1. - Ray Sharkey, Love and Money, 1981. “I wanted Harvey for the lead,” recalled director James Toback, about the star of his Fingers, 1977. “But I was told: No way. They would finance if I could get Ray Sharkey or Jeff Goldblum for the lead - but not Harvey Keitel! So I did it with Ray. And Ray was not up to to the part.”
2. - Harold Ramis, Ghost Busters, 1984. Who ya gonna call - at 555-2368...? Underlying the fact that what was then Ghost Smashers was more futuristic, scary and dark, Goldblum, John Lithgow and the Christophers - Lloyd and Walken - were all seen for Dr Egon Spengler.
Ramis co-wrote the film with Dan Aykroyd and never intended being in it, even after naming the character after Egon, a foreign exchange student he was in high school with - and Oswald Spengler
3. - Nick Mancuso, Heartbreakers, 1984. Peter Coyote and Jeff looked more like brothers than friends. Enter: Mancuso.
4. - Christopher Lloyd, Back To The Future, 1985. On director Robert Zemeckis’ short list for Doc Brown. (Ex-President Ronald Reagan was shortlisted for one of the sequels!)
5. - Joe Pesci, JFK, 1991.
6. - Jamey Sheridan, The Stand, TV, 1994. “Pleased to meet you, Lloyd,” says Randall Flagg in the Stephen King mini-series. “Hope you guess my name." Difficult... as it changed from Jeff to Willem Dafoe to Miguel Ferrer to Christopher Walken to James Woods to Sheridan in the Las Vegas penthouse.
7. - Eric Bogosian, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, 1995. No one wanted the Steven Seagal sequel. Except Steven Seagal.
8. - Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
9. - Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996. Hollywood goes Who. Why? For the pilot of a USeries to exhume the BBC science-fiction cult, buried since since it ran out of puff after 26 seasons in 1989. As if to prove this was big deal LA in action (!), some 60 actors were listed for Doc8 and a further 71 (Dracula, Gandhi, Freddy Krueger, Magnum, Spock, etc) for his foe, The Master. Well, some were on both lists, such as Tims Curry and Dalton. Plus Jeff.
10 - Howard Stern, Private Parts, 1997. The producers’ choice to deliver the one attribute that Stern lacked - proven acting talent - in the film of the fastest-selling book in Simon & Schuster publishing history.
11 - Eric Bana, Hulk, 2003. Tested. As were Steve Buscemi and David Duchovny.
12 - Cillian Murphy, Batman, 2004.
13 - Mos Def, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 2005.