Jude Law


  1. Chris O’Donnell, Batman Forever, 1994.
  2. Dougray Scott, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, 1997,   One day Drew Barrymore’s Prince Henry would come. But he would not be Law, nor Jonny Lee Miller…
  3. Dustin Hoffman, Mad City, 1997.   During a script reading at chezTravolta (John as the journalist, Jude Law as the loser), Paris réalisateur Costa-Gavrasnoticed how Travolta was intrigued by all the directions given to Law. Travolta asked Costa to stay for lunch and, whaddyerknow, he suddenly aspired to being the loser, taking hostages at gun-pointto win back his job!  So Law was out – too young for the veteran TV news veteran in the (lite) updating of Kirk Douglas milking his surprise scoop in Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, 1950.
  4. Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare In Love, 1998.   Kenneth Branagh and Daniel Day-Lewis had previously been requested as Will Shakespeare.
  5. Joaquin  Phoenix, Gladiator, 1999.   Ridley Scott had just two actors in his sights for Commodus, the ambitious, amoral son of the wise emperor Marcus Aurelius.  The twisted youngster was last played  by a too old Christopher Plummer in The Fall of the Roman Empire, 1963.  He was the only Roman Emperor to fight as a gladiator. In truth, he was not slain in the arena but was strangled back stage by an athlete named Narcissus.
  6. Joaquin Phoenix, Quills, 2000.     Law, Billy Crudup and two Aussies, Hugh Jackman and Guy Pearce, were in contention for the Abbé de Coulmier, boss of the Charenton insane asylum where the Marquis de Sade was incarcerated in 1789. But the enlightened abbott went to co-star Kate Winslet’s choice. (Scenarist Doug Wright called her the film’s patron saint). None of them was right. Coulmier was a 4ft hunchback!
  7. Heath Ledger, The Four Feathers, 2001.  Sudden change of flavours of the month as Spielberg plucked Law from the sixth  version of AEW Masters’ Sudan adventure romp allowing The Patriot’s Ledger to be Harry Faversham  in the desert tracks of  Howard Estabrook (1914), Harry Ham (’21), Richard Arlen (‘29), John Clements (’39), Anthony Steel (’56), Beau Bridges (’77).
  8. Johnny Depp, From Hell, 2001.     “I regretted saying no.” Allen and Albert Hughes go fromDead Presidents to dead whores in (yes, yet again!) the Jack The Ripper story. After talking to Law, Sean Connery and Brad Pitt, the siblings decided their Scotland Yard cop would be their nearly-Howard Hughes.
  9. Ryan Phillippe, Gosford Park, 2001.     Change of Henry Denton, the so-called valet, at the 11th hour, when Jude decided to be an out-Law. Out of Robert Altman’s most surprising successes (at age 76). Upstairs and Downstairs meets Agatha Christie in a UK country house whodunit! Created by Julian Fellowes… as the matrix of his later tele-triumph, Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith stole both shows. (He knew she would). (So did everyone else!)
  10. Tom Hardy, Star Trek: Nemesis, 2001.   

  11. Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man, 2002.
  12. Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2002.    The first one…  Director Gore Verbinski decided that due to The Lord of the Rings franchise.  Bloom was more bankable than Law, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Ewan McGregor, Tobey Maguire, Ben Peyton (a fairly unknown UK TV actor) and Christopher Masterson. A tough role as Johnny Depp was stealing everything but the rudder as his wondrous Captain Jack Sparrow, with mascara, gold teeth and a Keith Richards’ rock ‘n’ roll shuffle.  Ironically, Ridley Scott had earlier chosen Law for his sadly, un-made. Captain Kidd,.  Pirates was exactly the kind of hit the (inexplicable) Law career needed.  He still does not have one.
  13. 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 some 14 others running to Sharon Stone – or from her and the idea of playing her London shrink: Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Bernicio Del Torro, Robert Downey Jr, Aaron Eckhart, Rupert Everett (!), Bruce Greenwood, 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?
  14. Brandon Routh, Superman Returns, 2005.
  15. Ben Whishaw, Brideshead Revisited, 2007.     Before leaving to helm Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, David Yates had chosen  Paul Bettany and his wife Jennifer Connelly as Charles Ryder and Julia Flyte, plus Jude Law  for Sebastian Flyte. New director Julian Jarrold chose Mathew Goode, Haykley Atwell and Ben Wishaw.  Oh and Emma Thompson who threaten to quit if (the dreaded) producer Harvet Weinstein  didn’t stop chastising Hayley aboiut her weight. He once told her at lunch: “You look like a fat pig on screen. Stop eating so much.”  And him, so slim!
  16. Matthew  Goode, Watchmen, 2008.     Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Juvenal asked, but who them playeth? And in the 20 years it took for Alan Moore’s DComic-book to be filmed, directors came and went – Darren Aronofsky, Michael Bay, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass. So did their choices for Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias: Law, Tom Cruise and Lee Pace.

  17. Sharlto Copley, Maleficent, 2012.      Hey, Jude was up for King Stefan before  Copley copped the king in what was Sleeping Beauty seen from the viewpoint of the evil nemesis of the princess,  the titular Angelina Jolie. Not released until 2014.

  18. Guy Pearce, Iron Man 3, 2012.    Good grief!  Dr  Watson was nearly Aldrich Killian, head of AIM (son of the Nazi Hydra), described by the expert Kim Newman  as “a dark doppelganger for the already troubled hero.” Law, of course, was Watson to Iron Man Robert Downey Jr’s other franchise: Sherlock Holmes. 
  19. Ewan McGregor Jane Got a Gun, 2013.    Natalie Portman’s fifth outing as a producer ran into all kinds of trouble. Michael Fassbender quit(replaced by Joel Edgerton) after clashes with Scots director Lynne Ramsay. Then, she quit. Then, Law quit Edgerton’s original role -Lynnebeingthe only reason why Law hadagreed to make the Santa Fe Western in in the first place. Bridges was the (way) oldest of Law’s potential successors: a double the age of Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. Bradley Cooper moved in until he, too, had to quit as his previous gig had been delayed by the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.  (Ramsey’s exit allowed her to join Steven Spielberg’s 2013 Cannes festival jury).

  20. James Franco, Queen of the Desert, 2013.      German auteur Werner Herzog’s first choice for Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie, the war hero lover of Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell – aka the female Lawrence of Arabia,   Law had to quit when shooting was delayed. His first replacement, James Franco, also had to leave. Enter: The Welsh Lewis, a hot Emmy-winner due to TV’s Homeland.  (Ridley Scott planned a Bell bio with Angelina Jolie, but both their dance cards were filled).
  21. Paul Bettany, Transcendence, 2013.     Christopher Nolan’s usual cinematographer Wally Pfister  was spoilt for choice of stars eager for his directing debut. Max was up between Law, Ewan McGregor, Tobey Maguire –  and Tom Hardy from  the Chris ’n’ Wally 2011 show, The Dark Knight Rises.
  22. Dane DeHaan, Tulip Fever, 2014.    Desire. Obsession. Betrayal (And produced  by Harvey Weinstein!).  Law and Keira Knightley became aimed at Jude Law and DeHaan and Alicia Vikander – as the artist falling for his portrait subject in 17th Century Amsterdam.  A project passion for directors Peter Chelsom, Tom Hooper, John Madden since 2004 until Justin Chadwick made it in 2014 – unreleased until 2017. By which time, DeHaan and Cara Delevingne (also in Tuyliuop), had made Valaerian, another stink-bomb.








 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  22