Lucas Black, The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, 2005.
It was, he told talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, his worst audition. “I wanted to go to Tokyo very badly. I wanted to drift Tokyo… I stopped in the middle of the audition. I was like… “I think we’re done, right? This is terrible!” I blocked it out, mainly so I don’t remember the specifics. I think it was a combination of me being just bad, not remembering the lines, totally freaking out… probably sweating a lot.” What he luckily lost was more like director Justin Tin’s sequel to Better Luck Tomorow than any F&F chapter. The suits wanted to go younger - so they dumped, Paul Walker! But they had to run back to old Vin Diesel to add a cameo to make it work. His price? The Riddick rights.
- Chris Evans, Push, 2008. From the very beginning, Tatum was set as the telekinetic hero.Suddenly, he wasn’t. And director Paul McGuigan fell for Evans in another sf movie, Sunshine.
- Xavier Samuel, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 2009. Pretty Boy Floyd from Public Enemies was among the Riley possibles. So was Tom Felton, from the Harry Potter films.
- Chris Hemsworth, Thor, 2010. After Brad Pitt passed, 007’s Daniel Craig was first choice for the disabled medical student Dr. Donald Blake with the mighty Thor as his alter ego. Also in contention were the future Loki, RoboCop, Tarzan and Magic Mike: Tom Hiddleston, Kinnaman, Alexander Skarsgård, “Chan.” Plus baby brother Liam Hemsworth, Charlie Hunnam, Paul Levesque, Tyler Mane.
- Robert Pattinson, Water For Elephants, 2010. Anthony Fitzgerald, Kyle Gallner, Andrew Garfield, Emile Hirsch also auditioned for Jacob Jankowski, the teen who runs away to join a circus. Because Reese Witherspoon is there. Hmm, takes all sorts.
- Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010. Among the many seen about playing Steve Rogers, the super-serumed alter-ego of America's symbol of liberty (from WWII to Obama), part of Marvel’s superhero team. Also missing the nine-picture deal for Cap Am sequels, Avengers movies and cross-overs were… Jensen Ackles, Dane Cook, Chace Crawford, Kellan Lutz, Johnny Pacar, Scott Porter, Alexander Skarsgård, Will Smith, Sebastian Stan, Mike Vogel, Sam Worthington. And the siblings Kevin and Nick of the Jonas Brothers band.
- Ryan Reynolds, Safe House,2011. All the other new guys - Tatum, Zac Efron ,Jake Gyllenhaal, Garret Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Chris Pine, Sam Worthington - also aimedto be the freshman CIA baby-sitter having to rescue Denzel Washington from an attacked safe house in theHollywood debut of Swedish director Daniel Espinosa.
- Chris Pine, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 2012. Tom Clancy’s CIAnalyst hero, Jack Ryan, has been around since The Hunt For Red October, 1989 - played, in turn, by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck. Time, then, for a third reboot… Also ruled out were George Clooney (too old - hey! Ford had been 50) and Tatum - far too busy with five films immediately following his Pretty Boy Floyd in Public Enemies, 2009. The ex-construction worker, mortgage broker, salesman and model from Alabama said: “I got crazy lucky. Like… I won the lottery or something.”
- Casey Affleck, Out of the Furnace, 2012. Tatum, Garret Hedlund, Max Irons, and Taylor Kitsch were among early choice forthe brother of ex-con ChristianBale. Tatum had a good enough year. He was Mr. Breakthrough of 2012 with 21 Jump Street and his own production of Magic Mike.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon, 2012. Turning director of his own cracking scenario, JLG had his hands full and thought of asking his pal Tatum to be Jon, porn-obsessed until meeting the love of his life. Then again why should Chan have all he fun! Tatum still appeared (like Meagan Goode, Cuba Gooding Jr, Anne Hathaway) in bits of the rom-com movies poor Jon has to take his girl to. The result, said Examiner.com critic Chris Sawins was “obnoxiously funny, effortlessly identifiable, unusually tender, and obscenely amusing.” Who could ask for more?
- Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road, 2012. Every tough guy from Mel Gibson himself in 2003 (before discovering The Passion of Christ, anti-Semitism and LA ostracism) to Chan, the James Cameron regular Michael Biehn, actor-producer Liam Fountain (the titular Mad Max Renegade in his 2011 short), Heath Ledger and Jeremy Renner were also in the loop before creator George Miller won his budget, Hardy wore Mel’s old jacket and Charlize Theron stole the wheelie Western as a Mad Maxine. No way to treat Max Rockatansky (or his fans) after a 30-year hiatus, George!
- Henry Cavill, The Man From UNCLE, 2013. Superman Cavill goes solo. Napoleon Solo… After securing the 60s’ TV series rights in 1993, producer John Davis went through 20 years, 14 scripts, four directors (letting slip Soderbergh and Tarantino!), plus 19 Napoleon Solos. From George Clooney in 2010 to Tom Cruise three years later. By way of the early-21st century suspects: Tatum, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Michael Fassbender, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jon Hamm, Joel Kinnaman, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Chris Pine, Ryan Reynolds, Alexander Skarsgård (he switched to Tarzan Even Russell Crowe, surely a better bet at 50 for old Waverly, the UNCLE boss. Poor Davis never got it right!
- Garrett Hedlund, Pan, 2015. Long before the UK director Joe Wright arrived, Tatum was front runner for the revisionist Captain Hook, ie Peter’s pal!
- Spencer Rocco LoFranco, The Life and Death of John Gotti, 2016. Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr downright refused the Mafia son... Also in discussion for Gotti Jr - in what was then Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father - were Tatum, James Franco, Shia LaBeouf, Jeremy Renner, even the British Dominic Cooper. While Juniors, writers, directors (Nick Cassavetes, Barry Levinson) and years sped by, John Travolta remained literally The Teflon Don as Gotti Sr, was known when the untouchable head of New York’s Gambino Mafia family. Canada’s LoFranco was perfect for Travolta… not known for stealing movies