Payday Loans
Michael Douglas

  1. Mandy Patinkin, Yentl, 1962. 1962.   Who was going to be Avigdor, therabbinical student lover of Barbra Streisand as the cross-dressing Yeshiav Boy in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s tale?Trouble was,La Barb was also the director, producer, and “co-writer”... Obvious, therefore,who was going to have all the closer-ups!So Douglas, Richard Gere, Kevin Klineand Christopher Walken just fled.

  2. Alan Arkin, Catch 22, 1969.   Before Mike Nichols  got his hands on the Joseph Heller book, his Graduated scenarist Buck Henry had heard “it had been owned and fiddled with by the Kirk Douglas family and we were appalled at the idea of anyone trying to make it except us because we really thought we knew it in a way that nobody else would be able to… So we pushed ahead a little faster  and got there a little quicker.”  Presumably Kirk saw himself as General Dreedle - with Michael as Yossarin…
  3. Jon Voight,  Catch 22, 1969.  …or Milo Minderbinder.
  4. Ryan O’Neal, Love Story,  1970.
  5. Brad Dourif, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, 1974.
  6. Mel Ferrer, Lili Marleen, West Germany, 1980.   Surprise!  Surprise!  Oddball German regisseur  Rainer Werner Fassbinder had a meeting in LA with Douglas for the major role of David Mendelssohn.  Their correspondence showed how seriously Douglas considered the invite
  7. Martin Sheen, The Final Countdown, 1980. Kirk  Douglas is the commander of the Nimitz aircraft carrier, whirlpooled from 1980 to Pearl Harbour attack day in 1941. His son, Peter, 25, produced after working on the project for two years. Naturally, ole Kirk wanted a more famous son, Michael, for the co-starring role of a systems analyst called Lasky.  But Michael, already an A List star (and producer, was tied to post- production and then the promo trail for The China Syndrome- everything that Countdown wasn’t.  (Damn good, for starters;’ logical, too).  Oh and the “Day of Infamy” attack footage was played by cuts from 1969’s Tora! Tora! Tora!
  8. Sylvester Stallone, First Blood (aka Rambo), 1981.
  9. Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, 1983.    In all, 52 actresses were considered, seen, or tested for the robot assassin’s target, Sarah Connor -but a mereeight guys for the killer from the future, itself. Douglas, Mel Gibson, Kevin Kline, Jürgen Prochnow, Randy Quaid, Tom Selleck… It was when Orion boss Mike Medavoy decided onOJ Simpson as the Terminator and Arnie as Reese, that CameronrealisedSchwarzi was the perfect, coolest Terminator in town.
  10. Michael Keaton, Mr Mom, 1983.   Fairly rapidly into the A List, Chevy Chase found himself up for Teri Garr’s sudden home husband Jack Butler - alongside Douglas, Steve Martin and John Travolta. Ron Howard was due to direct but moved to Splash! - which Keaton left to be Jack.

  11. Christophe(r) Lambert, HIghlander, 1985.   Once Sean Connery refused the lead (for the splashier role of the 2,000-year-old Ramirez), finding the titular and immortal  Connor MacLeod was not easy.  Kurt Russell actually won the role but his lover, Goldie Hawn, insisted he stay home; he dealt with Big Trouble in Little China, instead. So you can imagine the anguish of the six producers when, after also being turned down by Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Hulk Hogan, William Hurt, David Keith, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Marc Singer (the too busy top choice), Sting (also asked for a song), Patrick Swayze and Peter Weller…  they discovered that Australian director Russell Mulcahy’s French choice of the new Tarzan... 

  12. Jeff Bridges, Jagged Edge, 1985.   Welsh director Richard Marquand felt  the new hot team of  Douglas and Kathleen Turner - from the previous year’s Romancing The Stone- would be perfect for his thriller.  They did not agree - and only joined forces again for such Christmas treats as The Jewel of the Nile, 1985, and The War of the Roses,1988.   Edgewas copied by Bollywood.  Twice.

  13. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.      In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs - not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!) Some ideas were inevitable: Douglas, Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired:  Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly), William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden), Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops: Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  14. Kevin Costner, The Untouchables, 1987.    Michael had done his cop time, thank you, almost 100 hours on The Streets of San Francisco, 1972-1976. It   took him 16   years   (and $14m) to return to the SFPD in Basic Instinct.
  15. Robert De Niro, Midnight Run, 1987.   There were 23 possibilites for the  lean, mean  skip-tracer (tracing felons who skipped bail) - on the run from the  FBI and the Mob after capturing Vegas embezzler Charles Grodin.  Who knew De Niro could be more subtle at comedy than… Douglas, Jeff Bridges, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O’Neal (!), Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, Kurt Russell, John Travolta, Jon Voight and even the musclebound Arnie and Sly - Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Director Martin Brest, that’s who.
  16. Richard E Grant, Warlock, 1988.     Sean Connery also said no.
  17.  Richard Gere, Pretty Woman, 1989. 
  18. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.     UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars - Douglas, Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta… and four outsiders Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver - all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville.
  19. Sean Connery, The Russia House, 1989.  The Michael Ovitz talent agency, CAA, was the stuff of legend - the most powerful agents in Hollywood, representing nearly all the A List in actors and directors. So it had to happen.  And it did. One CAAgent received an MGM offer for Sean Conndery to film the John  le Carré book - and another CAAgent got the same offer for Douglas!. “We told both actors what had happened,” said Ovitz, “and got lucky - Michael passed after reading the script.”
  20. Tom Hanks, Bonfire of the Vanties, 1990.     The idea was yet aother rotten one: Gordon Gekko as Sherman McCoy!

  21. James Caan, Misery, 1990. 
    "Beatty, Douglas, Dreyfuss… sure, I approached all those people," said director Rob Reiner. "Every single one of those bastards turned me down... As much as I tried to convince them that I'd try to elevate the genre - which I feel we did - they saw it as a Stephen King, blood and guts kinda  film." “Leading men hate to be passive; hate to be eunuchised by their female co-stars,” said top scenarist William Goldman on why 22 actors avoided the prospect of being beaten up and beaten to an Oscar by Kathy Bates as the mad fan of writer Paul Sheldon. Warren Beatty prevaricated but never actually said no (nor yes).  Richard Dreyfuss regretted disappointing director Rob Reiner again after refusing When Harry Met Sally, 1988 (they had earlier made a classic of   King’s novella, The Body, as Stand By Me, 1985).   William Hurt refused - twice. Jack Nicholson didn’t want another King guy so soon after The Shining.  While Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino being up  for the same role was nothing new  - but Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman was  Also fleeing the  32nd of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits were Tim Allen, Jeff Daniels, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, close pals Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, Ed Harris, John Heard, Robert Klein, Bill Murray, Ed O’Neill, John Ritter, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams and Bruce Willis… who went on to be Sheldon in Goldman’s  2015 Broadway version.

  22. 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.

  23. Kevin Costner ,  JFK, 1991.
  24. Tommy Lee Jones, JFK1991.

  25. Michael Ontkean, Making Love, 1992.  Several stars were worried about the subject matter: a young husband’s bisexuality being aroused by Harry Hamlin. Also fleeing: Douglas, Tom Berenger, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, William Hurt,  Peter Strauss. Pauline Kael called it: ineffable. Poor Hamlin lost various films after the gay love story. “It was 10 years too early, I guess, and it completely ended my career. That was the last studio picture I ever did. The door shut with resounding smash." And this after Warner Bros had offered him "the Clint" - a three-picture contractl named after Clint Eastwood’s deal.  The first two films were to be First Blood, the first Rambo movie, andGreystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Three years later, Hurt was gay in The Kiss of the Spider Woman. It did not, er, hurt his career; indeed, he won the first Best Actor Oscar, for such a role.
  26. Tom Hanks, Radio Flyer, 1992.     Once helmer Richard Donner lowered the ages of the children in the movie, producer Douglas passed on narrating it as the older version of Elijah Wood.
  27. Robert Duvall, Falling Down, 1992.     Swopped roles with Duvall, preferring the bad guy nut-case (in a Spartacus crew-cut) to yet another cop.   He also wanted his Basic Instinct fee: $14m.  Warners preferred his Shining Through fee: $6m.
  28. Donald Sutherland, Six Degrees of Separation, 1993.   The Broadway couple (Stockard Channing, John Cunningham) became Channing and Douglas, and finally, Channing and Sutherland were the superficial pair taken in by Will Smith’s conman - in playwright John Guare’s excellent adaptation of his stage hit.
  29. Keanu Reeves, Speed, 1993. There were 30 stars queuing for Die Hard On A Bus. From A Listers Douglas, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, even Mr Die Hard, himself, Bruce Willis… to the B group: Kevin Bacon, three Baldwin brothers (Alec, Stephen and William), Michael Biehn, Bruce Campbell, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Tom Selleck… and two also-rans Bruce Campbell and Chuck Norris. All crushed by a whippersnapper!
  30. Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, 1993.  Paging Dr Kimble…  There was a queue answering the call for the film of David Janssen’s 1963-1967 series.  Douglas, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Richard Gere, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzengger. “The minute Harrison Ford shows up, they drop everything and sign up Harrison Ford,” Baldwiin complained. (It’s called being a star, Alec). Mel Gibson was up for either Kimble or his Javert-like hunter, Lieutenant Gerard - an Oscared gig for Tommy Lee Jones.
  31. Craig T Nelson, Take Me Home Again, TV, 1994.    After years of searching for a script to do together, Michael and Kirk found this drama of a dying father asking his son to take him back to the old neighbourhood. Michael passed: "I'm doing a film with Demi Moore." Kirk: "You can do that another time." Michael: "Are you crazy?"   Said Kirk later:   "I've met her now and I can see what he means."   He found them another script, with parts for Mom   Diana and son Cameron: It Runs in the Family, 2003. Didn’t run  that well.
  32. Charlie Sheen, Terminal Velocity, 1994.    The skydiving thriller also interested wee Tom Cruise.   For a wee while.
  33. Matthew Modine, Cutthroat Island, 1995.   Who’s gonna look best in   the close-ups...?   "It   didn't smell   good. And I just didn't feel comfortable doing a picture with the director married to the leading lady."   Most of The A List agreed, until Renny Harlin and Geena Davis found Modine   more keen on playing pirates. No survivors when this baby sank!
  34. Denzel Washington,  Virtuosity, 1995.   One of Denzel’s sons talked him into chasing this virtual-reality serial killer.   Junior should have been grounded!
  35. Jon Voight, Mission: Impossible, 1995. Paramount asked the old IMF chief to to play Jim Phelps once more. Peter Graves fled after reading the script and finding Phelps was treated negatively and knocked off at the end. (Immediately, two other old IMF agents, Martin Landau and Greg Morris, backed out of cameos). Douglas, Al Pacino and Robert Redford apparently agreed with Graves  and refused the father figure leader.
  36. Tom Hanks, The Green Mile, 1998.      Hanks had to pass on Frank Darabont’s excellent take on Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption  in  1993 - he was Forrest Gamp at the time. He sure made sure his decks were cleared to beat the opposition (Michaels Douglas and Keaton) to the auteur’s next King tale - King’s favourite  of all his books’ adaptations.
  37. Pierce Brosnan, Dante's Peak, 1997.     One of the two volcanic numbers in the USummer of '97. He turned down  $20m.   The current 007 did it for $5m, his injuries delaying the 19th Bond movie.
  38. John Travolta, The General's Daughter, 1998.     BBruce Willis and John Cusack also backed off, allowing Travolta’s Army CID investigator to do quite a James Bond riff. Rolling Stone called it: Southern gumbo simmering in Gothic cliché.
  39. Christopher Lloyd,  My Favourite Martian, 1998.  A Martian makes a visit – and friends with Jeff Daniels’ reporter. There goes the neighbourhood - title of a whole other Daniels’ movie,  circa 1992.  The five possibilities for “Uncle Martin”  were Douglas, Charlton Heston(!), Bill Murray (a tad obvious), Martin Sheen - and Star Trek’s latest skipper, Patrick Stewart.
  40. Bill Paxton, U-571, 1999.  "The film was pushed back too far for my comfort."   So was history. The UK’s Royal Navy captured the Nazi Enigma decoding machine aboard a sunken U-boat four months before the US entered WWII.

  41. Richard Gere, Runaway Bride, 1999.    During a decade of changes, everyone (Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson) had a shot at being the journalist probing reluctant brides from Sandra Bullock to  Demi Moore.
  42. Andy Garcia, Ocean's   Eleven, 2001.    After Bruce Willis and Ralph Fiennes also passed, Garcia did a smooth job of Terry Benedict -  the guy who kicked Danny Ocean out of Vegas   and wed his gal, Julia Roberts.
  43. Will Smith, I, Robot, 2004.     Went around the block from director Ridley Scott to Arnold Schwarzenegger.Liam Neeson, Kinsey, 2004.    Oldest of   auteur Bill Condon’s candidates for the world's most famous sexologist.
  44. Liam Neeson, Kinsey, 2004.   Oldest of  auteur Bill Condon’s candidates for the world's most famous sexologist.But the funniest! 
  45. Bruce Willis, Sin City, 2004.     Initial Robert Rodriguez thinking for John  Hartigan in the quite brilliant   “translation not adaptation’ of (co-director) Frank Miller’s graphic novel.
  46. Basic  Instinct 2, 2005.    “I did a sequel once,” Michael said in 2001, “and I don't see it as anything other than a financial decision.” Hey, fella, you just worked that out now?
  47. Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006.    During 25 years in Development Hell,the titular casting also included Russell Croswe, Robert De Niro, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin(!),   Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino. Tim Curry was the sole Brit considered and the most absurd notions were… Warren Beatty, Harrison Ford and Robert Redford!
  48. Will Smith,  I Am Legend, 2006.   “The last man on Earth is not alone”… Awaiting a re-hash ever since since Charlton Hestoned it as The Ωmega Man in 1970, Warner Bros wanted Ridley Scott directing Arnold Schwarzenegger  as Robert Neville, Other incantations were devised over the years for Nicolas Cage (with X-Files director Rob Bowman), Tom Cruise, Daniel Day-Lews, Michael Douglas. The inevitable outsider was Ted Levine and poor Kurt Russell lost out afterthe 1998 flop of Soldier.  Will Smith didn’t seem that keen on Richard Matheson’s story.  He was due to make it in 2002, but chose Bad Boys II, instead.  
  49. Alex Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0, 2010.Five years earlier there had been a lot of chat about a Five-0 movie - headlined by Douglas, Harrison Ford or Mel Gibson. However,the island cop Steve McGarrett was rebooted (badly) as a new TV series. Dead in the water after ten episodes.
  50. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables, 2011.   Oh, Hollywood… Since the musical’s 1985 London opening, suggestions for Jean Valjean went from  the logical - Robert De Niro, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, William Hurt, Kevin Kline - to the preposterous: Douglas, , Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks,  Robert Redford, Christopher Walken.  Plus close pals, rarely rivals, Beatty and Jack Nicholson. However, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman  and Al Pacino were far too short for the hefty hero who, in a signature scene, has to carry Cosette’s lover, away from the battle of the barricades. Put it another way, Hollywood’s last Valjean had been Liam Neeson  - 6ft. 4in.

  51. Kevin Spacey, Baby Driver, 2016.  UK director Edgar Wright got Douglas into his Hollywood debut, Ant-Man, 2014. When Wright was fired by Marvel, he invited Douglas to be the Atlanta crime boss of the titular Ansel  Elgort. Douglas missed a great ride! “Apop pastiche par excellence,”said New York Times critic Manohla Daghis, “crammed with cubistic action… an encyclopedia of cinematic allusions… At times, the whole thing spins like a tribute album.” In  short, what Marvel hadn’t wanted. An Edgar Wright movie!!
  52. Paul Schrader, Dog Eat Dog, 2016.    The crooks are so dumb, this is Carry On Tarantino. But the director, Paul Schrader, said: “The film is as much about crime films as it is about criminals. There’s kind of a meta quality to it.” Just not enough to interest Douglas, Rupert Everett Jeff Goldblum, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Michael Wincott in playing a mobster called The Greek. Schrader also asked fellow directors - but Italian Americans! - Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Then, Nic Cage persuaded his director to go Greek, himself.





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