Owen Wilson


  1. Breckin Meyer, Clueless,1994.    Wilson  and Seth Green tried out forTravis in director Amy Heckerling’s Beverly Hills flip-side of her Fast Times at Ridgemont High(and making as many new stars). “A smart and funny movie,” said Chicago critic Roger Ebert, ”and the characters are in on the joke.”  Meyer worked on the scripts for Reese Witherspoon (up for Cher) and her far from official sequels, Legally Blonde 1 and 2, 2000 and 2002.
  2. Ben Stiller, There’s Something About Mary, 1998.    They didn’t want to know about Stiller, until the Farrelly Brother’s next choice was Wilson.  So it was Ben who became A Star by catching his family jewelsin his zipper (“Is it the frank or the beans?” asks Mary’s solicitous stepfather). Ben and Owen made eightfilms together during 1996-2004.
  3. Diedrich  Bader, Office Space, 1998.    Wilson and Vince Vaughn (as alike as cottage and cheese) audtioned fo tLawence, neighbour of the hero Ron Livingston. The film’s auteur Mike Judge was the  father of MTV’s Beavis & Butthead toons, just as Office Space fathered  Horrible Bosses, 2010. Jennifer Aniston midwifed both sharp satires.
  4. John Goodman, The Emperor’s New Groove, 2000. The much troubled Disney toon started out as Kingdom of the Sun, with much the same cast and characters. Test-screenings, when 50% complete, were so awful that the production was rested. New director Mark Dindal (and ten other writers !) cut Wilson, the Prince and the Pauper-ish story, five of Sting’s six songs… and turned Wilson’s Pacha into an older (Good)man.
  5. Casey Affleck, Ocean’s Eleven, 2001.      Like Danny Glover, another choice of director Steven Soderbergh, les freres Wilson skipped off to the rush-started Royal Tennenbaums. First replacements, the Coens, were likewise tied up, so were the Polishtwins. James Caan’s son, Scott, and Ben Affleck’s brother, Casey, took over.
  6. Sam Rockwell, Heist, 2001.     Among those suggested for Jimmy Silk – smart alek nephew of Danny De Vito.
  7. Tom Green, Stealing Havard, 2002.    As the bad influence pal of Jason Lee, turning to crime to finance hisniece’s first Harvard year. After 31 movies in 13 years, Owen tried to commit suicide a third time in August 2007.
  8. Kevin James, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, 2006.  The Ace Ventura and Bruce Almighty producer Tom Shadyac had this idea brewing since 1999 when the New York firemen guys pretending to be gay (for tax purposes) were Joe and Benny.  Tom went through various couples. Will Smith and Nicolas Cage.  No? OK, how about Will Smith and James Gandolfini (wow!). Or even, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.  Before settling on Adam Sandler and Kevin James.
  9. Matthew McConaughey, Tropic Thunder, 2007.      He gave his OK to Rick Peck… and then tried to commit suicide.
  10. Jim Carrey, Mr Popper’s Penguins, 2010.   In order of disappearance, it was Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Wilson up for the Midas-rich Popper inheriting six penguins.

  11. Charlie Day, Horrible Bosses, 2010. Matthew McConaughey, Paul Rudd  and Vince Vaughn were also suggested for Dale, victim of Jennifer Aniston’s erotomaniac dentist boss – “You’re gonna give me that dong, Dale” – in a masculine take on Nine To Five. 
  12. Mark Wahlberg, 2 Guns, 2012.  In the early days, it was going to be Wilson as the Navy cop opposite Vince Vaughn’s DEA guy – neither one knew the other was also working undercover.  They churned into Dernzel Washington and Wahlberg as Helmers changed from Antoine Fuqua and Bondsmith Martin Campbell to, finally, the Icelandic Baltasar Kormákur.
  13. Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013.    During the 20 long life of trying to re-make Danny Kaye’s version of the 1939 James Thurber short story… Wilson was in talks after the (first) departure of Jim Carrey. Wilson then quit, himself,  ruining Paramount’s plan  to start shooting a week before its rights deadline. Next in line: Mike Myers, Sacha Baron Cohen. Stiller also directed reducing Mitty’s daydreams and giving him a real adventure – almost as if this was a sequel to an unseen  re-make.
  14. Adam Driver, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, 2017.
  15. Steve Buscemi, Miracle Workers, TV, 2017.    In May, it was Daniel Radcliffe and Wilson. By October 19, Steve Buscemi had replaced Wilson in the role of God. Wouldn’t have b wen  good if his Euro-commercials for Oreros ran in the breaks !). In the heavenly sitcom –  think The Office in Heaven – Radcliffe wa san angel called Craig (well, he’’d already been a demon in and with Horns).  His job? Sorting  all our prayers while his boss moved on to much bigger thigs. Like saving our planet.
  16. James Marsden, Sonic the Hedgehog, 2019. For the new movie version of the video game, 15 actors jostled for Tom Wachowski, the Montana cop helping the speedy blue blur alien from another planet in his fight against Jim Carrey’s Dr Robotnik. They were: Wilson,  Jack Black, Ansel Elgort, Chris Evans, Bill Hader (also up for voicing Sonic), Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Michael B. Jordan, Adam Pally (also seen for Sonic, he wound up as Wade, Tom’s deputy), Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Justin Timberlake, Milo Ventimiglia and Marsden, who was ready for “as many as they want to make. it was so much fun to see Jim enjoying himself again.”




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