Jeremy Kemp, Z Cars, TV, 1962-1978. Being a TV star was never in his sights. Even in the first of the gritty, in-yer-face cop shows, hitting headlines from episode one when the Caine-refused PC Steele beat up his wife, Dorothy White. (She later joined Caine in Get Carter, 1971).
- Dirk Bogarde, HMS Defiant, 1962. One of many youngsters trying out for Lieutenant Scott-Page in tests with Alec Guinness’ Captain Crawford being played by Maurice Denham. Rather like the upper-class officer role that shot Caine to glory in Zulu, 1963.
- John Leyton,Guns At Batasi,1964. Britt Ekland says Caine was due as her lover in her English debut.He left before shooting began and she left in the middle to join husband Peter Sellers in ollywood - Hollywood -makingthe lovers, Mia Farrow and current pop rage Leyton.
- Omar Sharif, Dr Zhivago, 1964.
When Julie Christie was testing for director David Lean, her pal went with her - to help out as “the back of the head” of whoever she was talking to. Lean then asked him to support other testees. “It was I was just doing it as a favour but it was obviously going well because David suggested that he actually test me...‘Look,’ he said, ‘if we shoot it this way and maybe comb yoiur hair like this...’But itdidn’t work.”So what do you want?” ”asked Caine. ”A man who’s taken a long hard look at life and has decided there’s absolutely nothing to do done,” Omar Sharif, yelled Caine. “Really” said Lean. Tnen: “You know, you could be right - I’m going to test him.”
- Ian Hendry,The Hill, 1965. "This is terrible," Caine told director Sidney Lumet."You may never want to work with me again but I've just been offered the part of a lifetime." Alfie.Hendry inherited a a good role but still disliked Caine. Intensely.
- Richard Harris, The Bible... in the beginning,1966.Orson Wellesoffered Caine the role of Esau "who was a hairy man."Mike was "worrying about how uncomfortable a chest wig would be," when Welles fell outand John Huston fell in.Caine and Huston would meet again. And again.
- Richard Johnson, Khartoum, 1966.He had already done the upper-class officer bit. His motto was: "I'm not really star materialbut if I work fast enoughand pack enough bleedin' pictures in, I'll be a star before anyone realises it."
- Dirk Bogarde, Sebastian, 1967. Although refusing to postpone the shooting to suit Rex Harrison, director Michael Powell was willing to do soforDavid Warner. When Patrick McGoohan, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Plummer refused, producerHerbert Brodkin suggested: “Get the boy with the glasses.”
- Albert Finney, Two For The Road, 1967. Director Stanley Donen’s secondchoice -after Paul Newman -to be Audrey Hepburn’s on-off husband, Mark Wallace.
- Alan Bates, Women In Love, 1969.
“Choose which part you want,” said director Ken Russell, offering the film to Caine before Oliver Reed. It would have been the first time they shared the screen as stars. (They had already done so as nobodies - glorified extras, in fact, in the 1960 Norman Wisdom comedy, The Bulldog Breed). Bu it was not to be. Caine told Russell why… “I wouldn’t appear nude standing still by myself, let alone wrestling with another naked man. Repulsive! Nothing to do with art or pornography - a purely emotional thing.Either you can appear nude in front of a camera or you can’t. And I can't.Nude women are very beautiful. Nude men are ridiculous - and ridicule is the arch enemy of the actor. However good your performance is...
the audience would be looking at one thing only: to see how long it is.”
- MickJagger,NedKelly, 1970.When AlbertFinney's production with Karel Reisz collapsed,Mike andhisAlfie-maker Lewis Gilbert had Welshman Alun Owentacklethescript."Then, Albert looked ready again and we said:Go ahead.I didn't want to be caught in a rat-race - nobody wins.I don't regard this business as a competition."
- ChristopherPlummer,Waterloo, 1971. Among director John Huston's varying plans:Caine as WellingtonoppositePeterSellers as Napoleon. Huston had something far more tasty next time. Finally, the Russian Sergei Bondarchuk directed -with mostofthe Red Army to play with!
- Barry Foster, Frenzy, 1971. The lad from the Elephant and Castle was always dropping his H’s...Harris, Hendry and now Hitchcock would never talk to himagain ("So much for Cockney solidarity") after bottling out of playing a serial killing greengrocer.Just too“loathsome” for Caine ... while actors the world over would have played a bar-code if Hitch was directing. Caine lost his chance. This was The Master’s penultimatemovie and his last made in Britain.He settled for Foster from the Hitchcockian Twisted Nerve and close to a dead ringer for Caine’s looks ie: a handsome, blond, unsuspicious-looking killer, rather like Neville Heath, probably the UK’s most famous murderer – of two women -in the immediate post-war period.
- Edward Fox, The Day of the Jackal, 1972. Universal wanted A Star - Caine, Roger Moore, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford - director Fred Zinnemann did not. The assassin shouldbeanonymous, not famous, he said. He felt otherwise when the thriller tanked. Caine later filmed another Frederick Forsyth thriller, The Fourth Protocol, 1986. .
- Donald Sutherland, Fellini’s Casanova, Italy-USA, 1975.As per usual, Dino De Laurentiis wanted superstars - Brando, Pacino, even Redford!! With his secondproducer Andrea Rizzoli (son of La Dolce Vita producer Angelo Rizzoli) in 1974,Fellini dreamt of Caine, Nicholson,a “greatly flattered” Gian-Maria Volonte or the unknown cabaret performer Tom Deal.Whenthe ten month (!) shooting started on July 20,1975,it was “Donaldino.” He had sharedPaul Mazursky’s 8½, Alex in Wonderland, 1970, with Fellini in Hollywood and they metagain on the set of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 in 1975.
- NicolWilliamson,The Human Factor,1979."He was very keen,"recalled OttoPreminger,"but I can't change it to Ireland because he doesn't want to pay tax... But I can understand him."
- Harvey Keitel,Saturn 3, 1980.The role: an android!Producer Lew Grade wanted Connery-Caine; made do with Douglas-Keitel. And after all that, Keitel was dubbed byRoy Dotrice.
- Peter Sellers, The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu, 1980. “Next to Fu Manchu,” said Sellers, “Dr No was a yes man.” Caine was talked of as Fu’s nemesis, Inspector Nyland Smith. But in what sadly proved his finalfilm, Sellers decided on a dual role. The script never matched his (dying) enthusiasm.
- James Caan, Kiss Me Goodbye, 1982.Caine refused to be the ghost of Sally Field’s husband in this un-acknowledged re-hash of Brazil’s Don Flor and Her Two Husbands. For one thing, he knew Jeff Bridges had the better role as the newhubby.For another, it was time to start Educating Rita... with his Alfie maker, Lewis Gilbert.
- Dudley Moore, Six Weeks, 1982. Considering some of his movies, it's refreshing to recall that he does know a bad script is and where to flushit.(As for his horrors like The Swarm, 1978, he says: "By all accounts it’s terrible. Butthe house that it builtis terrific").
- Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie, 1982. Producer Martin Baum's idea when Don McGuire's script was doing the rounds as Would ILie To You?and Calling Diana Darling.
- Tom Courteney, The Dresser, 1983. “The best film I never made.” Casual friends since The Bible days,Caine often talkedwith Orson Welles about working together.Theirfavourite idea was filming Ronald Harwood’s West End and Broadwaymemoir about his five years as dresser of, the egomaniacal, hammyShakesperian actor, Sir Donald Wolfit. Obvious who would have been who. Happily, it never got off the ground floor as theycould never havematched the glorious magic of Courtenay and AlbertFinney.
- Peter Firth, Lifeforce, 1984. No, really… Caine was offered Caine! Colonel Colin Caine… in Cannon’s science fiction mess Next? Anthony Hopkins, Terence Stamp passed. Also listed: Hwyel Bennett, Lewis Collins, Michael Gothard, Michael Kitchen, Oliver Tobias, Simon Ward. And all the time, US director Tobe Hooper knew it didn’t matter a damn who played what guy as all eyes would be on Mathilda May - fully naked for almost the entire 116 minutes. (A rare accomplishment, swiftly copied the following year by another Parisienne, Patricia Barzyk - Miss France 1980 - in Jean-Pierre Mocky’s La machine à découdre). And after all that… web critic Stephanie Scaife denounced it as “completely batshit insane.”
- Sean Connery, The Name of The Rose, 1986. After Caine and Connery had to go to court for their cut of The Man Who Would Be King, Caine sued the French company that announced him as the medieval monk detective the previous year. RéalisateurJean-Jacques Annaud looked at Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Albert Finney, Frederic Forrest, Vittorio Gassman, Richard Harris, Ian McKellen, Yves Montand, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Roy Scheider, Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland, Max von Sydow. Connery’s reading was the best and his career exploded anew. Two years later, he won his support Oscar for The Untouchables.
- Burt Reynolds, Switching Channels, 1987. Sinking with Jaws IV meant missing his Oscarnight and the third Front Page re-make. Reynolds saidthe sight ofco-star Kathleen Turner made him physically sick. "She tried to have me fired every single day."
- Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 1989. "We couldn't find anyonetoplay the otherpart,so I changed roles." No wonder directors agreer that he's no trouble. "I just do it and get inthe car and go home. "
- Donald Sutherland, A Dry White Season, 1989. Martiniquian director Euzhan Palcy (first black woman to direct a Hollywood production) contacted Albert Finney, as well.
- Terence Stamp, The Limey, 1989. Set for Mike, until director Steven Soderbergh bought Ken Loach’s cinema debut, Poor Cow, 1967, to provide flashbacks of a younger Terence Stamp as Wilson with his baby daughter and wife.
- Ian Hogg, Doctor Who #153: Ghost Light, TV 1989.Notta lotta peopel know dat… producer John Nathan-Taylor aimed a smidgen high for the mysterious Josiah Samuel Smith in Doc7 Sylvester McCoy’s favourite serial.Denis Lill, who had twice visited planet Who, was also in the mix.The winning Hogg was a Shakespearean actor with more than 65 screen credits in 43 years.
- Gérard Depardieu, Green Card, 1990. Inthe late 80s, Peter Weir told Caine of a comedy they might tackle- "aboutthe trials and tribulations of someone like myself emigrating to America." They vowed to keep in touch.They did not.
- Gary Oldman, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, 1990. Director John Boorman had the great idea, in 1970, of having old flatmates Mie and Terry Stamp as the titular duo.
- Anthony Hopkins,Shadowlands, 1993. Director Sydney Pollack considered Streisand opposite Sean Connery or Caine as Narnia author CS Lewis - in love with his terminally ill wife, Joy Gresham.
- Burt Reynolds, Striptease, 1996. And so, Reynolds makes a comeback. "I didn’tknow I was gone until they told me."
- Bernard Hill, Titanic, 1996.
- Sean Connery, The Avengers, 1998. “Sean came into the frame and… blows everyone out of the water.” Mike was upset by losing what he saw as a high profile role that could bring him back in a new mode. “It turned in to a stroke of luck” as director Jeremiah Chechik blew his own stupid movie out of the water... and landed in TV.
- James Caan, City of Ghosts, 1999.Matt Dillon turns director and the only member of his first-choice castto stay on board was... Matt Dillon.
- Bob Hoskins, Danny The Dog (UK, US: Unleashed), 2004. But didn’t French producteur LucBesson say he wrote it for Albert Finney?
- JohnHurt, The Oxford Murders, 2008. Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia chased various candidates to play his hotshot maths professor Arthur Seldom: Caine, Jeremy Irons and... Hurt.
- Jeremy Irons, The Borgias, TV, 2010. The Italian Caligula director Tinto Brass offered Cainethe role of Pope Alexander VI long beforeIrish director Neil Jordan got his version off the ground - as a TV series.
- James Corden, Into The Woods, 2013.
- Christopher Plummer, Danny Collins, 2014. Schedules stopped Caine being the long-suffering manager of ageing rocker Al Pacino in what was first called Imagine. (It concerns the life-changing impact of a long lost letter from John Lennon). Plummer and Caine both starred in the BBCTV’s Hamlet At Elsinore in 1964. Plummer as the prince, Caine was his mate, Horatio.