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Steve Guttenberg

  1. Tom Hanks, Splash, 1983.     Guttenberg v Hanks, PartyOne...   Hanks always claimed he was director Ron Howard’s 11th choice for Allen Bauer in his breakthrough (mermaid) movie. Sorry, Tom - 15th! And here they be: Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Richard Gere, John Heard, Michael Keaton (he also refused Alan’s brother, Freddie), Robert Klein, Kevin Kline, Dudley Moore, David Morse, Bill Murray (PJ Soles was to be his mermaid), Burt Reynolds, John Travolta (his agent turned him off it!), Robin Williams. Plus Guttenberg… chosen a year later by Howard for Cocoon.
  2. Bill Murray, Ghostbusters, 1983.   Due to his family’s beiief in the paranormal (and staying in a house haunted by Mama Cass Elliott), Dan Aykroyd wrote Ghost Smashers for his “brother” John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and himself. He was actually writing a line for John when hearing about his shock death. (Dan said  Slimer was John‘s ghost). Murphy was busy (policing Beverly Hills!) as the script was totally respun and/or improvised;  little of Dan’s darker, futuristic comedy survived. Frank Price, who famously turned down ET at Columbia, OKed the film after asking  Ivan  Reitman: How much? The director  weighed  the script in his hand. "Feels like a $25m movie to me."  OK!  He rushed shooting for a summer  release  without every clearing the rights of the title! That belonged to Universal – and  guess who the new boss there, agreeing to the title being used. None other than Frank Price!  (He'd been sacked by Columbia in mid-shoot and literally picked up by Universal… to thank him  for passing on ET?)  When Chevy Chase,  Steve Guttenberg (he preferred four of the six Police Academy farces), Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Robin Williams refused Dr Peter Venkman. “Billy” took over - as long as Columbia backed his Razor‘s Edge re-tread. It did. And it flopped.
  3. Nicolas Cage, Peggy Sue Got Married, 1985.   Director Penny Marshall talked to Tom Hanks and Sean Penn about being the bridegroom Then, she was fired. It’s too big for a first-timer, rasped the silly suits and called up Francis Ford Coppola. See what I mean about silly suits. He was way too big for such a fairy-tale. He saw Dennis Quaid and Guttenberg - who spent most of his audition discusssing The Godfather! And then, Don Franciz chose his nephew. Wow, never saw that coming…
  4. Tom Hanks, Big, 1987.    And Guttenberg v Hanks,  Part Two... Steven Spielberg’s sister, Anne, wrote the script. about a teenager wishing himself in an adult’s body.  Josh possibiles included the unlikely Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford, plus Albert Brooks, Steve Guttenberg (shooting 3 Men and a Baby), Michael Keaton, Bill Murray, Denis Quaid, Judge Reinhold and Robin Williams  (who did his own take on the notion in Francis Coppola‘s Jack, 1996, first aimed at to Hanks!). And Fox simply  rejected Gary Busey and… John (Box Office Poison) Travolta. First choice Hanks had to finish  and Punchline before he could head up Anne’s third and final filmed script, ninth and last producing gig. She’d also acted - in Escape To Nowherein 1961, when her brother directed. At 13.
  5. Matt McCoy, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, 1989.    No, four was more than enough of the tripe for Steve Guttenberg. And, no doubt, for his dad – an NYPD officer. As the new (very) juvenile lead, McCoy made one more and then he also fled.   Well, each of the six sequels were worse the last.
  6. Jim Belushi, Curly Sue, 1990.    “What I thought would be this cute, sweet little movie experience ended up going on for something like five months,” reported Kelly Lynch. “So much money was spent. It was insane! It was going to be me, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey -  a whole different situation.  [They left for stage dates].  Those were two guys I knew really well, but I'd never met Jimmy [Belushi] before, and then he and [director John Hughes making his final film] didn't get along. I kinda felt like a mom dealing with two 12-year-old boys.“  Also in the Bill Dancer mix were Jeff Bridges, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Gibson, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Guttenberg, Ray Liotta, Bill Murray (off shooting What About Bob?), Kurt Russell, Tom Selleck, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. [Quotes va IMDb; no other source credited].
  7. Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park, 1992.
  8. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.   The guy who accidentally kills Santa (it wasshootinghim, but Disney wasn’t having that) and take over his duties was penned for for Bill Murray. “Not my kind of humour,” he retorted.  Next in line: Allen, Guttenberg, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carrey, Michael J Fox, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams.  Plus eight  Batman candidates: Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J Fox, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze and the winning Michael  Keaton.




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