Alan Rickman (1945-2016)
- Chris Barrie, Red Dwarf, TV, 1988-1999. First choice for the hologramatic Arnold Judas Rimmer - with Alfred Molina as Lister. Until the BBC realised neither one wouldnever be available if the series took off. Barrie was one of the voices of the politico-satirical Spitting Image puppets.
- John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons, 1988. Having played the Vicomte de Valmont on the West End and Broadway stages, Rickman was first choice for the film but preferred to be the Die Hard villain. As he watched Malkovich in his period costume in various Paris chateaux whee I overheard UK director Stephen Frears moaning: “He doesn’t walk like an artistocrat, he walks like a cowboy.”
- Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992. Director Francis Coppola decided to make the old legend "younger, very erotic, very romantic and very horrific." Losing his favourites - Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis - Francey looked at everyone else, mainly during auditions at his Napa Valley estate… Rickman, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Christian Slater and Sting
- Charles Dance, Last Action Hero, 1993. Dance was sure his part was written for Rickman.It was but Dance actually replaced Timothy Dalton.
- Jim Carrey, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, 1993. Rickman ached for Hollywood glory, said the Dangerous Liaisons playwright and scenarist Christopher Hampton. But surely this would have been too over the top. Even for Alan. Also in the mix: Rick Moranis, Judd Nelson a nd…Whoopi Goldberg.
- Michael Caine, On Deadly Ground, 1994. The star - and director! - Steven Seagal went for the LA cliché. A Brit as the villain.Rickman had already been there and got the Die Hard tee-shirt.
- Hugh Grant, Four Weddings And A Funeral, 1994. Scenarist Richard Curtis saw more than 70 actors (Rickman, Tim Roth, etc) for what was previously known as: True Love and Near Misses, Loitering in Sacred Places, Rolling in the Aisles and Skulking Around. Grant was so low on the register, he was teaching French actor Juliette Binoche how to master an English accent and being paid cash in hand - "like the plumber.”
- Sean Bean, GoldenEye, 1995.
- Pete Postlethwaite, Crimetime, 1997. Money was too tight for such first choices as Rickman and Geraldine Chaplin. She stayed, he didn’t.
- Lothaire Bluteau, Nostromo, TV, 1997. During his thwarted attempt to film the Joseph Conrad novel, iconic director David Lean took his scenarist Christopher Hampton's advice and tested the Valmont he'd enjoyed in Hampton's stage version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
- Alec Baldwin, Clerks, 2000. Alan was offered the role of Leonardo Leonardo in the 2000 cartoon based on New Jersey auteur Kevin Smith's 1994 film. He passed, feeling Leonardo Leonardo was too close to his Die Hard villain, Hans Gruber. Rickman had starred in Smith’s talkfest: Dogma, 1999.
- Jason Isaacs, Peter Pan, 2001. Jason Isaacs, Peter Pan, 2002. Rupert Everett and Gary Oldman were also potentials for Captain Hook. Sounds like another of the Harry Potter auditions. Except Oldman and Rickman were already aboard and, soon enough, Isaacs as well.
- John Goodman, Red State, 2010. Rickman was stuck in Harry Potterland, Sam, Jackson was way too busy to be federal agent Keenan in Kevin Smith’s take on The Wicker Man. 1973. His 16th film had the usual mix of sex, religion and politics. Except this was more Waco than whacko. Or as he put it “a nasty-ass $4mill horror flick with few (if any) redeeming characters.” Shot in sequence over 25 days, Smith edited by night and was able to screen the first cut at the wrap party. Beat that, Spielberg!
- Chris Cooper, The Muppets, 2011. Villain of the piece, wanting to demolish the Muppet Theatre to get at the oil beneath, is Tex Richman (!). He was written for Rickman but hey, Cooper was a support Oscar-winner - for Adaptation - on March 23, 2003.
- Glenn Close, Guardians of the Galaxy, 2013. Two Brits, Rickman and Hugh Laurie, were on the Marvel wish list for Nova Prime Ifrani Rael, chief the Nova Corps, protecting citizens and keeping the peace. Then Close came to mind… “Nobody had to woo me! I’ve always wanted to be in a movie like this. To me, it’s the most fun to play something like the Judi Dench/Samuel L. Jackson role, where I’d be the head of all the peacekeepers in the galaxy. I didn’t hesitate for a moment!”
- James Corden, Into The Woods, 2013.