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Thomas Jane

  1. 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) then looked at Jane, Aaron Eckhart, Brad Pitt, 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!
  2. James Marsden, X-Men quartet, 1999-2013.    “Mutation: it is the key to our evolution.”  Producer James Cameron and his then wife, director Kathryn Bigelow, chose Michael Biehn  for Scott Summers/Cyclops in the early 90s - and never made the film! James Caviezel won this version before prefering to be Dennis Quaid’s son in Frequency. (Nobody’s perfect).  To be free for Cyclops, Marsden shut the door on  Soul Survivors and slipped  the key to Casey Affleck  - after director Bryan Singer looked at pals Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Ethan Hawke, Thomas Jane (who became Marvel’s The Punisher, in 2003, and opposite Rebecca Romijn, X-Men’s Mystique), Edward Norton (already turned down as Logan/Wolverine),  DB Sweeney (he cameoed as a Statue of Liberty guard), Luke Wilson… and Edward Burns, except the last thing a young and opinionated director like Singer wanted on his set was another young and opinionated director.  
  3. Viggo Mortensen, A History of Violence, 2005.      Canadian director David Cronenberg did not seem to really know his main character that well, since the actors heasked were: Harrison Ford, 63;Mortensen, 47; Thomas Jane, 36.
  4. Paul Walker, Running Scared, 2005.  Because of his schedule, Jane passed the young thug to the Fast and Furious star. Walker should have passed, too. Chicago critic Roger Ebert said the movie, “goes so far over the top, it circumnavigates the top and doubles back on itself. I am in awe. It throws in everything but the kitchen sink. Then it throws in the kitchen sink, too, and the combo washer-dryer in the laundry room, while the hero and his wife are having sex on top of it.”
  5. Jon Hamm, Mad Men, TV,2007-2015. Christina Wayne (one of the final tally of 39 producers!) said creator Mathew Weiner sent two actors to the AMC suits: Hamm and Hermann (Mariska Hargitay's husband).“I was on the bottom of everyone’s list,”said Hamm, “The one person who was an early champion of mine was Matthew… The funny thing was, I think they went to Thomas Jane for it- and they were told that Thomas Jane does not do television!" Seeing what he’d missed, Jane soon changed his aim -  starring on HBO's Hung for three seasons.
  6. Ray Stevenson, Punisher: War Zone, 2008.      “What I won’t do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't believe in.” Thestar of the first sequel, 2004, quit the third film because it was tilted in the wrong direction, too comic-book, not gritty enough. Dolph Lundgren had been the first Punisher in 1989.“It’s hard to tell them apart,” said critic Roger Ebert. “But why would you want to?”
  7. Jefffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen, 2008.    Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Juvcnal asked, but who them playeth? And in the 20 years it took for Alan Moore’s DComic-book to be filmed, directors came and went - Darren Aronofsky, Michael Bay, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass. So did their choices for Edward Morgan Blake aka The Comedian: Jane, Gary Busey, Nathan Fillion, Tommy Lee Jones, Ron Perlman. (Fillion was also shortlisted for Dan Dreiberg aka Nite Owl).
  8. Josh Brolin, Jonah Hex, 2009.   Jane tried hard to land the DComics bounty hunter - even calling up a make-up artist to design Hex’s scarred face for photos.  Why so keen? Because he  knew the hero, having voiced him for a toon in  the  DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection, 2010.
  9. Sung Kang, Headshot, 2011.      When he joined this Sylvester Stallone project, producer Joel Silver proved a fan of the Rush Hour movies.  “He said he hasa quote-unquote formula for these quote-unquote buddy movies,” said Jane. “And it has to be a white guy and a quote-unquote ethnic guy.” (Actually, Rush Hour had two ethnic guys). Jane was dropped, paid off and thoroughly annoyed, all the more so when Stallone didn’t even call him. “Maybe,” said Jane, star of HBO’s Hung series, “they didn’t want anybody on the movie with a bigger dick than him.

 

 





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