Payday Loans
Eddie Murphy

 

  1. Ernie Hudson, Ghostbusters, 1983.      Who ya gonna call - at 555-2368...? Not Eddie. What was gonna be Dan Aykroyd, John Belusbi and Murphy as Ghost Smashers - greatly changed (stars and tone; it had been futuristic, scary and dark) after Belushi’s ODeath in 1982. Winston Zeddmore had been penned for Eddie. He became, instead, Beverly Hills Cop - busting Aykroyd’s new team at the box-office.  

  2. Catherine Hicks, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1985.        The only time Eddie was replaced by a woman... He was suggested for the UFO prof who spots the de-cloaking Klingon ship during the Super Bowl. Everyone else says it’s just another of those clever half-time special effects. The studio passed, this once, not wanting to mix top franchises like Trek and Eddie, recalling the mess of Richard Pryor joining Superman III, 1983.   From 1996-2007, Hicks joined 7th Heaven as the wife of Stephen Collins, aka Captain Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1978. (His career was over in 2014 after admitting sexual misconduct with three underage girls). Murphy finally went to space in The (appalling) Adventures of Pluto Nash, 2001. Film cost $100m and had a US take of… $4.41m. Murphy should have stayed in the BHPD.

  3. Levi Stubbs, Little Shop of Horrors, 1986.     Director Frank Oz wanted Murphy voicing the man-eating alien plant, aka Audrey II. Finally, Oz fell for the baritone singer of The Four Tops - Reach Out (I'll Be There) and 19 other Top 40 Motown hits. Test audiences hated the finale where Audrey II ate Audrey (and her guy Seymour) Because, said Oz, there as no curtain call after it, to prove everyone was alive and well!
  4. Michael Keaton, Gung Ho, 1986.    The studio wanted a top comedy name but director Ron Howard says it was always written for “my ace in the hole.”  D’oh!

  5. Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 1988.     Showed mild  interest in Marlon Brando's old comedy role (Bedtime Story, 1964,)  before it went from  Bill Murray to Steve  Martin.

  6. Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1987. Chevy Chase was too nervy, Harrison Ford too pricey and Murphy regretted passing. (He made up for it with his Shrek donkey). Surprisingly, the murder mystery where the chief suspect is a carton character was based on the never made Cloverleaf, Robert Towne’s third Jake Gittes script. (For Chinatown, read Toontown). So who should be Gittes, er, shamus Eddie Valiant? Well, why not Gittes, himself - Jack Nicholson? No, producer Steven Spielberg could see no further than Harrison Ford. Too expensive! OK, Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone? Director Robert Zemeckis considered Charles Grodin, Don Lane, Eddie Murphy (soon a toon in the Shrek movies), and he auditioned Peter Renaday. And they could never contact the hideaway Bill Murray… When he read that in a paper, Murray screamed out loud- he would have loved heing Valiant. Not that much fun, reported Hoskins. “I had to hallucinate to do it,” he told Danish TV. After working with green screens for six months, 16 hours a day, he lost control.  “I had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me.” And his son was mad at him for not meeting Dad’s new co-stars… Betty Boop, Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Droopy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, etc.

  7. Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy, 1989.    No kidding, the studio toyed with the (dumbass) idea  of Eddie  driving the Divine Miss M - Bette Midler!
  8. Robin Williams, Aladdin, 1991.     Disney’s voice choices for the blue Genie included Murphy, Albert Brooks, John Candy, Matt Frewer, John Goodman, Steve Martin, Martin Short… As if anyone could match Williams’ dazzling 16 hours of improv. So much ad-lib finished on screen, the toon was denied any adapted script Oscar nomination! (Murphy could heve come close, as proved by his donkey in the Shrek toons). In typical whirlwind manic brilliance (at union scale!), Williams used everyone from Ethel Merman to Groucho Marx, William F Buckley to Carol Channing, Nicholson to De Niro!   “Good but not great,” noted Chicago critic Roger Ebert, “with the exception of the Robin Williams sequences, which have a life and energy all their own.” Indeed.
  9. Denzel Washington, Malcolm X, 1992.     Producer Marvin Worth knew Malcolm X, which is how he was able to obtain rights to his story in 1967  While waiting 25 years to make the film., Worth produced his own Oscar-nominated documentary on Malcolm, and commissioned numerous scripts. Eddie Murphy was interested  in one by by David Mamet.
  10. Samuel L Jackson, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  11. Michael J  Fox, Life With Mikey, 1993.      For his Disney debut, Murphy had the choice of being The Distinguished Gentleman or this ex-child star running an LA  talent agency.  He chose to be...  Mr Murphy Goes To Washington.
  12. Paul McGann, Doctor Who  (The Movie),TV, 1996.

  13. Chris Rock, Rush Hour, 1998.    The spec script by novelist Ross LaManna in 1995 was first aimed at two black cops, Martin Lawrence - and stand-up Dave Chappelle as Detective James Carter. Then black and white with Lawrence and Chris Farley (who died in 1997). Murphy had already done the cop-fish out of water number with the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Next Carters included: Tupac Shakur, Will Smith. Disney hated director Brett Ratner’s final Asian/black duo - Jackie Chan, Chris Rock - and the $33m project moved to New Line. And global glory: $244,386,864. Plus sequels for a total of $849,734,899. Sorry about that, Disney.
  14. Jim Carrey, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000.    Also passing: Jack Nicholson.
  15. Eli Roth, Inglourious Basterds, 2008.      Quentin Tarantino had the title since 1998 - the US title but not the same story of Enzo G Casterllari’s 1978 spaghetti war saga, Quel maledetto trena blindato. Michael Madsen later announced the first casting of himself, Sandler, Eddie Murphy (nearly in Pulp Fiction), Tim Roth. But Cute (QT!) postponed everything for his Kill Bills, 2003/2004... and then changed his game plan, making Sergeant Donny Donowitz Jewish instead of black. Said actor-director Roth: “I’m Jewish, and this is like kosher porn. It’s something I’ve fantasised about it since I was a little kid.

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  16. Seth Rogen,  The Green Hornet, 2010.   Some 18 years shot  by between Murphy trying hard to be green in 1992 and  Seth shedding 30lbs and finding it was not a step-up for Rogenkind.  Others keen on green were Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Vince Vaughn and Mark Wahlberg.Back in 1999, everything seemed set for Murphy as  the black Hornet. John Stewart.  (There are six variations of the hero). Next, the star of TV’s The Closer, Corey Reynolds,  wrote Green Lantern: Birth of a Hero in  2007; Warners liked it and suggested a 2010 release. And then switched from Stewart (based by his creators on Sidney Poitier) to test pilot Hal Jordan manifestation (kinda Paul Newman). Some years earlier, the bald and bearded Chicago rapper, Common, had been booked to be Stewart in George Miller’s eventually cancelled Justice League project.
  17. Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2010.       Another green offer… Directors changed (Kevin Smith, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarantino and even the producer Greg Berlanti) as often as the superhero hero - Murphy, Jack Black, Bradley Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Emile Hirsch, Jared Leto, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Sam Worthington. And two Brits: Henry Cavill, Michael Fassbender. Once 007’s Martin Campbell took over, he wanted Cooper and was greatly miffed when the suits signed Reynolds behind his back. The two guys never got on and the film flopped.
  18. Ben Stiller, Tower Heist, 2010.      Eddie and  the two Chrises, Rock and Tucker,  were the leads before  the black Ocean’s Eleven turned black and white…  Ben Stiller took  over the  lead for $15m - double Murphy’s pay-cheque.  Times had changed.
  19. Jovan Adepo, Fences, 2016.   Paramount grabbed the rights to August Wilson’s 1987 Tony winning Broadway play… because Murphy wanted a dramatic role. None of the corporate suits seemed to understand that his favoured rôle of Cory was aged 17 when Murphy was 26… and counting. Yet the Anglo-American Adepo (via his Nigerian Yoruba parentage) was 28. Washingtonl’s career advice for him was simple. “Just keep your head down and keep pushing forward, keeping searching for complex characters. If it’s not coming to you in film, get your butt on that stage.”

 

 

 





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