Guillermo Del Toro — the Mexican director, producer, and writer known for the dark, fantastical vision he's brought to films like Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy — is the latest in a string of high-profile filmmakers to pass on directing the new series of Star Wars films. Guillermo called the offer "flattering," but ultimately declined, citing his busy schedule. While it would have been interesting to see what hand print Del Toro might have left on the iconic sci-fi saga, he's far from the first star to turn down a big movie. Here are other big names that turned down big opportunities.
|Jack Nicholson: Michael Corleone|
Can you imagine the intensity Jack Nicholson would have brought to the role of Michael Corleone? Today, it's tough to picture anyone but Al Pacino — director Francis Ford Coppola's first choice — in the role, but the then-upcoming actor hadn't fared well when he tested for the part, and the studio insisted on hiring a big name — like Nicholson, who, according to some sources, felt that the part should be played by a person of Italian descent.
|Johnny Depp: Ferris Bueller|
A young Johnny Depp was among several currently famous actors — including Jim Carrey and Tom Cruise — who were originally considered for the role of Ferris.
|Tom Selleck: Indiana Jones|
|Mel Gibson: The Terminator|
Mel Gibson as The Terminator? "I'll be back" just wouldn't have had the same oomph. Also, just going to leave this here: "O.J. Simpson was also considered for the role but the producers thought he was 'too nice' to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer."
|Sarah Michelle Gellar: Cher|
Sarah Michelle Gellar had to turn down the role of Clueless' fashion-forward heroine due to her busy "All My Children" schedule. Another big role she passed on? Juliet in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet. That's ixnay on two modern updates of Shakespeare, for those counting at home.
|John Travolta: Forrest Gump|
Still trying to picture this one.
|Al Pacino: Han Solo|
Speaking of Pacino… the actor turned down the role of Han Solo. As did Burt Reynolds, Christopher Walken, Nick Nolte, and James Caan.
|J.J. Abrams: Star Wars|
Abrams would have brought a lot to the Star Wars franchise but, alas, he too turned down the opportunity. "I quickly said that because of my loyalty to 'Star Trek,' and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," he explained.
|Sam Mendes: The Avengers|
Skyfall director Sam Mendes was among those courted to direct The Avengers, but was unimpressed with the pitch he received because it announced the superheroes film's release date before even offering a look at the script or story. The job, of course, eventually went to Joss Whedon, and the rest is history. Box office-exploding history.