What If...

What he has to say:


A few weeks ago, the Back to the Future franchise celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a Blu-ray release and other fun events across the country. With that came the news that Eric Stoltz was originally cast in the role of Marty McFly. Not only that, but there's actually footage of it! The movie was in production for five weeks already when they decided to pull the plug. We shared this news with you a few weeks ago, so you may be wondering why it is being brought up again.

Well it kind of got me thinking about the whole thing. Seeing the footage was pretty funny, because it is obviously not the Back to the Future we all know and love. Maybe there's an alternate universe out there were it really happened, but thankfully we're not a part of it. It's obvious from watching the footage the movie would have been lacking if that were the case.

So it got me thinking as to what else almost could have had happened if the stars had simply been aligned a little differently. There is a lot of stuff out there you may not know about. Would these things have made the movies in question better, worse, or no different either way?

Did you know that Kurt Russell auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars? You don't believe me? The footage is here! If this footage is any indication, he would not have been any good in the role. However, when I think of him in Big Trouble in Little China, I can't help but wonder if he would have been good. I love Harrison Ford's Solo. It's classic. But Russell's character Jack Burton in Trouble is every bit as cocky and brash as Solo. If nothing else, it at least makes you wonder.

Try imagining The Terminator without Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role, because it almost happened. James Cameron initially envisioned Lance Henriksen in the title role. Can you imagine that? Me neither. Henriksen is a good actor, but I don't think he could have pulled the role off anywhere near as successfully as Arnold did. I think it's safe to say that movie would not have been anywhere near as popular without Arnold's presence. He is the Terminator.

Supposedly Molly Ringwald made a career out of turning down roles, which would be the definition of irony. Pretty Woman, Ghost, and When Harry Met Sally are some of the roles she is rumored to have declined. She also allegedly turned down roles in Scream and Some Kind of Wonderful because she felt the parts were "too young" for her (and was trying to distance herself from John Hughes in the case of the latter). It looks like she basically sabotaged her own career, but I digress. Can you imagine some of these roles with her in them? Some Kind of Wonderful, most definitely. It's pretty much the genre that defined her young career. But I am not so sure about the rest.

The Wachowski brothers, the creators of the The Matrix franchise, also had a plethora of different actors in mind when casting their ambitious, cyber-punk action flick. Will Smith turned down the part of Neo to star in Wild, Wild West (Yikes!). Nicolas Cage (this would have been hilarious) turned down the same role due to a personal conflict. Sandra Bullock was also supposedly up for the role of Trinity, but that went to Carrie Ann Moss. Bullock turned down the role because whoever they had pegged as Neo at the time was not someone she saw herself working with. And none other than Mr. 007 himself was originally who they wanted to play Morpheus. Can you imagine that?

As much as I think Will Smith could have handled the role, I'm not so sure it would have turned out to be the same movie. Keanu gets all the "praise" when it comes to being wooden, but Carrie Ann Moss wasn't exactly Ms. Emotion herself as Trinity. In fact, a healthy chunk of characters from those movies are little more than moody emo kids (before the term emo was even thought up). So, I think in these roles, their emotion (or lack thereof) was what helped make it work. These characters were sullen, moody, borderline defeated people. I always felt they were supposed to be a little wooden. So I'm not sure Will's presence (as much as I like it) would have worked. It might have still been a good movie, but in a different way.

I'm not so sure Sandra Bullock could have pulled Trinity off.  She is more of a funny person to me than she is sad one.  I am also not really seeing her as an ass-kicker. Sean Connery would have been awful in this. Sorry 007, you're suave, charming and all that, but not mysterious. Morpheus is a wise, Yoda-like character and I just can't seem him pulling that off as well as Laurence Fishburne.

So there it is folks, some movies that woulda, coulda, shoulda. There are literally hundreds of more scenarios like these. Heard any cool one's I haven't mentioned? Want to discuss these? Drop me a line on Facebook.

This article was written on November 5, 2010.