Payday Loans
Chevy Chase


Confession. “I turned down Forrest Gump, I turned down American Gigolo… There are many films - like  Ghostbusters - that I turned down... The first one I did was Foul Play with   Goldie Hawn. But I turned down  Animal House - I turned that down.. So all those I regret only because they made huge amounts of money and I would be very wealthy, but I don't regret working with Goldie, I don't regret the projects that I did do.” [Well, he did once say that Oh Heavenly Dog was the worst film he made.”


  1. John Travolta, Carrie, 1976.   Surprise idea for Billy Nolan, the hood-like boyfriend of Nancy Allen at Bates High (!). Travolta auditioned on his lunch break from his Welcome Back, Kotter series still in his Vinnie Barbarino clothes.  Perfect! Director Brian De Palma (who later wed Allen) was surprised that Travolta’s minor role  won second  billing - having no idea he was a huge TV star.  De Palma was casting  actors that George Lucas was also seeing for Star Wars.  So Chevy was nearly…  
  2. Harrison Ford, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1976.
  3. Nick Nolte, The Deep, 1976.   Richard Benjamin (who successfully switched from comedy to drama  inWestworld In 1973),  Jeff Bridges,  Paul LeMat,  Ryan O’Neal and Jan Michael Vincent were on casting directors Mike Fenton and Jane Feinberg’s list for  David Sanders. Plus TV star David Groh which led to people thinking of their TV favourites…  like Chevy Chase leading, inevitably, to Nolte - “the hottest thing on television,” said producer Peter Guber’s diary.
  4. Tim Matheson, National Lampoon's Animal House, 1978.    Eric 'Otter' Stratton was created for Chase but director John Landis talked him out of it.  Two Saturday Night Livestars would make it an SNLmovie  - meaning  SNLgetting the kudos, not Landis!  And the one SNLer he wanted was John Belushi.Chase continued to avoid working  (or vice-versa) with Belushi - although  twice subbing him after his death.
  5. Robert Hays, Airplane!, 1979.   To paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell… “To lose one Animal House may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both it and Animal House in a Plane looks like carelessness.” Such was the fate of Chase and Bill Murray.   Also in the Ted Stryker mix were David Letterman (no, really), Barry Manilow (honestly, I don’t make these things up) and Robert Wuhl.

  6. Jack Nicholson, The Shining, 1979.
    Judging them solely on Taxi Driver and Mork & Mindy, Stanley Kubrick said Robert De Niro was not psychotic enough while Robin Williams was too much so!  
     Although Kubrick’s only choice was Nicholson, Warner Bros also suggested Harrison Ford, Christopher Reeve. Plus Martin Sheen (who’d already made it… as Apocalypse Now!). (He later made Stephen King’s Dead Zone in 1983). Or even the funny Chevy Chase and Leslie Nielsen (what were they smoking?) Author King said “normal looking” Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight going mad would work better than Jack.  Didn’t matter who was Jack Torrance as Kubrick, usually so blissfully right about everything, had clearly lost it.     He insisted on up to 70 takes for some scenes (three days and 60 doors for “Here’s Johnny!”), reducing Shelley Duvall and grown men, like Scatman Crothers at 69, to tears. “Just what is it that you want, Mr Kubrick?” He didn’t know. He was, quite suddenly, a director without direction. Result: a major disappointment. Not only for Stephen King but the rest of us. Harry Dean Stanton escaped being Lloyd, the bartender. By making a real horror film. Alien.

  7. Richard Gere, American Gigolo, 1979.    Chase as a walking erection…???  He was one of the bizarre  odd choice for LA gigolo Jiulian Kay who  was surely not so much created for butinspired by Gere!  Even if John Travolta was first choice and left for a variety of reasons, money included. He expected $2m. Christopher Reeve was offered #1m but "found the story of a man servicing older women for money quite distasteful"  Gere got $350,000 and a handsome  cut of the action.  Also keyed for Kay were Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Mel Gibson, even Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
  8. 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: Chase, Jeff Bridges, Martin, Bill Murray, Robin Williams… and quite ridiculously, James 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.
  9. Bill  Murray,  Where The Buffalo Roam, 1980.        More SNL names were tossed around the  gonzo journo ring. Only Bill  Murray knew  the  man  -  having  been  once lashed to a cast-iron garden chair and thrown into a pool by Dr Hunter S Thompson.
  10. Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1980.
  11. Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie,  1982.

  12. Tom Hanks, Splash, 1983.   
    Producer Brian Grazer always said he got the idea when driving along  the Pacific Coast Highway and musing on mermaids. Or on AIP’s 1964 Beach Blanket Bingo which had Jody McCrea falling  (off his surfboard) for mermaid Jody Kristen…  Hanks always claimed he was director Ron Howard’s 11th choice for Allen Bauer in his breakthrough (mermaid) movie.  Sorry, Tom - 15th!  And here they be: Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Richard Gere, Steve Guttenberg, John Heard, Michael Keaton (he also refused Alan’s brother, Freddie), Robert Klein, Kevin Kline, Dudley Moore, David Morse, Bill Murray (PJ Soles was to be his mermaid), Christopher Reeve, Burt Reynolds, John Travolta (his agent turned him off it!), and Robin Williams. “Ronnie made me a movie  star,” said Hanks.” That’s what he did.” He also booked Guttenberg for his next gig, Cocoon. (Channing Tatum was due for a 2016 re-make – but as the mer-person opposite Jillian Bell as his human lady).

  13. Steve Martin, All Of Me, 1983.      Written by Phil Auden Robinson for Chevy and  Goldie Hawn. Martin met his first wife, Victoria Tenant, on it.

  14. Michael Keaton, Mr Mom, 1983.   Fairly rapidly into the A List, Chase found himself up for Teri Garr’s sudden home husband Jack Butler - alongside Michael Douglas, Steve Martin and John Travolta. Ron Howard was due to direct but moved to Splash! - which Keaton left to be Jack.

  15. Bill Murray, Ghostbusters, 1983.  
    The paranormal was, said Dan Aykord, his family’s business. That and having stayed in a house haunted by Mama Cass Elliott inspired his dark, futuristic update of such 40s’ comedies as Bob Hope’s Ghost Breakers and the Bowery Boys as Ghost Chasers -  penned for John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and himself. Dan was actually writing a line for John when hearing about his shock death. (He said  Slimer was John‘s ghost). Murphy was busy - policing Beverly Hills. Frank Price, who famously turned down ET at Columbia, OKed the film after asking  Ivan  Reitman: How much? The director  weighed  the script in his hand. "Feels like a $25m movie to me."  OK!  He rushed shooting for a summer  release  without every clearing the rights of the title! That belonged to Universal - and  guess who was the new boss there, agreeing to the title being used. None other than Frank Price! (He'd been sacked by Columbia in mid-shoot and literally picked up by Universal… to thank him  for passing on ET?)  When Chevy Chase,  Steve Guttenberg, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Robin Williams refused Dr Peter Venkman. “Billy” took over - as long as Columbia backed his Razor‘s Edge re-tread. It did. And it bombed. 

  16. Michael Douglas, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
  17. Charles Grodin, Midnight Run, 1987.  In the frame for Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas were Albert Brooks, Chevy Chase, Cher (oh yes!), Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Robin Williams. Plus Bruce Willis - also up for Robert De Niro’s modern-day bounty-hunter, dragging Grodin’s hysterical embezzler ($15m!) back to Vegas… with the FBI andthe Mob chasing them. Chase was busy enough with Caddyshack II and Funny Farm.When he signed with CAA, the Michael Ovitz agency had al of Hollywood’s top clown Dan Aykroyd (“the idea guy”), John Belushi (“reinventing slapstick”), and the  “ extaordinary range” of Bill Murray.  
  18. Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988.      The zany idea of cartoon characters living alongside humans in 1947 Hollywood and human shamus Eddie Valiant trying to answer to the titular query (no question mark - unlucky in Film City history) and save to toon star Roger and his Ekbergian woman… would ruin Chase’s “family star” image! Please, someone, tell me the twerp was joking… Surprisingly, the murder mystery where the chief suspect is a toon  was based on the never made Cloverleaf, Robert Towne’s third Jake Gittes script (for Chinatown, read Toontown). So who should be Gittes, er, shamus Eddie Valiant? Well, why not Gittes, himself - Jack Nicholson? No, producer Steven Spielberg could not see beyond Harrison Ford. Too expensive! OK, Ed Harris, Robert Redford (Once nearly Philip Marlowe), Sylvester Stallone? Director Robert Zemeckis also considered Charles Grodin, Aussie comic Don Lane, Eddie Murphy (soon a toon in the Shrek movies), Joe Pantoliano and voice artist Peter Renaday.   And they could never contact the hideaway Bill Murray… When he read that in a paper, Murray screamed out loud - he would have loved being Valiant. Not that much fun, reported Hoskins. “I had to hallucinate to do it,” he told Danish TV. After working with green screens for six months, 16 hours a day, he lost control.  “I had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me.”
  19. Tom Hanks, Bonfire of the Vanities, 1989.      Author Tom Wolfe’s choice for Sherman McCoy - a self-styled Master of the Universe! - made no more sense than than the first director Mike Nichols voting Steve Martin and, finally, Brian De Palma, choosing Hanks.  
  20. Tom Hanks, Turner & Hooch, 1989.  Chase, John Larroquette, Dudley Moore, Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson (!) all fled from police detective Scott Turner and his French mastiff dog in this Odd Coupleriff.  With the dog, Beasley, as Walter Matthau and, of course, Hanks is, was and always will be a second Jack Lemmon (in all his career choices). Henry Winkler, Happy Days’Fonzie, was sacked after two weeks as director by Disney suit Jeffrey Katzenberg - who doubled his errors by using the wrong ending, where the dog dies. (A TVersion with Thomas F Wilson) never survived the putrid pilot. Said Cher: "I have to find a character to express who I am - and that's not easy." 
  21. Dennis Hopper, Flashback, 1989.
    Of course, Dennis was perfect for the old hippy, wanted by the Feds since the 60s - when he uncoupled Spiro T Agnew’s train for a laugh. Now he’s been grassed up. Keither Sutherland’s arrow straight FBI man is sent to collect him.  Hopper slips him some acid, cuts own hair and beard, changes duds  and when their train pulls in, he’s the agent and  the zonked Sutherland is the old (well, not quite old enough) radical. And that’s just the start. Get this if you can find it. Well worth it.  As Hopper’s daughter, Marin, always knew.  She discovered it and said it was made for Dennis. He contacted his agent and thought he’d lucked out on hearing that  Chase and Dan Aykroyd were in the hunt. However,  Italian director Franco Amurri, genuflected before St Dennis.     As did Chicago critic  Roger Ebert: “It’s hard to play a character with charisma, since the charisma has to seem to come from the character and not from the actor, but Hopper does it here. He’s convincing, and his dialogue actually sounds like the sorts of things an unrepentant hippie might say - not like the cliches someone might write for him.”

  22. Beau Bridges, The Fabulous Baker Boys, 1989.   First idea was to turn Chase and Bill Murray into the musical brothers vying for a superb singer Michelle Pfeiffer Making Whoopee on their piano. Texas auteur Steve Kloves then thought of real brothers. Dennis and Randy Quaid passed and the Bridges boys jumped at the rare chance of working together
  23. John Heard, Home Alone, 1990.  For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered - including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct: Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other potential Pops were Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jeff Daniels, Tony Danza, John Goodman, Charles Grodin, Tom Hanks, Robert Hays, Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Ed O’Neill, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Skerritt, Robin Williams… and the inevitable unknowns: Broadway’s Mark Linn-Baker, Canadian musicians-comics  Alan Thicke ("the affordable William Shatner") and Dave Thomas.
  24. Michael Madsen, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  25. Dan Aykroyd, My Girl, 1991.   Chase, Tim Allen, Steve Martin and Bill Murray were in the mix for young Anna Chlumsky’s undertaker father in this little gem. Allen and Chase were siphoned off for not being known for drama. Aykroyd has just tried that route for Driving Miss Daisy - and won an Oscar nod!
  26. Mike Myers, So I Married An Ax Murderer, 1992.    SNL - The Next Generation! Chevy was the target until Wayne's World buried Memoirs of an Invisible Man at the box-office. Woody Allen, Albert Brooks, Martin Short.   Myers also passed on the bookstore clerk who wants to be a poet – and a bachelor Myers, however, wanted the switch from Saturday Night Live. He learned a valuable lesson. “Juggling mirth, romance and murder requires a deft touch - think of Hitchcock's Trouble With Harry,” commented Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “Axe is a blunt instrument.”
  27. Bill Murray, Groundhog Day, 1992.  All the clever LA studios rejected the Harold Ramis script. “They just didn’t see it,” said Columbia chief Frank Price.  He did. He also agred to pay Ramis for a tune-up re-write. “We decided to go after Bill Murray or Chevy Chase, and Murray said yes.” And Price got a cult comedy. Almost made up for rejecting ET. Almost…For the acerbic TV weatherman suddenly reliving February 2 over and over again until he gets it right,  director Harold Ramis had several ideas,  Except  they were “far too nice” compared to Murray… in his finest work. “Before he makes the film wonderful,” said Chiago critic Rogert Ebert, “he does a more difficult thing, which is to make it bearable. I can imagine a long list of actors, whose names I will charitably suppress, who could… render it simpering, or inane.” They would have included the nice Chase, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, John Travolta.
  28. Tim Robbins, The Player, 1992.      Before the script reached the tres independent director Robert Altman, Warners talked Chevy out of wanting the lead.  His father, Manhattan book editor Edward Tinsley Chase, had helped get Michael Tolkin’s novel published
  29. Tim Allen,  Toy Story, 1992.    He was much taken with the project but his agent knew better and warned him off it, allowing Allen to say: “I’m Buzz Lightyear and you’re not !” Dunno what fate befell the oh-so-clever agent but the but the movie was the #1 film of 2005 and became a cottage industry of mirth at Pixar.
  30. Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump, 1993.   "My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump."  Author Winston Graham (who did not write that line, it was a Hanks adlib) saw John Goodman as his creation. Director Robert Zemeckis did not.    His first choice was Harry Anderson  - stuck in Dave’s World, 1993-1997. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Bill Paxton and John Travolta simply refused.  Big misake confessed Travolta.  Well, they all, agreed on that when Hanks earned his second consecutive Oscar plus an estimated $40m from his profits-deal. Life was really like a box of chocolates or a movie deal.  “Ya never know what you're gonna get." That’s all I have  to say about that…

  31. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.      Written for Bill Murray (“not for me”), Scott Calvin aka Santa was sent to Chase (too busy). Next? Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, even the mighty Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks before TV comic Tim Allen won his film debut. Allen had a record (28 months for attempted dealing) but Disney reluctantly broke its no-ex-cons policy. He’d been punished - and now more so. Stifling in his fat suit and facial prosthetics during the Summer shoot, he needed cooling-off breaks. They didn’t prevent a neck rash from the Santa suit. Come the Toy Story seres, he could voice Buzz Lightyear in his pjs. 
  32. John Goodman, The Flintstones, 1994.       Yabba-dabba-don’t! After ludicrous thoughts of  thin guys in fat-suits (Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) burned up on re-entry to planet Earth, chubby John Candy was set to succeed James Belushi as the Stone Age hero.  Not for long. The live action take on the cartoon series (The Simpsons of its days, 1960-1966), would never have happened if Goodman had been unable to squeeze it in during his Roseanne series hiatus. Because, according to co-creator Joseph Barbera: “When John Goodman was born, he was stamped Fred Flintstone right there on his bottom.” The producer agreed.  End of debate. ’Cos the producer was Steven Spielberg.
  33. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.    
  34. John Goodman, The Borrowers, 1996.    The delicious villain, Ocious P Potter,  was not in the 1952 Marty Norton  book that Peter Sellers tried to film in 1964.  So he would have been Pod, the four-inch-high patriarch of the tiny Clock family living  beneath the floorboards of a house owned by ”human beans”.  Three versions had already been hits  when this Anglo--American version was launched. The battle for Ocious was, therefore, UK v US…   Martin Clunes, Bob Hoskins, Griff Rhys Jones, Alan Rickman v Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Danny DeVito, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Steve Martin, Bill Murray,  Ed O’Neill, Robin Williams.  The fact that Pesci was also suggested signaled a ton of Home Alone physical attacks on poor Goodman, which out off both Steven Spielberg and his apprentice, Robert Zemeckis, from directing.  They weren’t required!  Nor were Rowan Atkinson and comic-turned-director Mel Smith - off busily making their own Bean movie for the same UK/US companies.
  35. Kevin Spacey, American Beauty1999.         Rejected his second  Oscar  chance as he preferred his kind of family movies.  Few other families did. Kevin Costner, Jeff Daniels, Ton Hanks, Woody Harrelson (!), John Travolta and Bruce Willis  were also in the mix for the miserable spouse/father, Lester Burnham. UK stage director Sam Mendes fought hard  for Spacey. “There’s one thing better than having a really good actor, and that’s having a really good actor who has never done this kind of role before.” Spacey won his second Oscar despite masturbating in the shower - the high point of Lester’s  day: “it's all downhill from here.”
  36. George Carlin, Dogma, 1999. Said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers: Thou shalt not stop laughing… For another of his askew views of the world, New Jersey (over) writer and director Kevin Smith talked to Chase about being… wait for it… Cardinal Glick.
  37. Johnny Depp, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.      Director Tim Burton’s 29 other fancies for Willy were his ole Beetelgeuse, Michael Keaton, Chase, Rowan Atkinson, Dan Aykroyd, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Warwick Davis, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini, Dwayne Johnson, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Manson, Steve Martin, Rik Mayall, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, John Neville, Leslie Nielsen, Brad Pitt, Peter Sallis, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken, Robin Williams. And the surviving Monty Python crew (also up for the 1970 version): John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Among the five exec producers, author Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy, wanted her husband’s favouritefor the chocolatier Willy Wonka - Dustin Hoffman.   If not possible she voted for UK comics, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams. She was quite happy with Depp… who found Willy’s voice while riffing on a stoned George W Bush!
  38. Jason Lee, Alvin and the Chipmunks, 2006.    For some reason all the A List - Carrey, Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ben Stiller, John Travolta - edged away from being Dave Seville - the chipmunks’ adoptive father, songwriter and supplier of the iconic yell: Allvviinn!!
  39. John Lithgow, Daddy’s Home 2, 2017.   The sequel’s title also meant it was about two fathers.  Four, actually, as first choices Chase andf Robert De Niro became the improv-loving John Lithgow and Mel Gibson as the alpha male astronaut. The sons remained Will  Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.







Copyright © 2023 Crawley's Casting Calls. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.