Brad Pitt


  1. Johnny Depp, A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984.     Depp’s debut. Before noticing him (accompanying pal, Jackie Earl Haley to the auditions), Ohio auteur Wes Craven  had also seen  Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, C Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland for the heroine’s boyfriend. Pitt was later in one of  the TV Freddy’s Nightmares, 1989. 
  2. Mark Patton, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge, 1985.      New kid – oldnightmares. Freddy Krueger rules! Pitt was later in one ofthe TV Freddy’s Nightmares, 1989.
  3. James Le Gros, Phantasm II, 1987.     Phans were annoyed when their hero, A Michael Baldwin (as opposed to The Michael Baldwin) was replaced by, well, anybody… Proving as crass as his eventual franchise, the Tripoli-born auteur Don Coscarelli actually bypassed Pitt for Le Gros. Doh! Baldwin returned for III, 1993,  and IV, 1997 (video fodder, both), Le Gros  also beat  Pitt for Living In Oblivion, 1995 and then  moved into TV: Ally McBeal, Law & Order, Mercy, Mildred Pierce, Sleeper Cell and was the first  US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens in Pronto, 1997. He later played Wade Messer in the Justified series when Givens was The Man:  Timothy Olyphant.
  4. Bernie Coulson, The Accused, 1987.  Pitt’s first audition… “I was very excited.  I did the casting, went home and waited and waited… Later that  night, my agent called and I’m going:  Well, well. what’d they say?  There was a long silence and she said: ‘Ever thought of taking drama lessons?’”  “Owch,” said Leonardo Di Caprio, on hearing this story during their joint  2019 Cannes festival interview with Premiere magazine.
  5. Christian Slater, Heathers, 1988.  Pitt (“too sweet’), , Jason Bateman, Jim Carrey, Judd Nelson, lost JD to Slater. Pitt, alone got  his revenge by winning another JD  in Thelma and Louise from Slater  – as well as  Christoher Atkins, Kevin Bacon, Scott Baio, Baldwin brothers Alec and William, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr (“too short for Geena,” said Ridley Scott), Sean Penn and Mark Ruffalo.
  6. William Baldwin, Backdraft, 1990.   A tale of two castings…  Both Baldwin and Pitt tested as  firefighter Brian McCaffrey  for director  Ron Howard – and  for JD in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise.  Ridley chose Baldwin, who then said he preferred to be a fireman. (The sap!) So Pitt was back in? No, Ridley Scott still chose George Clooney – when he  was called back to his TV series and Pitt won a third chance. He had three rivals. They tested with Thelma, who said “the last one was so cute I kept messing up my lines.” Geena Davis overheard Ridley and casting agent Lou DiGiamo discussing the other two. “Can I say something?” she asked. Of course. “The blond one. Duh!”
  7. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct1991.
  8. Josh  Hamilton, Alive, 1992.  A poor reading, director Frank Marshall recalled about letting him go… from the Uruguayan rugby squad surviving a plane crash in  the Andes with cannibalism
  9. Gabriel Byrne, Cool World, 1992.       Cooler if Pitt was the cartoonist and Byrne the cop in Ralph Bakshi’s reponse to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Kim Basinger was Jessica Rabbit reframed as Holly Would). My favourite critic Roger Ebert nailed the film’s coffin tight. “Surprisingly incompetent.”
  10. Christian Slater, True Romance, 1993.      “Fuck,” said Brad when UK director Tony Scott called again, “we just committed to Kalifornia and it’s similar.” Nothing, said Scott, is similar to his Quentin Tarantino script. Pitt obviously concurred and offered to do the bitofthe roommate.“And he was brilliant.”

  11. Christian Slater, Untamed Heart, 1993.     Pitt, Geena Davis, Demi Moore, were interested. So was Madonna  – until the studio went for William Baldwin  and not her Jason Patric. Slater made it with the newly Oscared Marisa Tomeii
  12. Chris O’Donnell, The Three Musketeers, 1993.    Johnny Depp was interested in one version but, wisely, Brad wanted no part of the battle by two studios over Dumas and D’Artagnan.
  13. Gil Bellows, The Shawshank Redemption, 1993.  Director Frank Darabont wanted Brad as Tommy Williams, but was making Interview With the Vamopire: The Vampire Chronicles, with Tom Cruise – who had been chased for convict #37927 Andy Dufresne in the 43rd of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits.Darabont paid $1,000 for the rjghts.  King returned it to him in a frame. “In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.”
  14. Woody Harrelson, Natural Born Killers, 1994.     Showing less originality than usual, writer-directorOliver Stone jumped for the Kalifornia duo, Pitt and Juliette Lewis. Too late. They were sundered!
  15. Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire, 1994.
  16. Bill Paxton, Apollo 13, 1994.    The numbers game… Brad dropped 13 for Se7en. And director Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys – earning an Oscar nod.
  17. Rob Murrow, Last Dance, 1995.       Australian director Bruce Beresford and his cast took it over from Euro icon Costa-Gavras and his.

  18. John Cusack, City Hall, 1995.
    “I got lost in the wilderness of fame a bit   The role was New York Mayor’s Al Pacino’s deputy. But Pitt admits to some poor choices in the 90s.There are all of these opportunities you’re supposed to be taking. And I got really discombibulated.”  Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

  19. Val Kilmer, Heat, 1995.   Pitt, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and even the Danish Carsten Norgaard and the French Jean Reno were on the cards for Chris Shiherlis in auteur Michael Mann’s latest crime thriller. Reeves took off to be (or not to be) Hamlet in, of all places, nab him for Public Enemies in 2008.

  20. James Le Gros, Living In Oblivion, 1995.      The legend that Brad was the model for the Chad Palomino is totally false. Pitt was, infact, due forthe role(right after his previous Tom DiCillo movie, Johnny Suede, 1991) until offered Legends of the Fall, 1994. LeGros said he used quite another actor, one he had lately worked with, for Chad’s buffoonery mannerisms.

  21. Keanu Reeves, A Walk in the Clouds, 1995.    According to Hollywood legend, CAA eased Pitt out and Ralph Fiennes in, simply to bump his salary for the film the agency wanted Fiennes in next: Strange Days. Both bombed.
  22. Denzel Washington, Crimson Tide, 1995.      Since his  breakthrough in his brother Ridley’s Thelma & Louise, 1991, Tony Scott chased Brad for all his films. “He’s a male Patricia Arquette… a good-looking, sweet, boyish thing on the outside with a lot of strangeness, darkness, weird twistedness on the inside.”
  23. Matthew McConaughey, A Time To Kill, 1996.      For the film of his first and most personal legal thriller, John Grisham nixed all director Joel Schumacher’s star choices and voted for the unknown from Richard Linklater and John Sayles’ indies who was not up to the task. Writers!
  24. Chris O’Donnell, The Chamber, 1996.    Pitt avoided the next John Grisham trip, too – when director Ron Howard split to the safe Ransom. (All Howard films are safe). And itwas Ron that Brad  had wanted to work with, not James Foley.Val Kilmer arrived, but not for long.  Result: the first Grisham flop. Chicago critic Rogert Ebert slapped down the entire enterprise. ”What I get from the screen is not simply dialogue but the broadcasting of dangerous language.”(Pitt and Howard planned a 1999 Western, The Pretenders. Obviously not safe enough for Howard).  
  25. Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire, 1996.      After Tom Hanks quit to turn director, LA auteur Cameron Crowe found Brad very keen – and then off for Seven Years In Tibet!
  26. Wesley Snipes, The Fan, 1996.  Tony Scott called anew. “For the ballplayer. But Pitt wanted the stalker. He has a star quality and is a really interesting actor.” And understood the key role…Robert De Niro grabbed the stalker!
  27. Val Kilmer, The Saint, 1996.      Avoiding this “script,” was the wisest decision of his life. Producer Robert Evans’ hopes for an 007esque franchise were stifled by Kilmer being allowed to, basically,crap all overit.Doing far more harmto it than the much blamed Marlon Brando ever did to Mutiny OnThe Bounty, 1962.
  28. John Lynch, Some Mother’s Son, 1996.      Helen Mirren was Associate Producer as well as the mother of the IRA terrorist Bobby Sands – and votedfor Lynch to play her son hunger-striking in 1981 to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. Pitt was an IRA killer in The Devil’s Own, 1997.
  29. Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, 1996. 
  30. Keanu Reeves, The Devil’s Advocate, 1996.    Joel Schumacher’s version was delayed due to the similarities with The Firm. Both he and Pitt let it lay.

  31. Nicolas Cage, Conair, 1997.      Tony Scott called yet again. Tony had to wait into the nextcentury to land Brad- inSpy Game, 2001.
  32. Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting, 1997.      Director Michael Mann loved the script by Affleck and Matt Damon, just didn’t wantthem as Will and Chuckie – written, Rocky-style for themselves. His only thoughts (and Rob Reiner’s for awhile) was: Brad ’n’ Leo. Pitt and DiCaprio.  Only Quentin Tarantino pulled that double act off for his Once Upon A Time in  Hollywood … in 2018! 
  33. Jude Law, Midnight in the Garden of Food and Evil, 1997.      Only third film directed by Clint Eastwood without starring in it. Brad was pencilled in with Tommy Lee Jones and Ralph Fiennes, three years earlier.
  34. Liev Schreiber, Since You Went Away, 1997.     The tele-movie’s shooting clashed with his Devil’s Own gig with Harrison Ford. Therefore, actor-director David Schwimmer lost the main attracion of his class reunion cliche that nobody saw.  Or worse, that nobody remembers seeing.
  35. Brendan Fraser,The Mummy,1998. A surprise winner, particularly as it starred Fraser instead of…  Ben Affleck or Matt Damon (they’d just won their Goodwill Huntingscript Oscar),EvilDead’s Bruce Campbell (his first studio offer), Leonardo DiCaprio (keen but tied to The Beach),the unknown Stephen Dunham (instead, he debuted as Henderson), Matthew McConaughey, Chris O’Donnell, Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and the star of the 2016 flop, Tom Cruise. Not as the titular Imhotep, of course, but the heroic Indiana…er… Rick O’Connell.
  36. Bill Paxton, A Simple Plan, 1998.      Not that simple… The script went from directors Mike Nichols to John Boorman – even to Ben Stiller, who planned to co-star with Pitt as the two guys finding a cash cache. Finally, Sam Raimi, made it. Handsomely.
  37. Adrien Brody, The Thin Red Line, 1998.    With Sean Penn spreading the news that Terrence Malick was to be directing again – after a 21-year lay-off – Pitt was among the many keen to sign on. Stardom,  though, can hurt…   “The audience will know that  Pitt’s going to wake up after his death scene,” said Malick, “and collect his $1m.” Numerous stars – Cage, Clooney, Costner, Depp,  DiCaprio, McConaughey, Pacino, etc –  collided over themselves to offer their services (even for free) to the  wizard auteur Others wondered if Malick still had “it”.  He did.  (And then lost it with one too many of his  iconoclastic/pretentious pieces.) 
  38. Scott Speedman, Duets, 1998.   The end of another love affair… Bruce Paltrow’s second and last movie was designed for his daughter, Gwyneth, and her lover, but they had split before production began in 1997. All change in November1998: Gwyneth took another role andleft the lead to Maria Bello. Bruce Paltrow died in 2002.
  39. Keanu Reeves, The Matrix, 1999.      A vast improvement on the wooden, colourless Reeves, Brad was an early-on choice of the Wachowski brothers.“I took the red pill,”  he said. PS: Pitt’s first commercial was booked by an LA talent agency called…   Matrix.
  40. Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow, 1999.      Liam Neeson and Brad Pitt were also on Tim Burton’s short list.  Just not when Johnny became free.

  41. Christian Bale, American Psycho, 1999.    When Canadian director David Cronenberg had a script by Bret Easton Ellis, creator of the yuppy serial killer working in the same Wall Street firm as Sherman McCoy in Bonfire of the Vanities.
  42. Guy Pearce, Memento, 1999.    After Alec Baldwin foolishly passed on the hero with massive short-term memory loss, director Christopher Nolan (adapting his brother Jonathan’s short story)looked at Pitt, Aaron Eckhart, Thomas Jane, Charlie Sheen. None could have matched the moving work of Pearce, who also had the advantage of being lesser known and, therefore, more credible as Leonard… talking fast to stop forgetting what he’s talking about!
  43. Matt Damon, All The Pretty Horses, 1999.    There was a new (and hungry) generation in town and now Brad had been usurped by both Affleck and Damon…  Director Mike Nichols had chosen Pitt in 1994. However, Billy Bob Thornton ultimately directed.  Pitt and Damon became part of George Clooney’s Ocean’s 11/12/13 capers, 2001-2006…. not quite as much  fun as they promised.
  44. Mark Wahlberg, Rock Star, 1999.      Rejecting the first of two consecutive music scripts. This is the one that flopped. It was So You Wanna Be A Rock Star? when Pitt passed Chris (Izzy) Cole to Wahlberg. Not that Brad could sing, either. Mijenko Matjevic and Jeff Scott Soto did the singing for him. (The missus-to-be, Jennifer Aniston, stayed aboard).
  45. Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2000-2002.
  46. Matt Damon, The Legend of Bagger Vance, 2000.  Bagger is a mysterious caddy who saves a golden golfer who lost his swing in WWI. Director Robert Redford knew the game. He’d started playing when a Bel Air Club caddy… in 1948!  He even thought of starring a second time in a film he directed. He switched to Hollywood golf stars – Connery and Jack Nicholson. Way too old!  OK, Morgan Freeman saving Brad Pitt? Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks company came aboard, suggesting Matt Damon and Will Smith. Chicago critic Roger Ebert called it the first zen movie about the game.  As if passing the torch, Redford would make two other films with Pitt: A River Runs Through It, 1991, and Spy Game, 2000. 
  47. Matt Damon, The Bourne Identity, 2001.    Robert Ludlum finally makes a hit on the big screen – and is dead before the premiere…  Pitt, Russell Crowe, Matthew McConnaughey and Sylvester Stallone were offered the titular enigma Jason Bourne in the thriller that shook up the entire James Bond franchise.  Burt Reynolds had been due as Bourne in 1983 with, of all directors, Jack Clayton. Damon was surprised to be picked as the hero is older in the book. But then, this is the only book based (barely) on a Robert Ludlum book. The other three were original scripts.  (Pitt  played the spy game in… Spy Game),
  48. Mark Wahlberg, The Yards, 2000.    Another victim of the break-up of Brad and Gwyneth Paltrow. Again, Pitt’s substitute was the rapper previously known as Marky Mark.
  49. Billy Crudup, Almost Famous, 2000.      “He said one day: I just don’t get it enough to do it,” said scenarist-director Cameron Crowe, “Somewhere, there’s some fascinating audition footage of Brad Pitt as Russell Hammond and Natalie Portman as Penny Lane. That would have been a completely different movie…”
  50. James Franco, James Dean, TV, 2001.   In the Jimmy mix with Johnny Depp, Brendan Fraser, Edward Furlong and  Gary Oldman. Other actors played… Pier Angeli,  Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Julie Harris, Hedda Hopper, Rock Hudson, Louis Jourdan, Elia Kazan, Raymond Massey, Marilyn Monroe, Geraldine Page, Nicholas Ray, George Stevens, Lee Strasberg  – and director Mark Rydell was  Jack Warner   Oh, you hadda be there! 

  51. James Franco, James Dean, TV, 2001.  
     In the Jimmy mix with Brendan Fraser (!), Edward Furlong, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt.. and Leonardo DiCaprip. I did a screen test,  he told Deadline’s Mike Fleming. I think I was 18. It turned out pretty well. We saw clips of Giant, and then he put me in the back of the car with that cowboy hat. But I was a very young looking kid… He decided to wait a couple of years, but I… looked really young.”    “He” was director Michael Mann, who also spoke  with  Fleming. “It was a brilliant screenplay. And then it’s who the hell could play James Dean? And I found a chap who could But he was too young. It was Leo. We did a screentest that’s quite amazing He would turn his face in one direction and we see a vision of James Dean, and then he’d turn his face another direction and it’s no, that’s a young kid. With both guys talking to Fleming, the Hollywood Elsewhere blogger Jeffrey Welles broke a long silence…  about Mann  actually showing him the 1993 test.  “It was filmed footage on a VHS cassette.  Leo was wearing a red Rebel Without A Cause jacket and ‘50s Brylcream pompadour hair. The deal was that I couldn’t mention to anyone (not even my mother) that I’d seen it, and there could certainly be no filing of any kind. I agreed, of course, but I was so knocked out by how well DiCaprio had captured Dean’s expressions during his big scene with Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden . I was so turned around that it broke my heart to have to sit on my impressions forever. But [now], it seems okay to mention my quick peek.” 

  52. Russell Crowe, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   The choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital.  Which hademe wondering  why  Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and  Bruce Willis   were on the short-list!    Then again they might have proved as surprising as Crowe. Director Ron Howard’s other candidates included  Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson,  Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt. Nash  liked the  six-Oscar-winner. “But it wasn’t me.

  53. Johnny Depp, From Hell, 2001.      The directing Hughes brothers, Allen and Albert, also tried Sean Connery, Daniel Day-Lewis and Jude Law for the cop hunting Jack The Ripper. Only Depp, they said, “was awareof the little subtleties in the script.”

  54. Hugh Grant, About A Boy, 2001.    Far too handsome for a guy having to cheat to get women. Grant had the  – necessary – darker side.
  55. Steven Culp, 13 Days, 2001.    Brad was keenon the Robert Kennedy cameo in 1999, before US director Philip Alden Robinson handed over to Australian Roger Donaldson. In common with Martin Sheen and various other actors whoplayed JFK, Culp had previously been RFK  (in Norma Jean & Marilyn, TV, 1996).
  56. Olivier Martinez, Unfaithful, 2001.      All but set as Diane Lane’s lover until producers decided to go French. Why not, their film, after all, was a re-tread of Claude Chabrol’s La femme infidele, 1969
  57. Kevin Spacey, The Life of David Gale, 2001.     Great interest from Pitt when Nicolas Cage’s company planned to film the Charles Randolph novel about a reporter investigating death penalty issues.
  58. Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-2003
  59. Sam Rockwell, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2002.    Discussed the unauthorised autobiography of TV game show legend and self-proclaimed “CIAssassin”Chuck Barris,with director Darren Aronofsky, before the director’s chair passed triumphantly, to George Clooney. Pitt and Aronofsky nearly made The Fountain, 2006; Brad and Sam did make The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2006.
  60. Billy Bob  Thornton, Waking Up In Reno, 2002.      The  end of another  love affair… The then very in couple of Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were due as the lead white trash couple until Reno loomed large in their own life.  Or they re-read their script: trashier than  the couples.
  61. Bruce Willis, Tears of the Sun, 2002.      Before the bust up between Willis and director Antoine Fuqua in Nigeria. (At one time, it was going to be made as Die Hard 4).

  62. Jude Law, Cold Mountain, 2003.       Pitt quit the Civil War drama, Anthony Minghella, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger and Philip Seymour Hoffman –  for The Fountain, the 2005 sf film that, finally, he never made with writer-director Darren Aronofsky.
  63. Martin Henderson, Bride & Prejudice, 2003.   His diary was not as keen as he was on  being Darcy in the Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinda Chada’s  Bollywood take on Jane Austen – Aishwayra Rai was Lalita, er Elizabeth Bennet!  Johnny Depp and Joaquin Phoenix were also mentioned. The Kiwi Henderson was an error.  He continued, mainly in TV… including reprising Pitt’s hit man John  Smith in a 2007 TV movie (more like a series pilot that didn’t fly) of Mr and Ms Smith. (Mrs, Jordana Brewster, was no Angelina Jolie, either).
  64. Jared Leto, Alexander, 2004.       Culture clash!   Sorry, man, can’t do Hephaistion, I’m doing  Achilles in Troy.
  65. Thomas Haden Church, Sideways, 2004.    Auteur Alexander Payne was, as they say, spoilt for choice: Pitt, George Clooney, Aaron Eckhart.  Until realising they were too famous to play a TV soap actor.
  66. Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  2004.   Pitt was the obvious idea for chocolatier Willy Wonka as it was Plan B, Pitt’s company (with then-wife Jennifer Aniston), producing the movie. Director Tim Burton had 31 other fancies. From his ole Betelgeuse, Michael Keaton, to… Rowan Atkinson, Dan Aykroyd, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chase, Warwick Davis, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini, Dwayne Johnson, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Manson, Steve Martin, Rik Mayall, Bill Murray, Mjke Myers, John Neville, Peter Sallis, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken, Robin Williams. And the surviving Monty Python crew (also up for the 1970 version): John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Among the five exec producers, author  Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy, wanted her husband’s favourite Willy – Dustin Hoffman.   If not possible she voted for UK comics, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams. She was quite happy with Depp… who found Willy’s voice while riffing on a stoned George W Bush!

  67. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, 2004.
    Hollywood was not keen on Annie Prouix’s 1977 short story – two gay shepherds in Wyoming, get outa here! Until directors (more than actors) queued to make it.  Ang Lee, Joel Schumacher – but first in line was Gus Van Sant (obviously). He called up Damon and Joaquin Phoenix (obviously, they’d made his Good Will Hunting and To Die For, respectively). Said Damon: “Gus, I did a gay movie [The Talented Mr Ripley, then a cowboy movie [All the Pretty Horses]. I can’t follow it up with a gay-cowboy movie!”  Ang Lee was considering retirement when the script “nurtured” him back to work, only to find many actors were scared to play gay. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Philippe and Brad Pitt  all refused. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal did not. ”These two are among the best in their age group.. Jake plays the opposite of Heath and it creates a very good couple in terms of a romantic love story.”  Gyllenhaal added:      “I don’t think that these two characters even know what gay is.… What ties [them] together is not just a love, but … primarily it was deep loneliness.” Ang Lee  told journo  Robert Ordona  that in the 60s, he’d have chosen  Paul Newman and Montgomery Clift as Ennis and  Jack.

  68. Mark Wahlberg, Four Brothers, 2004.    Pitt, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Ethan Hawke and Jeremy Renner were in the mix to head the brothers avenging the murder of their adoptive mother. Came across like Death Wishmeets The Sons of Katie Elder (except John Waye and his real siblings were avenging their Dad’s killing in the 1965 Western). A planned Five Brothers sequel never happened. Thankfully.
  69. Bradley Cooper, Kitchen Confidential, TV, 2005.     Or Seared, when Pitt and his Se7en director David Fincher planned it as a movie.  Producer Darren Starr took it over for just (alas) 13 episodes, far from his Sex and the City. And propelled Cooper into movies the way Alias never did.
  70. Colin Farrell, Miami Vice, 2005.       After co-starring in Minority Report, Tom Cruise apparently elbowed Farrell out of Michael Mann’s Collateral.  Mann got his own way this time, booking the busy Irishman (and opposite the Collateral co-star,Jamie Foxx) for the overly serious  (’twas written for Cruise) movie of the 1984-1990 TV series.  Pitt and Matthew McConaughey were also up  for Detective Sonny Crockett but the original, Don Johnson, had already nominated Farrell…who “can’t remember a frame of  it. A lot of it’s hazy… it really is, man.”  
  71. Hugh Jackman, The Fountain, 2006.       Lost ya star? E-mail Jackman! He became Wolverine when Dougray Scott didn’t and substituted Russell Crowe in Australia and now Pitt… He decamped because of an 11th hour re-write of the millennia-spanning catastrophe of pseudo-philosophical hokum – later listed by Forbes magazine as #6 of the 15 box office turkeys of the previous five years.  Pitt chose Troy, instead.

  72. Matt Damon, The Departed, 2006.      Winning the rights to the Hong Kong thriller Mou gaan dou/Infernal Affairs, 2002, Pitt wanted to re-tool it for him and Tom Cruise. The bad cop then went to Ocean’s 11/12/13 mate, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s good cop. Brad produced the film under his (and ex-wife  Jennifer Aniston’s) production company, Plan B… finally winning Martin Scorsese his Best Director Oscar.
  73. Adam Sandler, Reign Over Me, 2006.         Pitt or… Sandler?!  Detroit-born auteur Mike Binder lost  Tom Cruise, then  Pitt and settled for Sandler(!).  Adam rejected it  – and returned  – for the same reason. He was terrified  about playing a man who lost everything  on 9/11.
  74. Russell Crowe, American Gangster, 2006.       Crowe and Pitt – they were Only names on Ridley Scott’s list for Richie Roberts, the untouchable New York cop trying to bringdown the titular Denzel Washington.
  75. Robert Downey Jr,  Zodiac, 2006.        Brad wisely felt they’d been there  and got the t-shirt marked  Se7en, so director David Fincher went with Downey as the San Francsico journo in what critic Roger Ebert called the All The President’s Men of serial killer movies.
  76. Dan Futterman, A Mighty Heart, 2007.     Another Plan B in need of a plan B.   About about slain journalist Daniel Pearl and wife Mariane, due for Pitt and Aniston, until Pitt moved over to Angelina Jolie. Important as it was, director Michael Winterbottom’s drama sadly flopped.

  77. Russell Crowe, State of Play, 2008.
    Or, State of Delay as Pitt called itafter it was stalled for a lengthy perid…   He wasn’t right for the part,”  said  Scots director Kevin Macdonald.  “We both knew it and we were both in denial.”  Pitt says he didn’t like Macdonald’s simplifying  the (BBC TV serial) plot, taking it out of politics and into dying newspapers. When  Pitt finally walked,   the journalist  Cal McAffrey was offered to Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Tom  Hanks,  Crowe took over after discussing the film with Ridley Scot… one  of the few directors never attached to it. Pitt served the gods in another movioe (Inglorious Basterds) and that one went to Cannes; this did not..

  78. Eric Bana, The Time Traveller’s Wife, 2008.     The bittersweet love story’s author, Audrey Niffenegger, saw Adrian Brody and Lauren Ambrose as the couple. Oh, no, it’s us, said Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on buying the book in galley form for their Plan B combine in 2006. They lost Steven Spielberg as director, then each other… Pitt produced with Rachel McAdams wed to Eric Bana who, well, just kept on disappearing… leaving his clothes behind.   “It can be a problem,” he admitted.
  79. Leonardo Di Caprio, Shutter Island, 2009.      Pitt’s Plan B won the rights to Dennis Lehane’s novel as a potential double producer-star whammy for The Boss with his Se7en director David Fincher.  However,  the Oscared triumph of Pitt’s debut  production, The Departed, 2006, made him pass it over to the same  team: r Martin Scorsese directingLeonardo Di Caprio.
  80. Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception, 2009.     According to the (often unreliable) Hollywood Reporter, feelers wereput out to Pitt and Will Smith, before Leo snapped up Cobb… within the architecture of the mind. 
  81. Christian Bale, The Fighter, 2009.      Wanting  to make a credible boxing film, Mark Wahlberg chose the story of his pal, Boston’s Irish Mickey Ward, being trained to world glory by his ex-boxer/ex-crackhead half-brother – and stuck with it, sparring  every morning for five years, as directors refused (Scorsese) or quit (Aronofsky) as the $50m studio project became a $20m indie. Wahlberg refused any salary and never thought of playing the brother. “There was always one role for me to play, and that was the champ. I wasn’t giving up the belt. Dicky was a flashier role, but it wasn’t about that…  but being believable as a guy who could win the welterweight title, and not look like an actor who could maybe box a little.”  Pitt and Matt Damon (twice) quit being Dickie Eklund…  and the self-emaciated Bale won an Oscar.

  82. Chris Hemsworth, Thor, 2010.      Pitt was long rumoured for the disabled medical student Dr. Donald Blake with the mighty Thor as his alter ego – particularly when his Snatch producer Matthew Vaughn was to helm. Final director Kenneth Branagh saw Marvel’s superhero as a Norse comic-book twist on Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel über Berlin, 1987. (Oh, really!) Also in contention were the future Loki, RoboCop, Tarzan and Magic Mike: Tom Hiddleston, Joel Kinnaman, Alexander Skarsgård, Channing Tatum. Plus the brother Liam Hemsworth, Charlie Hunnam, Paul Levesque and Tyler Mane.
  83. Daniel Craig, Dream House, 2010.      When Dutchman Erik Van Looy was due to direct, Pitt and Christian Bale were on the list to be Rachel Weisz’s husband… helped by Naomi Watts to solve a murder in their house.  Craig came aboard with Irish helmer Jim Sheridan… and married Rachel in the summer of 2011. “The movie didn’t turn out great,” he agreed.  “But I met my wife. Fair trade.
  84. Garrett Hedlund, On The Road, 2010.  Argentina-Brazil-Canada-France-Germany-Holland-Mexico-UK-US. 2010.  Numerous attempts were made at filming Jack Kerouac’s 1957 “beat” classic. He even mused on playing himself (or his aka Sal Paradise) in 1957 opposite Marlon Brando as Neal Cassady (aka Dean Moriarty). Marlon never replied to his invite, probably thinking it was a fake. 1979: Francis Coppola bought the rights but “never knew how to do it.” 1995:  He planned a 16mm black-white version with “beat” poet Allen Ginsberg. (Johnny Depp declined in the 90s).2005: Joel Schumacher helming Billy Crudup-Colin Farrell…or Brad Pitt-Ethan Hawke. Finally, Coppola & Son (Roman) and 26 other producers (!) had Brazilian Walter Salles directing English Sam Riley, Australian Garrett Hedlund – and Kristen Stewart  as Mary Lou, once offered to Lindsay Lohan and Winona Ryder. Salles also checked Joseph Gordon-Levitt-James Franco.

  85. Jared Harris, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2010.     Also in the Moriarty mix: Javier Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn.  Two years earlier, Pitt had been a rumoured Moriarty in the first  Guy Ritchie take on Holmes.Pitt had sort of  guested in Ritchie’s Snatch, 1999,  with an indescribable Irish-Romany  accent.

  86. Paul Johansson, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, 2010.
  87. Daniel Craig, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2010.
  88. Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010.      Way back in 2004, Pitt was having meetings about becoming the Marvel superhero – “ a role I always wanted to play.”    This is the  first screen version of the WWII propaganda comicbook hero – Defender of the Defenceless – since Republic’s 1944 serial (with Dick Purcell), two 1979 tele-quickies (Rep Brown) and the 1989 movie (Matt Salinger, son of the monumental JD, no less). A 1981 Universal plan for Jeff Bridges never flew. Nor did Cannon’s 1984 take which UK director Michael Winner never got around to casting (well, not out loud).Losing the Cap  in 2010 meant the lanky Nebraskan stayed in series…Friday Night Lives, Caprica, The Good Wife, etc.  Also missing the nine-picture deal for Cap Am sequels, Avengersmovies and cross-overs were… Jensen Ackles, Wilson Bethel, Michael Cassidy, Dane Cook, Chace Crawford, Garrett Hedlund, Kellan Lutz, Ryan Phillippe, Alexander Skarsgård, Will Smith, Sebastian Stan (chosen for Bucky Barnes), Channing Tatum (in last three), Mike Vogel, Sam Worthington.  Plus two of the Jonas brothers  band (Joe and Kevin), three of the TV-Marvelverse: Wilson Bethel (Daredevil), Chad Michael Murray (Agent Carter), Derek Theler (New Warriors).  And John Krasinski. “This is stupid,” he yelled during his costumed test, “I’m not Captain America!” And he wasn’t.  But he was Amazon’s TV’s surprise Jack Ryan  in 2018.