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Jeremy Renner

  1. Justin Walker, Clueless, 1994.    Modesto’s Renner and Boston’s Jamie Walters were also seen for Christian, latest crush of teen queen Alicia Silverstone in in director Amy Heckerling’s Beverly Hills flip-side of her Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Cher’s pal, Murray,  calls him: “A cake boy…a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy, know what I”m saying?”
  2. Paul Rudd,Clueless, 1994. Affleck, Zack Braff and Jeremy Renner auditioned forJosh, Alicia Silverstone’s step-brother in what Chicago critic Roger Ebert praised as “a smart and funny movie and the characters are in on the joke.”
  3. Vinnie Jones, The Big Bounce, 2003. Wisely rejected the film which author Elmore Leonard hated as much as the first version in 1968 (with Ryan O’Neal). Instead, nplayed Brian Gamble in SWAT, won a Breakthrough Performance and friendship with co-star Colin Farrell.
  4. Mark Wahlberg,Four Brothers, 2004.   Renner, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Ethan Hawke and Brad Pitt were in the mix for the head of the brothers avenging the murder of their adoptive mother. Came across like Death Wishmeets The Sons of Katie Elder(except John Waye and his real siblings were avenging Dad’s killing in the 1965 Western). A planned sequel called Five Brothersnever happened. Thankfully.
  5. Tommy Flanagan, Hero Wanted, 2007. Forced to turn down the Derek role due to other contracts....  and beating Willem Dafoe and pal Colin Farrell to the lead of The Hurt Locker, Kathleen Bigelow’s big Oscar surprise of 2008.
  6. Kyle Chander, Super 8, 2010.   What to do, what to do… ?   Play Jackson Lamb for director JJ Abrams - or William Brandt in JJ’s production of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, 2010.   Well, Brandt, or so went the carrot, was created to succeed Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in the M:I franchise. Renner was still around in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, 2014.  But so was Cruise!
  7. Luke Evans, The Raven, 2010. Due as Inspector Emmet Fields, joining Joaquin Phoenix, then Ewan McGregor, finally John Cusack’s Edgar Allen Poe in tracking a serial killer - until Renner quit for to join (and succeed?) Tom Cruise’s  Mission: Impossible franchise.
  8. Taylor Kitsch, Battleship, 2010.  Disney’s John Carter took over the lead when the 2009 Oscar-nominated Hurt Lockerstar quit for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master(and had to quit that, too). The result was the badly-named Kitsch’s second horrendous flop in the year. 
  9. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master, 2011.  All set to play Freddie Quell, the WWII Navy veteran  falling under the spell (there is no other word for it) of the titular religious cult leader Philip Seymour Hoffman. (“He’smaking all this up as he goes along,” says his son).That was 2010. Then, Universal lowered the boom and it was another year before director Paul Thomas Anderson could roll his first outing since his  2007 Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood.  Probably, Phoenix’s greatest role.  (Until the next ones for P{TA) Despite several Oscar nods, ghe movie was snubbed by the Academy. For being thiscloseto Scientology?
  10. Ryan Phillippe, By Virtue Fall, 2011. Colin Farrell was, as they say in LA,  dancing in and out of the lead. Renner was considered... until joining Tom Cruise’s Mission.

  11. Sam Rockwell, Better Living Through Chemistry, 2013.     Too busy with his various action men  heroes, Renner had to pass his dorky pharmacist to the (better suited) Rockwell - snared  by Olivia Wilde into a romcom noir.  You heard.
  12. 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 Renner, the  James Cameron regular Michael Biehn, actor-producer Liam Fountain (the titular Mad Max Renegade inhis 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!
  13. Javier Bardem, The Counselor, 2012.   Ridley Scott looked at Renner and Bradley Cooper before voting Bardem - and his wife, Penelope Cruz, as well, although, for the first time in a film  together,  they never shared a scene. 
  14. Chris Zelschegg, The Canyons,2012.   Desperately reaching for a comeback, the director who used to be Paul Schrader  first offered the (zero) role of Reed to the expensive Renner. 
  15. Brendan Cumberbatch, The Fifth Estate, 2013. Renner was keen, most keen - in July 2012 - on playing the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But director Bill Condon knew who he wanted…
  16. Bobby Cannavale, Danny Collins, 2015.    The pet project of director Dan Fogelman, writer of top toons, Cars, Bolt and Tangled,   was inspired by how  singer Steve Tilston, learned of a (life-changing) letter written to him 34 years earlier by John Lennon. Title was, inevitably,  Imagine when planned at Warner with Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Renner. They became Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Cannavale (Pacino’s sole condition  - for his son).
  17. Spencer Rocco LoFranco, The Life and Death of John Gotti, 2016.   According to New York Post, Dominic Cooper (the UK Mama Miastar) was all set to play John Gotti Jr - after Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, James Franco, Shia LaBoeuf, Jeremy Renner and Channing Tatum withdrew from what was then Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father. Canada’s LoFranco was perfect for Travolta… unknown, far from A Lists or stealing movies. While Juniors, writers, directors 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. When the film finally opened in June, 2018, Gotti was rapidly  sleeping with the fishes,  roasted by critics and was hit - as in mob  hit - by the public, scoring a mere $1.6m opening weekend. Not the first but the biggest disaster of Travolta’s career.
  18. Jared Leto, The Outsider, 2017.    The usually innovative Netflix went backwards  for  a weak and déjà vu Yakuza drama with hints of Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku. Just not enough. Hardy had to pass - as usual. Renner was called but Edgerton answered. Fassbender had been a much earlier choice.

 

 

 

 

 





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