james cameron is respected in Hollywood for making compelling films that resonate with mainstream audiences. For ten years, two of his blockbusters, Titanic and Avatarwere the first and second highest-grossing films of all time.
His sequel Avatar: The Way of the Water is currently dominating the box office, leaving many wondering if it might even surpass the original’s all-time record. Cameron brought back some familiar faces to reprise their roles in The way of the water. Surprisingly, even this Oscar-winning box office champ was turned down by some big-name actors, including the following eight performers.
Claire Danish was about to join his former actor from Romeo + Juliet when she was considered for the female lead in Titanic. The actress died because she was worried about the level of fame associated with portrayal.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Danes revealed that she has no regrets about losing the role. She then titledTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Although the terminator is a franchise created by Cameron, the director had no involvement in the film.
James Cameron’s awards announced Titanic would be a megahit and smash the director’s previous box office records. Billy Crudup turned down the role of Jack after considering the potential success of the picture.
Crudup said he was unprepared for the media storm that would come with a starring role for a movie like Titanic. The actor was never linked to Cameron in the director’s later films and, when asked about his regrets, Crudup said: “If I had done Titanic, it probably would have grossed $200,000 worldwide. So I think my life would have been very, very similar.”
When casting characters for the next TitanicJames Cameron and his casting team conducted a series of auditions. robert denirowho due to his decorated resume did not need an audition, was offered the role of Captain Smith.
According to The mirror, De Niro turned down the role due to a gastrointestinal infection. In a year that has seen De Niro release three major films, a notable absence from his filmography has been Titanic.
Christopher Reeve had become a household name in the early 80s following his work as a man of steel in the Superman movies. The talents of Reeves have been called upon to play Kyle Reese in The Terminator.
Accompanied by a $1 million fee at the time, Reeve’s involvement would have bloated the indie film’s modest budget. Entertainment Tonight reported that the actor passed on the project, resulting in James Cameron casting Michael Biehn. One year later That of Terminator release, Reeve starred in the aviator next to Rosanna Arquettean actress who was originally considered for Sarah Connor.
Although he is certainly best known for his work in another field, Bruce Springsteen made his acting debut on at Lilyhammer season 3 finale. Thirty years prior, The Boss had a casting opportunity for the terminator.
Entertainment Tonight reported on the bizarre casting choice and the idea was more than likely a ploy to tie a big name into the small indie picture. Springsteen’s agents noticed that filming dates conflicted with Springsteen’s touring schedule and passed up the opportunity.
In The Futurist: Life and Movies by James Cameronchapter five reveals Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally approached for the role of Kyle Reese as Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson were recruited for the Terminator part. The two declined and the role was given to Arnold who was up-and-coming, but had international appeal.
Although Sylvester Stallone declined the opportunity to star in The TerminatorCameron teamed up with the Oscar-nominated writer when they wrote Rambo: First Blood II. Stallone also appeared as the Terminator in the fictional universe of The Last Action Hero.
Cameron’s most critically acclaimed picture is arguably the one that won an Oscar Titanic. The film features the epic romance between Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater. The director was originally looking for the talents of former real-life lovebirds Johnny Depp and winona ryder to embody the love story.
In a 2001 interview with Howard Stern, Depp credited the lengthy script as the reason he turned down the director. Depp “worked” on the 153-page script and passed on the project.
Fifteen years before Avatar released theatrically, James Cameron had cobbled together an 80-page treatment of the project he wrote in 1994. By the time he approached Matt Damon for the lead role in the mid-2000s, Cameron’s vision for the image was crystal clear. Damon was offered the lead role, but Cameron and Damon couldn’t fit into the filming schedule while Damon was busy filming the Thick headed series.
Cameron added a 10% profit-sharing deal to persuade the actor to wear the blue garment, but Damon said no anyway. The blockbuster went on to gross $2.9 billion and in an interview with Deadline, Damon admitted “I’m going to go down in history…you’ll never meet an actor who turned down more money.”
NEXT: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’: James Cameron Explains How Jake and Neytiri Have Changed Since the First Movie
Matt Damon and Other Stars Who Turned Down Working With James Cameron – Nifey