Michael Fassbender


  1. Ben Affleck, Pearl Harbor, 2000.  His first film audition was for Rafe Cawley – inspired by WWII fighter pilotJoe Foss (32  confirmed kills plus many more probables0  Affleck prepared by taking flying which also helped, he said, his usual fear of flying. Fassbender won his next major audition for another WWII story, Band of  Brothers. 
  2. Matthew Settle, Band of Brothers, TV, 200l.      Fassbender was seen for Captain Ronald Speirs – and became Technical Sergeant  Burton Christenson – in the brilliant WWI series produced by buddies Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, based on Stephen E Ambrose’s 1992 study of The Screaming Eagles – Easy Company,  2nd Battalion, 50th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the  101st Airborne Division just about everywhere during WW11. The mini-series also boosted the careers of other young Brits : Dominic Cooper, Tom Hardy, Damien Lewis, James McAvoy, Simon Pegg and Marc Warren.

  3. James Purefoy, Solomon Kane,  2008.      Shooting dates  clashed with his start date for  Steve McQueen’s Hunger.  The following year, Fassbender made a Kane clone called   Centurion – although owing more to Walter Hill than Robert E Howard. 

  4. Ed Westwick,  Wuthering Heights, 2009.       When Natalie Portman suddenly quit the Bronte project, the producers lost their Heathcliff as well – and quickly filled the hunk gap with the  Gossip Girl revelation opposite Gemma Arterton(nine films since her Bondacious Quantum of Solace, 2008). “We’ve cast it as written,” saidproducer  Robert Bernstein. “Heathcliff’s  a teen, and the story takes him into his early 20s. Cathy is just as young.”
  5. Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds, 2009.    Quentin Tarantino never wavered. The Nazi colonel Landa had to be a real German. (So what had he been talking to Leonardo DiCaprio for?!) At a Berlin audition, QT told the German-speaking Fassbender: “Let’s take a look at Hicox.”  “What about Landa?” “Well, I cast my Landa on Tuesday.” “Are you sure?” “Yeah, I’m sure, man,  [Pause].  Look, man, any guy that gets cast as Heathcliff is not fucking German enough to play my Landa, all right?” Fassbender played Hicox (and not Heathcliff as planned), and Landa became a real… Austrian.  And an Oscar-winner.
  6. Christian Bale, The Fighter, 2009.       Wanting to make a credible boxing film, Mark Wahlberg chose the story of his pal, Boston’s Irish Mickey Ward, being trained to world glory by his ex-boxer/ex-crackhead half-brother – and stuck with it, sparring every morning for five years, as directors passed (Scorsese) or quit (Aronofsky) as the $50m studio project became a $20m indie.   Wahlberg refused any salary and never thought of playing the brother. “There was always one role for me to play  and that was the champ. I wasn’t giving up the belt. Dicky was a flashier role, but it wasn’t about that… but being believable as a guy who could win the welterweight title and not look like an actor who could maybe box a little.” Matt Damon (twice) and Brad Pitt quit being Dickie Eklund…and the self-emaciated Bale won an Oscar.
  7. Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2010.     In the superhero loop with Jack Black, Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Emile Hirsch, Jared Leto, Eddie Murphy, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Sam Worthington. However, Fassbender prefered joining Josh Brolin in  another comic-cut flop,  Jonah Hex. This allowed Reynolds to achieve the rare double whammy of playing both Marvel Comics and DC Comics superheroes.  No one seems to know why. (Well, finally, he really made good as Marvel’s Deadpool, 2015). 
  8. Rhys Ifans, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2010.
  9. Tom Hardy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 2010.       Chosen for  Ricki Tarr – not a standout stole   Or not  in the first cinema version of the John Le Carré’s 1974 classic. Hywel Bennett had much more to play with (five e[isodes!) in the classic 1979 TVersion.  Fassbender was delayed on  X-Men: First Class.
  10. Colin Farrell, Total Recall, 2011.   Due to the impact of Quentin Tarantino’s Basterds, Fassbender was topping too many other casting sheets… ShameX-Men: First Class, Haywire, Prometheus, Good Vibrations… and Tom Hardy was busy. So gger.Farrell wo an A-list Hollywood comeback. His  introverted hero was way more interesting than the version according to Schwarzenegger.  Pierce Brosnan once tipped Farrell for Bond. We never saw why until  his action hero in this stunning (if critically slaughtered) re-tread. 
  11. Chris Hemsworth, Snow White and the Huntsman, 2011.    For the first of two revisionist Ms Whites that year, Fassbender had to bow to Thor’s $65m opening and cancel any hunting plans.   Ridley Scott snapped him up for Prometheus with Charlize Theron – who managed to make both. She is this version’s Evil Queen.

  12. Jeremy Renner, The Bourne Legacy, 2011.  Three was enough for Matt Damon. (Until 2015…!)  The studio did not agree and kept the franchise alive by rebooting Jason Bourne as Aaron Cross – “There Was Never Just One.” But who to play him from 20 hopefuls- Erryn Arkin, Adam Brody, Dominic  Cooper, Paul Dano, Luke Evans, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Hartnett, Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac (he was made an Outcome super-agent), Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf,  Kellan Lutz, Logan Marshall-Green, Alex Pettyfer, Michael Pitt and Benjamin Walker. Plus Joerl Edgerton and  Tobey Maguire, who were  Great Gatsbying  dopwn-under. Renner, Hollywood’s new white hope since The Hurt Locker, 2009, was suggested  for the Mission: Impossible.. if ever Tom Cruise retired.  
  13. Matthew Goode, Stoker, 2012.    Prison Break TV star Wentworth Miller wrote the script – naming it for Dracula author Bram Stoker. Plus an added homage… Fassebender, Goode, Joel Edgerton, Colin Firth, James Franco were seen for the most mysterious Uncle Charlie since Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt some 60 years earlier.
  14. Joel Kinnaman, RoboCop, 2012.  The Robo-reboot was a battle between Fassbender,Kinnaman andthe new Belgian find, Matthias Schoenaerts.
  15. Sam Rockwell, A Single Shot, 2012.     As the backwoods hunter John Moon, Rockwell was the single mainstay of an over-the-top thriller. The novelist could not blame the scripter – same guy! And he should remain anonymous.
  16. Tom Hiddleston, Only Lovers Left AliveFrance-Germany-Greece-UK, 2012. Had a face meet with director Jim Jarmusch about his tale of a vampire in love with the vampiric Tilda Swinton – for centuries. And he was chosen but chose to mkd his excuses and leave. Hidddleston’s passport called him  Lokke – Danish for  his Marvelverse personage, Loki.
  17. Mark Wahlberg Broken City, 2012.    Among the producers was Wahlberg.  He invited Fassbender to play Billy Taggart.  When the Brit passed, Wahlberg did what a producer called John Wayne often did. “Aw shucks, I’ll play the thing myself.”
  18. Vincent Cassel, Trance, 2012.  Fassbinder was in, then out. Colin Firth was considered. Finally, director Danny Boyle gave up on Brits and selected  French star Cassel for his art thief.  He needn’t have bothered. Rosario Dawson  pinched more than a Goya. She stoie the entire thriller. Shooting filled a gap in Boyle’s two-year schedule for prepping his stunning opening/closing ceremonies  of London’s 2012 Olympics – and edited after the event.
  19. Russell Crowe, Noah, 2012.    Schedules interfered but Magneto and Batman (Christian Bale) were on the list of auteur Darren Aronofsky for his life-long fascination with the “dark, complicated character who experiences real survivor’s guilt.”  And a lot of water.
  20. Oscar Issac, Inside Llewyn Davis, 2012.  The Coen brothers saw Casey Affleck, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Reynolds for the titular Davis on the Greenwich Village music scene  Plus  the much closer  more approrpiate  Scott Avett (of North Carolina’s Avett Brothers band) and US  singer-songwriter Conor Oberst. “The film doesn’t really have a plot,” admitted Joel Cohen.  “That’s why we threw the cat in.” The Cohens said they preferred their True Grit vulture to the cats they used.…

  21. Joel Edgerton, Jane Got a Gun, 2013.     Natalie Portman’s fifth outing as a producer ran into all kinds of trouble. Fassbender quit (replaced by Edgerton) after clashes with Scots director Lynne Ramsay. Then, she quit. Then, Jude Law quit Edgerton’s original role – Lynne being the only reason Law had agreed to make the Sante Fe Western in the first place. Her exit allowed her to join Steven Spielberg’s 2013 Cannes festival jury.
  22. Henry Cavill, The Man From UNCLE, 2013. Superman Cavill goes Solo.  Napoleon Solo… After securing  the 60s’ TV series rights in 1993, producer John Davis went through 20 years, 14 scripts,  four directors (letting slip Soderbergh and Tarantino!), plus 19 Napoleon Solos. From George Clooney in 2010 to Tom Cruise three years later. By way of the early-21st century  suspects: Fassbender, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jon Hamm, Joel Kinnaman, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Chris Pine, Ryan Reynolds, Alexander Skarsgård (he switched to Tarzan), Channing Tatum. Even Russell Crowe, surely a better bet at 50 for old Waverly, the UNCLE boss.  Poor Davis never got it right!  
  23. Jude Law, Genius, 2014.    Change of Thomas Wolfe in stage director Michael Grandage’s take on the chaotic relationship between the US novelist and his publisher Max Perkins – who also discovered Hemingway and Fitzgerald.  
  24. Adam Driver, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2014.
  25. Colin Farrell, True Detective, 2015.   The second season could never match the impact and huge viewership – averaging 11.9m – of the first HBO seasonwhich had long since entered the pantheon alongside The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Last time, two cop guys; this time, guy and gal. They were considered a flop. The locale changed from Southern to West Coast noir, still owing everything to Elmore Leonard. Fassbender, Christian Bale, Garrett Hedlund were in the frame for the  burned out Vinci PD detective (and mob enforcer) Ray Velcoro involved with Rachel McAdams as Detective Sergeant Ani Bezzerides who has family, boozing, gambling and fidelity issues.
  26. Will Smith, Suicide Squad, 2015.     After seeing 14 possible Harley Quinns, director David Ayer shuffled through 19 Deadshots. None hit the target. Not  Fassbender, Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba,  Colin Farrell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jon Hamm. Nor Oscar Isaac, Joel Kinnaman (he became Rick Flag), Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Statham. Another Warner/DC flop  because Warner wasn’t Marvel and Smith was way too top-heavy for a team effort.
  27. Jude Law, Genius, 2016. He passed Thomas Wolfe to Law in he first National Geographic drama series.featuring everyone from Antonio Banderas as Picasso to Geoffrey Rush’s  Albert Einstein.
  28. Jared Leto, The Outsider, 2017.    Uusually innovative, Netflix went backwards  for  a weak and déjà vu Yakuza drama with hints of Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku. Just not enough. Tom Hardy had to pass – as usual. 








 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  28