If hindsight is 20/20, than in the movie business it doesn't exist. What does that mean? Well, when you have a business that is predicated on the simple capitalistic principal of making money, yet, that very principal hinges on Art... Things start to make more sense.
We all have favorite movies. No matter how our tastes might grow or change over the years, we all love certain films more than others. It might be the story, it might be the feelings that a particular film evokes as it relates to our lives, it might be a score that we just can't get out of our heads. Whatever the reason may be, we love things because we love them and that is just the way it is.
Usually, the reason we fall in love with a particular film is the performance by an actor. We bring our own thoughts, values and ideas to a performance and this makes us able to identify with it. In many ways, these films that we hold close to our hearts, contain acting craft that we couldn't imagine ever being done by anybody else.
Yet, there have been a lot of seminal movies with seminal performances that didn't start out with said actor giving us that performance. Oftentimes when we hear about this we scoff and say, "Well, it's a good thing INSERT ACTOR HERE was fired because they would've been terrible in that role!" At this point, not only are we a critic, we are judge and jury for an actor that wasn't given a chance to show their stuff in the court of public opinion.
So, going back to the original idea stated above, hindsight really doesn't exist in the movie business. Every actor, no matter how big or small, is expendable. If the first doses of footage don't sizzle to the powers that be, then said actor doesn't even get a chance to stake their claim. It is with this reverence for movie history and great performances that we give you, 11 Actors Who Were Fired from Blockbuster Roles. And we start with someone who has just been in the news the last few days, with the latest update coming from E! News. And it's pretty terrible.
In the wake of news that he had obtained and shared child pornography, Mark Salling was fired this past week from God's and Secrets. This is probably one of the saddest, if not the most tragic firings on this list. I say that for the victims of Mr. Salling's alleged crimes. He was recently "indicted by a grand jury on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography." The actor was arrested this past December. Directed by Adi Shankar, God's and Secrets was going to explore the world of superheroes from a completely different angle. Salling, who was best known for his work in Glee, seems like he would have been quite good in this project. Considering that Glee explored how people view others who are different (through the lens of high school), Salling seemed like a lock to add something truly unique to an out-of-the-box superhero project. Sadly, we will never know, but hopefully he can fight whatever demons plague him and still contribute something to the world he was trying to represent.
Christian Bale was fired and then rehired from American Psycho! Many may not remember this but, Bale wasn't always an A-Lister. He wasn't always able to throw tantrums on the set and then apologize by losing a ton of weight, doing a film like he Machinist and blowing our minds. After breaking out in Empire of the Sun, Bale banged around in such films as Newsies and Velvet Goldmine until he earned the coveted role of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Then he didn't. As the story goes, Bale was hired and then subsequently fired. Leonardo DiCaprio was set to star, but bowed out due to some script discrepancies. After a failed attempt to get Ewan McGregor, Bale was again cast and made the role one for the ages.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was the Predator! Key word, 'was'. It seems that Van Damme went into the role with some misconceptions. The biggest one? He assumed that his part in the Arnold Schwarzenegger opus was going to allow him to show how good he was at martial arts. Well, if you've seen the movie, you know that among the many things the Predator does in the film, martial arts are not really one of them. This says nothing of the fact that the Predator costume he was asked to wear was (thankfully) also not used. Van Damme was so bummed out by what he was being asked to do, so upset that he was invisible for most of the film, that he was eventually let go and the role was recast and iconically done by Kevin Peter Hall.
Sylvester Stallone was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. And then he wasn't. It seems that Sylvester Stallone was all signed and ready to go. Then he got the script. After that, Stallone rewrote the screenplay and turned it into more of an 1980s Sly action movie. (For those of you bummed that you never got to see that movie, there's a rumor that his unused script actually become the film Cobra.) Apparently, this made the studio a bit uneasy and they decided to go another way, which led them to Eddie Murphy. Some believe that it may not have been this entirely, or at all in regards to why Stallone was let go. It seems he may have wanted a certain kind of juice in his trailer and for some reason that couldn't be accommodated. This seems silly, especially when you consider that for a $15 million dollar film, the cost of Sly's juice couldn't have been that big of a deal breaker. But that antedate is almost funnier than anything seen in the movie, which, by all means, is a classic that put Murphy on the map.