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Justin Timberlake


  1. Ryan Gosling, The Notebook, 2004.     The white Will Smith (actually he more resembles Kevin Spacey) was seen by the producers.Gosling, however, was Nick Cassavetes' first and only choice for early years ofJames Garner’s Noah.
  2. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rent, 2005.   The Broadway musical, greatly influenced by  Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, had a song with the line: “I hear Spike Lee's shooting down the street.”  Alas, it wasn’t for this movie - which he’d tried setting up with Timberlake as the  transvestite Angel. Ultimately, Chris Columbus directed with many of the original cast (Heredia, included)  yet, none of the show’s power.
  3. Sam Huntingdon,Superman Returns, 2006.
  4. Zac Efron, High School Musical, TV, 2006.      Disney’s wonder musical franchise - two tele-films and a cinema feature - grew out of... Grease 3. In 1999, Timberlake and Britney Spears were to be the kids of Danny Zucko and Sandy Olsson from the 1978 film. Re-writes were shelved in 2004. Apart from the well-greased angles, the script was, basically, HSM. Also trying out for Troy: Lucas Grabeel, Hunter Parrish, Drew Seely (who dubbed Efron’s singing), Matthew Underwood.
  5. Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2010.      The singer felt he had a breakthrough chance after such movies as as Alpha Dog and Black Snake Moan. Not so. 007 director Martin Campbell spent five months looking for and two months testing possible Hal Jordans - the DC Comic hero with the super-powered ring. (Make of that what you will). Jack Black, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender. Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Emile Hirsch, Jared Leto, Eddie Murphy, Chris Pine, Sam Worthington - allowing Reynolds to achieve the rare double whammy of playing both Marvel Comics and DC Comics superheroes.
  6. Vince Vaughn, Lay The Favourite, 2011.    The ex-‘Nsync singer was in the mix for Rosie in that rarity - a Stephen Frears flop.
  7. Sean Hayes, The Three Stooges, 2011.    When the shock choice of Sean Penn fell out in 2009 (his marriage was disintegrating), the Oscar-nominated Emmy-winner Paul Giamatti was the Farrelly brothers’ next surprise choice for the simpleton Larry Fine.  And next idea was... and the minddoeth boggleth... Timberlake!!! ’Twas obvious from the get-go that thismovie was a loser. The Farrellys brothers may love and adore them (hence their own mindless farces like Dumb and Dumber) but there are just not that many fans of the Stooges fans - and their slap-happy boinks, pokes, slaps, nyuk-nyuks, nyaaahhhs - in one US township, let alone the world.
  8. Chris Pine, This Means War, 2011.   Two CIA Buddies fall for the same girl. (Reese Witherspoon?!!). Mayhem ensues. Not! Way back at the turn of the century, it was to be a black two-hander for Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock. But they’d all read the script - “whose sensible parts,” suggested New York Times critic Louis Lumenick “would fit on a napkin with enough room left over for the Gettysburg Address.” Chicago’s Roger Ebert simply added: “So bad it's nothing else but bad.”
  9. Channing Tatum, Side Effects, 2012.       Timberlake  was in the running for Steven Soderbergh’s alleged, final film, No chance… because Justin hadn’t made three other films with the director.   Happily, Soderbergh returned to directing for the cinema with Logan Lucky, 2017.
  10. Jai Courtney, A Good Day To Die Hard, 2012.    The singer was first chosen for our hero John McClane’s son, Jack, in Live Free or Die Hard, 2006, aka Hard 4. Jack was deleted and kept in the Fox fridge until Hard 5. By the time that was ready six years later, Timberlake was gone and the new candidates for McHero Jr were:Courtney, DJ Cotrona, James Badge Dale, Shiloh Fernandez, Ben Foster, Liam Hemsworth, Steven R McQueen (the grandson), Aaron Paul, Milo Ventimiglia, Paul Walker.
  11. Jamie Foxx, Annie, 2014. Legend insists that both Timberlake and Brad Pitt were invited to be Will Stacks, new name for Daddy Warbucks, in this third moie version of the Broadway hit. Producer Will Smith set it up in 2011 for his daughter, Willow. But during the delays, she growed like Topsy.
  12. Alden Ehrenreich, Rules Don’t Apply, 2014. When Andrew Garfield switched to Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Ehrenreich, Timberlake and Shia La Beouf were on director Warren Beatty’s list for the driver in the Howard Hughes movie that was not a Howard Hughes movie but a love story treatise on American sexual puritanism ( !).  Beatty also said the film is Titanic - well, it certainly sank - and Hughes was the iceberg!).  Alden Ehrenreich became the new (young) Han Solo; another gigantic flop. What Beatty gave us is a cinematic Spruce Goose. It takes off but never really flies.










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