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Chuck Norris


  1. Hugh O’Brian, The Game of Death, Hong Kong-US, 1977.         Norris had more respect for Bruce Lee than to touch this tawdry cut ’n’ paste mess of the film the superstar was directing on when he died in July 1973.Norris owed his movie debutto the sole film directed by Lee - they hadone helluva fight in Meng long guo jiang (UK/US: The Way of the Dragon), 1972.
  2. Kurt Russell, Escape from New York, 1980.   Great minds think alike.  Good pals Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones and Nolte all refused to be auteurJohn Carpenter’s new action hero, Snake Plissken. So he actually thought about Chuck Norris!!!
  3. Martin Klove, The Karate Kid, 1984.          No way, said Chuck. Karate teachers should never be seen in a bad light.
  4. Michael Dudikoff, American Ninja, 1985.      Due for Chuck the year before he became the staple ingredient  of Cannon's Missing In Action and  Delta Force movie series.
  5. Michael Dudikoff, Avenging Force, 1986.       The script had been due for Chuck as Night Hunter in 1986.
  6. Kurtwood Smith, The 70s Show, TV, 1988-2006.    If you figured that  “Woody,” a perennial villain,  was off-the-wall casting for Topher Grace's father, imagine the original idea had been the famous non-actor, aka Walker, Texas Ranger.
  7. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Cyborg, 1988.      Cannon Films was speeding towards the toilet and needed an el cheapo quickie. House director Albert Pyun cut in half his Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg plan (surfer Laird John Hamilton replacing Dolph Lundgren as He-Man) and grabbed $2m worth sets and outfits for, he said, Norris. No, no, said the Cannon cousins, our newer (ie cheaper) Bloodsport guy, JCVD. Now you know why you’ve never heard of it.
  8. Michael Biehn, Timebomb, 1990.      “Eddie Kay is wired to explode.” Producer Rafaella De Laurentiis set her heart  and chequebook on Norris or Jean-Claude Van Damme for her titular  Eddy, on the run from somebody’s hit-list. Israeli director Avi Nesher preferred  an actor…  Didn’t help.
  9. Nick Cassavetes, Delta Force 3: The Killing Game, 1990.      Who would have thought itpossible to miss ther wooden Norris in a movie? He refused a third outing as General Scott McKay. Ifthe title wasn’t bad enough (too close to Bruce’s Game of Death!), there was the littlematter ofnearly being killed in a Delta Force 2 chopper crash. That one had been helmed by his brother Aaron; this one featured Chuck’s son Mike - as part of a new force.“ Younger and tougher... because they have to be.”Except they weren’t. Couldn’t act or shoot straight.
  10. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct, 1991.

  11. 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
  12. Steven Seagal, Ticker, 2000.    And now Seagal is grabbing Norris crumbs… Well, he shot his scenes in six days. (Dennis Hopper shared one - but never met Seagal!) First written in 1989, Tickerwas supposed to tock as a Norris TV movie for Turner Broadcasting in 1990.  Seagal looked to be inside a Depardieu fat suit, various scenes are pinched from two Dolph Lundgren actioners: The Peacekeeper, 1996, and Sweepers, 1998.  Director Albert Pyun repeatedly apologised for the mess. And released bis own cut. No better.
  13. Daniel Craig, Cowboys and Aliens, 2011.       The great title (better than the movie) had been stuck in Development Hell since 1997 which explains why such superstars as Norris, Brendan Fraser and Mr T (!) were invited to saddle up as the outlaw hero Jake Lonergan. So were Jackie Chan, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell and Bruce Willis.



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