Paul Walker


  1. Heath Ledger, The Patriot, 1999.  After Braveheart, Mel Gibson tackles the American Revolutionary War… sans slavery!  Ledger, Walker, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Jackson, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinz Jr, Brad Renfro and Elijah Wood were seen for Gibson’s eldest son. Fed up with only being teenage beefcake, Ledger was about to quit acting and return down-under when he  won Gabriel. 

  2. Tobey Maguire, The Cider House Rules, 1999. Author John Irving went through four directors before settling on the Swedish Lasse Hallström to handle what Roger Ebert called a David Copperfieldish story (or, indeed, stories). For Homer, finally leaving his orphanage and surrogate father Michael Caine (winning his first Oscar), Hallström looked at The Class of ‘97 – Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Ryan Phillippe, Mark Wahlberg… and Paul.

  3. Matt Keeslar, Scream 3, 1999.    More Ghostface murders begin during the shooting of Stab 3… the horror flick within the horror flick! Keeslar, Walker, Ethan Erickson, Josh Hartnett, Johnathon L Jackson, Charlie O’Connell, Glenn Quinn and James Van Der Beek were seen for  one of the victims, actor Tom Prinze by director Wes Craven for the  third of his four Screams during 1996-2010. 

  4. Heath Ledger, A Knight’s Tale, 2000.
    After an Oscar for co-writing LA Confidential and directing Mel Gibson in Payback, Brian Helgeland  remembered an oddball,  non-fiction book about how jousting used to be  a sport – for nobles only.   Hmm, but why not make the hero a peasant!  “It resonated because I was trying to go from being a screenwriter to a director and I thought: Directors are nobles and screenwriters are peasants! So he’s a screenwriter who wants to be a director.” He wrote it on spec, sent it to every studio. They all wanted it.  Sony more than the rest. “Start meeting actors!” Immediately the peasant (named Thatcher!) was for one of two guys on the rise. He felt  the Australian  Ledger  would get the Englishness of it better than the all-American Walker – having met him between planes at LAX Iiked him a lot. And so a medieval piece was born with a rock soundtrack. So why not A Hard Day’s Knight?

  5. Colin Farrell, SWAT, 2002.     Mark Wahlberg was first choice for Jim Street of the LAPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics team.Then, Walker was training to succeed him – until his 2 Fast 2 Furious over-ran.
  6. Josh Hartnett, Wicker Park, 2003.     Still 2 busy with 2 Fast 2 Furious. Brendan Fraser was also considered for the re-hash of L’Apartement, 1996.
  7. Hayden Christensen, Star Wars:Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, 2004.
  8. Seann William Scott, The Dukes of Hazzard, 2005.     The project first flew Walker and Ashton Kutcher as the Duke boys. Why did they bother?
  9. Chris Evans,Fantastic Four, 2005.    The fast ’n’ furious Walker was up for the part of Johnny Storm., aka The Human Torch.
  10. Chris O’Donnell, NCIS: Los Angeles, TV, 2009-2021.    Ironically enough Walker had arrived at the same New White Hope phase of his career that O’Donnell was stuck in – which was why he needed TV way more than Paul, rising so fast and furiously.

  11. Brandon Routh, Superman Returns, 2005. 
  12. Jai Courtney, A Good Day To Die Hard, 2012.   Justin Timberlake was first chosen for our hero John McClane’s son, Jack, in Live Free or Die Hard, 2006, aka Hard 4. Jack was and kept in the Fox frieezer until Hard 5. By the time that was ready six years later, Timberlake was gone and the new candidates for McHero Jr were: DJ Cotrona, Jai Courtney, James Badge Dale, Shiloh Fernandez, Ben Foster, Liam Hemsworth, Steven R McQueen (the grandson), Aaron Paul, Milo Ventimiglia. And the furiously fast   Walker.
  13. Rupert Friend, Hitman: Agent 47, 2014.    “You won’t know what hit you” screamed the trailer… (Actually, zilch!   Major flop). Homeland’s UK find inherited the reboot after the Fast & Furious franchise star’s tragic car crash death on November 20, 2013. (He was not driving). The Nicholsonesque Timothy Olyphant created the role in the 2006 version of the Square Enix video game.  No way as top-notch as his US Marshal Raylan Givens in Elmore Leonard’s Justified, TV, 2010-2015. 
  14. James Marsden, The Best of Me, 2014.   Following Walker’s tragic death, Marsden inherited his second movie version of a NicholasSparks novel. – the first being The Notebook, ten years earlier.

    Paul Walker beat Christian Bale and Mark Wahlbergto Brian O’Connor inThe Fast and the Furious, in 2000. He went on to the  sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious and won a huge  cult following with  chapters 4, 5, 6. He was 40 and filming #7 when he was killed in an off-duty car crash on November 30, 2013. (He was not driving). “Father God I pray that you send clarity over this ’cause I just don’t understand,” said co-star Tyrese Gibson. “My heart hurts, it’s  broken no one can convince me that this is real… I can’t believe I’m writing this.“



 Birth year: 1973Death year: 2013Other name: Casting Calls:  13