Josh Hartnett

  1. Mark Wahlberg, Traveller, 1996.   Hartnett was in the mix for Pat studying the scams of the Costello family – American Romani (Roma) gypsies, like himself.  Wahlberg won it. And lost. When  this was  among the first seven films  foreclosed by the Screen Actors Guild for non-payment of wages and residuals. All rights to the  movie were auctioned off in 2004.
  2. Nick Stahl, The Thin Red Line, 1998.  Numerous stars – Cage, Clooney, Costner, Depp,  DiCaprio, McConaughey, Pacino, Pitt,  etc –  collided over themselves to offer their services (even for free) for wizard auteur Terrence Malick’s first movie since Days of Heaven…  21 years before!   Others wondered if he still had “it”.  He did.  (And then lost it with one too many iconoclastic/pretentious pieces.)  Some guys actually received scripts from him and/ or joined a group reading.  Few equalled Hartnett’s record – auditioning eight times without ever meeting Malick!.
  3. Heath Ledger, 10 Things I Hate About You, 1998.  “How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…” Ledger won his first US movie by beating such rivals as Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher for Patrick – well, Petruchio as this was really Taming of the Shrew Goes To High School. New in town or not, Ledger knew Hollywood traditions and immediately had an affair with his leading lady, Julia Stiles.He was the 2007 Joker in The Dark Knight; co-star Jared Leto was the 2015 version in Suicide Squad.
  4. Ryan Hurst, Remember The Titans, 1999.   Auditioned for the white high school football star caught between his old coach, Will Patton, and the new, Denzel Washington, in a  metaphor of  the growing pains of Virginia desegregation.
  5. Matt Keeslar, Scream 3, 1999.   More Ghostface murders begin during the shooting of Stab 3…  the horror flick inside the horror flick! Keeslar, Hartnett, Ethan Erickson, Johnathon L Jackson, Charlie O’Connell, Glenn Quinn, James Van Der Beek and Paul Walker were seen for one of the victims, actor Tom Prinze, by director Wes Craven for the  third of his four Screams during 1996-2010.
  6. Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man, 2001.
  7. James Franco, Deuces Wilds, 2001.     Frankly, he quit ’cos he got a better (paid) gig . Pearl Harbour
  8. Ben Foster, Get Over It, 2001.    Pearl Harbour was still in the way, not that Miramax was very pleased to release him. The company felt that with him (opposite Kirsten Dunst), the teenage romance movie would have struck gold. Maybe.
  9. Stuart Townsend, Queen of the Damned, 2001.  A rush job.  Instead of filming the next two Anne Rice novels after Interview With A Vampire, Warner Bros had  an eye on the clock of their rights – and -mish-mashed them into a single sequel.  Rice hated it. So, apparently, did Cruise. He  certainly refused to reprise the vampiric  Lestat.    Wes Bentley won the gig, then quit. Josh Hartnett and Heath Ledger were seen but finally, the Irtish Townsend was selected.  He had the voice, said Rice. He also had her heart… She had created a character called Stuart Townsend in her Witching Hour book. Eleven years  before meeting him.
  10. Giovanni Ribisi, Cold Mountain, 2002.    Eric Bana, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh were all considered for roles.

  11. Ashton Kutcher, The Butterfly Effect, 2003.    Kutcher had lost two previous films to Hartnett: Pearl Harbour, 2001, and 40 Days and 40 Nights, 2002.  This one was not worth the effort.  Joshua Jackson and Sean Wlliam Scott were also in the frame for Evan Treborn, who suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. And that’s just the start… At 11, Logan Lerman  was  Evan at age seven. 
  12. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jarhead,  2004.   Also seen by UK director Sam Mendes to be Anthony Swofford,  the Desert Storm grunt who wrote about  never even firing his weapon: ChristianBale, Emile Hirsch, Joshua Jackson, Shane West. And buddies Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

  13. Jake Gyllenhaal,  Brokeback Mountain, 2004.   
    Hollywood was not keen on Annie Prouix’s 1977 short story – two gay shepherds in Wyoming, get outa here!  Until directors (more than actors) queued to make it.  Ang Lee, Joel Schumacher – but first in line was Gus Van Sant (obviously). He called up Damon and Joaquin Phoenix (obviously, they’d made his Good Will Hunting and To Die For, respectively). Said Damon: “Gus, I did a gay movie [The Talented Mr Ripley, then a cowboy movie [All the Pretty Horses]. I can’t follow it up with a gay-cowboy movie!”  Ang Lee was considering retirement when the script “nurtured” him back to work, only to find  many actors were scared to play gay. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Philippe and Brad Pitt all refused. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal did not. ”These two are among the best in their age group.. Jake plays the opposite of Heath and it creates a very good couple in terms of a romantic love story.” Gyllenhaal added: “I don’t think that these two characters even know what gay is.… What ties [them] together is not just a love, but … primarily it was deep loneliness.” Ang Lee  told journo  Robert Ordona  that in the 60s, he’d have chosen  Paul Newman and Montgomery Clift as Ennis and Jack.

  14. Brandon Routh,  Superman Returns, 2005.
  15. Eric Balfour, Hell Ride, 2007.  Quentin Tarantino loved The Savage Seven, 1967, and told the star, Larry Bishop, that he was destined to make the best ever biker movie – Larry directing, QT producing. “Any film that gets Dennis Hopper back on a motorcycle can’t be all bad,” said critic Keith Phillips. “ButHell Ridesure tries to be.”  As for Tarantino’s connection, Roger Ebert simply  said: “Shame on him.” Yeah Rog, but he thought better of being in it – splitting to play Ringo in Takashi Miike’s sukiyaki Western, Django,based on guys created by one of his idols, Sergio Corbucci. Hartnett also passed on Comanche. And for some reason, QT has never hired Balfour, woefully under-used in Hollywood.
  16. Cuba Gooding Jr, Hero Wanted, 2007.   The thriller about vengeance wreaking further vengeance had first been planned as a Hartnett vehicle – with a different scenario.
  17. Johnny Depp, The Rum Diary, 2009.    After Johnny Depp’s plans to play gonzo journo Hunter S  Thompson a second time rocked but never rolled in 2000, Harnett and Benicio De Toro  (to direct, as well) were signed for a 2002 version. That didn’t happen either. Depp got his way in 2009. With Dark & Stormy Entertainment!
  18. Tom Hiddleston, Thor, 2010.    Much rumoured for Loki – eventually won by one of the actors auditioning  for the titular superhero of Marvel comicbook fame.
  19. Jeremy Renner, The Bourne Legacy, 2011.  Three was enough for Matt Damon. (Until 2015…!)  The studio did not agree and kept the franchise alive by rebooting Jason Bourne as Aaron Cross – “There Was Never Just One.” But who to play him from 20 hopefuls- Erryn Arkin, Adam Brody, Dominic  Cooper, Paul Dano, Luke Evans, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Hartnett, Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac (he was made an Outcome super-agent), Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf,  Kellan Lutz, Logan Marshall-Green, Alex Pettyfer, Michael Pitt and Benjamin Walker. Plus Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire, who were Great Gatsbying down-under. Renner, Hollywood’s new white hope since The Hurt Locker
  20. Giovanni Risibi, The Rum Diary, 2011.   Hartnett, Benicio Del Toro, Nick Nolte and Brad Pitt were the first line-up for what became Johnny  Depp’s second outing as his pal, gonzo journo Hunter S Thompson – after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,1997, which co-starred Del Toro. In both cases the directors misfired: Terry Gilliam in Vegasand Bruce Robinson making his first movie since 1992 for Diary. Del Toro had once been due to hlm.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  19