Payday Loans
Christian Bale


  1. Chris O'Donnell, Batman Forever, 1994.
  2. Harold Perrineau, Romeo + Juliet, 1996.   Lost after several attempts to be the drag queen Mercutio for Baz Luhrman.  Harold was so good, he went to jail for 45 episodes of Oz,TV, 1997-2003.  And then got The Matrix and Lost.  Mr A List!
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, 1996.
  4. Matt Damon, The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1997.   The US re-makeof Plein soleil was passed to UK director Anthony Minghella by US producer-director Sydney Pollack.
  5. Vince Vaughn, Psycho, 1997.   Robert Sean Leonard, Tobey Maguire, Joaquin Phoenix and Henry Thomas were also up for Norman Bates when director Gus Van Sant had the nuttiest idea in movie history - re-making the Hitchcock classic, shot for shot -  “So no one else would have to.” (!) With a cameraman and actress who’d never seen the original, work that out. Oh and Bernard Herrmann’s  score “adapted” by two other guys. 
  6. Mark Wahlberg, Boogie Nights, 1997.    Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s exploration of the 70s porno biz as a family unit  (Burt Reynolds’ film-maker and Julianne Moore’s porno star being “the parents”) needed a stud called Dirk Diggler. Loosely based on hungalike John C Holmes. Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Matt Damon (!), Ethan Hawke, Jason Lee and Joachim Phoenix  refused. Idem for, of all people, Vincent Gallo, who performed his own hard-score scene in his Bunnymovie in 2002. First choice was Leonardo DiCaprio. He loved the script but had  booked passage on theTitanicand told PTA: “You should get Mark”... who kept his prosthetic penis. (Gallo didn’t need  one).
  7. Vince Vaughn, Psycho, 1997.  
    By 1990, Anthony Perkins had played Norman Bates four times.  So why should anyone else play him?  It’s been (over)done. It’s a classic. And by The Master. Why re-make Hitchcock?  Ah, beg pardon, Gus Van Sant called it a reproduction. A bizarre (lazy!) notion of copying  -  the Psycho  script, word for word, action for action, move for move, shock for shock (except the shocks were too famous to  shock anymore). “Just shoot it in color and have, for instance, Jack Nicholson play the detective and Timothy Hutton play Norman Bates,” he suggested. “Universal wanted to rope me in, and I said:“Here’s the idea: don’t change anything! It’s never been done before. Isn’t that a great reason to try it?” Not really! What had he said about re-makes? The essence is missing. You might as well make an original movie.” Right!  “One guy in particular has an extreme Tony Perkins quality - Robert Sean Leonard,” Van Sant told Movieline’s Stephen Rebello. “ So do… Henry Thomas and  Jeremy Davies.   [Indeed, Thomas was the teenage Bates  in Psycho IV: The  Beginning, 1989].  I think of Matt Damon for everything I do… But he’s one of those under-30 guys who just didn’t get it. Leonardo would have been fantastic. I knew he knew that he could step into it. But I also knew he didn’t really want to do it. I seriously considered Joaquin Phoenix. He was interested… but busy. So, it was either wait or forge ahead and we forged ahead. Vince was not even in my imagination…  But he had a really interesting quality I wasn’t expecting.”The UK’s fast-rising Christian Bale and DiCaprio pal, Tobey Maguire, were also short-listed.

  8. Spike Jonze, Three Kings, 1999.   Lucky that Bale missed playing Conrad Vig.   Because having witnessed  director David O Russell in super-bully mood, Bale might never have agreed to make Russell’s The Fighter, 2010 (winning his Oscar) and American Hustle, 2013…  by which time DOS had grown out of tantrums and into a rather special film-maker.  Well, one of the Kings - George Clooney, another Batman - had taught him a lesson…  The Warner suits were not happy with a director making his acting debut as Vig, Russell said Jonze’s inexperience helped the movie because of "the chaos a nonactor brings to the set...  He really shakes things up."
  9. Ethan Hawke, Training Day, 2000.    Scenarist David Ayer was greatly smitten by Bale’s most famous intensity during the Training tests- and gave him his next, autobiographical script, Harsh Times .“If I ever get to direct it, you can play Jim.”  And hehe kept his promise. Four years later.
  10. Billy Crudup, Almost Famous, 2000.   Years later, while guesting on Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, auteur Cameron Crowe revealed that when Bard Pitt  surrendered  the rock guitarist Russell Hammond role - "I just don't get it enough to do it" – that his successor was to be Bale or Crudup. It remains Crowe’s finest film.  

  11. Paul Walker, The Fast and The Furious,  2000.    Eminem and Mark Wahlberg were also considered for Brian O’Connor. Walker went on to the  sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and won a huge  cult following with  chapters 4, 5, 6. He was 40 and  filming #7 when he was killed in an off-duty car crash  on November 30, 2013. (He was not driving).  “Father God I pray that you send clarity over this ’cause I just don’t understand,”  said co-star Tyrese Gibson. “My heart hurts,  it’s broken,  no one can convince me that this is real… I can’t believe I’m writing this.”
  12. Hayden Christensen, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, 2000.
  13. Casper Van Dien, The Rules of Attraction, 2002.     Rejected Roger Avary’s offer to reprise Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, 2000. In the final cut, Van Dien’s scenes (phoning brother Sean) were cut.
  14. Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003.  The first one…  Director Gore Verbinski decided that due to The Lord of the Rings franchise,  Bloom was more bankable than Bale, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Tobey Maguire, Ben Peyton (a fairly  unknown UK TV actor) and Christopher Masterson. A tough role as Johnny Depp was stealing everything but the rudder as his wondrous Captain Jack Sparrow, with mascara, gold teeth and a Keith Richards’ rock ‘n’ roll shuffle.  Bale  was already booked for everything else... the new Batman franchise,  Terrence Malick’s New World,  Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn and among the six Bob Dylans in I’m Not There!
  15. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jarhead, 2004.    Having lost Batman Begins to Bale, Jake won  this time - the Desert Storm GI who never had to fire his weapon and wrote: “Every war is different, every war is the same.”  Also in the Swoff mix: Emile Hirsch, Josh Hartnett, Joshua Jackson, Shane West and buddies Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
  16. Brandon Routh, Superman Returns, 2005.
  17. Christian Slater, Alone in the Dark, 2005.     One Christian for another...
  18. Matt Damon, Syriana, 2005.      The Oscar-winning Traffic scribe turned director Stephen Gaghan asked for Bale - far away, traversing The New World for director Terrence Malick.  With George Clooney already cast, it would have been two Bruce Waynes in one film.
  19. Josh Brolin, W, 2007.  The Brit was 434rd POTUS,  George W Bush, after undergoing various prosthetic make-up  tests before deciding one mask was enugh for a career.   Impressed by his work in  No Country For Old Men and Gangster, director Oliver Stone (with Bush in the Yale class of 1968) selected  Brolin… son of James Brolin, the 40th POTUS in The Reagans, 2003. Philadelphia auteur Adam McKay’s guest stars in The Big Short, 2015, included both Bale and (via archive footage) Bush. By 2018, Bale was W’s veep, Dick Cheney, in McKay’s Vice.   
  20. Sam Worthington, Terminator Salvation, 2008.   First script drafts concentrated less on John Connor than his father, Kyle Reese, and, the ex-Death Row con from the past (or the future) Marcus Wright. Bale was asked to be Marcus but was far more keen on having Connor beefed up. He got his way. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to participate, saying a cameo would be cheating the fans. “Thank God,” he said later. “It sucked!” He returned for Terminator: Genisys, 2014. No better. Well, China loved it!

  21. Russell Crowe, Robin Hood, 2009.  There is a palpable disinterest from Russell Crowe and his (often) director Ridley Scott in this Gladiator re-run of a prequel about the guy from da hood before he learned to speak English. (Crowe’s cocktail of accents is why Scott prevented him from tackling the Sheriff of Nottingham, as well). And then we understand why it’s such a mess. Scott had wanted a younger Hood - Bale or Sam Riley. Then again, Scott said the only good Sherwood movie was made by  Mel Brooks.   Chicago critic Roger Ebert complained "little by little, title by title, innocence and joy is being drained out of the movies."
  22. Ben Affleck, To The Wonder, 2010.    So pleased with the young stars of his fourth film in 31 years - The New World, 2004 - director Terrence Malick wanted them for his next films…Colin Farrell for The Tree of Life, 2010, and Bale for Malick #6 (in 38 years). Malick made both films; the actors did not. Affleck had less than ten lines in Malick’s impressionistic look at love and religion, like a side B to Tree. In  truth, both were, er,  backsides.
  23. Daniel Craig, Dream House, 2010.   When Belgian Erik Van Looy was due to direct, Bale and Brad Pitt were on the list to be Rachel Weisz’s husband... helped by Naomi Watts to solve a murder in their house.  Craig came aboard with Irish helmer Jim Sheridan and married his co-star Rachel Weisz in the summer of 2011. “The movie didn't turn out great,” he agreed.  “But I met my wife. Fair trade.”
  24. Sharlto Copley, Oldboy, 2012.    During the chequered history of re-making Chan-Woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi - as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee - Bale passed on the smooth villain Adrian Pryce who kidnaps the titular Josh Brolin for 20 years! So did  Colin Firth and Clive Owen.
  25. Russell Crowe, Noah, 2013.    Suddenly The Bible is back…Schedules got in the way of Bale building an ark for director Darren Aronofsky - beefing up for David O Russell’s American Hustle.   Biblical Bale had already been  Jesus in Mary, Mother of Jesus, 1998, and was  Moses in  Exodus : Gods and King, 2013.     Noah, said Aronofsky was a “dark, complicated character who experiences real survivor's guilt.”  And a lot of water. 
  26. Jack Gyllenhaal, Prisoners, 2013.   Due as a Fighter reunion.  With Mark Wahlberg as the father of an abducted daughter, opposite Bale’s New England cop in a Bryan Singer version during the project’s four year on/off Hollywood shelf life.  Jake had starred in the French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s previous movie, Enemy.  
  27. Henry Cavill,  The Man From UNCLE,  2013.     A Batman passes to a Superman… Cavill goes Solo.  Napoleon Solo... After securing the 60s’ TV series rights in 1993,  producer John Davis went through 20 years, 14 scripts, four directors (letting slip Soderbergh and Tarantino!) plus 19 Napoleon Solos. From George Clooney in 2010 to Tom Cruise three years later. By way of the early-21st century suspects: Batman, himself (passing it to Superman!),  Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Michael Fassbender, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jon Hamm, Joel Kinnaman, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Chris Pine, Ryan Reynolds, Alexander Skarsgård (he switched to Tarzan), Channing Tatum. Even Russell Crowe, surely a better bet at 50 for old Waverly, the UNCLE boss.  Poor Davis never got it right!
  28. Tom Hardy, Child 44, 2013.   Took his time before baling on the film of the excellent opening of Tom Rob Smith’s trilogy about Moscow cop Leo Demidov - unearthing the serial killing of  44 children.  Difficult when Stalin decreed that crime, and most certainly murder, did not exist… “in paradise”! 
  29. Johnny Depp, Transcendence, 2013.  The pitch for the directing debut of Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer Wally Pfister: terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer.  So who else could it be but Depp.  Unless, of course, he played the computer. Well, of course, he was both in the end. 
  30. Will Arnett, The Lego Movie, 2013.    Auteurs Phil Lord and Christopher Miller toyed with the idea of having their lego-Batman voiced by The Real Thing: Bale, George Clooney, Michael Keaton or Val Kilmer. (In his voicing debut, Channing Tatum was Superman).
  31. Dominic Cooper, Warcraft, 2014.    Approached for Duncan Jones’ take on the video game series.

  32. Jason Clarke, Everest,  2014.  Bale was signed but not sealed to go above the clouds as New Zealand  mountaineer Rob Hall until leaving for Exodus : Gods and King, 2013.   Clarke replaced him  as he did for Terminator Genisys. For a brief mioment  there were two true  Everest  stories planned that year. This one about a bruital, weather-beaten brutal climb in 1996 - and the third and fatal 1920s attempt to reach the summit by Tom Hardy or Benedict Cumberbatch  as Liverpool-born George Mallory, who died in  the attempt. His  body was not found for 75 years. It was Mallory who famously answeredf the "Why climb Everest?” with: "Because it’s there.
  33. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenenant, 2015.   Five years earlier, Bale had been set for backwoodsman Hugh Glass - seeking vengeance after being left for dead by bis companions after a bear attack. He quit when director John Hillcoat quit in October 2010. The French Jean-François Richet loomed large for awhile. South Korean Chan-wook Park wanted to tackle with it Samuel J Jackson but then Mexico’s mighty Alejandro G Iñárritu took over. He and DiCaprio won Oscars on  February 29, 2016. This was Leo’s first… after six nominations  and Iñárritu became the first director since  Joseph L Mankiewicz (in 1949, 1950) to win  twice in consecutive years. 
  34. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs, 2015.    “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” said scenarist Aaron Sorkin on Bloomberg TV. “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.” But then Chris baled for The Accountant. Other  potential Jobses  included Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon  and Leonardo DiCaprio... who took over another Bale reject, The Revenant… before“a lengthy break from acting.”
  35. Colin Farrell, True Detective, 2015.   The second season could never match the impact and huge viewership - averaging 11.9m - of the first HBO season. They were both written by exec producer Nic Pizzolatti and even if the second show was better, no one would say so as the first had long since entered the pantheon alongside The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Last time, two cop guys; this time, guy and gal. They were considered a flop. The locale changed from Southern to West Coast noir, still owing everything to Elmore Leonard. Bale, Michael Fassbender, Garrett Hedlund were in the frame for the  burned out Vinci PD detective (and mob enforcer) Ray Velcoro involved with Rachel McAdams as Detective Sergeant Ani Bezzerides who has family, boozing, gambling and fidelity issues.
  36. Idris Elba, The Dark Tower, 2016.
    The 220th of King’s staggering 313 screen credits is the worst.  Since Carrie in 1976, King’s filmed books come along in good/bad patches. Depending, not on the stories, usually supernatural, but how they’re made - film or series - and by who.  Frank Darabont, Rob Reiner made classics; Stanley Kubrick and King, himself, did not. As this tale is one of eight  exhilarating books, it merits a series, not this middling mess (stuffed with King references) by director Nikolaj Arcel – a not so great Dane who by 2020 hasn’t helmed (or harmed)  another movie... Chrjstian Bale, Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen, plus  the 2006 Casino Royale good and bag guys, Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen,  were up for Roland, The Gunslinger     (“I do not kill with my gun,   I kill with my heart“), trying to save the vital tower from Matthew McConaughey’s Man in Black  (or is he really The Stand’s walkin’ dude, Randall Flagg?). When such strong on-the-page) characters are upstaged by young Brit Tom Taylor, 14, as a typical King kid, you know something’s very wrong. 

  37. Ethan Hawke, The Magnificent Seven, 2016.   Toting diversity as well as six-guns, director Antoine Fuqua’s guys guys were no match for the celebrated originals they were desecrating. No wonder Tom Cruise, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Jason Momoa, Wagner Moura also passed on the re-hash. Bale rejected the tormented sniper. Who wouldn’t feel tormented with a Tarantinoesque name like… Goodnight Robicheaux!
  38. Ben Affleck, Batman v Superman, 2016.
  39. Ben Affleck, The Justice League, 2017. For ten years, Warner exercised extreme cowardice, until Marvel showed them how to make superhero summits with Avengers and Guardian of the Galaxy. In October 2007, Mad Max’s dad, George Miller, found his Bat/Supermans, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aqua Man, Green Lantern, even Martian Manhunter J’onn J’onzz, after auditioning about 40 youngsters in synch for a franchise. Four months later, everything was “tabled.” Dumped! By 2010, Miller had gone and who could blame him. Besides, he wanted to go to the Max again. Other suggested directors were Jason Reitman, the Wachowski siblings, Lana and Lilly, and Ben Affleck. He was going be around anyway as Batters, now that Bale had finished being The Dark Knight – far too dark for interfacing with the League.
  40. Alexander Skarsgård, The Stand, TV, 2020.   Director Ben Affleck called it The Lord of the Rings set in America. But he did not hang around.  Indeed, directors changed more so than casting choices - from Affleck and Scott Cooper to Paul Greengrass and Steve Kloves.  Josh Boone, main writer-director of the fuller, nine-chapter version of the 1993 four-parter, had hoped for Bale and Matthew McConnaughey as the walkin’ dude Randall Flagg.  Boone settled for Skarsgård (brother of the It star, Bill Skarsgård)  and James Marsden - hot from the tele-Westworld. Shooting of the drama about life after a pandemic had to be halted\ in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the 289th of Stephen King’s  313 screen credits.
  41. Woody Harrelson, Solo: A Star Wars Story, 2017.
  42. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born2017.
  43. Adam Driver, House of Gucci, 2021.   Ridley Scott’s Succession, Italian Style,  had been on many shelves over the years. With the role of Maurizio, the Gucci heir murdered on his ex-wife’s orders, aimed at Leonardo DiCaprio. Plus   Batman and Captain America.  Christian Bale (who had been Scott’s Moses in Exodus:  Gods and Kings, 2013 - and Chris Evans , as  first reserve if Adam Driver couldn’t get free for his second consecutive Scottt trip  after The Last Duel, 2020.





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