Wookie & The Bandit

Earlier this morning, Kevin Hall sent yours truly an email detailing some of the more surprising casting twists in Hollywood history.  In this list I found some rather interesting gems:  The original Indiana Jones was Tom Selleck, Will Smith & Chow Yun Fat were supposed to play Neo & Morpheus (respectively), and nearly everyone in America turned down the starring role in Basic Instinct… seriously, ask your mom, she probably got the call.

However, of all the thespianic oddities dotting the list, one man’s name seems to pop up unusually often, and in unusually high-profile roles.  That man, is Burt Reynolds.

Burt has given us so much.  Vivid characters, bristly mustaches and obscenely tight pants.  But, for one second, imagine the world had Burt accepted three of the roles he had been offered.

Roles as:

* Han Solo (Star Wars)

* Michael Corleone (The Godfather)

* John McClane (Die Hard)

I don’t plan on making this a long entry, although pointing out that these roles were passed over to work on such cinematic gold as B.L. Stryker:  The Dancers Touch, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, & the choice role of Billy Clyde Puckett in the blockbuster Semi-Tough, would yield endless comedy gold.  Instead, as my one and only homage to the Sopranos, I’ll leave it entirely up to you.

Imagine a world in which Burt Reynolds had taken these roles.  Now imagine how shockingly different the legends of these films would be.  I honestly believe that Mr. Reynolds is a terrific actor, that he could have pulled any of these roles off as well as the men that actually filled them.  But without these career-making roles under their belt, where would Harrison Ford, Al Pacino or Bruce Willis be today?

I’ll just be honest, I’m completely fascinated by this.

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One Response to “Wookie & The Bandit”

  1. Zack Says:

    Damn, Die Hard would have been vastly different in my opinion. And, uhhh, Han Solo? Yeah right, Harrison Ford ruled that shit and he’s mostly the reason I began liking the original trilogy to begin with. I like Burt, but he’s no Han Solo.

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