Chris O’Donnell

  1. Brendan Fraser, The Mummy, 1989. A surprise box-office winner, particularly as it starred Fraser instead of…  Ben Affleck or Matt Damon (they’d just won their  Good Will Hunting script Oscars), Evil Dead’s  Bruce Campbell (his first studio offer), Leonardo DiCaprio (keen but tied to The Beach), the unknown Stephen Dunham (instead, he debuted as Henderson), Matthew McConaughey, Chris O’Donnell, Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and the star of the 2016 flop, Tom Cruise. Not as the titular Imhotep, of course, but the heroic Indiana…er… Rick O’Connell.
  2. Jason Gould, The Prince of Tides,  1991.    A room-mate took a call for O’Connell in Boston College and was baffled realising it was from Barbara Streisand.He had no idea that O’Donnelll was an actor.La Barb was ringing to explain why she was dropping Chris as her son in the film – to use her own son. Jason was also seen as a kiddy in her Up The Sandbox, 1972, and has since directed himself in two movies.
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, 1996.
  4. Will Smith, Men in Black, 1996.    He refused the then director Les Mayfield’s offer. Too much like his Batman’s Robin – the new assistant.  David Schwimmer also passed. Silly boys!
  5. Tobey Maguire,Spider-Man, 2002.    What a glutton for punishment after twice playing Batman’s ward, Robin.
  6. Chris Evans, Fantastic Four, 2004.    O’Donnell and Paul Walker were lucky to lose Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, in this mess – second of four flop versions of the comic. One day, Marvel will doubtless regain all rights and fit the Four into its triumphant Cinematic Universe…. where Evans would later rule, as CapAm. Captain America.
  7. Will Smith, Gemini Man, 2018. On and off studio shelves since 1997 and Disney’s plans for Sean Connery in 2002, Gemini Manhas a top NSA hit man becoming the termination target ofa mysterious youngster who predicts the veteran’s every move. “I know why he’s as good as you,” says Mary Elizabeth Winstead. “He is you.” Yeah, a younger clone. Yeah, yawn, like Bruce Willis in The Kid, 1999, and Looper, 2011 – only this time one guy plays both roles, young and old. Will Smith. Back in the day, test footage was shot of an old Mel Gibson (in Payback,1998) versusyoung Gibson (in The Year of Living Danerously, 1982). As directors changed from Tony Scott to Curtis Hanson, similar tests were made of Nic Cage, Jon Voight, plus Joe Carnahan’s above mashup of Clint Eastwood footage. No need for all that palaver these days, due to the stunning de-ageing or youthification possibilities as seen in the Lola VFX  work for many Marvel movies, such the  young Sam Jackson helping Captain Marvel. O’Donnell may not know about being up for the younger gun as his proposed co-star, Harrison Ford swears blind was  never contacted for the project.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7