Gary Sinise

  1. William L Petersen, To Live and Die in LA, 1985.     Ever the gent, Sinise auditioned and lost Chance – and then recommended that director William Friedkin take a chance on Petersen! And he brought his pal, John Pankow, along to the auditions – and Friedkin made him Vukovich. In 2004, Gary headlined the CSI:NY spin-off of Petersen’s successful TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation2000-2008.
  2. Kurt Russell, Tango & Cash, 1989.   Sylvester Stallone was Raymond Tango – without question. But who would he accept as his equally frame cop pardner, Gabriel Cash? After Patrick Swayze ran (to solo billing in Road House), the list was long… Sinise, Michael Biehn, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, Liam Neeson, Michael Nouri, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid. Plus three future Sly co-stars: Harrison Ford,  Bruce Willis and James Woods. They all lost out on the debatable pleasure of four directors! From the Russian Andrei Konchalovsky to, secretly, Stallone..!
  3. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  4. Dylan Baker, Happiness, 1998.     All singing from the same him-sheet – “Compelling and interesting material but… I’m a father first and an actor second” – a dozen stars fled the therapist who was a pedophile in the bleakly controversial script by young New Jersey auteur Todd Solondz.
  5. Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, TV, 1999-2020.   Gary,  Nick  Chinlund and John Slattery  were up for the latest Dick Wolf cop. Christopher scored 273 episodes by 2020. Sinise was among the 50 producers (!) of his cop-art, CSI:NY, 2004-2003, and one of the 14 producers of his  shorter-lived Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, 2016-2017.  Meloni returned  to the Wolf fold in the 202l spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime.
  6. Hugh Jackman,  X-Men quartet, 1999-2013.    “Hey, bub, I’m not finished with you yet…”  Jackie Earle Haley, Gary Sinise and Kiefer Sutherland were in the 1989 Logan/Wolverine frame.  In the early 90s. James Cameron chose, of all people,  chubby Bob Hoskins. The fans voted for Jack Nicholson…   well, he’d been a decent Wolf in 1994. Fox could not think beyond Keanu Reeves. Russell Crowe felt Logan was too similar to his 1999 Gladiator…and just a toon, anyway. Took him a dozen years to understand comics and succeed Marlon Brando, no less, as Superman’s father, Jor-El, in Man of Steel.  Director Bryan Singer searched on through… Aaron Eckhart, Mel Gibson, Viggo Mortensen (a great idea but not finished with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings), Edward Norton (also considered for Scott Summers/Cyclops) and – oh no! – Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Finally, Singer chose Dougray Scott – but he was stuck on Mission: Impossible II in Australia which is where Jackman came from (on Crowe’s reccommendation) to save the day. And the franchise. Jackman wqas Wolverine in ten movies (Deadpool 2 included) across 19 years. (By contrast, Sean Connerywas James Bond for 007 times). 
  7. Sam Shepard, Black Hawk Down, 2001.     In talks to be the commander of the US war machine humbled by one Somali warlord in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993.
  8. Denzel Washington, Training Day, 2000. Sinise, Tom Sizemore and Bruce Willis were all in the frame for badass undercover cop Alonzo Harris.  Until Denzel walked in – and out with his second Oscar. 
  9. Michael Shannon, 8 Mile, 2001.     The film’s focus was 100% on its raison d’etre, white rapper Eminem (Marshall Bruce Mathers III).  Sinise was still set for Greg as three Brits were asked to direct Eminem’s acting debut: Danny Boyle, Stephen Daldry, Alan Parker. The lone Yank on the list, Quentin Tarantino, was stillkilling Bill.
  10. Laurence Fishburne, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2006.     Djimon Hounsou and Timothy Olyphant also auditioned as the voice of Silver Surfer – won by Fishburne after deciding against voicing Galactus who, finally, was not humanised.
  11. Karl Urban, Star Trek, 2008.   Starting over – with the eighth Trek… Producer-directorrebooter JJ Abrams talked with Sinise (and Jams Marsden) about becoming the new Bones – the USS Enterprise’s physician, the real McCoy.
  12. Michael B Jordan, Tom Clancy’s Remorse, 2019.  The 1993 book was about John Kelly who became John Clark in the Jack Ryan franchise, played by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger, 1993, Liev Schreiber in The Sum of All Fears, 2001.  Preferring  his John Wick franchise,  Keanu Reeves passed on $7m for a ’94 Clark solo trip. Gary Sinise was due in ‘95, Tom, Hardy in 2012 and finally Jordan – already  Adonis Creed, Erik Killmonger, Guy Montag, Johnny Storm –  had a new hero to embody.







 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  12