- James Franco, Milk, 2008. Director Gus Van Sant auditioned Cooper for Scott Smith - political campaign manager and lover of Sean Penn as San Francisco’s first openly gay public official Harvey Milk - assassinated in 1978.
- Sam Rockwell, Everybody’s Fine, 2009. One of the most bizarre auditions - Coop taped his own test - with his mother playing Robert De Niro’s role! However, Coop lost the chance to be De Niro’s son. Three years later, this time with him, in the lead role of The Silver Linings Playbook, De Niro played Cooper’s father!
- Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2010. In consideration - just never in negotiation. The Hangover star of the 2009 summer was rejected by 007 director Martin Campbell. He also passed on Jack Black, Brian Austin Green, Jared Leto, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Sam Worthington. Cooper then immediately joined the next wannabe golden franchsie, The A Team, as “Faceman.”
- Tom Hardy, This Means War, 2010. Director McG first selected Cooper and James Franco as the two pals falling for the same bird. Even if she was Reese Witherspoon.
- Liam Neeson, The Grey, 2011. After a guest cameo in The Hangover Part I, this was the second time Cooper suggested his buddy from The A Team, 2009,. for a movie - this time for Cooper’s role. Even though the big Irishman was 23 years older.
- Sam Worthington, The Texas Killing Fields, 2011. In the mix - then not.
- Joel Edgerton, The Great Gatsby, 2011. Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s first choice for Daisy’s husband, Tom Buchanan, could not get free. Cbooper and Luke Evans were seen before Edgerton was cast. Nothing to do with being another Aussie, of course...
- Zac Efron, The Paperboy, 2011. First Cooper, then Tobey Maguire had to walk from being (really) urinated upon by Nicole Kidman when stung by jelly fish in 1969 Florida. “I just don't find urination shocking,” said Kidman. “I think I peed in the beginning of Eyes Wide Shut, too. I felt shy singing in Moulin Rouge! But peeing - no, not shy.”
- Owen Wilson, You Are Here, 2012. Cooper and Jennifer Aniston were suddenly morphed into Melissa Rauch and Owen Wilson. Not the same charm at all.
- Javier Bardem, The Counselor, 2012. Ridley Scott looked at Cooper and Jeremy Renner before voting Bardem - and his wife, Penelope Cruz, as well, although, for the first time in a film together, they never shared a scene..
- Ewan McGregor, Jane Got A Gun, 2013. Producer and star Natalie Portman got her gun but kept losing her villain in what seemed a cursed Western. Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, Bradley Cooper all quit for one reason or another. Cooper’s American Hustle had been delayed by the aftermath of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. And he was already committed to global-pormo for The Hangover 3 and filming with Cameron Crowe, Steven Knight and Steven Spielberg.
- Luke Evans, The Crow, 2014. Suddenly, and quite inexplicably, Cooper was hot. Everyone wanted him in 2011, including producer Edward R Pressman for the reboot of James O’Barr’s comic book series about musician Eric Draven, avenging the brutal murder of his fiancée…. and himself! The original version hit cult status after the freak death of its star, Brandon Lee (Bruce’s son) during the 1993 shooting.