Will Ferrell

  1. Brendan Fraser, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, 2002. .  “A pretty grim experience all around –  longest year and a half of my life.”  Director Joe Dante refusing to say anymore about how his planned tribute to his late friend, toon ikon Chuck Jones, ended up a mess. Then again, when the suits approve Fraser over Ferrell, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, , Michael J Fox and Sylvester Stallone for DJ Drake, you know you’re in trouble

  2. Owen Wilson, The Wedding Crashers, 2004.  Vince Vaughn was one crasher and Ferrell should haver been t’other.  He preferred an uncredited bit as Chazz.  Not funny, either. As per usual, for Ferrell.

  3. Sam Rockwell, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 2005.
  4. Kevin Spacey,   Superman Returns, 2006.
  5. Jon Heder, Blades of Glory, 2006.  Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell were the oddest  Olympic skating couple  ever duo ever  until Ben quit (“too much like spme of my other films”)  and Will  switched roles to partner Jon Heda in Ferrell’s s old role.   All that and the ho hum movie was stolen by a real couple as the villains: Will Arnett and Amy Poehler.
  6. Andy Samberg, Hot Rod, 2006.    The titular stuntman wannabe was aimed at Ferrell. He changed gears – becomingt the exec producer. The script still sounded like him,  so it was totally respun by (and for) The Lonely Island comedy troupe: Samberg Akiva Schaffer (debuting as actor-director) and Jorma Taccone. The re-write started in June, shooting lasted from July 24-September 23 just in time  for the trio to report back to Saturday Night Live on September 25. And it worked!
  7. Steve Carell, Get Smart, 2008.     A vast improvement on 1979’s Nude Bomb, the previous movie about Maxwell Smart, the Clouseauesque spy for CONTROL v Russia’s CAOS. Jim Carrey was attatched ten years earlier. Ferrell changed his mind. The original Smart, Don Adams, who died in 2005, always intended Toronto’s Eric McCormack to be his successor.  
  8. Brendan Fraser, Furry Vengeance, 2009.  Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Bryan Cranston, Will Ferrell, even down-market Jeremy Piven walked away from the alleged “comedy”.  As dumb as Fraser’s earlier George of the Jungle.  (They helped ruin his A List career).  Not much of a comeback for Brooke Shield, either – as his wife. USA Today critic Claudia Puig did not mince her words. “A slapstick stinker, easily the worst movie of the year…  a slight to true environmentalists and, heck, even an affront to animals.” Fraser is ashamed of the  film.(Only this one?)
  9. James McAvoy, Arthur Christmas, 2010.  Will Ferrell, Andy Samberg and David Tennnant were also considered for the toon about Santa’s clumsy offspring – given two hours to solve a major Christmas gift glitch.
  10. Alec Baldwin, Rock of Ages, 2011.    There was a moment when  Baldwin  (re-born via TV’s 30 Rock)  was about to withdraw as ex-rocker Denns Dupree. And calls went out to Ferrell and the star he was first to succeed in The Office – Steve Carrell. Who noticed? All eyes were on Tom Cruise’s staggering rock star Stacee Jaxx – aka Jim Morrison meets Axel Rose.  Baldwin called it a horrible movie.  “I only did it to work with Tom.” Well, the audition
  11. Ben Stiller, The Watch, 2012.   Two years earlier director David Dobkins and Ferrell fell out and quit the project – just after Ferrell topped the Forbes magazine list of overpaid Hollywoodians  (his films were earning only $3.29 for every $1 of his salary). Plan B was Saturday Night Live’s Akiva Schaffer helming Stiller. Where was Plan C when it was needed?

  12. Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2012.     During the 20 long life of trying to re-make Danny Kaye’s version of the 1939 James Thurber short story… Ferrell was in talks after the (first) departures of Jim Carrey and Stiller. Next in line: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mike Myers, Owen Wilson.  Finally, Ben also directed reducing Mitty’s daydreams and giving him a real adventure – almost as if this was a sequel to a re-make and not the re-make. 
  13. Daniel Henney, Big Hero 6, 2014.   “We didn’t set out to be superheroes. But sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned.” Will Arnett, Steve Carell, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Louis CK, Nick Offerman, Jim Parsons and Chris Pratt, were seen (and heard!)  for voicing Tadashi, creator of the inflatable Baymax irobot in Disney’s first Marvel subject –  winning the best animation Oscar. It unfurls in 2023 (we all know that computer battery number, right?) in San Fransokyo (‘Frisco rebuilt by the Japanese after an earthquake) and deals with a super-troupe behindthe titular collective name… that nobody actually uses..
  14. Ed Helms, Tag, 2017.  Ferrell obviously wanted ro escape his signature klutzes and pased Hoage to Helms. Village Voice Bilge Ebiri liked it – “gloriously dumb” – but wished it was a docu about the real men-children it was based on…. playing surprise-surprise-tag  with  each other   across America.
  15. James McAvoy, It Chapter Two, 2018.  At one time The Penguin, The Rock, Peter Quill, Harry Potter, Deadpool, The Green Hornet and Doctor Who were suggested for the adult Bill Denbrough – ie, Danny De Vito, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Daniel Radcliffe, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogan, David Tennant. Also in the mix: Zac Efron, Will Ferrell, Sean Hayes, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Rogan and such off-the-wall outsiders as UK comics Russell Brand, James Corden, Eddie Izzard and Matt Lucas!  McAvoy was the real McCoy – and one of the biggest Stephen King fans around. Bill Skarsgård had more fun as Pennywise this time.  No literal nightmares about fighting the clown, no kid actors scared by him in scenes, his five-hour make-up cut by half and less dialogue…  in the 262nd of King’s staggering 313 screen credits. (King Kameo: Pawnbroker).
  16. Mark Wahlberg, The Six Billion Dollar Man, 2019. Plans to reboot the old series were floatiewd and shelved on and off for a decade or more. Paul WS Anderson, Kevin Smith, Steven E de Souza:  they all wanted to direct. The Farrelly Brothers had a comic version ready for Farrell, Jim Carrey or Chris Rock.  From 2016 onwards (ev emn at 48), Wahlberg kept the faith as The Man, a bionic ex-astronaut with the inflation-related price tag: the1974-1978 series was The Six Million Dollar Man).  His directors changed from Peter Berg and Argentinian Damián Szifrón to, finally, Bumblebee man Travis Knight. Mr #6b  was the only superhero he was interetsted in.“I don’t care what it is, how much I’m getting paid, I’m not leaving my trailer in a cape.”

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  145