Believe It…Or Not


In almost every film made, there are casting issues. The actors seen in the final product are not necessarily the people originally chosen to fill the roles. Well known to most trivia buffs, Shirley Temple possibly would have been Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz had she not been under contract to MGM rival Fox at the time. Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man until he discovered that he was allergic to makeup used in the costume.

-Imagine how different Gone with the Wind would have been if Lucille Ball had been cast as Scarlett O’Hara or Groucho Marx as Rhett Butler.

-Moving forward a few decades, the Bruce Willis starring action movie Die Hard was originally planned as a sequel to that fine Arnold Scharzenegger masterpiece, Commando. However, after the Governator turned the role down, the film was changed and eventually starred Mr. Willis after four other casting attempts.

-Speaking of Ah-nuld, could you possibly imagine O.J. Simpson as The Terminator? Seriously, it could have happened.

-Bill Murray was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1989 film. Has Mr. Murray ever done a non-comedic movie? Or maybe, the movie was originally supposed to be lighter in tone and closer to the ’60s television show. Robin Williams was considered for the role of the Joker in both the original Tim Burton directed movie and also for this summer’s The Dark Knight (which will be Heath Ledger’s swan song).

You can view other possible casting choices for your favorite movies at

Click for the Warner Bros. Online

4 thoughts on “Believe It…Or Not”

  1. It’s still not definite that Buddy Ebsen was allergic to the tin man makeup. It did cause some sort of lung illness that affected him for the rest of his life, but it was more likely caused by the fact that they used aluminum DUST (brilliant) which coated his lungs after breathing it in rather than just an allergy. Sorry – had to be a jerk and point that out! And I just read about some major star giving up some major role the other day, what was it?!? If I remember, I will post it. I don’t think Robin Williams would have made a good joker. Maybe if the film were different and more like the tv show, like you said. I don’t know why they changed it from Nicholson to Ledger – don’t like when they do that.

  2. I do not think the character of the Joker will be the same. It will be a different interpretation on it. Anyone who saw the ’89 film knows what happened to Jack’s Joker. thanks for pointing the Buddy Ebsen issue out. I tip my hat to the Oz aficianado. Of course, there is the logical one (if you are a regular reader of this blog, but it has already made the comment box.

  3. Did my mention of Selleck as Indy contributer to this thread idea? I want my 10% of course… 😛

    I’ll have to check out that notstarring link.

  4. O/C 10% of nothing is nothing. I figured everyone knew of the Selleck connection. I’m trying to think…. no, not really. Final Jeopardy from the other night had more to do with it. Sorry.

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