Ashton Kutcher

  1. Heath Ledger, 10 Things I Hate About You, 1998.   “How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…”  Ledger won his first US movie by beating such rivals as Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher for Patrick – well, Petruchio as this was really Taming of the Shrew Goes To High School.  New in town or not, Ledger knew Hollywood traditions and immediately had an affair with his leading lady, Julia Stiles. He was the 2007 Joker in The Dark Knight. Co-star Jared Leto was the 2015 version in Suicide Squad.  

  2. Josh Hartnett, Pearl Harbor, 2000.    Lost the lead. Good – the film was bad enough already!

  3. Josh Hartnett, 40 Days and 40 Nights, 2002.   Or, as Wes Connors called it: Mourning wood!   The Kutcher  schedule stopped him giving up sex for Lent – and then meeting his dream girl.  Kutcher and Katie Holmes became Hartnett and Shannyn Sossamon.
  4. Topher Grace, In Good Company, 2003.      Universal said Dennis Quaid’s new young boss should beone of the kids from That 70s Show, TV, 1998-2006. . Kutcher was the obvious choice untilthe usual creative differences. Topher auditioned four times to win overauteur Paul Weitz.And then, as himself in Ocean’s 12, he told Brad Pitt’s character: “I phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie.”
  5. Adrien Brody, The Village, 2004.  When Ashton Kutcher quit being Noah, auteur M Night Shymalan started a revised wish-list: Brody, Christensen, Aaron Eckhart, Thomas Jane. Brody had something the others didn’t. An Oscar. (Plus a tendency to over-act). Kutcher and  Kirsten Dunst left for writer-director Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown. Not any better. 
  6. Orlando Bloom, Elizabethtown, 2004.  Auteur Cameron Crowe’s second  mal paso in six films (after Vanilla Sky, 2001). He wrote shoe-designer (!) Drew Baylor for Bloom. When he was committed to Kingdom of Heaven,Crowe read other possibles: Chris Evans, James Franco, Colin Hanks, Christopher Masterson, Sean William Scott – and chose Ashton Kutcher (!) until he realised he needed a real actor and not, as director Steven Soderbegh had called Kutcher when also shedding him, “a party boy.” “Kutcher projected zero chemistry with co-star Kirsten Dunst.I’d spent four  months working with Ashton,’ said Crowe. “At a certain point, it’s like: This is not meant to be.’” Bloom became free. He created shoes yet little magic with Dunst. They were far from Tom Cruise-Renée Zellweger Mk II.” The film flopped though Crowe commented:  “It felt like a noble crusade.”   No, no, no – that was Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven with Bloom that year.
  7.  Christian Bale, Batman Begins, 2004.
  8. Brandon Routh,  Superman Returns, 2005.
  9. Johnny Knoxville, The Dukes of Hazzard, 2005.      The first idea was Paul Walker and Kutcher as the Duke boys.   That was before the studio even thoughtto check if it had anyrights.Then Jackass beat Punk’d.
  10. Patrick Wilson, Lakeview Terrace, 2007.    Had talks (so did Edward Norton) about playing half of an inter-racial couple moving next door to, unfortunately for them, Samuel  Jackson’s  sociopathic cop. Neil LaBute directed the rare account of a black racist.
  11. Charlie Day, Horrible Bosses, 2010.   Kutcher was first attached as Dale Arbus,  rebelling against the constant advances of his erotomaniac dentist boss, Jennifer Aniston – “You’re gonna give me that dong, Dale” –  in this masculine take on Nine To Five. Jen was the surprise of the funny and dirty film, said critic Roger Ebert. “She has acute comic timing and hilariously enacts alarming sexual hungers.”
  12. James McAvoy, It Chapter Two, 2018.  At one time The Penguin, The Rock, Peter Quill, Harry Potter, Deadpool, The Green Hornet and Doctor Who were suggested for the adult Bill Denbrough – ie, Danny De Vito, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Daniel Radcliffe, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogan, David Tennant. Also in the mix: Zac Efron, Will Ferrell, Sean Hayes, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Rogan and such off-the-wall outsiders as UK comics Russell Brand, James Corden, Eddie Izzard and Matt Lucas!  McAvoy was the real McCoy – and one of the biggest Stephen King fans around. Bill Skarsgård had more fun as Pennywise this time.  No literal nightmares about fighting the clown, no kid actors scared by him in scenes, his five-hour make-up cut by half and less dialogue…  in the 262nd of King’s staggering 313 screen credits. (King Kameo: Pawnbroker).




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  12