Frederic Forrest


  1. Stephen Collins, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1978.     Paramount was dumb. It saw Star Wars take off and craved its own sf franchise, not understanding that it already had one. Except, the suits always hated the series and snuffed it in 1969. From then on, they didn’t know which way to fly – series or movie.   A Phase II series almost began, then churned into a film. An instant flop, aka The Slow-Motion Picture, with a cast that was a decade older and fatter, Robert Wise totally wrong as director and a new character, Willard Decker, created to take over the USS Enterprise, in case William Shatner/Kirk chased more money for any encore! In the Will mix were: Forrest, Jordan Clarke, Lance Henriksen, Art Hindle, Richard Kelton, Stephen Macht, Andrew Robinson, Tim Thomerson and Collins (whose career was over in 2014 after admitting sexual conduct with three under-age girls). “We didn’t feel that we were getting to play the characters that we enjoyed playing in the way that we knew how to play them,” exclaimed Leonard Nimoy/Spock, soon saving the franchise by directing two chapters.
  2. Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, 1981.    UK wiz Ridley Scott spent a long time sniffing out the perfect Deckard.  From top notchers Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman (the first choice was keen… on making it a totally different character, of course), Robert Mitchum, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino…  to such excellent journeymen as William Devane, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Frederic Forrest, Scott Glenn, Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken.  Martin Sheen was too exhausted after Apocalypse Now. In sheer desperation, choices lowered to Cliff Gorman, Judd Hirsch. Even the Virginian Morgan Paull stood a chance, having played Deckard in Scott’s tests of potential Rachaels. (He was given Holden for his pains). Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger, not yet seen as Conan, much less Terminator.  And for probably the last time in such an illustrious list,  the fading star of Burt Reynolds.
  3. Sean Connery, Der Name der Rose/The Name of the Rose, France-Italy-West Germany, 1986.     Réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud was not keen on 007 as Umberto Eco’s medieval monk turned detective.  Columia even refused financing if Connery was involved as his post-Bond star was imploding. Naturally, Brando topped Annaud’s further 14 ideas. Five Americans: Forrest, , Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Roy Scheider; four Brits: Michael Caine, Albert Finney, Ian McKellen, Terence Stamp; two Canadians: Christopher Plummer andf  Donald Sutherland; plus French Yves Montand, Irish Richard Harris and Italian Vittorio Gassman. Connery’s reading was the best and his career exploded anew. Two years later, he won his support Oscar for The Untouchables.
  4. Fred Ward, Circus, 1999.      “Don’t trust any of these clowns…” Change of Elmo at short notice in anotherofthe ritzy (or Guy Ritchie!) UK crime numbers with two empty barrels.



 Birth year: 1936Death year: 2023Other name: Casting Calls:  4