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Tom Hardy

 

  1. Jeremy Renner, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, 2010. The new M:I agent William Brandt was designed, everyone said, to succeed Tom Cruise when he tired of being Ethan Hunt. Paramount checked out Renner, Christopher Egan, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Zegers and - already in the Paramount family due to the Star Trek franchise - Chris Pine. Renner was still around in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, 2014. But so was Cruise!

  2. Colin Farrell, Total Recall, 2011.   Due to the impact of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the Englishman was just too scheduled... with This Means War, Nolan’s The Dark KnightRisesand the new Mad Maxmovie Fury Road.  Same for the other busy Brit, Michael Fassbender. Pierce Brosnan once tipped fellow Irishman Farrell for 007.  I never saw why until  his action hero in this stunning (if critically slaughtered) re-make. 

  3. Aaron Johnson, Savages, 2011.     Like Leonardo DiCaprio, James Franco and Garrett Hedlund, Hardy was far too busy to take up Oliver Stone’sdrama about two pals growing such great pot that a Mexican drug cartel threatens to kill their girlunless they work for the drug lords..

  4. Chris Hemsworth, Snow White and the Huntsman, 2011.    For the first of two revisionist Ms Whites that year, Hardy had to bow to the new flavour of the newmonth - Thor. And his$65m opening.
  5. Ryan Reynolds, Safe House,  2011.     All the new guys - Hardy, Zac Efron, Andrew Garfield, Jake Gylllenhaal, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Chris Pine, Channing Tatum, Sam Worthington - angled  to be the freshman CIA babysitter  rescuing Denzel Washington in the  Hollywood debut of Swedish director Daniel Espinosa.
  6. Benjamin Walker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2011.      Less beautiful than Buffy or not, the oddest vampire slayer of all was a  hot 3D project (he throws a mean axe!) and a great role - Honest Abe, the 16th US president, from 20  to 55,  during his other life. (His mother had been  slain  by a vampire). After seeing Tom, Eric Bana, Adrien Brody, James D’Arcy, Ron Huebel, Josh Lucas, Timothy Olyphant  and newcomer Oliver Jackson-Cohen, the  Russian producer-director Timur Bekmambetov voted Walker. Another producer was Tim Burton. So where was Johnny Depp? 
  7. Ray Winstone, The Sweeney, 2011.     Hardy was short-listed for Detective Inspector Jack Regan (with Orlando Bloom as Detective Constable George Carter) when the suits were (correctly) going younger in the totally unnecessary  - and bad! - re-hash - of the 1975-1978 Thames TV series about the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad.  (Or, Sweeney Todd in Cockney rhyming slang).  Winstone remembered  being an extra in a 1976 episode, Loving Arms. 
  8. Mark Strong, Zero Dark Thirty, 2012.     Quick change by Kathleen Bigelow for her first film since being the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar (for The Hurt Locker on March 7, 2010). Subject: How a US Navy Seal team hunted and killed America’s Public Enemy #1: Osama bin Laden in 2011.
  9.  Paul Bettany, Transcendence, 2013.      Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer Wally Pfister  was spoilt for choice of (eager) stars for his directing debut.  Max was up between McGregor, Jude Law, Tobey Maguire -  and Tom Hardy from  the Chris ’n’ Wally 2011 show, The Dark Knight Rises.
  10. Jason Clarke, Terminator: Genesis, 2014. Terminator begins again… Hardy tested in November 2013 but his overcrowded agenda - the busiest in world movies at the time - prevented him following Christian Bale from Gotham City to Terminator country. Good job, too. The reboot sucked. Hardy became the new Mad Max instead - ironically as Mad Max II: The Road Warrior, 1980, had been high among James Cameron’s er, influences for the first, 1983 Terminator.

  11. Jason Clarke, Everest,  2014. Idem -  Clarke for Hardy - in Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur’s account of a team’s fatal assault on the planet’s highest peak. Having reached the summit, they died on the descent when, as Australian critic Louise Keller put it, mother nature thrashed her whip
  12. Alexander Skarsgård, The Legend of Tarzan, 2014.   Warner Bros was keen. Tom, not so much. Next? Fellow Brits Henry Cavill, already the studio’s Superman and Napoleon Solo (and a lot of good that did him!) and Charlie Hunnam. Plus, in the hallowed Johnny Weissmuller tradition, US Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps - the most decorated Olympian, with 23 gold medals from five Games during 2000-2016. The ape-man is a Skarsgård family hero. Poppa Stellan showed the Weissmuller films to his seven sons. Alexander is the oldest and hoped the youngest, Kolbjörn, would not consider him “a shit Tarzan”!     He had to wait until the delayed 2016 summer release to find out.
  13. Joel Edgerton, Black Mass, 2014.   In this account  of Boston gang boss Whitey Bulger (ie Jack Nicholson in The Departed), Hardy had to pass  to Edgerton the ripe role of  the crooked FBI agent, James Connolly, helping Bulger (who had protected him at school) to avoid jail and tackle the Italian Mafia muscling in on his territory… in  a way that was damn near  black-comedy. Johnny Depp won great reviews as Burger - except from his old gangsters.
  14. Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange, 2015.  Discussed, planned, written, re-spun since 1986, always dropped despite scripts from Alex Cox, Wes Craven, Bob Gale, etc, until chosen as the  portal into the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Mads Mikkelsen  was first choice. But that was in in 2013…  Among those later flown up the flagpole were  TV doctor Patrick Dempsey, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Hamm, Tom Hardy, Ethan Hawke, Jack Huston, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Vincent Price (in 1986!), Keanu Reeves (listed but never approached - how wise!), Justin Theroux. Oh and two Jokers: 2015’s Jared Leto and 2018’s Joachin Phoenix.  Finally, production wisely waited until after Cumberbatch’s Hamlet stagetriumph in London. If Iron Man is Mick Jagger, Strange is Jim Morrison…  and could be head of the MCU when Robert Downey pawned his ironmongery.
  15. Joel Kinnaman, Suicide Squad, 2015.     Held up by The Revenant delays. the busy Hardy had to quit the DC Comic empire’s squad. Rick Flagg was finally waved by the Swedish-American - who had been Hardy’s foe in the under-rated Child 44 flop that year.
  16. Oscar Isaac, X Men: Apocalypse, 2015.
  17. Idris Elba, The Dark Tower, 2016.   Had to be an A-Lister for director Ron Howard’s trilogy version  - finally cut to the worst ever single movie of a Stephen King work. Or, in this case, the seven book series about the  last of a knightly order of gunslingers v The Man In Black. But which Man? Elba, Hardy or Matthew McConaughey?
  18. Jared Leto, The Outsider, 2017.    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. Jeeremy Renner was called but Edgerton answered. Michael Fassbender had been a much earlier choice.
  19. Taron Egerton, Rocketman, 2018.  Musical biopix are usually stymied by winning music rights and the right player - not everyone manages a perfect fit like Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles.  No such problem here as Elton John’s company made the film, The absurd idea of Hardy as our Reg smacks ope  sheer desperation.
  20. Ben Affleck,Triple Frontier, 2019.Five buddies take down a South American drug lord. But which magnificent five?  Well, it was only the squad leaders  mentioned – one wrinklie, one younger –as the script lay on the ropes for eight years, going from directors Kathleen Bigelow to JC Chandor and from Paramount to, but of course, Netflix.  Tom Hanks-Johnny Depp were the 2010 duo, followed by Denzel Washington-Sean Penn, Tom Hardy-Channing Tatum, plus Ben Affleck and his bro, Casey. And finally Ben Affleck-Hunnam. Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg also featured in the mixes - minus any cited pardner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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