Eric Bana

  1. Vin Diesel, xXx, 2002.     The Aussie went home for The Nugget.
  2. Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider, US-Australia, 2005.   The Aussie Bana was “in contention” for Johnny Blaze, and must have felt he had a chance as it was an US-Aussie co-production.  Except everyone knew Cage was  the#1 Ghost Rider nut.  With a GR tattoo  to prove it. (It had to be hidden in the movie).  His hairpiece took three hours to fix but he made up for the delays by penning parts of the scenario – and suggesting Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles.  Djrector Mark Steven Johnson agreeed. He was  obviously a fan of The Limey – having already written Terence Stamp into Elektra, 2004. 
  3. Jude Law, Cold Mountain, 2002.     Up for Inman, a wounded confederate soldier finding romance, friendship and war as he tries to return to his North Carolina mountain and his gal, Nicole Kidman. Just how Law won any of  his roles has never been  explained. .
  4.  Daniel Craig, Casino Royale,  2006.
  5. Christian Bale, 3.10 To Yuma, 2006.   Back when Tom Cruise was thinking of re-treading Glenn Ford’s 1956 Western bad guy, Bana was set as the good guy – the farmer bringing the outlaw to jail… Neither version had the power of Elmore Leonard’s short story.
  6. Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider,2006.  Bana and Johnny Depp let their interest be  known – and loudly –  in the comicbook hero,.  Cage, however, was not about to give up his dream role of Johnny Blaze. A true comics’ fan, Cage named himself after Marvel’s Luke Cage and has his son after DC’s… Kal-El!  Cage was almost the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, 2001, and did costume tests for the Tim Burton Superman that never flew.
  7. Edward Norton, The Incredible Hulk, 2007.  Welcome  to Hollywood, Louis Leterrier…  Marvel wanted Eric Bana to reprise his hulking from the first 2002 movie.  The French director preferred Mark Ruffalo. He also considered Matthew McConaughey, Dominic Purcell and Liev Schreiber. But Marvel told him: “You should get Edward Norton because he’s more famous!” A genuine Hulk fan, Norton had refused the first movie in 2002. He hated the script – and would rewrite most of his one (as Edward Harrison), probably why he was replacedby Ruffalo for Disney’s first summit meeting of the Marvel superheroes, The Avengers, 2011. And six more chapters.  At least.
  8. Taylor Kitsch, John Carter of Mars, 2010.    The ever-changing directors included  Jon Favreau who wanted Bana in 2005 as the Civil War hero transported to Mars wars by Tarzan’s daddy Edgar Rice Burroughs, a century ago. Once intended for Tom Cruise (or Josh Duhamel) , Carterbecame Disney’s hot new franchise (High School Pirates!) and finally a live-action debut for Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E). And a monster flop!
  9. Jason Statham, Echelon, 2011.    Bana was attached for a spell. Then, Statham took over as SAS agent Nick Stone against the Russian Mafia and various Western agencies.  As if any of them stood a chance in the thriller based on Firewll, the third of a 13-so-far book series by “Andy McNab.”
  10. Benjamin Walker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2011.    Less beautiful than Buffy or not, the oddest vampire slayer of all was a  hot 3D project (he throws a mean axe!) and a great role – Honest Abe, the 16th US president, from 20  to 55,  during his other life. (His mother had been  slain  by a vampire, you see). After meeting Bana, Adrien Brody, James D’Arcy, Tom Hardy, Ron Huebel, Josh Lucas, Timothy Olyphant  and newcomer Oliver Jackson-Cohen, the Russian producer-director Timur Bekmambetov voted Walker. Another producer was Tim Burton. So where was Johnny Depp? 
  11. Michel Shannon, Elvis & Nixon, 2015.   Change of Presley for the bizarre White House meeting  in 1970 when he asked President Nixon to  badge him as  Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs agent.  Shannon studied Elvis moves, movies, concerts, books to get the man because “he’s famous like Jesus. Everybody knows Elvis… He was a tragic individual. It was great to experience Elvis… before his decline. When he went to visit the president he was in a very good shape.” Back in 1979,  Rick Peters and Bob Gunton played the role in  the Elvis Meets Nixon mockumentary, and Joseph Preiser voiced both in 2008’s short, When Elvis Met Nixon.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11