When we look back at some of the biggest movies, we often wonder what could’ve been with the actors that were considered for key roles before casting the names we’re familiar with today.
The ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise is no different, with a number of massive, not to mention interesting, stars in the business making the roles their own.
What’s more, the initial names linked with the franchise that’s now synonymous with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker could’ve turned out very differently…
Luke Hobbs (as played by Dwayne Johnson)
It’s almost unthinkable to now imagine agent Hobbs as anyone other than the hulk-like presence of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Both Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin were in the running for the role, but in truth The Rock’s physical nature and tongue-in-cheek approach probably wouldn’t have worked with Brolin, even though he would’ve offered a brawler type of spin to the character. Jones, on the other hand, would have taken the character in a completely different direction, considering his age and lack of tickets to the gun show .
Brian O’ Connor (as played by the late Paul Walker)
Universally adored and even more so after his untimely death, Paul Walker started the franchise with Vin Diesel back in 2001.
But Eminem, Mark Walhberg and Christian Bale were all up for the part that would become a key feature in the franchise. At the time Eminem was a big deal and was about to star in ‘8 Mile’, and would’ve been a risky choice considering his limited acting ability. With Walhberg’s recent credits in ‘Pain and Gain’ and the most recent ‘Transformers’ movie, he may have slotted into the young petrolhead with a short fuse mould. Bale was no doubt the most competent, and who knows, he could’ve given a gritty, awards-worthy turn.
Mia (as played by Jordana Brewster)
Regardless of Brewster’s recurring role as Dominic Toretto’s (Diesel) little sister and, further down the line, partner of Brian (Walker), she was an unknown actor who could’ve been pipped to the role by Natalie Portman, Bijou Phillips, Jessica Biel, or Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Gellar was in the midst of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Portman was fresh off the back of ‘The Phantom Menace’, so would’ve been too in-demand or high profile for a relatively small role in a new franchise. Phillps (’Almost Famous’) or Biel would’ve perhaps been suited.
Still, it’s hard to imagine a vamp slayer or Luke Skywalker’s mum as one of the ‘Fast and Furious’ family.
A mystery role for Denzel Washington
The Hollywood A-Lister was considered to star and possibly drive (no pun intended) the franchise. But the role he was wanted for remains a mystery, probably because it was never fleshed out or even written, after he declined to board the project.
He was reportedly offered a hefty part, but it’s difficult to imagine it was for Dom (Vin’s iconic role), considering he was on board right from the beginning.
‘Fast and Furious 7′ is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Picture credit: Universal, Warner Bros.