Jeff Goldblum

  1. Ray Sharkey, Love and Money, 1980.     “I wanted Harvey for the lead,” recalled director James Toback, about the star of his Fingers, 1977. “But I was told: No way. They would finance if I could get Ray Sharkey or Jeff Goldblum for the lead – but not Harvey Keitel! So I did it with Ray. And Ray was not up to to the part.
  2. Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters, 1983.    Who ya gonna call – at 555-2368…?  The paranormal was, said Dan Aykord, his family’s business. That and having stayed in a house haunted by Mama Cass Elliott inspired his dark, futuristic update of such 40s’ comedies as Bob Hope’s Ghost Breakers and the Bowery Boys as Ghost Chasers –  penned for John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and himself. Dan was actually writing a line for John when hearing about his shock death. (He said  Slimer was John‘s ghost). Murphy was busy (policing Beverly Hills!) as the script was totally respun and/or improvised. 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 was 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 Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Christopher Walken passed on Dr. Egon Spengler, Ramis (the chief re-writer) decided he’d best do it his way – without ever smiling!  
  3. Nick Mancuso, Heartbreakers, 1984.   Peter Coyote and Jeff looked more like brothers than friends. Enter: Mancuso.
  4. Christopher Lloyd, Back To The Future, 1985. On director Robert Zemeckis’ short list for Doc Brown, alongside John Lithgow, Dudley Moore, James Woods. (Ex-President Ronald Reagan was shortlisted for a bit in one of the sequels!)
  5. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.      In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs – not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!) Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired: , Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly), William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden), Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops: Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  6. Joe Pesci, JFK, 1991.
  7. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.    UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars – Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone John Travolta… and four outsiders Goldblum, Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Ron Silver – all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville. Where Gibson would be next to spend some time… following his rabid, anti-Jewish rant on 28 July 2006.
  8. 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].
  9. Jamey Sheridan, The Stand, TV, 1994.  David Bowie,. Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Lance Henriksen, Christopher Walken, James Woods – they were all unavailable Stephen King’s signature villain in at least nine books: the walkin’ dude Randall Flagg, aka The Man in Black, aka Marten Broadcloak, the Covenant Man, Richard Fannin, Richard Farris, Raymond Fiegler, Walter o’Dim, Waltert Paddick.  Miguel Ferrer was keen but given Flagg’s henchman, Lloyd Henreid, King suggested Robert Duvall but fell for Sheridan, who understood  ‘Flagg is really a funny guy, isn’t he?’ He must have bothered to read the book… “There was a dark hilarity in his face… a face that radiated a horrible handsome warmth, a face to make water glasses shatter… to make small children crash their trikes… a face guaranteed to make barroom arguments over batting averages turn bloody.” Sheridan was perfect  for the 41st of King’s staggering 313 screen credits. (King Kameo: Teddy Weizak).
  10. Eric Bogosian, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, 1995.    No one wanted the Steven Seagal sequel.  Except Steven Seagal.  Two Yanks, (Goldblum, Laurence Fishburne) and two Brits (Gary Oldman, Julian Sands) refused villainy opposite a hero in, allegedly, a girdle to control his expansive abdomen. Steven Seagal was so fat that his image on the #2 poster came from the #1 poster, circa 1992. 

  11. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  12. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  13. John Goodman, The Borrowers, 1996.    The delicious villain, Ocious P Potter,  was not in the 1952 Marty Norton  book that Peter Sellers tried to film in 1964.  So he would have been Pod, the four-inch-high patriarch  of the tiny Clock family living  beneath the floorboards of a house owned by ”human beans”.  Three versions had already been hits when this Anglo–American version was launched. The battle for Ocious was, therefore, UK v US…   Martin Clunes, Bob Hoskins, Griff Rhys Jones, Alan Rickman versus Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Danny DeVito, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Steve Martin, Bill Murray,  Ed O’Neill, Robin Williams.  The fact that Pesci was also suggested signaled a ton of Home Alone physical attacks on poor Goodman, which out off both Steven Spielberg and his apprentice, Robert Zemeckis, from directing.  They weren’t required!  Nor were Rowan Atkinson and comic-turned-director Mel Smith – off busily making their own Bean movie for the same UK/US companies.

  14. Howard Stern, Private Parts, 1997.     The producers’ choice to deliver the oneattribute that Stern lacked – proven acting talent- in the film of the fastest-selling book in Simon & Schuster publishing history.
  15. Steve Buscemi, Monsters, Inc, 2000.  The UK Red Dwarf space comedy star Chris Barrie was in the frame with Hollywoodians Goldblum and Vincent D’Onofrio to voice the villainous Randall Boggs in yet another marvellous Pixar toon.
  16. Joseph Fiennes, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, 2002.  In the DreamWorks voicing mix for Proteus were Fiennes, Goldblum, David Arquette, Paul Bettany, Keith Carradine and  Robin Williams. 
  17. Eric Bana, Hulk, 2003.    Taiwanese director Ang Lee first played  the Hulk, himself,  using the performance-capture process. During the mid-1990s, Depp was first choice for the green guy.  Next candidates included  Steve Buscemi, Tom Cruise, David Duchovny and even Jeff Goldblum at age 50…  . But due to Chopper, the Australian Bana became Bruce Banner. So did Norton in the 2007 version. A genuine Hulk fan, he hated this script and fled, coming back to re-write most of the 2007 script – probably why he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for Disney’s first summit meeting of the Marvel superheroes, The Avengers, 2011. And six more chapters. At least.
  18. Cillian Murphy, Batman, 2004.
  19. Mos Def, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 2005.
  20. Gus Van Sant,  The Canyons, 2012.     It was, as they say, a small but pivotal role –  a shrink.  Auteur Paul Scrader called Goldbum, Willem Dafoe. Jason Sudeikis.   No go. “Any ideas?” he asked Lindsay Lohan, his star (and, doubtless, the reason those guys passed). “How about Jared?”  “Jared Harris?” asked Schrader.  “No, Jared Leto.”  Schrader phoned a fellow auteur.

  21. Ioan Gruffud, Fantastic Four, 2004.   Goldblum, George Clooney, Brendan Fraser, Hugh Jackman, Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson were in the loop for Dr Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic. They were all beaten to by an 007 contender. And he was defeated by the second of four rotten screen versions of the Marvel comic.  
  22. Jude Law, Rise of the Guardians, 2011.  Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and Patrick Stewart were also considered for voicing the evil spirit of the DreamWorks toon adventure: Pitch Black.
  23. Paul Schrader, Dog Eat Dog, 2016.    The crooks are so dumb, this is Carry On Tarantino. But the director, Paul Schrader, said: “The film is as much about crime films as it is about criminals. There’s kind of a meta quality to it.” Just not enough to interest Goldblum, Michael Douglas, Rupert Everett, Goldblum, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Michael Wincott in playing a mobster called The Greek. Schrader also asked fellow directors – but Italian Americans! – Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Then, Nic Cage persuaded his director to go Greek, himself.  



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  23