Payday Loans
James Caan


  1. Sean Garrison, Moment To Moment, 1966.    Not pleased with his look ("Always wear your hair like that?") Mervyn LeRoy asked Caan about the best thing he'd ever done. Caan, said: "Well, I once ran 90 yards for a touchdown."
  2. Elliott Gould, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, 1969.  Ted.
  3. Donald Sutherland, M*A*S*H, 1970.    Bad one to lose.
  4. Gene Hackman, The French Connection, 1971.    Nope said the dope.  Hackman won an Oscar.
  5. Robert Duvall, The Godfather, 1971.
  6. Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, 1974.
  7. Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  8. Sylvester Stallone, Rocky, 1976.
  9. Harrison Ford, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1976.
  10. Martin Sheen, Apocalypse Now, 1976.

  11. Richard Dreyfuss,  Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1976.    For once, Spielberg felt he needed an A star: Hackman, Hoffman or McQueen.  Julia Phillips (one of the eleven producers!) also sent scripts to Nicholson and Pacino. They all passed - Nicholson feeling any actor would be buried by the SFX.Next call was to Caan. Julia never liked him nor his agent - demanding $1m and 10% of the gross just for Caan to read the script!  And so it was Dreyfuss - as it always had been since Spielberg told him  the story while making Jaws.
  12. Richard Dreyfuss, The Goodbye Girl, 1977.      Jimmy was considered to substitute  Robert De Niro - fired by  Mike Nichols from the first version, Bogart Slept Here. Caan went on to be Simon in Chapter Two, 1979, the second time Marsha Mason played. more-or-less,  herself.
  13. Keith Carradine, Pretty Baby, 1977.  The plot sickens… A prostitute allows her 12-year-old daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light district of New Orleans, circa 1917. French director Louis Malle saw 28 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for little Violet… 15 actresses for her mother… and 17 guys for the really mis-shapen, hydrocephallic photographer Ernest J. Bellocq, whose Storyville work of the epoch influenced the style of the surprisingly elegant film. Robert Redford was first choice, Jack Nicholson second. Before falling for Carradine, Malle saw Caan, Albert Brooks, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Dustin Hoffman, Malcolm McDowell (the only Brit short-listed), Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve (planning to make us believe a man could fly), future director Rob Reiner,  John Travolta (more into Grease)… plus such flat out surprises as Joe Pesci, Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone (prepping FIST), even Christopher Walken.
  14. Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978,
  15. Dustin Hoffman, Kramer v Kramer, 1979.     "I was first,  Dustin was last on  the list of five. But I  said: "This is middle-class, bourgeois horseshit!" I mean, 'CUT to kid, crying.' Oh please..."
  16. Dudley Moore, Arthur, 1980.      The suits wanted a US star.   Brand new auteur Steve Gordon wanted Dud. Gordon won, made a big hit, but never a second film - he died at 44 in 1982. John Belushi had passed, scared of being typed as a drunk (surely the least of his troubles!). Orion Pictures’ other choices for the titular rich man-child were: Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Robin Williams… and quite ridiculously, Caan, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino (that would have been tough going!), Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta. Enough for an Arthur XI soccer squad - and one reserve.
  17. Robin Williams, The Survivors, 1982.    Some musical-chairs casting didn’t help.  Jack Nicholson and James Caan became Joe Bologna and Jerry Reed (who stayed aboard but as Jack), who became Walter Matthau - and Robin Williams as, well, as the poster pitch put it: "Donald's been fired by his boss' parrot. But he'll survive. He's been robbed with his pants down. But he'll survive. He's been shot at whilst ordering a cheese Danish. But he'll survive. And now he's armed himself and become a self-made soldier. But he'll survive. Even if it kills him."
  18. Mickey Rourke, The Pope of Greenwich  Village, 1984.     Producer Howard  Koch bought Vincent Patrick's novel for Godsons Pacino and Caan. Coppola showed  interest in '82  with Pacino  and Rourke. Ron Maxwell shot it with Rourke and Eric Roberts.
  19. Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop, 1984. If Sylvester Stallone was the first embodiment of Axel Foley, the next  included  Caan, Al Pacino, Mickey Rourke.

  20. Michael Caine, The Holcroft Covenant, 1984.    
    "Jimmy just didn't show up," said John Frankenheimer, "I don't know why. Horrible! Because we were all ready to go."      With the power of positive thinking, Caan became... Caine. "I will be forever grateful to Jimmy. He gave me the greatest gift that anyone has ever given me which is Michael Caine - the best actor that I have ever worked with." Like he was there... by day nine. "I did it so quickly I wore my own clothes," said Caine. "As it was British Film Year, I thought someone ought to make a British film."

  21. Gene Hackman, No Way Out, 1986.  For his excellent thriller (labyrinthine and ingenious, said Roger Ebert) the under-praised Aussie director Roger Donaldson tried all ages for the villain politico. From James Caan and Al Pacino at 46 to Gregory Peck at 70. Plus James Coburn, Sean Connery, James Cromwell, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Mitchum, Donald Moffat, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Jason Robards Donald Sutherland and Jon Voight.   Hackman was 56.    Second time Caan and Reynolds were suggested for the same role. Reynolds was in two minds about Caan. In his celebrated 2018 interview with Deadline Hollywood’s co-editor-in-chief Mike Fleminbv Jr, Burt said Caan was a good actor but a poser of a tough guy.”

  22. Bruce Willis, Die Hard, 1987.   For once, the prerequisite Great Outsider won… There were 17 possible John McClanes.  From Tom Berenger, Michael Madsen and Willis to top TV heroes  Richard Dean Anderson and Don Johnson to A-listers:  Burt, Charles Bronson, James Caan, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone… and Frank Sinatra?  Yes, well, Roderick Thorpe’s book, Nothing Lasts Forever, was sequel to The Detective  - that 1967 film  starred Sinatra (as Joe Leland,  changed here to  McClane) and so Frank had first dibs on any sequels. He passed. He was 73! In his 1980 movie his debut, The First Deadly Sin, Willis was seen leaving a bar as Sinatra walks in.   So it flows… He was soon taking roles from most of those on the McClane list. 

  23. Ted Danson, Dad, 1989.    Few can claim to have refused Steven Spielberg twice...  And so the three generations of the Tremont clan became Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson as Ethan Hawke’s grandfather and father.

  24. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy, 1989.   Sonny Bono with the missus, Cher, as Tess were set ffor a 70s’ musical version that never flew. Next came Ryan O’Neal in the earlty 80s.  Then, Bruce Campbell, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O’Neal (in the early 80s), Robert Redford and even such total opposites as George C Scott and Tom Selleck were seen in ‘89. Caan settled for a cameo as Splandoni.  Beatty held the rights and agreed to direct if he could play Tracy, his boyhood idol. Disney suits spoiled the whole caper by making him slash his 135 minute cut by a half-hour!
  25. Timothy  Dalton, The King's  Whore, UK-France-Italy-Austria, 1990.       Bizarre casting by French realisateur Daniel Vigne - Caan as the 17th Century King of Piedmont -  was corrected  by Austrian film-maker Axel Corti.
  26. Martin Sheen, Cadence, 1990.       Started but did not work out and although wholly unsuitable,  director Sheen took over as the racist Army prison warden with son Charlie in the stockade.
  27. Colin Friels, Darkman, 1990.      Jimmy is not dumb. With a comicbook movie, if you're not the hero, villain, sidekick or girlfriend, nobody's watching ya!
  28. Bob Hoskins, Mermaids, 1990.     A Caan comeback plan imploded as Orion switched directors in midstream - rom LasseHallstrom to Frank Oz.“We got caught in the ripples,” said Caan's agent, Arnold Rifkin. “Jim was in the house with Lasse when the call came from the studio about a difference in creative visions and all that.Tough luck for Jim.”
  29. Clint Eastwood, In The Line of Fire, 1993.   Producer Rob Reiner stuck to Mr Misery.  Columbia's Mark Canton went for broke - and won.
  30. Jeremy Irons, The Lion King, 1993.      In the frame to voice the villainous Scar in the 32nd Disney toon - Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa!- were top Brits, Sean Connery, Tim Curry, Malcolm McDowell. And assorted Hollywood-mafiosi Caan, Robert Duvall, Ray Liotta.

  31. Dennis Hopper, Waterworld, 1994.      Refused the villainy of the most expensive US movie - until Titanic. Also in the mix: Gary Busey, Laurence Fishburne, Gene Hackman, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman… and even Kevin Costner.  Yes, he  wanted to be the nasty Deacon, as well as the hero! 
  32. Jon Voight, Heat, 1995.  Appeared to be more than mere rumour that his 1980 Thief star would be in auteurMichal Mann’s latest opus.  Caan was certainly put out by not  being in  - as seen in their 1998 DVD contributions.  
  33. Willem Dafoe, Manderlay, Denmark-Sweden-Holland-France-Germany-UK, 2005.     When Nicole Kidman pulled out of the second film in Lars Von Trier's career-ruining trilogy (USA - Land of Opportunities), Daddy quit too. Because, said Caan, Von Trier “is very anti-American, so screw him.”Dafoe also made Von Trier’s next film, Antichrist, 2008).

  34. James Brolin, Accidental Love (ex-Nailed),  2008.   
    Booked for two days, Caan quit on the first after a blazing row with controversial director David O Russell. The problem? How a USenator should choke on a cookie. Russell wanted simultaneous coughing and choking. Caan’t be done, said Jimmy  - in “part of an ongoing creative conversation,” according to producer Douglas Wick. Russell had a famous fist fight with George Clooney during Three Kings, 1999, and was captured on tape berating Lily Tomlin during I Heart Huckabees, 2004. Actors and crew later boycotted the film when the budget ran dry. Somehow, shooting wrapped in November and was shelved until a February 2015 release when Russell’s credit had turned into Stephen Greene.

  35. Richard Dreyfuss, The Lightkeepers, 2009.     Signing on in June 2008, Caan  rapidly filed a $5m million suit for breach for contract and fraud. On returning to gangsters in TV’s Magic City in 2013.Caan said: “I’m not Anthony Quinn just yet. The truth is that I care very much about what I do, I try to maintain a little bit of integrity.”







Copyright © 2022 Crawley's Casting Calls. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.