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Charlie Sheen

 

  1. Ralph Machio, The Karate Kid, 1983.       Thanks, but no thanks said Charlie when passing on the titular Daniel LaRusso.
  2. Johnny Depp, A Nightmare On Elm Street, 1984.       Charlie was very keen on playing Glen, but Wes Craven’s horror squad could not afford Sheen’s shine.  So this became Depp’s debut. He’d simply accompaned pal Jackie Earl Haley to the auditions and the producer’s daughter found him dreamy. Ohio auteur Wes Craven agreed after seeing Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, C Thomas Howell, Brad Pitt and Kiefer Sutherland for the heroine’s boyfriend. 
  3. Michael J Fox, Back To The Future, 1984.      For producer Steven Spielberg, the ideal Marty McFly was Fox. But he could hardly quit his hit Family Ties series. So director Robert Zemeckis looked over the usual young suspects:  Sheen, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, and  C Thomas Howell, signed Stoltz, fired him after five weeks for not being enough of a screwball and Fox worked around the clock daily on his series and his breakthrough movie. And lived to make two sequels! 
  4. Andrew McCarthy, Pretty In Pink, 1985.       Sheen - and James Spader – tested for Blane… described on the casting call sheet as “a hunky, square-jawed jock. ” Not my type, moaned the third-time John Hughes star, Molly Ringwald. After the McAudiiton, she told Hughes: “That's the kind of guy I would fall in love with.”
  5. C Thomas Howell, The Hitcher, 1985.    Our young hero (who finds finds an amputated finger in his french fries) could have been Sheen, Tom Cruise, Charlie’s bro Emilio Estevez  or Matthew Modine - instead of Howell, scared stiff by the  titular Rutger Hauer.
  6. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.  Not often you find Charlie in the frame for the same role as Arnie or Sly…      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 (shootingAliens), 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 inThe 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.
  7. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1988.
  8. Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July, 1989.
  9. Andy Garcia, The Godfather: Part III, 1991.
  10. Gary Oldman, JFK, 1991.

  11. Val Kilmer, The Doors, 1991.     Despite their Platoon/Wall Street films, it was not scenarist-director Oliver Stone, but others seeing Sheen as Jim Morrison during the decade long history of the film.
  12. Keanu Reeves, Point Break, 1991.      UK director Ridley Scott's choice of FBI man into mind games with a surf cowboy, when due  as Riders of the Storm.
  13. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  14. Woody Harrelson, White Men Can’t Jump, 1991.   First choice Sheen  justgdidn’t feel connected to basketball. “At least, when I do a baseball movie, I know I’m gonna have a good time.” So he was not reunited with his Major Leaguebasbell movie co-star Wesley Snipes. Also in the Billy Hoyle mix: David Duchovnyand Keanu Reeves.
  15. Emilio Estevez, The Mighty Ducks (UK:Champions),  1992.  From January 22 to April  11 to be precise.  With  Estevez beating  bro’ Charlie Sheen, plus Tom Cruise, Michael J Fox, Tom Hanks,  the way too old Bill Murray and even the scenarist  Steve Brill, himself,  to  the seen-it-all-before sports movie. The one, said Chicago critic Roger Ebert,  “about the misfit coach who is handed a team of kids who are losers, and turns them into winners while redeeming himself.”
  16. Keanu Reeves, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992.     William Baldwin, Johnny Depp, , Christian Slater were also seen for the mild-mannered. Jonathan Harker. The Columbia suits voted Reeves. He was hot, the others were not. D’oh!   Slater famously fled, opining: “If you’re not going to play Dracula in Dracula, why bother? I'd already been Robin Hood's brother.”
  17. Woody Harrelson,  White Men Can't Jump, 1992.      "I didn't feel it would be any fun. I don't feel connected to basketball. When I do a baseball movie, I know I'm gonna have a good time."
  18. Tom Cruise, The Firm, 1992.   Sheen and Jason Patric were both on the wish-list for Mitch McDeere,author John Grisham’s latest young lawyer hero.This one discovers his law firm is run by the Mafia.
  19. Woody Harrelson, Indecent Proposal, 1993.    Sheen, William Baldwin, John Cusack, Val Kilmer…  None of them had Harrelson’s guts to accept the role of a husband  selling  his wife for $1m to a zillionaire for one night.(He’d even walked out of Benny & Joonto play David - costing Paramount $400,000). Didn’t matter which lady played the missus - Irene Jacob, Andi MacDowell, Sophie Marceau, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts  - the film had a fatal flaw. Mr Money Bags was Robert Redford. ’Nuff said?  Well, no Charlie wants a word. Or two… "I didn't want to have my wife in the movie snatched by Robert Redford. Besides, to show, in the end, that the million dollars didn't mean anything to the guy by having him buy an elephant, or whatever the fuck it was... I mean, the millionaire's already jammed your wife, man, keep the cash!"
  20. Oliver Platt, The Three Musketeers, 1993.     He turned down Porthos - he had the humour, just not the build anymore.   Slim enough for Aramis.   Platt was offered Porthos in two of the three Dumas frolics jockeying for a complete quartet.  And Sheen just hated horses. 

  21. Tim Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption, 1993.  In love with the script, Sheen offered to make his own 30-minute test and make the movie for scale (the lowest possible actors’salary). Too late, writer-director Frrank Darabont had alreadybooked RobbinsasStephen King’s prisoner #37927, from: Jeff Bridges, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Johnny Depp, And both Toms - Cruise and Hanks. Charlie’s Dad, Martin Sheen, had filmed another King novel, The Dead Zone, ten years previously, and brother Emilio Estevez writer-director-starred Maximum Overdrive, 1985.
  22. Peter Greene, The Usual Suspects, 1994.     Jeff Bridges, Johnny Cash, Tommy Lee Jones, Al Pacino, James Spader, Christopher Walken were also seen for Redfoot, the LA fence.  The New Jersey actor  got the part - but no credit. 
  23. Woody Harrelson, The Cowboy War, 1994.   He who once called himself “a high-priest Vatican assassin warlock,” passed three in a row to Woody...
  24. Sean Penn, Carlito's Way, 1994.      When Charlie passed, Sean grabbed it  - he needed   money for his second film as a director, The Crossing Guard,  1995.
  25. Matthew Modine, Cutthroat Island, 1995.   All the guys (Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Douglas, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Keaton, Liam Neeson, Keanu Reeves) loved the idea of playing pirates - just not with the leading lady Geena Davis’ husband, Renny Harlin, directing.   Who was gonna getthe best looking close-ups!
  26. Val Kilmer, Wings of Courage, 1995.      French realisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud had to search elsewhere for his Imax movie lead when Sheen refused a drug test.
  27. Patrick Swayze To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, 1995.     Matt Dillon, Robert Downey Jr, Rob Lowe, Wesley Snipes, James Spader - they also entered the drag race.   Only Snipes won a role.
  28. Christian Slater, Murder in the First, 1995.      Director Marc Rocco decided to  thank Slater for his uncredited cameo in Rocco's breakthrough, Where The Day Takes You, 1992.
  29. Guy Pearce, Memento, 1999.      After Alec Baldwin foolishly passed on the hero with massive short-term memory loss, director Christopher Nolan (adapting his brother Jonathan’s short story)looked at Sheen, Aaron Eckhart, Thomas Jane, Brad Pitt. None could have matched the moving work of Pearce, who also had the advantage of being lesser known and, therefore, more credible as Leonard...forever htalking fast to stop forgetting what he’s talking about!
  30. John C Reilly, Chicago, 2001.
  31. Michael C Hall, Dexter, TV,  2006-2013.      Everyone from Charlie and his brother Emilio Estevez to - quite stupidly, - Tom Cruise,  Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, were listed for TV’s most unlikely hero. Dexter Morgan was  the Miami PD’s  blood-splatter expert moonlighting as a serial killer... of other killers.  Charlie was busy enough earning the TV’s biggest salary - $1.25 million per episode  of Two And A Half Men, 2003-2010.
  32. François Arnaud, The Borgias, TV, 2010.   The Italian Caligula director Tinto Brass told me he offered Cesare Borgia to Sheen... long before  Irish director Neil Jordan got his film  off the ground  - as a TV  series.

 

 

 

 

 





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