Javier Bardem

  1. Colin Farrell, Minority Report2001.    Steven Spielberg suddenly decided to shoot AI: Artificial Intelligence and therefore lost Matt Damon and saw  Bardem, Dutch actor Yorick van Wageningen for Danny Witwer.  But Farrell was hot! Minority was author Philip K Dick’s sequel to Total Recall– in 2011 Farrell starred in the re-make of the 1989 Arnold Schwarzenegger version.  The reason Bardem passed was simple. “I didn’t want to just run around chasing Tom Cruise.”
  2. Jsu Garcia, The Lost City, 2004. Directing his first movie, Andy Garcia  needed the best Che Guevara he could… afford.
  3. David Morrissey, Basic Instinct 2, 2005. “I let myself down,” said Morrissey. “When it came out… I didn’t want to leave the house.It was a very bruising experience.” Among the 14 namesrunning to Sharon Stone – or from her and the idea of playing her London shrink. Bardem, Benjamin Bratt, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Torro, Robert Downey Jr, Aaron Eckhart, Rupert Everett (!), Bruce Greenwood, Jude Law, Ewan McGrgeor,Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Perez, Kurt Russell. An obvious flop before one scene was shot in anger… As in: What can she do for an encore? 
  4. Don Cheadle, Reign Over Me, 2006. Scheduling stopped the Spanish star playing Alan Johnson, helping his old dental-school friend recover from losing his family on 9/11. The pal was Adam Sandler (trying drama again) recommended by Bardem… a fan (maybe the only one) of Sandler’s first drama failure, Punch-Drunk Love, 2001.
  5. Carmen Maura, Tetro, 2008. Francis  Coppola surprisingly replaced the latest Oscar-winner with another Pedro Almodovar  favourite – veteran Spanish actress Carmen Maura!  And he was delighted: “Interaction between the two characters Tetro and his mentor]  would be far more intriguing if they were of the opposite sex.”
  6. Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine, 2008. The new Oscar-winner from Spain  was frankly too exhausted to make the musical version of Fellini 8 1/2 – so Rob (Chicago) Marshall sent for Daniel to be the director  looking back on his women: Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren.
  7. Edgar Ramirez, Killing Pablo, 2008. Swamped since his Oscar, Bardem had to quit director Joe Carnahan’s study of the feared Colombian drug king Pablo Escobar. His Venezuelan replacement was nearing Bardem heat in The Bourne Ultimatum and Steven  Soderbergh’s Che movies.
  8. James Brolin, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, 2009.  Swamped witth offers after his Oscar, Bardem had to withdraw. Director Oliver Stone called back his George Bush star from W, 2008.
  9. Jared Harris, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shows, 2010. In  the  mix to be Moriarty – like his wife, Penelope Cruz, for Sim. Except… they were pregnant!  Also in the Moriarty mix:  Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn.  Two years earlier, Pitt had been a rumoured Moriarty in the first Guy Ritchie take on Holmes.
  10. Edgar Ramirez, Wrath of the Titans, 2011.   Not keen on movie  violence (wildly overblown in 3D), Bardem easily passed on Ares in the in the sequel to the re-make of the 1980 original – allowing a big break for Ramirez after his movie  and TV series  about the terrorist assassin, Carlos.

  11. Ben Mendelsohn, Killing Them Softly,  2011.  The title changed – although it perfectly summed up Coogan’s Trade.  Likewise,the ex-con robber from Bardem to Sam Rockwell or Mark Ruffalo in the testosterone-packed film (really) noir.  Changing George Higgins’ 1974 Boston-set thriller to New Orleans in 2008, made it more suitable for enforcer Brad Pitt’s line: “The United States is not a country. The United States is a business. Now gimme my money.”
  12. Benjamin Bratt, Despicable Me 2, 2012.   Due to voice the villain but left… to battle Daniel Craig in the excellent 50th anniversary James Bond film, Skyfall – #1 film in UK box-office history. At the time. (Al Pacino also quit voicing Eduardo/El Macho).
  13. Hugh Jackman, Pan, 2015.   At one time it was going to be the Spanish star as Blackbeard – and as the revisionist Captain Hook, ie Peter’s pal! Among Jackman’s co-stars was his daughter from Les Miserables, 2011, Amanda Seyfried.
  14. Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year, 2014.   Unhappy about the film’s final direction, Bardem split and his intended co-star Jessica Chastain quickly suggested Isaac, They had been classmates at classmates at New York’s celebrated Juillard. School. Other alumni include Viola Davis, Adam Driver, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Kelly McGillis,  Christopher Reeve, Ving Rhames,  Alan Tudyk and The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford.
  15. Joel  Edgherton, Exodus: Gods and Kings, 2013.   Neither  Bardem, or Jason Isaac were free to be King Ramses II. The film’s director Ridley Scott had worked with Bardem  on The Counselor, 2012.

  16. Idris Elba, The Dark Tower, 2017.  
    The 220th of King’s staggering 313 screen credits is the worst.  Since Carrie in 1976, King’s filmed books come along in good/bad patches. Depending, not on the stories, usually supernatural, but how they’re made – film or series – and  by who. . Frank Darabont, Rob Reiner made classics; Stanley Kubrick and King, himself, did not. As this tale is one of eight exhilarating books, it merits a series, not this middling mess  (stuffed with King references) from director Nikolaj Arcel – a not so great Dane who by 2020 hasn’t helmed (or harmed)  another movie. (Back when there were only seven  books, JJ Abrams planned to film ‘em all).  Christian Bale, Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen, plus  the 2006 Casino Royale good and bad guys, Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen,  were up for Roland, The Gunslinger (“I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart”), trying to save the vital tower from Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black  (or is he really The Stand’s walkin’ dude, Randall Flagg?). When such strong (on-the-page) characters are upstaged by young Brit Tom Taylor, 14, as a typical King kid, you know something’s very wrong.    


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  16