Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:12 pm

Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones is a well-known one. While it's sacrilegious to say anyone could've been better than Harrison Ford I think Tom Selleck would have been quite good in the role.
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:23 pm

Wasn't Pierce Brosnan asked to take over as Bond after Roger Moore, but couldn't 'cause he was committed to Remington Steele?
Timothy Dalton got the gig instead. Would Brosnan have been better in the role than Dalton at that time?

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Post by Adam D Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:28 pm

The answer to the above is no as Dalton IS Bond IMO.

Also Selleck starred in a Indy rip off (Road to somewhere or other) which was quite poor.

Eric Stolzt was Marty McFly from memoyry - I will see if I can find some stills of him from the 10 minutes they shot.

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Post by Adam D Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:32 pm

Spoiler:
First choices for great roles.... and would they have been better??? 1286992727180
[img][/img]

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:35 pm

Yes stoltz.......how bad would he have been....

Think Dalton's licence to kill is really underrated....Carey lowell is a link to Gere in the thread as well...

Feel like kevin Bacon... Cool

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Post by Adam D Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:37 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:
Feel like kevin Bacon... Cool

From Flashdance.

Slightly related but TV based - I believe that George Peppard was the first choice for Blake Carrington in Dynasty which went to Bill Forsyth.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:43 pm

Was he in Flashdance??......

John Wayne was first choice for Jock Ewing in Dallas..

Might have been fun.

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Post by Adam D Thu 07 Mar 2013, 1:56 pm

I think Sinatra might have been first choice for Dirty Harry as well although I might be way off there!

I do know that John McClaine was originally offered to Sly Stallone though for Die Hard. The actual story was also a follow up to a film that Sinatra had been in (cant remember the details though)

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Post by Cyril Thu 07 Mar 2013, 3:50 pm

Didn't John Travolta turn down Forrest Gump? I think Bill Murray was also considered.

I think Mel Gibson might have been in line for Gladiator but he thought he was too old.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 07 Mar 2013, 6:57 pm

Willis is much better than Stallone could ever be,,,,,

Much less intense performance by Willis who succesfully made Mclaine out to be an everyman kind of hero..

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Post by Adam D Thu 07 Mar 2013, 7:04 pm

DIE HARD: 25 YEARS ON

"We call it a wife-beater,” says Hart Bochner. “What did you say you call it?”

“A vest.”

This exchange explains why Bochner, a Los Angeles-based Canadian, isn’t aware of the Die Hard Vest’s cult appeal in this country – and perhaps why it’s not such a ‘thing’ in the United States. After all, it wouldn’t sound good if people listed ‘the wife-beater’ among their favourite things about the film; some of the actors could take it the wrong way.

There are, of course, many other things to like about Die Hard that aren’t reliant on trans-Atlantic linguistic harmony – or so heavily soiled. And this is why this story of Bruce Willis’s off-duty cop, clambering around a skyscraper on Christmas Eve in an effort to save his wife and her colleagues from a gang of German terrorists, has firmly cemented its place at the top of the Nakatomi Plaza of Action Films. Even 25 years after its release, and with a fifth incarnation, A Good Day To Die Hard, out this week, the influence of, and love for, the original is still strong.

One of those lovable things keeping the relationship alive is Bochner. Die-hard, er, Die Hard fans will know exactly who he is. The rest of you will know him as the film’s thick-bearded, cocaine-loving ball of smarm, Harry Ellis. The man

who delivers the killer line, “Hans, bubby, I’m your white knight,” before talking his way into a bullet from Alan Rickman.

“It certainly redefined the action genre,” he says. “It’s weird that a movie holds up for 25 years. You look at films that struck nerves at the time and some of them don’t hold up like Die Hard does. Die Hard still works.”

It would be interesting to know if that would have been the case had the film followed its intended path. The most recent film in the franchise may have been called Die Hard 4.0, but the original is in fact a much-updated version; the result of alterations, rejections and hasty, on-the-hoof decisions. In fact, almost everything we love about Die Hard shouldn’t have been there.

The film is based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. It was the sequel to another Thorp novel called The Detective, which was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra in 1968: a picture that had a contractual agreement for Old Blue Eyes to resurrect his character on screen.

Almost literally resurrect him – Sinatra would’ve been 72 when filming began; not the best age for dragging one’s body through ventilation shafts and indulging in hand-to-hand combat with enormous Teutonic mercenaries.

TO BE FRANK
As it was, Sinatra turned down the role – a retired cop trying to rescue his daughter from German terrorists in the offices of the Klaxon Oil Company (which became the Nakatomi Corporation) – freeing up the film’s director, John McTiernan, to make the lead character younger, change his daughter (who dies in the book – sorry for the spoiler) to his wife, and change his name from Joe Leland to John McClane. Not that Willis was the first choice to replace Sinatra, however.

“When the original script was put out, Stallone turned it down, Schwarzenegger turned it down, Richard Gere turned it down,” says Steven E de Souza, who wrote the film’s screenplay (along with many of the action scripts of the Eighties, including Commando, 48 Hrs and The Running Man). “They were reading it in the context of Eighties action films. All these other guys are kicking ass, but this guy spends the first half of the movie trying to hide from the criminals. The hero is completely human, he struggles to survive. We definitely got lucky. Bruce was absolutely perfect.”

Willis was already a global star on TV thanks to Moonlighting, but a couple of films, whose only association with Christmas was the fact that they were turkeys, had given him a poor start to his big-screen career. However, in another stroke of luck, Willis’s day job actually helped add an extra layer to the film, his character and, as it turned out, what the action-loving public would come to expect as standard.

BIRTH OF A BADASS
“Bruce was doing Moonlighting Monday to Friday and filming our movie in between,” explains De Souza. “So a lot of the [nocturnal] stuff was shot at night and not in a studio. He was so exhausted that McTiernan asked us to come up with additional scenes to get Bruce some sleeping time. He’s off the screen for a tremendous amount of time, so it played like a drama. There’s the scene at his family’s house, the cop on the ground, William Atherton’s reporter. It gave the character and film depth, a background.”

It’s a humanity that appeals to us normal folk. A real hero is someone you can relate to, even if they can shoot laser beams out of their eyes. That’s why superheroes have alter egos. It’s not all about being able to go to the supermarket without people staring at your cape – it all helps to make them more real. McClane gets hurt, he makes mistakes, he worries.

As Willis himself put it in an interview after the film’s 1988 release, “He’s not invincible. He’s a very vulnerable guy.” OK, he does also dress a corpse in a Santa hat and send it down a lift with a joke painted on its chest, but let’s be honest, there’s a little sociopath in all of us.

One piece of casting wasn’t fortunate, though: that of Alan Rickman as the gang’s ruthless and charismatic leader, Hans Gruber. He was spotted on stage by McTiernan and producer Joel Silver, who immediately knew they’d found their obligatory European villain (the German they speak is often nonsensical and grammatically incorrect, and in the dubbed German version, the names are anglicised – very touchy, these Germans).

“The buzz at the time was about how Rickman stole the film,” explains Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian’s film critic. “It was his first feature film. You’ll notice that they haven’t let the villain be more badass, or outshine Bruce Willis, in the subsequent films.”

Once the cast was in place, filming began in a hurry – 20th Century Fox (‘Nakatomi Plaza’ is Fox’s headquarters in LA), wanted the film made quickly to release in 1988, which led to a lot of winging it. The scene where Willis and Rickman meet and Gruber pretends to be a hostage, for example, was written in an afternoon after De Souza learned that Rickman could do a US accent “You want that mano-a-mano moment, but there was no reasonable way to get them face to face,” De Souza says. “But someone pointed out that Bruce only heard Alan speaking on the radio in a German accent.”

The makers didn’t even know how the thieves were going to escape until two weeks from the end of shooting, when someone said they could use an ambulance hidden in the back of their truck. But when the crew were watching the first cut of the film, they noticed a problem: when the villains arrived they got out of a visibly empty truck missing precisely one ambulance. The shot was cut.

A DIE HARD FORMULA
Much of the improvisation was verbal, too. A lot of Willis’s lines were added at the last minute, with De Souza sometimes feeding them to him via a walkie-talkie. The ‘bubby’ in Bochner’s white knight line was added by the actor himself, inspired by his Jewish grandmother. When Deputy Police Chief Robinson says that McClane “could be a f*cking bartender for all we know”, it’s a reference to Willis’s previous job in New York.

Then there’s the most famous line of the lot, an immortal utterance which most people can’t even spell: Bruce Willis’s dismissive adieu to Alan Rickman, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfu*ker!” It’s gone down in Hollywood folklore, not least because a lot of people don’t know what the hell it means.

“Bruce and I started talking about our favourite childhood TV shows and we both loved the cowboy Roy Rogers,” says De Souza. “At the end of his show he’d say, ’yippee-ki-yay, buckaroos’ and ‘happy trails’. That’s why Bruce also says ‘Happy trails, Hans’ when Alan falls out of the window. If you ask me who came up with the line, I’ll say it was me. If you ask Bruce, he’ll say it was him.”

So, a series of happy accidents, moments of improvisation, plus a nostalgic chat about kids’ TV all led to the Die Hard we know, love and regularly watch with a belly full of Christmas pudding. And we should be thankful for it, as without it we might still be feeding purely on a diet of action films which, well, are basically The Expendables. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of preposterous Arnie action or Chuck Norris killing 30 men with a single punch, but Die Hard’s legacy is a different kind of action hero. One with depth, vulnerability and a very dirty vest. It’s a formula that has been much imitated, but never bettered. “There was more narrative than other action films of the time,” says Bradshaw. “There was a sense of humanity with things like McClane’s marital difficulties. It definitely had an influence – Clint Eastwood’s In The Line Of Fire is a good example.”

“It became shorthand for a while,” adds De Souza. “There was ‘Die Hard on a boat’ with Under Siege, there was ‘Die Hard on a plane’ with Air Force One. You know how if you play Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wizard Of Oz together, they match up? You can play Die Hard and Air Force One side by side and they’re a perfect fit. If you want to know how ridiculous it became, someone called me a few years ago and said he had a script I could direct. He said, ‘It’s Die Hard… in a building.’”

http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/die-hard-25-years-on

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Post by Crimey Thu 07 Mar 2013, 7:34 pm

Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction was supposed to be Michael Marsden.

Russell Crowe was offered the role of Wolverine before Hugh Jackman.

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Post by Kenny Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:00 pm

Sly Stallone was the choice to play the lead in Beverley Hills Cop , he even wrote a screen play ( which he turned into Cobra ) but he pulled out which then enabled the producers to go with a more comedic direction with Eddie Murphy
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Post by Kenny Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:07 pm

Dirty Harry was written for John Wayne . Frank Sinatra ,Robert Mitchum and Burt Lancaster also turned it down .
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Post by Kenny Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:14 pm

Burt Reynolds was offered the part of Han Solo but turn it down

im so glad he did
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Post by Kenny Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:24 pm

Steven Spielberg offered the lead role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Steve McQueen but he turned it down even after Spielberg offered to change the script for him .

McQueen was also the first choice for the part of Sundance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but contracts couldn't be signed due the neither Newman or McQueen wanting second billing to the other
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Post by Skydriver Thu 07 Mar 2013, 9:55 pm

Crimey wrote:Russell Crowe was offered the role of Wolverine before Hugh Jackman.

Really? I thought Dougray Scott was first choice, but he had to drop out due to Mission: Impossible 2 overrunning schedule.

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Post by Skydriver Thu 07 Mar 2013, 10:02 pm

I read somewhere that Sean Connery was offered the role of Morpheus in The Matrix, but he turned down as he couldn't understand the script.

[And it was partly in frustration at missing out on a couple of such smash hits that influenced his decision to take a chance on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I will refrain from commenting further as I haven't seen that movie in full...]

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 08 Mar 2013, 9:07 am

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally down to play the part of the Predator in the intial shooting of the Arnie film, but the suit was so bad & uncomfortable (it looked nothing like the final product and had 3 legs...) that he left the film after getting a bit... fed up. furious

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Post by Adam D Fri 08 Mar 2013, 9:29 am

Am I right in remembering it was Ron Pearlman who was under the suit in the end?\

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 08 Mar 2013, 9:57 am

Imagine little Van damme as the Predator...Is there any extra footage on the DVd with him in it??

Have to change the script though...

"You are one little ugly mother*****r"...."If the midget bleeds we can kill it"

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Post by Kenny Fri 08 Mar 2013, 10:39 am

Adam D wrote:Am I right in remembering it was Ron Pearlman who was under the suit in the end?\

Im pretty sure it was Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator , he was also Harry in Harry and the Hendersons
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Post by Crimey Fri 08 Mar 2013, 11:06 am

Skydriver wrote:
Crimey wrote:Russell Crowe was offered the role of Wolverine before Hugh Jackman.

Really? I thought Dougray Scott was first choice, but he had to drop out due to Mission: Impossible 2 overrunning schedule.

Dougray Scott was actually cast, Crowe turned it down from the beginning. According to Jackman, he got the role because Russell Crowe suggested the producers cast Jackman.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 08 Mar 2013, 1:13 pm

Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragon in The Lord of the Rings. Have to say I really don't think he would've worked at all.

As far as I am aware there isn't any footage of JCVD as the Predator, although there's a brilliant bit on the extended DVD extras showing Kevin Peter Hall in full Predator get-up in the production car-park. Awesome. Can't remember if that was in 1 or 2 but it's quite amusing...

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 08 Mar 2013, 1:16 pm

Also Laurence Fishburne was offered the part of Zeus in Die Hard with a Vengeance but couldn't make up his mind, and by the time he'd said yes, Samuel L had been cast.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 08 Mar 2013, 9:53 pm

James Remar in the role of Cpl Dwayne Hicks in Aliens. He shot some scenes but left after arguments with James Cameron. Apparently some of the Hicks scenes show Remar from behind.

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Post by hodge Sat 09 Mar 2013, 12:40 am

Will Smith was first choice for Neo in the matrix

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:09 pm

Tom Hanks turned down the role of Andy in Shawshank Redemption

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Post by super_realist Tue 12 Mar 2013, 2:19 pm

Bob Hoskins was offered the role of Capone in The Untouchables before De Niro.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:31 pm

John Saxon was offered KungFu before David Carradine............But was signed up to a Hospital drama..........

He neglected to tell Bruce on Enter...In case he got upset...

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Post by Skydriver Wed 13 Mar 2013, 10:45 pm

Emotional content, not anger...

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 16 Mar 2013, 12:13 pm

I've read that before Ron Moody landed his award winning role as Fagin in Oliver!, both Sid James and Bruce Forsyth were seriously considered for the part.

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