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Clint Eastwood


  1. James Stewart, The Spirit of St  Louis, 1956.   As per Hollywood tradition. Warner was scouring the earth, Malibu at least, for a new, young hotshot, this time  to enact Charles Lindbergh’s historic 1927 flight across the Atlantic. Eastwood was among the hordes. “I met [the director] Billy Wilder just the one time...just to shake  hands, not even for an audition.”  And the role went to a real pilot and one of Clint’s Western idols, despite Jimmy being far too old at 49.  Clint was 27. Lindbergh was 25.

  2. Don Murray, Bus Stop, 1956.  
    He was to be seen on a Monday, but got a Sunday call saying: Don’t bother coming in. Murray has the role. ”I was disappointed but it’s inevitable in any career.  You’re close, but no, you’re way off!  I just wanted a role, a job and to sleep with Marilyn  Monroe.  Undoubtedly, too much to ask for!  But, you have  to understand, I was young.” Elvis Presley had been first choice for the dumbcluck cowpoke, Beauregard Decker - aka Bo - taking Monroe’s Cherie away from all this bar singing stuff. Elvis & Marilyn - what a wet-dream combo! Except  “Colonel” Tom Parker didn’t want nobody takin’ the shine off his boy!   Despite (or because of) Marilyn being all Stanislavsky at the time, Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift weren’t interested. Marilyn only ever wanted Rock Hudson, more into Jane Wyman sob schlock.  Apart from Clint, two tele-cowpokes were also considered: Fess Parker aka Davy Crockettand John Smith fromLaramie. Murray (the first star I interviewed at  the first of my 26 Cannes festivals - where I met Clint so often) won an Oscar nomination for his debut  and wed his other co-star, Hope Lange.

  3. Tab Hunter, Lafayette Escadrille (UK: Hell Bent For Glory),1958. "How tall are you?" asked William Wellman - director of Clint's all-time favourite, The Ox-Bow Incident, 1943. "How tall is the guy?" retorted Eastwood, having lost too many roles due to his height.  No matter what “Wild Bill” wanted for his final film, Warner Bros would not sanction its fixture King as the hero.  The suits preferred,  er, Tab!
  4. David Janssen, Lafayette Escadrille (UK: Hell Bent For Glory),1958.   Warner Bros blocked him and the secondary character of Duke Sinclair, as well. Poor Clint was lucky to be approved for George Moseley.
  5. Anthony Perkins, Tall Story, 1959.       Waiting for Rawhide to be picked up as a series, Clint was offered the comedy about Jane Fonda and the Custer College  basketball star. No films, said CBS, freeing him for a Maverick episode only... before greenlighting his Rowdy Yates.  Clint has been "rollin', rollin', rollin'" ever since.
  6. Charles Bronson, C'era una volta il West (UK/US: Once Upon A Time in the West), Italy-USA, 1968.    Sergio Leone asked his good-bad-uglies to be the pistolieri awaiting Charles Bronson in the opening rail station scene. Il brut to and il cattiro agreed.  I buono wasn’t in favour, even though it would have allowed him to bury The Men With No Name - for good.    Leone dropped his “ironic reference...” 
  7. Jack Elam, C'era una volta il West (UK/US: Once Upon A Time in the West), Italy-USA, 1968.     Next, Leone asked his good-bad-uglies to be the pistolieri awaiting Charles Bronson in the opening rail station scene. Il brutto and il cattiro agreed. I buono wasn’t in favour, even though it would have allowed him to bury The Men With No Name - for good. (The guy was called Snakey). Leone dropped his “ironic reference” - and Jack spent a day shooting the scene with the fly attracted to the honey spread on his stubble.   Despite Clint offering Leone Hang ’Em High and Two Mules for Sister Sara (“after five pages, I knew she was a nun!”\, the spaghetti superstars never worked together again.  “It was,” said Sergio, “necessary for us to separate… and go our different ways.”
  8. George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1968.
  9. Gregory Peck, McKenna's Gold, 1968.
    "It was time to do some American films - the movie business was still thinking of me as a TV actor hiding out on the plains of Spain - or an Italian movie actor!  My agency thought Carl Foreman's film was a real plum. a vast amount of well known people in it.  I  thought it just an extension of Rawhide and  went off and did Hang 'Em High, which  analysed the pros and cons of capital punishment.  They  thought I was  absolutely  nuts!  Why  do this little $1.5m movie as opposed to the $7m epic?  I wasn't snubbing them,  the subject matter didn't interest me.  Hang 'Em High  did."  Plus being his own boss. (Steve McQueen had earlier rejected  the  US auteur Carl Foreman's scenario). 
  10. Richard Widmark, Death of a Gunfighter, 1969.      An over-the-hill sheriff stands up for his beliefs. John Wayne refused so Universal production chief Jennings Lang suggested making the sheriff younger for  Clint.  "Stupid," said director Don Siegel, "the whole premise would be lost."   Director Robert Totten was taken off the film,  Siegel completed it  - ending in  the first use of the official Directors Guild  pseudonym: Allen Smithee.

  11. Charlton Heston, The Hawaiians, 1969.       UA had refused the idea of  turning James A Michener’s novel, Hawaii, into two films back in 1966.  Now producer Walter Mirisch got his way with, basically, Part Two  - and had to choose between Chuck and Clint for the hero,  a certain Whip Hoxworth.
  12. James Coburn, Giù la testa (UK: A Fistful of Dynamite; US: Duck You Sucker), Italy, 1971.   Coburn lost A Fistful of Dollars by asking too for too many fistfuls…  Now, Clint was too expensive - "for repeats of what I'd been doing. Hang 'Em High had a little more character." Coburn (like Henry Fonda before him) was initially reluctant, until Fonda told him (like Eli Wallach had talked Fonda into Once Upon A Time in the West)  that Leone was the greatest director he had ever worked with.
  13. Robert Redford, Jeremiah Johnson, 1972.    Director John Milius wrote it for  Clint as The Crow Killer.  Redford's version was "considerably different to the script.  A very important  element was cut out. But I like it a great deal.. There’s a big difference between the two of them. It meant a lot to [Redford]  because he’s an outdoorsman and does enjoy a lot of the things that are espoused in that movie.” Milius also had a hand, or a .45  Magnum,  in the first two Dirty Harry scripts.
  14. Charles Bronson, Mr Majestyk, 1973.    Clint got thriller writer Elmore Leonard to script it (after their 1971 Joe Kidd) because after the massive success of Dirty Harry, he wanted to do something he owned, himself. Then, High Plains Drifter came up and Mr Majestyk was sold to United Artists. (Leonard's Unknown Man #89 was the final book bought by Alfred Hitchcock - for Eastwood). Weakly made by veteran director Richard Fleischer, this was buried at the 1974 box-office by Bronson’s next gig…
  15. Charles Bronson, Death Wish, 1973.   Inevitable. As the New York architect turned revenge killer was a kind of Dirty Civilian… Just as obviously, Clint passed. The perfect choice, he said, was Gregory Peck.
  16. Paul Newman, Towering Inferno, 1974.   "Financially, it would have been a smart move. It made an awful lot of money. I could've played it. Just couldn't see the reason why. The effects, the tower, was the star!" (Newman and Clint were once both up for Lafayette Escadrille, 1958.
  17. John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, 1974.     The idea was fair - a sequel  to True Grit. But if Wayne proved too ill, what would be the point of someone else in his titular Oscar-winning rôle? Marlon Brando topped producer Hal Wallis’ eye-patch list of Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Richard Burton, Gene Hackman, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, George C Scott and some of Duke’s old co-stars: Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson.
  18. Robert  Mitchum, The Yakuza, 1975.      Like John Milius  before him,  Paul Schrader saw Clint as the answer to his problems - of  getting his (and, actually, his brother Leonard's) script made. Like some Hollywood satire, he set out to reach  him via an actress they had both bedded. "What kind of a relationship can you have with someone," asked Beverly Walker,  "when  you fuck them and then you turn over and they're asking you to give a script  to Clint Eastwood?"
  19. Gary Conway, The Farmer, 1976.      Written for Clint, who passed, apparently agreeing with the future New York Times comment: “a viciously violent R-rated melodrama that apparently thinks it's preaching against violence while exploiting it. ” The producer replaced him with… himself. Film is best known for causing Martin Scorsese’s psychotic cameo in Taxi Driver, when his pal George Memmoli had to pass after being injured in a Farmer stunt. 
  20. John Wayne, The Shootist, 1976.   Duke’s finale… Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Gene Hackman and Paul Newman passed. George C Scott was signed but not sealed when Wayne showed interest in the dying gunfighter JB Brooks... and it was bye-bye George, baby! Despite Wayne - dead in three years - suffering heart, lung and prostate problems.

  21. Martin Sheen, Apocalypse Now,1976.
  22. Roy Scheider, Sorcerer, 1977.     Losing Steve McQueen because there was no role for his then wife, Ali MacGraw, director William Friedkin found Clint and Jack Nicholson were disinterested in foreign travel.  (Tim Burton  tried to co-star them with The Hakline Monster in 1994). Friedkin said Scheider was his worst ever casting decision: "a good actor but a second or third banana, not a star."  That sounds  more like Friedkin.
  23. Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978.
  24. Michael Caine, Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, 1978.    More like beyond the pale… The Warner suits voted Clint - of course. Producer Irwin Allen wanted Burt Reynolds. And Allen was staggered by Duke’s interest. That would push the film - about a sunken, upside down cruise liner stuck on an underwater volcano - to a whole other level. Beyond what co-star Angela Cartwright: “a film about water, fire and stunts.”    All the suggesed leads fled because… they read the script.   So did Caine and Sally Field, but they admitted they made it for the money.
  25. James Coburn, Firepower, 1979.    One of four scripts  rejected by Eastwood as possible Dirty Harry sequels, it became a dumb Michael Winner thriller with the unlikely teaming of Sophia Loren, Coburn and... a certain OJ Simpson.
  26. Kris Kristofferson, Heaven’s Gate, 1980.       Brash, not to say braggart director Michael Cimino obviously first sent his script to Clint -  Eastwood had started the Cimino ball rolling by producer-starring  his Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 1974 . Not this time. Steve McQueen also passed on what became one of Hollywood’s Top Ten Financial Disasters.  In the space of six years (and five Oscars for his Deer Hunter, 1978, including best Film and Director), Cimino’s career was flushed.
  27. Sylvester Stallone, Escape To Victory (US: Victory), 1980.   It is to be hoped - he’s never spoken about it (unless you know different?) - that Clint rejected this for being such  absolutely preposterous tosh! John Huston must have been extremely low on funds to agree to such garbage.  Brazilian soccr superstar Pele in a German POW  camp in the ’40s, I mean… But what a goalie  Clintus  would’ve made: Feel lucky, penalty punk?
  28. Kurt Russell,Escape from New York, 1980.    Director John Cartpenter said he considered  Eastwood for his eye-patched hero Snake Plissken.  How good of him. But did Eastwood consider Carpenter? After seeing he also looked, quite rightly,  at Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Nick Nolte But also… oh no!Chuck Norris.  Russell suggested trhe eye-patc and based Snake upon Darth Vader, Robert Ginty’s The Exterminatorand Bruce Lee but mainly on…  Clint.    
  29. Kurt Russell, The Thing, 1981.    “The ultimate in alien terror.” Bah! Not even close. Which explains why Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford, Kevin Kline, Nick Nolte passed on John Carpenter’s unwanted re-hash of the (already so-so) 1950 original produced (some say, directed) by Howard Hawks.  Fred Ward fought for the lead.  Russell won it -  third of his five Carpenter movies.  Could have been worse,  Universal had wanted Tobe Hooper to direct.  
  30. Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, 1981.   UK wiz Ridley Scott spent a long time sniffing out the perfect Deckard.  From top notchers Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman (the first choice was keen… on making it a totally different character, of course), Robert Mitchum, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino…  to such excellent journeymen as William Devane, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Frederic Forrest, Scott Glenn, Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken.  Martin Sheen was too exhausted after Apocalypse Now. In sheer desperation, choices lowered to Cliff Gorman, Judd Hirsch. Even the Virginian Morgan Paull stood a chance, having played Deckard in Scott’s tests of potential Rachaels. (He was given Holden for his pains). Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger, not yet seen as Conan, much less Terminator.  And for probably the last time in such an illustrious list,  the fading star of Burt Reynolds.
  31. Armand Assante, I, The Jury, 1981.      "Why be Mike Hammer when he didn't want any more Dirty Harry," said writer-helmer Larry Cohen.  In 1972, Malpaso optioned Cohen's The Hostiles for the boss and John Wayne.   Duke said: Nope!  Cohen respun it, asked Michael Wayne to show it his father on his boat.  "Not that damned script again,"  said The Duke - and threw it overboard.

  32. Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs, 1981.
    There had been many drafts when Walter Hill was asked re-spin it for Clint. “He liked the project, but felt he’d already done that kind of cop character. He wanted to play the criminal. I began tailoring it when Eastwood decided to do Don Siegel’s Escape From Alcatraz, 1979, and since he played a prisoner in that one, that was really the end of his interest in our project.” Hill had always said, “The best idea would be to make Richard Pryor the criminal and have someone like Eastwood play the cop. But in l978/9, no one seemed to think that was such a good idea."

  33. Robert De Niro, Once Upon A Time In America,1982.    Italian maestro Sergio Leone never gave up. "He started thinking about that back when we did The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,long before The Godfatherand all these  things  came out. 'What about Irish  gangsters? You could play an Irish gangster.' But he never developed it. It was always just hanging there.  A lot of times, Sergio would just want to go with an idea.  But through years of TV, I'd been reading story -  though I did sorta go along with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on a treatment. But  I don't want someone to tell me a joke and not give me the  punch line. I like to know where I'm going."Which is how Williams became  the tough union boss Jimmy O'Donnell.
  34. Sylvester Stallone, First Blood (aka Rambo),1982.
  35. Chuck Norris, Code of Silence, 1984.       By Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack, scripters of The Gauntlet, Pale Rider.   Who else they gonna call?
  36. Michael Douglas, Romancing The Stone, 1984.      Learning nothing from rejecting ET, Columbia looked over Douglas' project - written by Diane Thomas, an Alice's Restaurant waitress in Malibu - and wanted an A List package. Like Eastwood.   Like Burt Reynolds.  Like...
  37. Sam Waterston, The Killing Fields, 1984.      Terrible casting idea, he told Warners. "There have been things that people talked to me about that have done well.  But  I'm not one for looking back."
  38. Kurt Russell, Big Trouble In Little China, 1985.     The suits wanted Clint - well, it was a re-spun Western. Or Jack Nicholson. Auteur John Carpenter kept the faith with his choice, despite Russell’s recent string of flops. Result: Carpenter’s biggest turkey.
  39. Chuck Norris, Code of Silence, 1985.     Or Dirty Harry IV: Code of Silencewhen Warner Bros wanted Eastwood to make it. He was unhappy with the script but like the writing enough to hire Michael Butler, and Dennis Shryack to polish Pale Rider- which competed at the 1985 Cannes festival, the start of Clint’s artistic respectability. The next rewrite of George LaFountaine’s 1976 French book, Le Pétard recalcitrant, was offered to Jeff Bridges Charles Bronson, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Nick Nolte, Kurt Russell and Jon Voight. Coming so soon after Burt Reynolds’ Dirty Harryish Sharkey’s Machine, 1981, this one was put down as Dirty Chuckie. 
  40. Steven Seagal, Above The Law, 1987.    First Chuck Norris, now Seagal started noising around looking for scraps from the Eastwood table.  Didn’t bother either guy that their pick-ups were Eastwood rejections. Seagal even insisted on Norris’ director, Andrew Davis, from their ex-Clint vehicle, Code of Silence, 1985.  They are roughly the same crap flick: Chicago cops, corruption, drug lordsa, martial arts,  Chuck Seagal or Steven Norris.  Who knew the difference. Well, Seagal was sexually abusing actresses and gaining so much weight, his image on the Under Seige 2: Dark Territory in 1994 poster came from the Under Seige 1 poster, circa 1992.

  41. Robert De Niro, Midnight Run,1987.   There were 23 possibilites for the lean, mean  skip-tracer (tracing felons who skipped bail) - on the run from the FBI and the Mob after capturing Vegas embezzler Charles Grodin.  Who knew De Niro could be more subtle at comedy than… Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Charles Bronson, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O’Neal (!), Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, Kurt Russell, John Travolta, Jon Voight and even the musclebound Arnie and Sly - Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Director Martin Brest, that’s who.

  42. Bruce Willis, Die Hard, 1988.     Hey, c’mon, he had refused the original… Towering Inferno! There were 16 possible John McClanes. From top TV heroes Richard Dean Anderson and Don Johnson to A-listers: Eastwood, Tom Berenger, Charles Bronson, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Michael Madsen, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone… Frank Sinatra had to be contractually offered the hero. In his 1980 move debut, The First Deadly Sin, Willis is seen leaving a bar as Sinatra walks in. So it flows…. 

  43. Kevin Costner, Revenge, 1989.       Swopped it with producer Ray Stark to attain his rights to Bird... When heading Columbia, UK producer David Puttnam preferred the novella to early scripts by directors Walter Hill and John Huston. "A dead project until I wanted to make it," said Costner.  "I'd written, with Michael Blake, a script I'd be comfortable with - 108 pages. The script we ended up making was 135  pages.  Movies as delicate as Revenge cannot suffer those mistakes.  It  was the most... complicated movie that I've been a part of... really, kinda the first time  I made a mistake." His next script with Blake lasted  three (originally,  four) hours. Dances With Wolves.  Winning seven Oscars - including Best Director and Best Film - on March 25, 1991.
  44. Patrick Swayze, Next of Kin, 1989.   Country bumpkins v the Mafia. Again. For the hero of his respun Raw Deal, 1985, UK director John Irvin went from The Obvious Aces: Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis… to the Tango and Cash possibles: Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kurt Rusell… plus The Also-Rans: Tommy Lee Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Dennis Quaid. And even French Christopher Lambert, Swedish Dolph Lundgren and Belgian Jean Claude Van Damme… for a Chicago cop!
  45. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy, 1989. Wrong studio! (Disney). Directors changed from Bob Fosse to Martin Scorsese to John Landis (who wanted Clint in 1982) until Warren directed himself and friends in his biggest money-maker.   And his biggest bore.
  46. Richard Attenborough, Jurassic Park, 1992.
  47. Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption, 1993.    Up for Stephen King’s veteran convict Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding: Harrison Ford, Sidney Poitier. Plus Eastwood, Paul Newman and Robert Redford who had already done jail time in Escape From Alcatraz, 1978, Cool Hand Luke, 1967, and Brubaker, 1979, respectively. Clint and Newman won. Redford lost. Eastwood and Freeman co-starred in both of Eastwood's Best Picture Oscar-winners, Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.
  48. Paul Newman, The Hudsucker Proxy, 1993.  Clint and Nicholson both passed on being corporation czar Sidney J Mussburger in the Coen Brothers’ capitalism satire. Made in ‘93 and set in 58, the film is rooted in 40s cinema and proved what we alrady knew.  There was only ever one Frank Capra.  Wary of comedy, Newman told Ethan and Joel to make it without him. Instead, they waited him out - for ten years.
  49. Hank Azaria, TheSimpsons #76:Last Exit to Springfield, TV, 1993. Since its 1989 birth, the yellowtoon family Simpson smashed records for episodes, audiences, and the most guest stars (as themselves or others). From Buzz Aldrin, Glenn Close (Homer’s Mom), Dennis Franz (Evil Homer!), George Harrison, Stephen Hawking, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hope, Eric Idle to Paul and Linda McCartney, Conan O’Brien (a Simpsonswriter made good), Michelle Pfeiffer, Mickey Rooney, Ringo Starr, Meryl Streep plus Barry (and Betty) White!  Not all celebs played ball.  Clint Eastwood and Anthony Hopkins refused to voice a… dentist!Anthony Perkins volunteered for Dr Wolf, but died before the scheduled recording.  Enter: yet another voice from Hank Azaria’s gallery of Professor Frink, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyzlak, Chief Wiggum, etc.
  50. Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black, 1996.   No OK for K. He’d done his sfx film, Firefox, 1982. Even John Landis (“It’s The Blue Brothers with aliens!”),   Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino said no - to directing it. Spielberg produced after persuading Will Smith and Jones to be J and K.

  51. William Hurt, The  Big Brass Ring,  1998.    Orson Welles’ last stand…   Potential investors said he must  sign Clint, Jack  Nicholson,  Robert Redford or Burt Reynolds… for the gay Texas senator and Presidential hopeful. They all passed.  (So did investors).  Clint found the script ran  contrary to his right wing values. Some 13 years  after Orson’s death,  Missouri auteur George Hickenlooper adapted the 1982-1987 Welles-Oja Kodar scenarios, with Hurt running for governor of Missouri (hah!) and colliding into his past… his aged political mentor, the role Welles meant for himself. Criticised for adapting Welles, Hickenlooper said: “Welles in many respects was the Shakespeare of the American cinema. So, if Welles adapted Shakespeare, why not adapt Welles?
  52. Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday, 1999.    Director Oliver Stone wanted Robert De Niro or Al Pacino. Warner Bros wanted its top dog. He  wanted to direct as well. And the suits said: Down boy. Unbelievable.
  53. George Clooney, Three Kings, 1999.     Gulf War vets hunt gold buried in the Iraqui desert... Been there, said Clint, done that, got the Kelly's Heroes tee-shirt to prove it. Next to nix it: Nicolas Cage, Mel Gibson, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Nick Nolte. Although respecting his work, Clooney said he’d never work with director David O Russell again. Their famous fist fight had been over Russell’s treatment of an extra, throwing him to the ground. And then foolishly taunting Clooney: “Hit me!” So, he did. Clint would have buried him.
  54. Peter Fonda, Ocean’s Twelve, 2004.      Director Steven Soderbergh (and Matt Damon) hoped to net Clint for a cameo as Linus - Damon’s father.  Peter Fonda  played it but  time restraints left it on the editing suite floor.
  55. Mel Gibson, Signs, 2002.     The Reverend Graham Hess was first scripted as an older guy. This explains why sliding director M Night Shyamalan offered the dog-collar to Eastwood and Paul Newman. But Johnny Depp…? Aw c’mon, Johnny can play any age – anything! – you want. - Mr Zen Director, as Kevin Spacey called Clint - was busy enough, thank you, finishing one film and prepping another... for two more Oscars!
  56. R Lee Emery, House MD, TV,2004-2012. “Thank you, but I’m starting a film,” was Eastwood’s polite reply to a fan wanting him to play his (abusive) father.  Hugh Laurie had to settle for another on-screen (and off) Marine, the unforgettable Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full; Meal Jacket, 1966.
  57. Mark Wahlberg, Shooter, 2006.      According to William Goldman, the film’s script doctor, Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford refused the betrayed hero tricked into being another Lee Harvey Oswald. So director Antoine Fuqua went younger, changing Bob Lee Swagger’s betrayal from 70s’ Vietnam to 90s’ Ethiopia. And Keanu Reeves was the first choice.
  58. Tommy Lee Jones, In The Valley of Elah, 2007.      Warners always saw Jones as an Eastwood successor, except Clint never went away... However, he passed on this script by Paul Haggis, scenarist of Million Dollar Baby and Flags of Our Fathers, allowing Jones to be the Army careerist officer looking for his soldier boy son, AWOL since getting home  from Iraq.
  59. Grant Bowler, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, 2010.
  60. Harrison Ford, The Expendables 3, 2013.   Invited to manage Sylvester Stallone’s testosterone take on Dad’s Army when Bruce Willis was dropped for asking for $1m a day for a four day role instead of an offered $3m. Stallone famously called Willis “greedy and lazy”  - “a sure formula for career failure.” Clint passed (far too busy) and Ford came in as Church re-written as Drummer.
  61. Will Smith, Gemini Man, 2017.  On and off studio shelves since 1997 and Disney’s plans for Sean Connery in 2002, Gemini Manhas a top NSA hit man  becoming the termination target ofa mysterious youngster who predicts the veteran’s every move. "I know why he's as good as you," says Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  "He is you." Yeah, a younger clone. Yeah, yawn, like Bruce Willis in The Kid, 1999, and Looper, 2011 - only this time one guy plays both roles, young and old.  Will Smith. Back in the day, test footage was shot of an old Mel Gibson (in Payback,1998) versusyoung Gibson (in The Year of Living Danerously, 1982). As directors changed from Tony Scott to Curtis Hanson, similar tests were made of Nic Cage, Jon Voight, plus Joe Carnahan’s above mashup of Clint Eastwood footage. No need for all that palaver these days, due to the stunning de-ageing or youthification possibilities as seen in the Lola VFX work for many Marvel movies, such the young Sam Jackson helping Captain Marvel.











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