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CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE

Just Jack Nicholson

There are more than 8,000 actors detailed on this site. Some have passed a single movie. Others, many more. Then, there are the champs… Since launching CCC in 2008, Marlon Brando always topped this list. And year by year, discovery by discovery, Jack Nicholson, has been catching up. Well, he’s done it…!
He was always second to Brando’s total of 164 bypassed films. Until I unearthed four new passes - but only two for Marlon. But as I devour more books, columns and mails (thank you, fans!) etc, the count goes on.

1.Nicholson by-passed 168 films
2. Brando - 166
3. Cary Grant -147
3. Paul Newman - 147
5. Tom Cruise - 110

Highest Brit Sir Sean at 114.
Highest lady is Bette Davis, 90 items; Jodie Foster, 80;  Michelle Pfeiffer, 72; Meryl Streep, 70; Nicole Kidman, 69; Julie Christie and Liz Taylor are level at 67; Katharine Hepburn, 66; Debra Winger, 65.
Newer Brigade: Brad, 107; Johnny, 99; Julia, 64; Leo, 64; Jim Carrey, 62; Madonna, 61; Jennifer Aniston, 27; Jennifer Lawrence, 23.

(You'll find the full list at Champions in the Main Menu)

 

He said title

“I’ve never done the same thing twice and how many people can say that? Some have bombed but who cares." – Tom Hanks, aka everyone from Forrest Gump to the manager of Elvis.

“I never saw the film. But my loved ones tell me it was a uniquely ghastly experience.” – Woody Allen on his 1975 Casino Royale.

“I swear a lot more than I’ve ever have in my life… I used to swear but not like Logan Roy. There’s also something liberating about swearing. I think he uses it as a  tool, a liberating tool.” –  Brian Cox.

“I’ve worked with Jack Nicholson … and other people…  they do nothingIt’s internalised. They just react. They listen and they react.” – Michael Douglas.

“Actors believing their hype can be a slippery slope. There are a lot of banana peels out there in that respect.” – David Strathairn

When director Robert Aldrich was literally on his deathbed - in and out of a coma – his actor pai Richard Jaeckel asked him if there was anything he can get him. And Aldrich said:  "Yeah, a good script."

“Dog eats dog does not do it justice. It’s velociraptor eats velociraptor.” – Rob Bryden on Hollywood.

“Mickey Rourke could break your heart with a look. The movie traveled to the moon every time he came onto the screen. Nobody could hold a candle to him. He was just there, didn’t have to say hello or good-bye.” – Bob Dylan on Homeboy. 

“I can hire anyone I like.” – Quentin Tarantino.

“My mother likes to say that I started directing when I was four or five … She tells these stories about how I would get everybody together and organise these shows.” – Paul Thomas Anderson, the Licorice Pizza guy.

“Superheroes aren’t just gods, even the ones that are gods.  They’re human. They’re broken. Just like us.” – Michael Waldron, Loki’s  Dad.

“The key to getting a Western right is don’t think of it as a Western.  A Western is really just a setting - treat it as modern  day.” –  Jeymes Samuel.

“I have surfed my manic depression since I was 11 years old. I enjoyed it and made it work for me.”  – Richard Dreyfuss.

"I would say I managed to have the career I started out wanting in the first place. I've been involved in some big, silly stuff; but also lots of important stuff.  I've been very lucky." – Ewan McGregor  

Finally, Jerry Seinfeld has a question for Darth Vader… “So, are you able to go anywhere without the music? If you get up in the middle of the night to pee, does it come blasting on, waking everybody up?  If you stop does the music stop?”

 

Fellini wanted >>> Humphrey Bogart or Frank Sinatra for Il bidone Marlon Brando, Peter O’Toole: Toby Dammit. Brando, Michael Caine, Al Pacino, Robert Redford: Casanova. Henry Fonda, Silvana Mangano, Gérard Philipe, Peter Ustinov: La Dolce Vita. Dustin Hoffman: City of Women. Groucho Marx, Mae West: Satyricon. “I always direct the same film. I can't distinguish one from another.” <<<

GET HIM  TO THE KIRK ON TIME

 
Paul Wesley, Shatner, Pine, Mignogna

New Skipper. Paul Wesley following in the space-steps of Captains Shatner, Pine and Mignogna.

Our heroes, they are a-changin’… Warner Bros switched their Batwoman (not, their Batgirl) from Ruby Rose to Javicia Leslie.  Aunty Beeb is hunting a new Doctor Who (who won’t be Doctor Hugh Grant). And Paramount has found a new actor to boldly go where only three other guys have gone before, as the third new James T Kirk in the second season of  the Star Trek spin-off, Strange New Worlds. (The T is for Tiberius. Middle names were important to Starfleet creator Gene Roddenberry).
Following the years - centuries! - of William Shatner, then Chris Pine heading three movies (a fourth is due) and Vic Mignogna making sure Star Trek Continues, quirky Kirky is now Paul Wesley. A most Trekian name that… It’s Roddenberry’s middle monicker (told you!) and how he named his son - now among the producers as Rod Roddenberry. And, of course, poor Wil Wheaton was Wesley Crusher, the most disliked characters during 85 chapters of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Paul’s series took off without him – having a new Pike and Spock nipping around the galaxy. Now Kirk arrives to command the USS. Enterprise. Paul hails from The Vampire Diaries, Tell Me A Story and History of Evil. Among those behind the cameras is Jenny Lumet, daughter of the great director Sidney Lumet. Jenny and Rod praise Paul as an astonishing presence.”  We shall see. In May.
Yes, yes, there was a fourth Kirk but Jimmy Bennett was just the11-year-old version in the 2007 movie reboot. You could even say a fifth… as Sandra Smith was body-swapped Kirk in the Turnabout Intruder rubbish that was the third season closer in June 1969.

LOST AND FOUND

ONE EYED JACKS

Jennifer Lawrence John Wayne
JLaw, as she would become known, lost Twilight’s Bella Swan!"I didn't really know what it was,” Jennifer Lawrence  told radio shock-jock Howard Stern. “When you audition when you're, like, a run-of-the-mill actor, you know, we're all auditioning for all sorts of things, you just get like five pages and they're like, 'Act, monkey!'  When it came out, I was like, 'Hot damn! Whoa!'"  And so she made sure she won theX-Men and Hunger Games franchises (she almost refused to be Katniss) plus her first Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook on February 24, 2013. First? Oh, there should be more. Imagine making a sequel to John Wayne’s Oscar-winning True Grit role – without John Wayne!  Almost happened in 1974… Now while we’re used to different 007s, ole Rooster is ole Duke. No two ways about it.  But Duke wasn’t  well and Universal put the one-eyed US Marshall on offer (suitably or not) to…  Marlon Brando, Charles Bronson, Richard Burton, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Steve McQueen, Robert Mitchum, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn George C Scott. So who would you choose?  

HOME SIDE STORY

After licking his West Slide Story wounds, Steven Spielberg’s 66th movie opens on November 23. It tells more than about his childhood than he usually reveals in interviews: storyboarding his own scripts as a kid, shooting them with his dad’s 8mm camera with his “three terrifying sisters” and schoolmates as his actors (the sisters always had to die!). We’ve been here before. “The house in ET is very much like the house I was raised in  - that is my bedroom!” This time we meet his clan - called The Fabelmans. An ex-Marilyn, Michelle Williams, and Paul Dano, are the parents who only let him see Disney movies (Fantasia still gave him nightmares!). Steven, now Sammy, is Gabriel LaBelle… well, Eddie Deezen is too old. Plus a top secret role for... David Lynch.

Spielberg and his younger self

From the boy cometh the box-office king.

Spielberg says he will never direct (just produce) another musical. And indeed another re-make... of Steve McQueen’s 1968 iconic San Francisco cop, Frank Bullitt. But why, I ask.  But then Robert Downey Jr is recreating Lee Marvin’s  Parker from 1967s Point Blank for Amazon.  Oh dear.

 
Peter Sellers

NOT FOR ME
James Garner refused The Night of the Iguana. “it’s just too Tennessee Williams for me!”

  Marylin's cute giggle

SWEET MARILYN
She lost Baby Doll, Can-Can, Freud, Harlow. So what! She was sublime in Some Like It Hot.

  Jessica Chastaine in Miss Sloane

THE PRINCESS
Jessica Chastain passed Diana to Naomi Watts. Then, they also nearly played Marilyn.

  Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

TOM JONES
How Indiana Jones was supposed to look. With Steven Spielberg’s first choice. Tom Selleck.

 

TUXEDO  JUNCTION

Tom Holland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Chris Evans
                   Tom & Fred Gene & Chris                 
Looks like movies have run out of singers to bio-pic. Buddy, Bobby, Edith, Elton, Freddie, Judy and Elvis, Ronnie Spector (and Robbie Williams!!) to come?). Which is why something bizarre is, literally, afoot. Two films are planned about the movies’’ top dancers. You know them - Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. But do you see them being played by Spiderman and Captain America…? Tom Holland will be Fred in a bio. Chris Evans is Kelly in his own idea for a story with Kelly as one of the characters while making an MGMusical in 1952. (Except he never made a film in ‘52). Spidey Tom is going to work harder. "I'm quite a good tap dancer - something I've done for a very, very long time. I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up” - by working out at London’s Pineapple Dance Studios. But… 1. Fred didn’t just tap-dance. 2, He wasn’t a star until being a decade older than Tom’s 25. (Kelly was 40 in ’52; Evans is 41). And no word yet on who’s going to be Astaire’s ten-times co-star Ginger Rogers… the guy who summed up Fred’s screentest as: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”

SELLERS: IMPOSSIBLE

Timothy OlyphantSo there I was watching an old Mission Impossible TV episode - The Brothers, circa ’69 –when to my great surprise Peter Sellers popped up as the titled twins. Only ‘twasn’t him, of course. (he never guested in any US series) but an Ohio lookalike Lloyd Battista. Astonishing resemblance.

ARE WE CLEAR?

1. I hear Colin Firth is headlining Operation Mincemeat... nothing to do with a 1990 French film called Operation Corned Beef.  Although both are about spying... Firth is recycling 1955’s The Man Who Never Was… a cunning  WWII op dreamt up by Ian Fleming (played by Johnny Flynn).

2. Then, I started my work of the day and ran into the glorious Sophia  Loren in Heller in Pink Tights (not so glorious) - which is nothing ('cos I checked again) to do with the Fox musical refused by Marilyn in 1954, The Girl in Pink Tights.

Look who missed musicals >>> Jennifer Aniston: Chicago. Tom Cruise Grease 2. Peter Sellers: Fagin in Oliver! Olivia Newton-John: Mama Mia!  Elvis: West Side Story.  Bruce Springsteen: Hair. Barbra Streisand: Summer Holiday (yes, with Cliff Richard!), and Cary Grant:  My Fair Lady - “Not only will I not play it, but if you don’t put Rex Harrison in it, I won’t go see it.”<<<

Roll ©redits:

All The President's Men montage: Reg Oliver,1976; Ursula Andress, Eon Productions, 1962; Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly: MGM, 1975Lloyd Battista, Paramount, 1969; James Garner: NBC/Universal, 1979; Rebecca Hall: Lionsgate, 2015; John Hurt: Alacran Pictures-Tornasol Films-Entre Chien et Loup, etc, 2016; James T Kirks: Paramount, 1966-2020; Jennifer Lawrence: Dior, 2018; Marilyn Monroe: 20th Century Fox, 1962; Jack Nicholson: Paramount, 1989; Tom Selleck: Belisarius Productions/Glenn A Larson Productions/Universal TV,1988; Steven Spielberg: Screenrant,com, 2022; John Wayne: Universal, 1974; TC sketch: Graham Marsh, 1976. Plus enormous thanks to The Man: Daniel Bouteiller.

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WELCOME to a unique directory of what you never saw on-screen. The films the stars did not make. The movies that never were. The most definitive collation of casting stories ... Check up on all the films - of yesterday, today and tomorrow - that your favourite stars never made... A cast of thousands - 8,063 actors - to click on... More than 40 years in the making!! And 2,749,022 words of spirited text. The ultimate in movie trivia ... Better! Exactly the kind of history that Hollywood deserves. Back to front. Upside-down. Inside out. Full of flashbacks, close-ups, tracking shots (and, alas some badly edited sequences - sorry about that!) forming a fascinating, new and often bizarre flip-side perspective on your treasured movies and stars.

This is the film that bred this site ... after Robert Redford told me he'd planned a little black-white version - with Robert De Niro, and Michael Moriarty as Woodstein.

THE BOND WOMAN

The original Bond-girl Ursula Andress hefts her conches
Happy birthday to ya! Hap-py birth-day! Not only to the ultimate screen spy, James Bond - 60 this year! -  but also, of course, the matrix for all Bond women, the sublime Ursula Andress… sauntering from the waves, warbling Underneath The Mango TreeUn-for-gettable!

She said title

“He was explosive - he can convince you to buy a pair of shoes that are two sizes too big.” -  Regina King on British director Jeymes Samuel.

“I’m wilful… extremely impulsive.  I’m like a steamroller -  I just go forward.  Someone falls down in front of me, then I fall in love with him.” - Britt Ekland at 77.

“Playing it safe doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere. You have to take chances. especially if you’re a black woman. You have no choice.” -  Halle Berry.

“She knows when she’s got it or not, and you trust her because she’s Jane Campion.  When you work with someone epic like that, you just want to make them proud.” Kirsten Dunst on making Campion’s victory lap, The Power of the Dog.

“Acting roles take up less time, you know. Resurrection I shot in five weeks over the summer. “Directing a film takes a year or two years, or possibly even more.”

Rennaissance woman Rebecca Hall

“You do all that as a writer, and then you do all that, again, as a director when you’re working out how to capture and film that. But [directing] also combines music and composition and image, and I’ve always painted and I’ve always played music and, you know, all of these things combined - word, music, image - are all the things that I’ve ever cared about. I’m more me when I’m directing than anything else.” - Rebecca Hall, a director’s director-daughter (and spiffing actress).

"If you think I made poor pictures after A Woman's Face, you should see the ones I went on suspension not  to make!"
- Joan Crawford.

“He’s the most humble guy. He’s got that perfect career where he gets to do what he loves, and he gets to do it with impeccable form. And then, he can disappear… go off and live his life. He’s not bothered, he lives out in Ireland, and he has the perfect balance. He’s not on social media… So, I think when he goes back into the world, like when he comes into London or New York and there’s a frenzy around him, I don’t think it quite marries the headspace that he’s in. He kind of does it and then walks away from it.“ - Annabelle Wallis on Peaky Blinder co-star Cillian Murphy.

“I don’t want to be a French actress. I want to be an actress.”  - Léa Seydoux

"He has an edge and a magnetism and a pure, sweet smile that surprises you.” - critic  Pauline Kael on Mickey Rourke… a long, very long, time ago. 

 “You guys might be like ‘Why is Rebel Wilson hosting the BAFTAs?’ I come from the bush, but if you think about it don’t we all,”? - Rebel Wilson during her London gig.

“Michael moves at a very quiet 100 miles per hour. He’s excited, and it’s not manic. He’s got this wry smile, things are good. And it’s infectious. You start waking up around him.” – Amy Ryan on Michael Keaton.

I always wanted to be an actress. My mother told me to get a job as an elevator operator – because Dorothy Lamour was discovered that way.” – the great Sally “Hot Lips” Kellerman: RIP, 1937-2020.

"Julia throws herself into her work with an abandon. She doesn't even remember what she's done after they yell Cut!  You can see her face morph in ways that you cannot do if you're self-conscious. She sticks her finger right into the socket." – Laura Linney on her Ozark co-star, Julia Garner.


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