We love playing “Who Almost Got It,” the game of casting choices that almost were. In fact, let’s play a quick round right now:
1) Who was initially offered the role of “Indiana Jones?”
Answer: Tom Selleck. He passed because of his commitment to “Magnum, P.I.“
2) Who was first cast as Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” and replaced after shooting was already underway?
Answer: Eric Stoltz
3) Who was almost cast as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s upcoming “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?”
Answer: Scarlet Johansson
Yes, the headline gave that one away. But the fact remains that Johansson was heavily considered for the coveted title role. According to director David Fincher:
“Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlet Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.”
For the uninitiated “Dragon” newbies out there, Fincher explains:
“Salander should be like E.T. If you put E.T. dolls out before anyone had seen he movie, they would say ‘What is this little squishy thing? Well you know what? When he hides under the table and he grabs the Reese’s Pieces, you love him! It has to be like that.”
Translation? Salander needs to be a fresh, unknown and vulnerable quantity to audiences. Johansson is one part too sexy and one part too well-known. So instead, Fincher went with “The Social Network” actress Rooney Mara.
Mara was able to completely dive into the character without playing off audience expectations. In addition to losing enough weight to convincingly play the frighteningly gaunt Salander, Mara shaved her head, bleached her eyebrows and had her nipple, nose, eyebrow and lip pierced; FYI, she had all the piercings done at once. Talk about dedication to her role.
So what say you? Could you have bought Johansson in the role?