Clive Owen


  1. Pierce Brosnan, GoldenEye, 1994.
  2. Adrian Lester, Hustle, TV, 2004-2012.  Owen turned down playing Mickey Bricks or Stone when Adrian Lester played him in his first series. “I couldn’t imagine playing the same character for years, but Hustle was completely different. In the very first rehearsal we were doing a dance routine and then the next thing I know I’m whacking out several different accents and I just thought: I’m in heaven, this is great!”  His co-grifters were Marc Warren, Robert Glenister, the lovely Jaime Murray and the great Robert Vaughn.
  3. Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man, 2005.      A rankoutsider forheavyweight champ Jimmy Braddock in a long-time project of Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom before Ron Howard moved in with his (obvious) star.
  4. Daniel Craig, Casino Royale, 2006.
  5. Daniel Craig, The Golden Compass, 2006.   In talks about becoming the scientist-explorer Lord Asriel… when Craig became available. Craig also beat Owen to 007 in the Casino Royale reboot. Furthermore in the West End stage version, His Lordship was another Bond: Timothy Dalton. Others in the mix had included Jason Isacs and Paul Bettany.
  6. Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man, 2007.    Michael Jackson pushed hard to be in in the 90lb suits of about 450 separate pieces. After musing over Owen, Hugh Jackman, Timothy Olyphant and Sam Rockwell, director Jon Favreau only wanted Downey. “The best and worst moments of Robert’s life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That’s Tony Stark.”
  7. Kenneth Branagh, Wallander, TV, 2008-2010.      Several companies were trying to set up an English lingo series based on Henning Mankell’s Swedish cop, Kurt Wallander, of Ystad, near Malmö.   Movie actors Owen, Jason Isaacs, Michael Gambon were too busy. Then, Branagh ran into the novelist at an Ingmar Bergman film festival and asked to play “this fascinatingly flawed but deeply human detective.”  One  of his most perfect roles – shot in Ystad, often at the same time as the Swedish TV series starring Krister Henriksson (and before him, Rolf Lassgård) – on the local directors was Jonas Grimås, who helmed Owen in the 200 UK TV movie,  Second Sight:Kingdom of the Blind.   
  8. Nicolas Cage, Stolen, 2011.  When Stolen was Medallion, Owen  (or Jason Statham) was to be the hero.  But when Medallion was Stolen, director Simon West chose Cage, his 1996 Con Air star. Now rather hammy,  Cage made it “hilarious, absurd, offensive and insulting,”  said The Flick Filosopher MaryAnn Joanson.
  9. Dominic Cooper, Cities, 2012.      A change of Brits (and ages) for New Zealand director Roger Donaldson marrying tales inLondon, Mumbai, and New York.  
  10. Michael Keaton, RoboCop, 2012.    Owen’s name hit the frame when Hugh Laurie decided against being head of the facility creating the titular robotic force… in another of Hollywood’s moldy re-moulds.   What? Oh, I’m sorry…  a “reimagining.”

  11. Sharlto Copley, Oldboy, 2012.    During the chequered history of re-making Chan-Woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi – as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee – three Brits, Owen, Christian Bale and Colin Firth, passed on the smooth villain Adrian Pryce who kidnaps the titular James Brolin for 20 years! Spike also suffered when his 140 minute cut was slashed by Sony to 105 which explains why this is A Spike Lee Film for the first time and not, as per usual, A Spike Lee Joint.
  12. Josh Brolin, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, 2013.   Wall to wall fitted scheduling (including his Steven Soderbergh series, The Knick) meant Owen could not repeat his Dwight character from the first Frank Miller-Robert Rodriguez cult.
  13. Mark Strong, The Brothers Grimsby, 2014.  The pitch? James Bond is lumbered with a gormless brother… Sacha Baron Cohen!  But who could be  super spy Commander  Sebastian Graves? “We wanted someone who could actually be in a real action franchise,” said Cohen. The team  looked at Farrell and Clive Owen (both rumoured for 007 in their prime) and Australian Guy Pearce.  Mark was strongest. He came from from various forms of espionage from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to the Kingsman series and his pals included Daniel Craig! . “Mark’s incredibly tough,” added Cohen. “He does all his own stunts. He’s a brilliant fighter. And he’s totally real – you completely believe him.”  And he stole the entire gig. Which is perhaps why SBC’ later chose drama in 2019 as The Spy – real life Israeli hero, Eli Cohen



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