Near Misses: 5 Hollywood Stars Who Almost Got Cast in Your Favorite Movie
With the news today that Tom Cruise and Madonna were originally considered to play the leads in Goodfellas, film fans the world over are once again left with that loaded question: What might have been? In the case of Goodfellas, a crappy movie -- can you imagine Cruise as coked-up Henry Hill? -- but what of other famous Hollywood near misses. Ahead, Movieline chronicles five of the biggest.
· Robert Redford in The Graduate and The Godfather
For you newbies out there, Redford was like the Jeremy Renner of his day; there seemingly wasn't a project that he wasn't rumored to be a part of. In the case of The Graduate, he lost the role to Dustin Hoffman because Mike Nichols famously didn't think Redford would be believable enough as an underdog. Similarly, Robert Evans wanted Redford for The Godfather, but Francis Ford Coppola thought he didn't look Italian enough. Man, whatever happened to this Redford guy; if he could have only caught a break!
· Tom Selleck in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Selleck was Steven Spielberg's second choice for Indiana Jones -- he wanted Harrison Ford, but George Lucas balked (shocking that Lucas was on the wrong end of something). If a deal could have been worked out, however, Selleck would have been the adventurer who hated snakes. Alas, commitments to Magnum, P.I. prevented this from happening. A similar problem arose for Pierce Brosnan, who had to turn down James Bond initially because of Remington Steele.
· Brad Pitt in Almost Famous
Pitt is usually so reliable, it's surprising that he flaked out on Almost Famous. Er. The role of lead guitarist Russell Hammond was originally written with Pitt in mind, but the star wasn't convinced he would have enough to sink his teeth into. Billy Crudup took the part instead.
· Anne Hathaway in Knocked Up
Back when Hathaway dropped out of Knocked Up because of "creative differences" (she reportedly didn't think the film needed to show a vagina) and was replaced by Katherine Heigl, it seemed natural. Now though, it's kinda depressing. Hathaway has shown herself to be a deft comic performer and her personality would have blended much better with Seth Rogen's. Heigl, meanwhile, went on to bash the film and become one of the most hated actresses in Hollywood. Knocked Up is still great, but it really could have been so much better.
· Julia Roberts in The Proposal and The Blind Side
Rarely do you see two decisions blow up so spectacularly, but here you go. Roberts could have starred in both The Proposal and The Blind Side, but turned them both down. Sandra Bullock scooped them up, won an Oscar and became the biggest female star in Hollywood. At least Roberts rebounded with Eat, Pray, Love? Just kidding.