Kiefer Sutherland

  1. Johnny Depp, A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984.     Depp’s debut. Before noticing him (accompanying pal Jackie Earl Haley to the auditions), Ohio auteur Wes Craven had also seen Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, C Thomas Howell, Brad Pitt and Charlie Sheen for the heroine’s boyfriend. 
  2. Matt Dillon, A Kiss Before Dying, 1990.     Too busy with lady love Julia Roberts to play murder games in London with Bridget Fonda as twins. Dillon took over with a dual Sean Young.
  3. Michael Sarrazin, The Peacekeeper, 1996.  Change of Colonel Murphy, – after Kiefer read the script? During his “righteous day’s work,” Dennis  Hopper never met co-stars Jame Pressley! Director Albert Pyun has repeatedly apologised for the film. And released his own cut. No better.
  4. Kevin Spacey, LA Confidential,   TV, 1997.     Considered when the James Elroy book was due as an HBO series.   Kiefer would recover from his doldrums not as Jack Vincennes but Jack Bauer in the real-time thriller,   24, 2001-08, which made him, at   $40m,   the highest paid TV drama   star… and in the Glendale City Jail for 48   days   for drunk driving in 2007. 
  5. Patrick Swayze To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, 1995.    Hollywood’s first drag race since Some Like It Hot.   And they all gussied up, including all the Johns: Cusack, Depp, Leguizamo, etc. 
  6. Michael Sarrazin, The Peacekeeper, 1997.     Part of the USAF brass with whom hero Dolph Lundrgen is in   trouble. (Yawn). 
  7. Dennis Leary, Snitch (aka Monument Avenue), 1998.   Robert De Niro was among the backers of Ted Demme’s (more than) crime thriller among Boston’s Irish-American poor. The San Francisco movie critic Peter Stack called Leary “exceptional as a wise-guy, lowlife car thief.”
  8. Hugh Jackman, X-Men quartet, 1999-2013.   
    “Hey, bub, I’m not finished with you yet…”  Jackie Earle Haley, Gary Sinise and Kiefer Sutherland were in the 1989 Logan/Wolverine frame. In the early 90s. James Cameron chose, of all people,  chubby Bob Hoskins. The fans voted for Jack Nicholson…   well, he’d been a decent Wolf in 1994. Fox could not think beyond Keanu Reeves.  Russell Crowe felt Logan was too similar to his 1999 Gladiator…and just a toon, anyway. Took him a dozen years to understand comics and succeed Marlon Brando, no less, as Superman’s father, Jor-El, in Man of Steel.  Director Bryan Singer searched on through…Singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig,Aaron Eckhart, Mel Gibson, Viggo Mortensen (a great idea but not finished with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings), Edward Norton (also considered for Scott Summers/Cyclops) and – oh no! – Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Finally, Singer chose Dougray Scott – but he was stuck on Mission: Impossible II in Australia which is where Jackman came from (on Crowe’s reccommendation) to save the day. And the franchise. Jackman was Wolverine in ten movies (Deadpool 2 included) across 19 years. (By contrtast, Sean Connery was James Bond for 007 times). 

  9. Michael Reilly Burke, Ted Bundy, 2002.      Rob Lowe, Peter Sarsgaard and Kiefer backed away from the most infamous serial killer in US: necrophiliac killer and rapist of some   30 women – Theodore Robert Bundy, 1946-1989
  10. Michael Therriault, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, TV, Canada, 2006.    Now this was more like it… but 24 meant he was not able to play   his own grandfather, Tommy Douglas – the former Saskatchewan premier, leader of the first elected socialist government in North America, 1944-1961, father of Canada’s government funded medical system and… in some quarters,    The Greatest Canadian.

  11. James Spader, The Blacklist, TV, 2013-2021.  NBC wanted Sutherland Other suits  voted Frank Grillo – tied to Captain America: The Winter Sioldier.  Sutherland spurned NBC while  his Touch series was fading fast at Fox.   Creator Jon Bokenkamp and his co-exec-producer John Eisendrath  talked about other actors and with three days to go, a totally bald James Spader signed on. Perfect for the unknown lead – hero? villain? biological father of Megan Boone’s FBI agent – Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington.  If that’s  who he really is… Huigh  among the FBI’s most wanted fugitives He surrendered with an offer to nail the really bad guyson condition that  he works with Liz Keen (Megan Boone), an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico.  She’s  maybe his daughter.  Or, then  again, not. Either way, the always exemplary Spader ruled. “I don’t think any of us knew just how good he was going to be,”  admitted Eisendrath“He’s amazing, He always thought that his character should wear a hat and we were all like: Nobody’s going to want to see a guy with a hat. And he was like : I think he wears a hat.  He was very insistent… and he was totally right.  I love the hat now.” 
  12. Jamie Bell, Fantastic Four, 2014.        Plan A for the second Fox sequel was Harry Potter director David Yates in charge of Eve as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman. Plus Adrian Brody as Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic and Sutherland or Bruce Willis simply voicing Ben Grimm/The Thing. With the subtitle: Reborn. Plan B? Josh Trank’s version was stillborn! Film flopped. Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy called it “a 100-minute trailer for a movie that never happens.” Marvel icon Stan Lee saw it coming and refused his usual seal- of-approval cameo.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  12