Warning: This will be a long article.
Earlier this year, I came across an interesting site called notstarring.com. It's an online index of stars and the movie roles they turned down. Naturally, I hewed to the 80s movie section, and as I looked at how things might have been, I was amazed.
Echidna64 recently started a series of articles called "What If?" and he's encouraged the site's writers to come up with their own ideas for these types of articles.
As such, I've used notstarring.com to choose 3 movies from every year of the 80s, and come up with alternate ideas on what these movies would be like. I've also used some trivia from the Internet Movie Database and several books I own.
Let's start out with 1980, and the movie "The Shining".
This classic started out the 80s with a bang...Or a series of hacks and slashes if you will. Jack Nicholson perfectly essayed the role of the maniacal Jack Torrance, who starts out as a loving husband and father, but gradually descends into a demonic frenzy.
Jack was always a crazy guy, so I think it would've been interesting if they went with the idea of casting Jon Voight as Jack Torrance instead.
Nicholson has always had something of the madman's look about him, but if Voight were cast in the role of Torrance, then maybe the audience may have been more surprised. Just your average all-American boy driven to the depths of madness...Then again, I don't think that Voight could've pulled off the classic line "Here's Johnny!", even though it would've made for quite a pun.
Next, we come to one of the seminal comedies of the 80s, the classic "Airplane!", which starred Robert Hays as Ted Striker and Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack.
In their scenes together, they shared a great sense of interplay. It's hard to imagine anybody pulling off the "surely/Shirley" exchange the way they did, but things could've worked out differently if they had gone with the idea to cast David Letterman as Striker and Christopher Lee as Dr. Rumack.
Letterman would probably have bought a more jaded perspective to the character of Ted. Whereas Hays had a glimmer of hope within the character, Letterman's portrayal would probably have made the darker aspects of the character come out more.
As for Dr. Rumack, if Lee were to have performed the role, I think there might have been a more comforting aspect to the character. Nielsen's portrayal was good-hearted, but at the same time, you could tell that the character had a few screws loose. Lee never gives off that sentiment...At least not in any of the roles I've seen him in.
We close out 1980 with an alternate casting idea for "Caddyshack".
Michael O'Keefe did a good job with portraying the character of Danny Noonan, the all-American boy hoping to get ahead in life while learning about it at the Bushwood Country Club.
At the same time, the character had a grasping sense about him, looking to get the scholarship like so many young and intelligent people do.
They originally had another person in mind for the role of Danny. That person was Mickey Rourke.
I think that if Rourke were cast, he might have bought out the hungry side a little more. After all, his life was pretty hard growing up, fighting for everything, in a way predicting what he would go through in the 90s. The idea of wanting something better has always been reflected in Rourke's work, so to see him pursue something better might have been noticed more.
Now we move onward into 1981 with the neo-noir classic "Body Heat".
The erotic intensity of the relationship between Kathleen Turner's Matty Walker and William Hurt's Ned Racine made this one of the most acclaimed movies of 1981, and one of the defining films of the decade. It's hard to imagine anybody other than Turner and Hurt in these roles, but they had originally wanted 2 very different people...Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Reeve.
If this casting had gone through, there would have been a different dynamic going on.
In the song "88 Lines About 44 Women" by The Nails, a girl named Sarah is mentioned. "A modern dancer...Lean, pristine, transparency". When I think of that line, Sigourney Weaver as Matty Walker comes to mind. From the moment Turner appears on-screen, you could tell that she was a sex bomb waiting to detonate...Very forward and out there. Weaver would've been able to disguise the element of intensity in the character of Walker, just like how you couldn't predict that Weaver's character of Ellen Ripley from the "Alien" would be such a bad-ass until things got dire.
Christopher Reeve as Ned Racine would've worked, too. Once again, the idea of somebody with person-next-door looks was represented with Reeve. After all, this was the man who many people consider the definitive Superman. To see him go from a representative of "Truth, Justice And The American Way" (you could say that back then without incurring wrath) to a representative of the darkest depths of humanity would've been interesting to see.
How is the character of Racine a representative of the darkest depths of humanity? He's a lawyer! (Rimshot)
Next, we have the classic "Raiders Of The Lost Ark".
We all know of Harrison Ford's portrayal of the both heroic and cowardly Indiana Jones and Karen Allen's portrayal of his love Marion Ravenwood, but if things had turned out differently, then we would've seen Nick Nolte as Jones and Sean Young as Ravenwood.
I think that Nick Nolte might have been a better pick for Indiana Jones. He was a decent-sized star, but not as big as Harrison Ford was, so it would've been interesting to see a smaller star playing a large role like this. Nolte seems like the type of person who would always lose whatever he went after (As noted in the book "Blockbuster" by Tom Shone, Indiana Jones ended up losing the objects he chases after...The book was written before "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" came out, though, so I don't know if loss happened in that movie), so to see Nolte lose the Ark to the U.S Government might have made more sense than seeing Ford do the same thing...At least that's my view.
As for Sean Young and the role of Marion Ravenwood, it probably would've been about the same portrayal, and that would've been okay, too. If she had gotten the role of Ravenwood, she may not have gotten the role of Rachael in "Blade Runner". More on that later, but first, let's finish up 1981 with "Mommie Dearest".
Many people hate it, and just as many love it, but Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Joan Crawford just couldn't be denied.
I think that Dunaway did a great job playing Crawford, doing a wonderful job of illustrating a star's descent into madness (although the veracity of Christina Crawford's claims have been disputed). Dunaway almost didn't play Crawford, though...The role was almost portrayed by Anne Bancroft.
I actually would like to have seen Bancroft as Crawford. Dunaway's characters have often been on edge, from the murderous Bonnie Parker in "Bonnie And Clyde" to the cut-throat TV executive Diana Christensen in "Network". Craziness is nothing new with Dunaway's work. Bancroft, on the other hand, played many good-hearted characters. Even Mrs. Robinson from "The Graduate" wasn't so twisted. I always like seeing good-hearted people do bad-hearted things (I've been a fan of VH1's Celebreality for years), and to see an actress like Bancroft essay the role of a woman like Crawford would've given audiences an interesting kick.
Now we progress into 1982 with one of my favorite movies..."48 HRS".
I wrote about this in my article "But Seriously", and in the feedback section, goblyn said that this Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte favorite was originally going to be a drama. Nowhere was that more evident than in the original idea of casting Denzel Washington as Reggie Hammond and Sylvester Stallone as Jack Cates.
If the two had been cast together, then it probably would've been a conventional action-drama. Nothing wrong with that...Conventional is nice. Still, I think that Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte were the best people to cast. Together, they had a great combination of anger towards and respect for each other that Washington and Stallone, for all their talent, couldn't pull off. Both Nolte and Murphy's characters had shades of grey to them...Not just the figurative black-and-white. I've never really gotten complexities out of either Stallone or Washington's performances.
Onward to a movie that's a total 180 from "48 HRS"...The classic drama "Sophie's Choice".
Meryl Streep did a marvelous job as the mentally scarred Holocaust survivor Sophie Zawistowski...Her acting work was so accomplished that she took home an Oscar for Best Actress. That Oscar could've gone to a different woman if she had taken on the role. That woman was Natalie Wood.
If Wood had gotten the role of Sophie, then she might still be around to this day. She suffered a fatal accident during the filming of the 1983 sci-fi drama "Brainstorm" when she fell off a boat and into the ocean. Had Wood not signed on for "Brainstorm" but instead gone with "Sophie's Choice", then this wonderful actress might have accomplished even greater things than she did.
On a side note, shortly after her accident, a joke started making the rounds:
"What kind of wood doesn't float?"
Share that joke when you're around some older friends, and you might offend them.
Finally, we come to another one of my favorite 80s movies, the one and only "Blade Runner", which starred Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, Sean Young as Rachael and Daryl Hannah as Pris.
Ford, Young and Hannah all did wonderful jobs with their characters, but they had different casting ideas for the characters. It's possible that the roles would've been respectively played by Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Ward and Deborah Harry.
If the casting had gone through, would it have worked? Respectively, yes, not really and yes.
Ford did a good job playing against type, but Hoffman as Deckard would've worked, too. Hoffman has always had a withered demeanor about him, so he would've been perfect to slip into the role of the fallen Deckard. It took Ford practice to get into the role...If it had been Hoffman in there, I think the role may have been more organic.
Now for Rachel Ward as Rachael the Replicant. I don't know if it would've worked. You needed an actress who sounded spacy to essay the role of a Replicant, and Ward has always had a plain-spoken demeanor in the various roles I've seen her perform. Young sounded a little out-there, and the Replicants were out there before coming down to Earth. I think that Young was the best actress to play Rachael, although they both look good.
As for Deborah Harry playing Pris, that would've been a really good idea. The pre-eminent punk princess of the 70s, she's also a credible acting talent as well, and I think she could've filled Hannah's shoes in both the acting and apparel departments well. I'm glad that Hannah got the role, but Harry could've bought in a rougher edge for the character.
Let's head into 1983 with the Martin Scorcese movie "The King Of Comedy", which starred Jerry Lewis as Jerry Langford, the hero of the demented Rupert Pupkin (Robert DeNiro).
Lewis, the old show-biz pro, did a wonderful job as the smiling-on-the-outside-irritated-on-the-inside Langford, the man who I imagine many comedians to be like. Of course, Lewis had been around the business for decades before this movie, so he definitely carried some experience with the subject.
Originally, though, they had asked several different people to take on the role of Langford. One of them was Johnny Carson.
Carson's only major movie role was in a 1964 musical called "Looking For Love". He would often joke about that on "The Tonight Show". I never saw that movie, but I have seen plenty of clips of Carson's work, and I think that he might have done a decent job as Langford, although it may have been a little too much of a peek into what he might've actually been thinking about his job.
Now we move on to "Star 80", which starred Mariel Hemingway as the ill-fated Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten.
Hemingway did a wonderful job playing Stratten, truly expressing the naivete of the woman as she made her way into a world of decadence.
One of the original casting ideas was for Stratten to be played by Melanie Griffith.
If she had been cast instead of Hemingway, I think it would've worked, and not just because of her body. She's also a very talented actress. I bought her up in my ill-fated article "Word Games" and I was asked why any woman would want to be compared to Griffith. The way I see it, Griffith has done some great acting work. "Working Girl" showed she has a passion for roles that are full of life, and the movie "Body Double" showed that she was good at walking on the edge. More on "Body Double" later...
To cap off 1983, let's talk about the 80s favorite "Risky Business".
Tom Cruise as the good-boy-gone-bad Joel and Rebecca De Mornay as the young-yet-worldly Lana...Two stars who worked well together, and bought forth such intensity that the movie became a touchstone of the depiction of sex in the cinema. If they had gone with the following two choices, though, then it probably wouldn't have had the same impact.
Those people they wanted? Tom Hanks as Joel and Meg Ryan as Lana.
One of the most noted romantic comedy duos of the 90s almost worked together in the Reagan era, and if the casting had gone through, I honestly don't think it would've worked. Hanks has always had a great sense of confidence in his roles, but the character of Joel was supposed to be mild-mannered at the beginning, and Hanks has never been mild-mannered. Cruise did well in the role of Joel, giving no hint of the weirdo he would eventually become.
As for the possibility of Meg Ryan as Lana, I don't think that would've worked, either. Ryan has always had a fresh-faced look about her, while you could tell that De Mornay had a pretty interesting life growing up. I believe that people who have interesting lives growing up are good at playing individuals in strange situations, and considering all that De Mornay saw in her youth, I think that the role of Lana fit her just fine.
Side note: You've probably noticed by now that I frequently use the word "interesting". I utilize the word as it's utilized in the old saying "May you live in interesting times". Interesting is sort of a blank slate...It could mean good or it could mean bad. The meaning is up to you.
Now we head into 1984 and once again bring up "Body Double". As I said, Melanie Griffith did a great job in essaying the role of the hardcore-in-more-ways-than-one Holly Body.
Believe it or not, she actually beat out an adult film star for the role of Holly Body. The star? Annette Haven.
If Annette Haven had gotten the role...Well, why don't we just move on to the next movie, shall we?
The next movie for 1984 is "Splash", which starred Tom Hanks as the lovelorn Allen Bauer and Daryl Hannah as the mermaid Madison.
Hanks and Hannah essayed their roles quite well, but there were different plans for the characters. They were thinking of casting Dudley Moore as Allen and Diane Lane as Madison.
If this casting had gone through, things may not have been that different, at least for "Splash", but another mermaid movie from Disney might have been impacted in a different way.
Yes, "The Little Mermaid" might've had a different aesthetic. You see, the reason why Ariel was made red-haired was so that she could be differentiated from Madison. If Diane Lane, who had red hair in 1984, been cast as Madison, then maybe Ariel may have ended up as a blonde. Aesthetics, I know, but I just figured I would pass that trivia along.
Now to cap off 1984, we come to the classic "The Terminator", which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the title character, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor and Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese.
Things may have turned out differently, though, if they went through with the following cast ideas:
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sarah Connor:
Mel Gibson as The Terminator:
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese!:
I think the casting could've worked. To see Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese, a good guy, would be comforting, of course, but seeing Gibson as The Terminator would be pretty cool. In a way, Gibson looks more conventional than Schwarzenegger does, so the surprise of a normal-looking guy tearing up California like a motherfucker would give it a kick that, although I like the first one the best, the first one doesn't quite have.
As for Leigh essaying the role of Connor, I could buy her as a woman who starts out meek but gains confidence. She was like that as Stacy Hamilton in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High", starting out the movie by hiding her low estimation of herself by playing older, but eventually reaching maturity just by being herself.
We're now past the half-way point as we move into 1985 and start out with an all-time favorite, "Back To The Future".
Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown...Together, they had comedic skills that are making impressions on generations to this very day. This perfect teaming almost didn't happen...They almost went with the idea of casting Crispin Glover as Marty and Jeff Goldblum as Doc.
It's difficult to imagine Crispin Glover as Marty McFly, and if the casting had gone through that way, I think that the character would be hard to support. With Michael J. Fox, you had hope that he could change his situation on his own. With Glover, it's obvious that a miracle would've had to happen for him to change.
Goldblum as Brown would've worked, though. I could imagine Doc being a little calmer than the movies show. Whenever you see Goldblum, you know there's something odd going on, but he has a poker face throughout the proceedings. Even his freaky characters are rather calm, and so I could imagine him playing a character like Doc Brown.
Another movie from 1985 that I like is the drama "Out Of Africa", which starred Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen, who wrote of her life in Africa under the name Isak Dinesen.
The role almost went to a different actress, though...That actress was an Oscar winner herself, Julie Christie.
I haven't seen that many of her movies, but if she were cast, then Meryl Streep would've been spared the ignominy of something that happened on a Danish TV program. Streep is well-known for playing characters with accents, but many Danish people felt she didn't sound like she was from Denmark. This was determined by a call-in TV show where they showed clips of her in the movie, and people could call in with their views on whether she sounded like she was from Denmark. Many people said no...That must've been pretty rough for Streep.
Now we close out 1985 with my favorite James Bond movie (even though it's vilified by many, including Roger Moore himself), "A View To A Kill". Christopher Walken played the maniacal Max Zorin, and did a great job with the role.
Walken stood as the first Oscar winner to play a Bond villain, but they almost went in a musical direction by considering David Bowie to play the character.
Bowie turned them down, stating in a later interview that "I didn't want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off mountains.".
I think that Bowie would've done a good job as Zorin, but they would've trashed him, just like they trash most everything about this movie. I must be the only person I know of who likes "A View To A Kill".
Enough of that, now onward into 1986 with another personal favorite, "9 1/2 Weeks", which starred Kim Basinger as an art gallery employee named Elizabeth who falls into a series of S&M tableaux with an emotionally-scarred Wall Street worker named John Grey (Mickey Rourke).
At one point, Kathleen Turner was considered for the role of Elizabeth.
Would the casting have worked if it had gone through that way? I'll answer that with a maybe. On the one hand, Turner had no problems with doing nudity back in the 80s, so she probably wouldn't have had to use a body double like Basinger did for most of her scenes (Sorry to ruin the illusion, guys). On the other hand, Turner's characters have usually had a toughness about them that wouldn't allow for the victim that the character of Elizabeth is. While Turner is a good actress, I don't think she would've been a good actress for this movie.
Let's move from the cold skies of New York in "9 1/2 Weeks" to sunny California for "Ruthless People", which starred Bette Midler as Barbara Stoner, the kidnapped wife of thieving millonaire clothing designer Sam Stone (Danny DeVito).
Midler did a wonderful job as Barbara, who is kidnapped as a frump and escapes as stylish and out for revenge, but for this rich woman, they almost went with a rather Material Girl.
Madonna wanted a million dollars to play Barbara Stone, but Touchstone didn't want to meet her demands, so they went with Midler instead, and the rest is history.
I don't think that casting Madonna as Barbara Stone would've worked. She was always on the cutting edge of fashion and didn't seem like the kind of person who could be taken over easy. Midler, on the other hand, broke through in 1979 with her role as Mary Rose Foster in the cinema a clef "The Rose". Foster was a rock star teetering on the edge of the abyss, and eventually falling into it. Midler was good at playing a victim, and in her music, is good at being brassy and confident. As such, I think that Midler was a perfect fit for the role of Barbara Stone, starting out weak and finishing fighting. I don't know if Madonna would've done the same thing.
Finally, we cap off 1986 with "Top Gun", which starred Tom Cruise as the aspiring Navy pilot Maverick and Kelly McGillis as his love interest Charlie.
The movie was an influence on many levels, from pop-cultural to politically, and we have Cruise and McGillis to credit for making the movie what it was.
It almost didn't work out that way, though. At one point, they were thinking of casting Scott Baio as Maverick and Ally Sheedy as Charlie.
If this casting had gone through, it probably would've still been a success. Many people say the Simpson/Bruckheimer movies weren't about story, but instead about style, but "Top Gun" does have a story, albeit a simple one, and it's one that I can easily imagine anybody handling.
Also, I think that Scott Baio has his head screwed on straight. You never see him jumping around on Oprah's couch or giving screwloose interviews, which unfortunately can't be said of Cruise, who is a gifted actor, but has been overtaken in recent years by actions off-screen.
Now let's go into 1987 with one of my all-time favorite movies, "Fatal Attraction", which starred Glenn Close and Michael Douglas as book industry people Alex Forrest and Dan Gallagher, who share a brief affair that he wants to forget and she wants to have go on forever, even if she has to hurt his family to do it.
I loved Close in this movie. She starts out calm and quiet, but eventually becomes a hard-wired illustration of the phrase "Don't screw around". Close earned an Oscar nomination for her work, but they had another person in mind at one point. That person was comedienne-singer Tracey Ullman.
I think that casting Tracey Ullman would've worked as well as casting Close did, and that's very well. Ullman has done some dramatic work, but it's mostly been in smaller movies. Had she been cast in this movie, she would've been able to do drama on a Grand Guignol scale. That's the way it goes, though.
The next movie for 1987 is "The Untouchables".
Robert DeNiro did a good job at playing Al Capone, but the role was originally going to go to Bob Hoskins.
I would like to have seen this. Hoskins played a vicious fictional gangster named Harold Shand in the 1980 crime drama "The Long Good Friday", so to see him play one of the literal big guns of American crime would've been wonderful. Also, I think that Hoskins would've been better with a baseball bat than DeNiro was. DeNiro plays lots of hardcore roles, but I think that he works best with guns and not other objects.
To cap off 1987, let's talk about the classic "Wall Street", which starred Michael Douglas in an Oscar-winning role as the sleazy Wall Street titan Gordon Gekko.
With a last name like Gekko, you know the character has to be a creep, and Douglas plays the role perfectly. Another actor whose motives have been questioned over the years was considered for Gekko at one point, though. That actor was Warren Beatty.
I think that casting Beatty would've worked. Before settling down in the early 90s, he dated so many women that he makes John Mayer look like a celibate monk. Some call it confidence...Others call it sleaze. Whatever it is, the character of Gekko had it, and Beatty would've been able to slip into the role with no problem at all.
We now enter 1988 with the movie "Beetlejuice".
As the title character, Michael Keaton is only on-screen for about 20 minutes or so, but he makes the most of that time. Tim Burton was originally hoping for somebody different to play the Ghost With The Most. That person was Sammy Davis Jr..
Davis Jr. was near the end of his life and having a lot of financial difficulties. If he had been cast as Beetlejuice, then he might not have had to worry about what would happen after he died. Tax issues were hounding him not only to his grave, but to his wife's Altovise's as well.
Also, I would've been really interested in hearing Davis Jr. doing the dialogue where Beetlejuice talks about his qualifications for doing the jobs he does.
Next, we come to a movie that isn't exactly all that well-known on here. The movie is called "Casual Sex?".
The movie stars Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson as two friends named, respectively, Stacy and Melissa. The duo try searching for love at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. Don't worry...The movie is actually a comedy. Stacy is very promiscuous while Melissa isn't exactly lucky in love, so they try to figure things out while on a singles excursion.
Thompson and Jackson both play their roles well, but at one point, two very different women were considered for the respective roles. Those women were Rita Wilson and Courtney Love.
I think that the casting would've worked just fine. Wilson is good at playing confident roles, while Love is good at playing roles of people in interesting circumstances, so the two would've worked together well.
Time for a controversial statement: I think that Courtney Love is a better actress than singer. Maybe it's just my abhorrence of most 90s music, but I never cared for her musical output. Her acting work, on the other hand, is something of great wonder. Love had a hard life growing up, and as I've said, experience can count for a lot in the acting industry. I'll gladly see a movie with her in it, but you can keep the Hole CDs.
Finally, let's cap off 1988 with the industry-rattling "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".
A magical piece of movie-making, it's unfortunate that Disney and Spielberg let major issues get between them to the point where Roger's adventures stopped happening. We'll always have this movie, though...One of the most daring artistic ventures of the 80s.
The cast all worked together well. Bob Hoskins searching for redemption as Eddie Valiant, Charles Fleischer essaying the role of the crazy Roger Rabbit, and Christopher Lloyd as the malevolent Judge Doom.
Things may have worked out differently though if they had gone with the idea of casting Eddie Murphy as Eddie Valiant, Paul Reubens as the voice of Roger Rabbit and Roddy McDowell as Judge Doom.
Eddie Murphy would've made a good Eddie Valiant. The movie can be seen as a parable about racism, and to have a black actor play a detective in late-40s California would've provided an interesting parallel to the case of Roger Rabbit. The romance between Valiant and Dolores (Joanna Cassidy) would've also served as a reflection on racial issues had Murphy been cast.
Onward to Paul Reubens. He was originally going to be voicing Roger Rabbit before other ventures beckoned. For all his talent, I don't think that Reubens would have been a good choice. Fleischer gave the character a unique voice that hadn't really been heard up to that time. If it were Reubens who voiced, he would've been recognized with "Hey, Pee-Wee Herman is doing his voice". Fleischer wasn't so well-known that he would've had to deal with that.
As for McDowell, it would've worked out well had it gone through. After all, many good villains are played by European acting talents.
That leads us into 1989, and the movie "Batman". Michael Keaton was Batman, Jack Nicholson was The Joker and Kim Basinger was Vicki Vale. Each one of them defined the characters for the 80s, although this decade would see new actors become definitive interpretations of Batman and The Joker.
At one point, though, they had the idea to cast Kevin Kline as Batman, Tim Curry as The Joker and Sela Ward as Vicki Vale.
If it had gone through that way, then I don't know if it would've made as much of an impression as it did upon us.
As for my feelings, though, I think that Kline may have been a good choice. After all, he's good at playing both refined and insane characters, and Batman was a little of both. Maybe Kline could've given Batman some of the wacko inclinations of his character Otto from "A Fish Called Wanda".
Tim Curry played the infamous clown Pennywise in "It", but he almost snagged the role of a different kind of mad clown. I would like to have seen Curry in this role. If he had been chosen, the movie might have been a lot less expensive and Keaton would've had top billing. The movie wasn't called "The Joker"...It was called "Batman", but Nicholson was the bigger name and so he got the first credit. I don't think Curry would have done something like that.
As for Ward as Vale, I would like to have seen that happen, if only because I think that Ward would've looked good in Basinger's outfits. Aesthetic reasons, I know, but both Ward and Basinger are good actresses, so I had to think of something different.
The next movie for 1989 is "UHF". Michael Richards essayed the role of Stanley Spadowski and did a great job at playing a stupid but good-hearted character.
At one point, though, they were thinking of casting Christopher Lloyd as Spadowski.
I would like to have seen Lloyd as Spadowski because maybe it would've gotten this movie some attention. It almost didn't get a DVD loaded with special features until a group of "Weird Al" fans took it upon themselves to go to MGM Home Entertainment about it. If they had cast Lloyd as Spadowski, then there may not have been so much worry in the first place.
Finally, we cap off the 80s with "...When Harry Met Sally".
Arriving near the end of the 80s, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as the title characters made it become a favorite in almost no time. We all know the scene where Sally fakes an orgasm in a diner so successfully that an old lady says "I'll have what she's having".
There were almost 2 different people in that diner. At one point, they wanted Albert Brooks for the role of Harry and Molly Ringwald for the role of Sally.
If it had been cast this way, then maybe Ringwald's career could have been put back on track. She's doing great on television now, but had she taken on the role of Sally back in 1989, she could've become a box-office draw once more.
As for Brooks, he didn't want to be in it because he thought it sounded like a Woody Allen movie. I wish he wouldn't have given it such short shrift...I think he would've done a great job as Harry. To see his reactions to a public display such as Sally's would've been something enjoyable.
The movies I talked about all impacted 80s cinema, for better or for worse, depending on your point of view. I'm glad they were cast the way they were, but at the same time, it's interesting to imagine these movies in such a different light. History can be made with the signing of a contract.
So, with that, the floor is open for discussions:
What are your feelings on the casting ideas these movies originally had? Do you think they would've worked out better or worse? What choices would YOU have made, or would you have just let them stand as they were?