Payday Loans
Michael Keaton

 

  1. Dennis Quaid, Caveman, 1981.    One of the songs that Quaid wrote with co-star Ringo Starr during the Mexican locations summed it all up. Deranged in Durango.  
  2. Tom Hanks, Splash, 1983.    Hanks always claimed he was director Ron Howard’s 11th choice for Allen Bauer in his breakthrough (mermaid) movie. Sorry, Tom - 15th!  And here they be: Keaton, Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Richard Gere, Steve Guttenberg (Howard chose him for Cocoon a year later), John Heard, Robert Klein, Kevin Kline, Dudley Moore, David Morse, Bill Murray (PJ Soles was to be his mermaid), Burt Reynolds, John Travolta (his agent turned him off it!), Robin Williams. Plus Michael Keaton who also rejected…
  3. John Candy, Splash, 1983.    …Alan’s brother Freddie. Also aimed at stand-up Tim Allen who didn’t make his film debut until Tropical Snow, 1988, l before his 90s’ series, film and toon voicing fameKent went one to  make  Howard’s Gung Ho, 1986, and The Paper, 1994.
  4. Bill Murray, Ghost Busters, 1983.     Who ya gonna call - at 555-2368…?   Well, not Keaton. He rejected both the roles of Doctors Peter Venkman...
  5. Harold RamisGhost Busters, 1984.  ...and Egon Spengler.
 An unwise career move. But then, Keaton made many of those. Read on!

  6. Jeff Daniels, Purple Rose of Cairo, 1984. 

      Jeff Daniels and Mia Farrow  
     

    © Orion Pictures, 1985

     

    "This character is vanilla, he's neutral, he's dangerously bland," warned Keaton's  manager Harry Colomby.  "You're like the house goy."   But, like everyone, Keaton wanted to work with Woody Allen. Didn't last long.  Less than a week.  "I'm not sure what he wants, he keeps saying: Less."  After two days, Keaton asked Woody if he wanted to forget it.  
    "No, no, no  - 80% of what you're doing is great. There's maybe 20% I'm not really happy with." Two days later, Allen agreed that he was 100% was off.  "This isn't working. You’re too contemporary” - for the 30s double role of screen hero Tom Baxter and the actor who plays him when thrust into the real world knowing nothing about anything, Particularly, women… Such as his greatest fan, Mia Farrow.

  7. Steve Guttenberg, Police Academy, 1984.      Difficult to understand but Keaton, Tom Hanks, Judge Reinhold and Bruce Willis were all turned down for baby cop Corey Mahoney. They were upset… until seeing how each of the next six of these Carry On Cops were lousier than the one before. Guttenberg threw away his badge after three more. Maybe to appease his father - an NYPD officer. Keaton became exactly that in One Good Cop, 1990.
  8. Jeff Goldblum, The Fly, 1986.    “Be afraid, be very afraid!” Keaton and Richard Dreyfuss passed on Seth Brundle. The promise of five hours (and 5 lbs) of prosthetic make-up as the Brundlefly didn’t delight them.   Mel Gibson fled for Lethal Weapon. John Lithgow auditioned.
  9. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.     In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs - not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!)  Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired: Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly),  William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden),  Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don  Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops:  Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  10. Roddy Piper, They Live, 1987The pitch was fine:Drifter finds some sunglasses that let him to see that aliens have taken over the Earth. And, apparently, the film.  Lousy! Which is probably why 18 other big guns, said nadato being Nada: Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Christophe(r) Lambert, Dolph Lundgren, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis (plus three mere pistols: Brian Bosworth, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Lang).  And the less said about Russell’s wrestler replacement, the better.“Just John Carpenter as usual,” said the Washington Post,  “trying to dig deep with a toy shovel.”

  11. Emilio Estevez, Stakeout, 1988.     Too tired after The Squeeze, his fourth successive flop.  “I’ve taken movies for the money in order not to have to take movies for the money.”
  12. Billy Crystal, When Harry Met Sally…, 1989.    Rob Reiner considered Keaton and his eternal shadow, Hanks,before banking on his closest pal.
  13. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.     ’Tis the season to be cops…. via two offers… UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars - Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta… and four outsiders Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver - all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville.
  14. Kurt Russell, Tango and Cash, 1989.  Next… ? Sylvester Stallone was Raymond Tango – without question. But who would he accept as his equally frame cop pardner, Gabriel Cash? After Patrick Swayze ran (to solo billing in Road House), the list was long… Keaton, Michael Biehn, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Ray Liotta, Liam Neeson, Michael Nouri, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid, Gary Sinise, Bruce Willis and James Woods. They lost out on the debatable pleasure of four directors! From the Russian Andrei Konchalovsky to, secretly, Stallone.  
  15. Adam Baldwin, Next of Kin, 1989.  Keaton, Alec Baldwin (no kin to Adam), Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, John Malkovich, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Ron Perlman, Tim Robbins were seen for mobster Joey Rossellini in the hillbillies v the Mafia re-run of the same UK director John Irvin’s tons better Raw Deal, 1985.
  16. Scott Glenn, The Silence of the Lambs, 1990.
  17. Kevin Costner, JFK, 1991.
  18. Stuart Wilson, Lethal Weapon 3, 1991.  Not only a Brit (like the best villains) but born in   the finestg UK county of Surrey, Wilson stole the villain, crooked ex-cop Jack Travis from some powerful A-Listers: Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman Jack Nicholson,  Plus four candidates for Mel Gibson’s titular cop in the first of the franchise quartet: Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino,  John Travolta.
  19. Bill Murray, Groundhog Day, 1992.   For the acerbic TV weatherman suddenly reliving February 2 over and over again until he gets it right,  director Harold Ramis had several ideas, Except  they were “far too nice” compared to Murray… in his finest work. “Before he makes the film wonderful,” said Chiago critic Rogert Ebert, “he does a more difficult thing, which is to make it bearable. I can imagine a long list of actors, whose names I will charitably suppress, who could… render it simpering, or inane.” They would have included the nice Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, John Travolta.  Plus Keaton who just might have pulled it off. Ramis chose him for Multiplicity,1995, where it is not days being repeated, but Keatons.
  20. Steve Martin, Leap of Faith, 1992.    All set as the travelling evangelical con-man until schedules (and money?) clashed, allowing Martin to dabble in drama anew.  Cue: instant prat-fall.

  21. Richard Gere, Mr Jones, 1993.        When Martin Ritt was in charge.
  22. Dana Carvey, Clean Slate, 1993.   Preferring the sob-opera, My Life, he left the tale of an amnesiac private eye ("every day is literally the first day of the rest of his life") to Garth from Wayne's World.
  23. Tom Hanks, Philadelphia, 1993.    By now, it was Keaton in Hanks’ shadow.
  24. John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  25. Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  26. Eric Stoltz, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  27. Keanu Reeves, Speed, 1993. There were  30 stars queuing for Die Hard On A Bus. From A Listers Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, even Mr  Die Hard, himself, Bruce Willis… to the B group: Kevin Bacon,three Baldwin brothers (Alec, Stephen and William),Michael Biehn, Bruce Campbell, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Tom Selleck… and two also-rans  Bruce  Campbell and Chuck Norris.  All crushed by a whippersnapper!  
  28. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.   Written for Bill Murray (“No, not for me”), Scott Calvin aka Santa  was sent to Chevy Chase (too busy).  Next?  Keaton, Jeff Bridges, even the mighty Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks before TV comic Tim Allen won his film debut. Allen had a record (28 months for attempted dealing) but Disney reluctantly broke its no-ex-cons policy. He’d been punished - and now more so. Stifling in his fat suit and facial prosthetics during the Summer shoot, he needed cooling-off breaks. They didn’t prevent a neck rash from the Santa suit.
  29. Kevin Bacon, The Air Up There, 1994.     Obscure college basketball coach tries to find potential glory in Africa. You could not get more obscure thanKeaton at this juncture.
  30. Tom Hanks, Forest Gump, 1995.    Received a script before any director had signed. Wavered, then waved it goodbye.

  31. Matthew Modine, Cutthroat Island, 1995.   All the A List guys (Keaton, Jeff Bridges, Ralph Fiennes, LiamNeeson, Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen) avoided the voyage because Renny Harlin would obviously favour his leading lady wife, Geena Davis. Particularly in the close-ups. And in the clinches.
  32. John Travolta, Get Shorty, 1995.   The A List would not touch it until QuentinTarantino (once tapped to direct) talked Travolta into... the best adaptation of an Elmore Leonard book until Justified came along on TV in 2010.
  33. Jack Nicholson,  Mars Attacks! 1995.  Tim Burton’s first two choices, Warren  Beatty and  Paul Newman,  fled. So did  Tim’s  Burton’s Batman, so The Joker took overtook over the US President  - and showing off with a second role of a Vegas casino boss.   Didn’t help. Too many stars. Not enough satire. 
  34. Woody Harrelson, Kingpin, 1996.     "If movie-making is like childbirth," said Peter Farrelly of this even more Dumb and Dumber tale (about bowling), "then Keaton was one of our big contractions."
  35. Kevin Costner, The Postman, 1997.     Tom Hanks also ran fromit… Keaton was born Michael Douglas but said there were already two other Michael Douglases. "One of whom I hear is doing quite well for himself, the other is making cheap porn movies." Pause. "Like Basic Instinct."  Keaton went further, having an affair with porn queen Serina Robinson, star of Honey Buns.
  36. Kesley Grammer, The Real Howard Spitz, 1997.    First Robin Williams, then Keaton was keen on Jürgen Wolff's Writer's Block script of a thriller writer decidingmore money is made by children's books.
  37. Antonio Banderas, The 13th Warrior,  1998.   For the Arab ambassador,  US director John McTiernan wanted Keaton - “because of his sense of humour.” The Disney suits didn’t find  that  funny and hired the Spanish star.  “I don’t remember whose idea that was, ” said McTiernan. “But it wasn’t mine!”
  38. Kurt Russell, Vanilla Sky, 2001.      Way out of Keaton’s league. "It's great to make your own choices," hehas said, "but there's a price to pay.  I could've made more money or been more famous.  I could be the current groovy guy. You don't want to lose your status, but I was never willing to preserve it by doing things I didn't want to do.  Hey, it's a business. The studiosknow I make X-amount of money when I play a certain guy, so they want me to play that guy, whoever he is. But my take is: I've done that, and if I do it again I'll end up blowing my brains out. I always thought that was smart. I never wanted to play the short game."
  39. Kevin Bacon. Mystic River, 2002.   You don’t, apparently, wrangle with Clint Eastwood.  Keaton had been selected for the Boston homicide cop Sean Devine, started script readings and then with a month to go, director and actor had an almighty dust-up. Keaton went and Clint brought home the Bacon.
  40. Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl,  2003..    Not a bad idea: Betelgeuse the pirate! Johnny made it a classic. And a quartet.

  41. Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2004.  
    Tim Burton pondered about his favourites - Betelgeuse Keaton, Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken - for chocolatier Willy Wonka. No contest. He became Depp and Burton’s fifth partnership in 15 years. After dropping… Rowan Atkinson, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Dwayne Johnson, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Leslie Nielsen, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, 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!

  42. Matthew Fox, Lost, TV, 2004-2010.   Minus any hit film for six years, Keaton still refused TV, even though his doctor hero would die in the pilot. Co-creator JJ Abrams - and Fox - kept him alive for several seasons... never knowing what to do with him and the otherair crash survivors on a desert isle.
  43. Chris Cooper, Jarhead, 2004.  UK director Sam Mendes saw Keaton, Gary Oldman, Kurt Russell and remained faithful to his American Beauty star as the perfect Lieut-Colonel Kranski: "I think I just felt  my dick move."
  44. Sam Rockwell, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 2005.   
  45. George Clooney, Leatherheads, 2008.    Moving, across 17 years, fromSteven Soderberg, Jonathan Mostow, Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin to George Clooney (also directing), the gridiron comedy was written by Rick Reilly and Duncan Brantley - when he was caretaking Steven Spielberg’s home in the Hamptons.  Brantley refused Reilly’s plea to leave the script on Spielberg’s toilet seat. “I felt that I needed to respect his privacy.”
  46. Joe Mantegna, Criminal Minds, TV, 2009-2016.     When Mandy Patinkin quit over “'creative differences,” Keaton (and Harvey Keitel) were seen about taking over as head honcho of the FBI profilers hunting serial killers among other depraved members of society.
  47. Kurt Russell, Undying, US-Denmark, 2011.    Or Reaper, when Keaton was going to be the private eye out of his depth in aa surreal underworld.
  48. Will Arnett, The Lego Movie, 2013.    Auteurs Phil Lord and Christopher Miller toyed with the idea of having their lego-Batman voiced by The Real Thing - Keaton, Christian Bale, George Clooney or Val Kilmer. (In his voicing debut, Channing Tatum was Superman). 
  49. John C Reilly, Kong: Skull Island,   2016.    Schedules inteferred and Reilly substituted Keaton in the seventh variation on the 83-year-old King Kong klassic.
  50. Mark Rylance, Ready Player One, 2016.  For Steven Spielberg’s flawed return  to science fantasy, Keaton had been a candidate for Anorak/JD Halliday, the dead co-creator of the OASIS, who left a surprise quest for his fans. This was Sir Mark’s third Spielberg film in arrow - in their Bridge of Spies, co-star Tom Hanks played… James Donovan Hallday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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