1. - Troy Donahue, Parrish, 1961.
Josh Logan tested Beatty with Jane Fonda. “We were thrown together like lions in a cage and told to kiss... I leaned over and kissed her cheek. Logan demanded if that was the best I could do, so l threw myself on Jane and kissed her and held that kiss. Cut! And we held it... We kissed until we had practically eaten each other’s head off. And somebody finally pried us apart. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘that felt pretty good.’ Logan signed me... didn’t even wait to see the test itself.” However Logan cancelled a memorable debut when he could not obtain his desired parents: Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara! No youngster's career could have withstood such a start.
2.- Anthony Perkins, Tall Story, 1960. Remembering their passionate Parrish test, stage-screen director Joshua Logan was determined to star Beatty and Jane Fonda in this campus romance until the brothers Warner and his own agent insisted on Perkins. “You have to have someone with some kind of name... especially if you are going to use Jane Fonda, who has not appeared on the screen so far.”
3. - George Hamilton, Where The Boys Are, 1960. The year before, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner called him “Warren Beasley.” He was “sitting out in California doing nothing,” and known only as Shirley MacLaine’s brother and Joan Collins’ lover. And so desperate to get started, he even tested for this teenage froth.
4. - Christopher Knight, Studs Lonigan, 1960. Although still awaiting a movie debut, Beatty rejected the James T. Farrell novel. Scripter-producer Philip Yordan had offered him the lead “but he couldn’t get along with the director Irving Lerner and Lerner fired him.” Why? “Because I wanted too much money,” was the Beatty version told to Jack Nicholson, playing his fifth and then finest screen role of… Weary Reilly.
5. - George Hamilton, All The Fine Young Cannibals, 1960. Just not that desperate… His co-stars would have included future lover Natalie Wood.
6. - George Peppard, The Subterraneans, 1960. And this one (based on Jack Kerouac’s book) starred another future lover, Leslie Caron. This is how MGM treated Beatty: he was “the next Troy Donahue, ” not ”ripe” enough for the films he aspired to.
7. - Richard Beymer, West Side Story, 1961. MCAgent Maynard Morris persuaded producer Walter Mirisch to let Beatty audition for Tony. Made sense, although Beatty couldn’t sing either... (Beymer was dubbed by Jimmy Byrant). Natalie Wood wanted Beatty, too! And got him for Splendour in the Grass that year. Director Robert Wise brought him back for second time, noting his “excellent quality” but fretting about his singing voice. “Beymer wasn’t happy with his performance,” reported co-star Russ Tamblyn. “He thought he was miscast: he was from a farm in Indiana and had no street sense whatsoever. He needed a lot of direction and didn't get it. They just stuck fake teeth in his mouth!”
8. - Richard Beymer, Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man, 1961. Beymer wins again after negotiations with Beatty fell through. Beymer’s next work was Beatty’s Tony-nominated role from A Loss of Roses in the film version: The Stripper. Beatty finally got rolling with Splendour in the Grass and was introduced to the media by Jack Warner, himself, as ”our next big star, Warner Beaker.”
9.- Steve McQueen, The War Lover, 1962. Beatty made love, not war. “How am I doing?” he almost said with winks to writer Sally Ogle Davis confronted by his love-making at a Hollywood party.
10 - Laurence Harvey, Walk on the Wild Side, 1962. His first film had wrapped, now he wanted a switch from Bud Stamper, and chose “an obnoxious pimp” called Dove Linkhorn. Harvey said kissing Capucine was like “kissing the side of a beer bottle." (Beatty quit What’s New Pussycat for, among other reasons, the casting of Capucine.
11 - Tom Bell, The L-Shaped Room, 1962. "It’s a little complicated... I just didn’tfeel like acting. I’m not really so sure how good an actor I am, how much I enjoy it, what I want to do or where I want to go... I don’t do a lot of movies .I’m not ready for the kind of fame that finally rubs out talent.”
12 - Alain Delon, Il Gattopardo/The Leopard, Italy, 1962. The self-important Italian maestro Luchino Visconti was on the phone. “Warren, I need you badly for my film. I have Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale and I want you. It’s your part.” No! Visconti next called Paris. “ It’s your part, mon cher Alain.”
13 - Alfred Lynch, West 11, 1963. Exiled US director Joseph Losey’s choice for one of the 65 films he never made including The Wild One, High Noon, The Devils, Under The Volcano... Beatty beat director Joseph Losey, rejecting 75 scripts and an estimated $2m in 30 months, horrifying his agent, Charles K Feldman. “No other actor I've ever known could do this if for no other reason than egotism.”
14 - George Peppard, The Victors. 1963.
“I felt as if I was being sold likea can of tomatoes... My instincts then were to find stories that had great meaning for me. But I made the mistake of being passive and waiting for the ideas of other film-makers to become appealing to me...It was a very upsetting period, the first year or two of being famous.... I’m very surprised I handled it as well as I did.”
15 - George Hamilton, Act One, 1963. No again - to the bio of Broadway legend, dramatist-director Moss Hart. Director Joshua Logan (later succeeded by Dore Schary) wrote to Elia Kazan: “Please tell, me something about Warren Beatty, he’s dying to play Act One... do you think he could?” Other newcomers in the frame were Dean Jones and Anthony Perkins. Hart was never a Beatty obsession - that was Howard Hughes. And it took him 40 years to make his (weak) Hughes movie, Rules Don’t Apply, 2014.
16 - Cliff Robertson, PT 109, 1963. “My brother thought he’d be terrific in the part,” recalled Ted Kennedy… After seeing Splendour in the Grass at the White House, JFK decided who should play Lieutenant (jg.) JF Kennedy. Beatty told him it was a bad script “and Jack Warner kicked me off the lot.” Even director Elia Kazan felt Beatty was the ideal choice. “They shared the same looks, intelligence, cunning, a commanding eye for the girls… and lower back trouble.” Kazan asked Beatty if that hindered his sex life. “It doesn't hurt then.” Beatty worked for RFK’s fatal 1968 presidential campaign. When they met, Kennedy told him: “You’re the guy that turned down my brother...”
17 - Rock Hudson, Send Me No Flowers, 1963. Gene Kelly was the first director. He quit when he could not persuade Warren Beatty or singer Bobby Darin, to play the hypochondriac who is positive he is dying. Norman Jewison helmed the film, the third and last of the Hudson-Doris Day duo.
18 - Cary Grant, Charade, 1963. Opposite Natalie Wood - when Grant was worrying he was too old to be chasing Audrey Hepburn. So, as per usual in his later movies, he had the girl chase him. Worked every time.
19 - James Franciscus, Youngblood Hawke, 1964.“I don’t do a lot of movies.I’m not ready for the kind of fame that finally rubs out talent.” Heneeded money and therefore accepted a mediocre Warners quickie based on the Herman Wouk novel. Beatty screentested with Suzanne Pleshette, discussed the script (daily) with director Delmer Daves, justnever signed any contract. And so, Jack Warner canned him and slashed the budget- from colour to monochrome... And neverforgave Warner Beaker.
20 - Rock Hudson, Send Me No Flowers,1964. Gene Kelly’s eighth outing (of 13) as a director was supposed to be this naff comedy with Beatty. Until Universal told him: “No, no - Bobby Darin!” New helmer Norman Jewison got his way for his third movie. Next time it was Darin...
21 - Bobby Darin, That Funny Feeling, 1965. “I had the luck to appear in three pictures that were shown at festivals and were full of prestige but people didn’t go to see them. I thought I’d better do something popular.”Like Honeybear, I Think I Love You with Sandra Dee - but Charles Eastman would not sell his script. So, Beatty joined Dee’s Universal candyfloss until she had top-billing. Dee’s first (and only) husband filled in. Inadequately.
22 - Peter O’Toole, What's New Pussycat?, US-France, 1964.
Beatty’s agent turned producer Charles Feldman tried various writers to modernise Lot’s Wife.Woody Allen did it for $30,000, over six weeks at the Beatty manse. (He took another $5,000 as co-star). “He finally wrote the funniest script I’veever read.” (“Marx Brothers with sex appeal,” felt O'Toole). Except Beatty's role was not as as good as Woody’s! Beatty quit (using, as excuse, the fact that Feldman wouldn’t also hire Leslie Caron)but leftbehind his telephone greeting to his female legions. On hearing it, Feldman yelled:“Title!” Beatty: “After that film, Woody was always in control of whatever he did. And so was I.”
23 - Richard Johnson, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, 1965. Among Bond director Terence Young’s numerous dream schemes: Beatty and… Sophia Loren as the sexy serving wench going up and down in society.
24 - Richard Harris, Hawaii, 1966. Announced (among almost everything else) in 1963. Said Dustin Hoffman: “Warren was famous before he was born.”
25 - Oskar Werner, Fahrenheit 451, 1966. Veteran French réalisateur Jean Renoir introduced Beatty to the New Wave auteur François Truffaut. When he mentioned the great Bonnie and Clyde script, Beatty immediately flew back to New York to talk to co-writer Robert Benton about it! Truffaut admired Leslie Caron but felt Beatty, her then lover, “unpleasant.” He joined Brando, among others, on the list inside Truffaut’s head, classified as “Better not to make films at all than to make films with these people.”
26 - George Segal, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966. Elizabeth Taylor had $1.1m and approval of almost everything. Certainly about casting. And Beatty was just, well, prettier than she was with her extra 30 lbs as Martha. She needn’t have bothered. Beatty passed. Like Redford.
27 - Dustin Hoffman The Graduate, 1967. On producer Lawrence Turman’s handwritten wish list of ten actors (Beatty to Redford) for the titular Benjamin Braddock. To be initiated by Judy Garland, Jeanne Moreau or Patricia Neal as Mrs Robinson. Hoffman got it right: “There is no piece of casting in the 20th century that I know of that is more courageous than putting me in that part.”
28 - Robert Redford, Barefoot in the Park, 1967. He passed five years earlier during his Natalie Wood period. “If Warren had stayed a virgin” said Dustin Hoffman, “he’d be known as the best director in the world.”
29 - John Cassavetes, Rosemary's Baby, l968. Director Roman Polanski wanted a clean-cut all-American. Laurence Harvey wanted it, photographer Peter Beard tested, Redford fled - and Beatty, said Polanski, “procrastinated, as usual. ”The husband’s role was not important enough. “Hey, can I play Rosemary?”
30 - Charles Bronson, C'era una volta il West (UK/US: Once Upon A Time in the West), Italy-US, 1968. A Paramount suit nominated Beatty as the perfect Harmonica. Leone wasn’t so sure. He went through the opening sequence - as slowly as it happened on-screen -the three heavies waiting for the train, hot, sweating, troubled by a fly, collecting water in a stetson’s rim, shading eyes from sun, train arrives, train pulls in, trains pulls out and we see who has arrived...“Warren Beatty? What do you think my public will think of me! Harmonica is Bronson, A force of marble!”
31 - Jon Voight, Midnight Cowboy, 1968. Julie Christie put in more than one good word to her UK Darling director John Schlesinger about her lover wanting to be Joe Buck."Seeing Beatty fail as a hustler on 42nd Street would seem ridiculous," he noted in his diary. Which is why he wanted an unknown, not a star… Although, and for some time, there had been talk of… Elvis. "Thankya verra much, ma'am"! One could suggest that Beatty’s Shampoo hairdresser was Joe Buck having made good in LA.
32 - Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 1969.
33 - Kirk Douglas, There Was A Crooked Man...,1969. For his one and only Western (ex-Hell, Hung Up, The Prison Story), auteur supreme Joseph L Mankiewicz first wanted Beatty as the con man thief (and escaped convict) hunted by John Wayne as Sheriff Woodward W Lopeman. He got Douglas and Henrty Fonda. (The script was by Warren’s Bonnie and Clyde team).
34 - Michael Sarrazin, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, 1969. Both Beatty and Robert Redford had talks about playing Jane Fonda’s Depression era marathon, dance-until-you-drop partner, Robert Syverton. (The surname of Fonda’s character was… Beatty).
35 - Robert Culp, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, l969. Wise.
36 - Elliott Gould, Getting Straight, l970. Wiser.
37 - Mark Frechette, Uomini contro/Many Wars Ago, Italy, 1970. Wisest. “He was interested and would've been fine for me,” recalled Francesco Rosi, the Italian director who won a Jackie Coogan look-alike contest as a kid. “Hollywood wanted an all-star cast and weren't convinced that an Italian incident in WW1 had international appeal.” Hollywood wuz right.
38 - Timothy Bottoms, Look Homeward Angel, TV, 1971. Beatty had also been chased by Katharine Hepburn for Thomas Wolfe's autobiographical 1958 Broadway hit with Anthony Perkins growing up in North Carolina.
39 - Al Pacino,The Godfather, 1971.
40 - Michael York, Cabaret,1972. Opposite Julie Christie as Sally Bowles: an idea without any thought attached to it..
41 - Marlon Brando, Ultimo tango a Parigi/Last Tango in Paris, 1972. “It seemed very much in order for me to do something less selfish” - working to beat Nixon - rather than what Brando viewed as “Bernardo Bertolucci’s analysis.” Brando confessed he “never understood that picture.”
42 - Robert Redford, The Sting, 1973. Stung. His Bonnie and Clyde largesse ($7m in 1967 dollars) allowed him to set up his own movies. When he felt like it. For now, he was too busy working for Senator George McGovern’s Presidential campaign - inventing the concept of fund-raising concerts.
43 - Robert Redford, The Way We Were, l973.
Or, weren’t. “C’mon, Barbra, you’re kidding. Why don’t I play the girl and you play the guy?” And later: I’ve never regretted any of these big hits. There weren’t many that particularly impressed me. They were nice movies and if I knew they were going to be such big money-makers and they came back and said would you want to play it, I probably would… in order to make the money.”
44 - George Segal, Blume In Love, 1973. At one time, Beatty and his British star lover Julie Christie thought of being on-screen lovers again - after McCabe and Mrs Miller, 1971.
45 - Steve McQueen, Papillon, l973. Due as director Roman Polanski’s first film after Sharon Tate’s horrendous murder. “Warren loved the book, as I knew he would, and wanted to do it.” The hitch was nudity. “I'm not going to appear bare-assed. It's a hang-up I have.”
46 - Ryan O'Neal, Paper Moon, 1973. Paramount chief Robert Evans first banned O’Neal (for an affair with his wife, Ali McGraw, during Love Story) and suggested his usual favourites: Beatty or Nicholson. But O’Neal had the perfect co-star - his daughter. She became the the youngest Oscar-winner - at ten.
47 - James Caan, The Gambler, 1973. When Paramount cheesily announced a 2012 re-make without telling him, scenarist James Toback related the unexpurgated chronology of the original (“from erection to resurrection,” to quote Churchill), revealing how no money could be raised on the names of Peter Boyle or Robert De Niro - or even Beatty. He never made the film but became “one of my closest friends.” Two decades later, Beatty hired him to write Bugsy, 1990. (It took him six years).
48 - Robert Redford, The Great Gatsby, 1974. Too concerned with George McGovern’s presidential campaign. Also, Warren “didn’t like the deal they offered me” and did not believe in Ali McGraw as Daisy Buchanan. Ironically, five years earlier, Beatty had tried to produce it with Paramount’s head man Bob Evans - “the only Gatsby I know!”
49 - Gene Hackman, Lucky Lady, 1975. Once George Segal quit, all of Sue Mengers’ clients were approached. Beatty, Steve McQueen and Steven Spielberg refused to embark. Hackman sank with all hands.
50 - Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975.
51 - Robert De Niro, The Last Tycoon, 1975. “Frequently planned, frequently announced and frequently abandoned,” said Sam Spiegel. For producer Lester Cowan, it was the one that got away… He first tried when hot to trot after his 1945 hit, The Story of GI Joe, ironically starring Robert Mitchum, who played the studio boss in this Spiegel production nearly 30 years later. Cowan tried again in 1967, aiming for Beatty (who started writing Shampoo on Sam Spiegel’s yacht). The film’s director, Elia Kazan, told Beatty that Spiegel was the best producer pre- and post- filming – then, added: “Spiegel’s heart is full of shit and if you repeat that I’ll deny it.”
52 - Giancarlo Giannini, L’Innocente, Italy, 1976. Thirteen years on and Luchino Visconti was saying “It’s your part.” Again. Or, he was after having said much the same to Alain Delon. Again.
* The real hero of The Front, 1976, was not Woody Allen but an amalgam of several names on the 1950s' Hollywood Blacklist of screen-writers. And despite their resemblance, Walter Bernstein swore that he never wrote it for Woody. It was flexible script, until a star was locked. As much for George Segal as for Beatty - who would, naturally, have favoured his better side in the profile poster. [Illustration by Graham Marsh]
53 - Woody Allen, The Front, l976. “You go with your instincts.” He took over Allen’s lover, Diane Keaton, instead.
54 - James Brolin, Gable and Lombard, 1976. Beatty resembled Gable as much as he did Lombard - and only agreed to make their love story if the names were changed.
55 - James Caan, Un autre homme, une autre chance (US: Another Man, Another Chance; UK: Another Man, Another Woman), France-US, 1977. Pretentious Claude Lelouch decided to make a Western. He didn’t, of course. He made a Lelouchern. Complete with the hero riding to Beethoven's Fifth! Caan talked his way into the mess, while the realisateur was chasing Beatty, McQueen, Newman or Pacino. None of whom, Lelouch said proudly, said No. Nor yes.
56 - Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978,
57 - George C Scott, Hardcore, 1979. “He wouldn’t work with a first time director,” says Paul Schrader. (Shades of George Raft). Also, he was not old enough (at 42!) to play the father of a teenage daughter.” (He wanted to be searching for his sister). Plus all the stupid rumours it would be Hollywood's first hard-core feature.
58 - Roy Scheider, All That Jazz, 1979. When director Bob Fosse was convinced (by his health) not to try and play his screen self, Broadway choreographer Joe Gideon, was chased and/or avoided by… Beatty (keen, but Gideon must not die at the end!), Alan Alda, Alan Bates (“too British,” said Fosse), Robert Blake, Richard Dreyfuss (“afraid of the dancing”), Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Jack Lemmon (“too old”), Paul Newman (“Dumb of me… a terrible oversight”), Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, George Segal, Jon Voight. Scheider just grabbed the “outrageous, assaulting, melodramatic, very funny, stupid, silly, simplistic, vulgar… wonderful movie!” Exactly.
59 - Ray Sharkey, Love & Money, 1981. Writer James Toback directed his debut, Fingers, in 1977. The next decade, he reported in Vanity Fair in 2014, ebbed and flowed “to the deliberate and lengthily interrupted rhythms of Warren Beatty.” In 1979, Beatty bought Toback’s new script and even persuaded The New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael to produce it - with “the expectation” that Beatty would star. “Long delays and occasional disputes were resolved by Beatty’s flying off to Finland to direct and star in Reds, Kael’s returning to The New Yorker, and my making Love & Money with the wrong actor.”
60 - Burt Reynolds, The Man Who Loved Women, 1983. Too obvious casting for the star with a reputed 1,295 conquests - by director Blake Edwards for his needless red-hash of the 1977 François Truffaut classic, L’homme qui aimait les femmes.
61 - Robert Downey Jr, The Pick Up Artist, 1986.
James Toback also wrote this movie for Beatty - in 1984. Suddenly, Beatty turned shy… reluctant “to portray a character whose erotic compulsions propelled the narrative.” He’d been there, done that and got the Shampoo tee-shirt (in 1974). He stayed aboard as producer, giving the actual credit to his cousin, David Leigh MacLeod. Although the zcript was based more on the Toback’s womanising than Beatty’s (close though the two were), Downey said Beatty was Toback’s adviser. “Beatty's really knowledgeable in a lot of areas, especially fucking. Especially kissing and making actors do something forty times.”
62 - Michael Douglas, Wall Street, 1987. As Variety columnist Michael Fleming phrased it, Beatty fell in love with projects the way he did with women - “to cool when it comes time to commit.”
63 - Mel Gibson, Tequila Sunrise, l988. Shampoo scenarist Robert Towne wrote it for Beatty (and Scott Glenn) in 1981.
64 - Tom Hanks, Big, 1987. “I wish I was big.” A kid dropped a quarter in a wish-machine, makes a wish, and next morning he wakes up as Tom Hanks behaving, of course, still like a kid. Beatty wasn’t tempted until he heard how Robert De Niro was keen on the script.
65 - Dennis Quaid, Everybody's All American (UK: When I Fall In Love), 1988. Beatty played and loved US football - as a movie subject.
66 - Richard Gere, Pretty Woman, 1990..
67 - James Caan, Misery, 1990. Not scared of the Stephen King book (like Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Robert Redford), he still argued against the major violence. “I’d love to play a guy who gets his foot chopped off. I’m a whore. Look at the movies I’ve been in. I lost in Shampoo, I lost in Reds. I could play it easily. It’ll be a different character with Jimmy,” said Beatty. “I'm a pussy. Jimmy's definitely not a pussy!”
68 - Eli Wallach, The Two Jakes, 1990. The Chinatown sequel was such a mess in ’85 (writer-director Robert Towne having to sack original producer turned vainest actor of the year, Robert Evans) that Jack Nicholson, pals with the two Bobs ran to another pal to save the project - as producer and second Jake. Beatty, however, had been here before. Only then his and Jack’s mess was called The Fortune, 1975.
69 - William Hurt, The Doctor, 1991. Director Randa Haines promised “a really stimulating and productive work experience - but I'm directing!” When the film opened, Beatty needed a doctor - Annette Bening was pregnant with the first of their four children.
70 - Clint Eastwood, In The Line Of Fire, 1992. Jeff Maguire’s impeccable script hung around Hollywood for a decade as they all - Beatty, Connery, Hoffman, Redford -backed away from the aging Secret Serviceman. Some suits even tried to go younger (ditching the pivotal JFK assassination back-story!) with Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer. At 62, even Eastwood felt he was too old for the fiftysomething hero. He relented and made it one of his finest movies.
71 - Liam Neeson, Schindler’s List,1993. Steven Spielberg spent ten years growing up before makingthe Holocaust film and not just because he couldn’t find his Oskar Schindler, the Nazi businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews. The list included, Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, Swiss Bruno Ganz, Mel Gibson, Swedish Stellan Skarsgård, AustralianJack Thompson and Spielberg’s 2011 Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis. Beatty took part in a script reading but Spielberg, was worried about Warren’s accent and, as usual, by “movie star baggage.” After four previous nominations, this is the film that finally won Spielberg his first Oscar on March 21, 1994. Chicago critic Roger Ebert praised Spielberg’s unique ability of adding artistry to popularity in his serious films - “to say what he wants to say in a way that millions of people want to hear.”
72 - Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
73 - Robert Redford, Indecent Proposal, 1993. Part of the UK director Adrian Lyne’s original triangle - the zillionaire offering Tom Cruise $1m to sleep with his wife, Nicole Kidman.
74 - Kevin Kline, Dave, 1993. Being the clone of the US President was close to Beatty’s dream home - the White House. The Oval Office set was later cast in The American President and Nixon in 1994 and The West Wing, 1999-2006.
75 - John Lone, M Butterfly, 1993 .“He wanted to direct and star in it,” said Canadian director David Cronenberg. “But he'd be the least believable for an American public in the role of a woman.”
76 - Peter Weller, The New Age, 1993. Beatty’s plans for a second film with his wife (for producer Oliver Stone) were stopped by he being pregnant with their son, Benjamin.
77 - Nick Nolte, I Love Trouble, 1994. The idea of teaming Beatty-Julia Roberts was forever thwarted...
78 - Anthony Hopkins, Nixon, 1994. Old pals Nicholson and Beatty headed JFK director Oliver Stone’s ideas. Bit Tricky Dicky was hardly the president Beatty ached to be. Besides, far too handsome. He played casting director, instead, recommending Joan Allen for Pat Nixon - even reading with her to prove his point. Next time around, Dan Heyda (who played Trini Cordoza) was Nixon in Dick, 1998.
79 - Gene Hackman, Crimson Tide, 1995. Directorr Tony Scott wanted to promote Beatty opposite Andy Garcia’s junior officer. Beatty worked on the script “and really improved it because he’s so smart,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “but he wouldn't say yay or nay.” PS: “Quentin Tarantino did a rewrite that just knocked it out of the park.”
80 - Tom Hanks, Apollo 13, 1995. When film-maker Rob Reiner was dickering with it. “You have to respect,” Beatty often said, “the lack of inclination to do something.”
81 - David Caruso, Jade, 1995. DA investigates his ex-lover, a shrink, for murder. Producers Robert Evans and Craig Baumgarten saw it as a Beatty vehicle until going (much) younger and (much) cheaper.
82 - Anthony Hopkins, Nixon, 1995. Tricky Dicky was hardly the president he ached to be. Besides, far too handsome. He played casting director, recommending Joan Allen to Oliver Stone for Pat Nixon - and even read with her to prove his point.
83 - John Travolta, Get Shorty, 1995.Beatty has turned down more winnersthan most actors still able to call themselves stars. This one proved quite the best adaptation of an Elmore Leonard book until Justified came along on TV in 2010.
84 - Jack Nicholson, Mars Attacks, 1996.
Beatty just wasn’t in the mood to play presidents that year… Er… like what if he finally decided to really run for the White House? Tim Burton offered the double whammy - of the US President (married to Glenn Close) and a Vegas casino boss (wed to the real Mrs Beatty, Annette Bening).. No! Next, Tim called Jack. “Which part would you want to do?” “How about all of them?” He played three, the uncredited third was Jack’s favourite, the somewhat Strangelovian scientist provoking Earth’s destruction. Which served no purpose. Other than Jack's ego.
85 - Jeremy Irons, Lolita, 1997. Brit director Adrian Lyne talked with him again - but deemed that Beatty was too old. Hey, wasn’t that the point about Humbert Humbert?
86 - Burt Reynolds, Boogie Nights, 1997. From Presidents to paedophiles and... now a porno film-maker. All in one year! Burt won an Oscar nod but his comeback didn’t last.
87 - Matthew McConaughey, Sex and the City (Episode 43: Escape from New York), TV, 2000. The actor-producer inviting Carrie to LA to discuss filming her column was penned for Alec Baldwin. When he refused, he turned into Beatty, then George Clooney and finally, McConaughey.
88 - Andy Garcia, Ocean's Eleven,2001. Having built Vegas in Bugsy, Beatty was an amusing idea for the owner of the three Vegas casinos robbed in one night by George Clooney’s XI.
89 - David Carradine, Kill Bill, Vol 1 and 2, 2003-2004. Director Quentin Tarantino created Bill for Beatty, who just didn’t get it. “OK, Quentin, let me ask you a question here. Don’t be offended, but... what stops this from just being one fight after another where each one tops the last one?” “Well, Warren that’s a pretty goddamn good description of a martial-arts movie. That’s what I’m going for and if I do it, I’ll be very happy.” “You should go for Carradine.” And he did, explaining: “Sure, it’s a violent movie. But it's a Tarantino movie. You don't go to see Metallica and ask the fuckers to turn the music down.”
90 - Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006. One of Hollywood’s most absurd notions. Two more equally insane ideas were... Harrison Ford and Robert Redford! Plus Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Jack Nicholson, Steve Martin, Al Pacino.
91 - Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon, 2007. Tricky Dicky II... The studio wanted A Name playing Richard M Nixon (a dozen years after his first Nixon offer). Lightweight director Ron Howard insisted, rightfully, on the originator of the stage Nixon in the British stage play.
92 - James Cromwell, W, 2008. Cromwell revealed - and he should know – how auteur Oliver Stone first wanted Beatty or Harrison Ford to play W’s father, the 41st US president, George HW Bush. As usual, Beatty was more concerned in raising a budget to back him playing Howard Hughes - which he finally managed, directing himself in the weak Rules Don’t Apply, 2014.
93 - Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables, 2011. Oh, Hollywood… Since the musical’s 1985 London opening, suggestions for Jean Valjean, went from the logical - Robert De Niro, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, William Hurt, Kevin Kline - to the absurd: Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Christopher Walken. Plus close pals, rarely rivals, Beatty and Jack Nicholson. However, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino were far too short for the hefty hero who, in a signature scene, has to carry Cosette’s lover, away from the battle of the barricades. Put it another weay, Hollywood’s last Valjean had been Liam Neeson - 6ft. 4in.