London, Sept 21 : Picture child star Macaulay Culkin as 'Jack Dawson' shouting from the ship's edge 'I'm the king of the world' in Titanic? Or imagine Dustin Hoffman instead of Al Pacino in 'The Godfather'? Doesn't ring a bell, well, these are some of the first choices made by Hollywood casting directors for roles.
Some of the biggest hits in Hollywood never had their original actors as a choice for the role and landed the role just by chance, according to a new book by Eila Mell, reports The Daily Express.
Titled 'Casting Might-Have-Beens', the book reveals mismatches that could have ruined some of the world's greatest films.
The book suggests that box-office triumphs are mostly a case of shining luck, rather than judgment. For instance, even a single star in The Godfather was not on the "must-have" list. While Ernest Borgnine was preferred to Marlon Brando (Don Corleone) and Martin Sheen to Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen), the first choice for Sonny was Burt Reynolds instead of James Caan.
In fact, Sylvester Stallone actually threatened producers that he'd withdraw the script he's written unless he got to play the lead in Rocky. And rest, as they say, is history.
However, there were others who had to rely on bigger stars dropping out, to get their chance to fame.
Julie Andrews almost lost her defining role in The Sound Of Music to Studio bosses' first choice Audrey Hepburn, while Carrie Fisher just managed to snatch the role of Princess Leia from Jodie Foster, who gave a "brilliant" audition.
That film won Oscars for Foster and her co-star Anthony Hopkins, who nearly lost the role of Hannibal Lecter to studio choices Robert Duvall and John Hurt.
One can't imagine Star Wars with Will Seltzer as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), John Travolta as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Seven Samurai star Toshiro Mifune as Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). But, if it wasn't for the luck of these stars, the story would have been different today.
One of the biggest near-blunders must be the lead in the all-time classic Casablanca, if the casting directors had had their way we'd have been looking at Ronald Reagan instead of Humphrey Bogart uttering: "Here's looking at you, kid?"