Saturday, August 13, 2011

Selleck missing out on Indy role makes list of missed choices

Movie Holes list: 50 Original Casting Choices

With the rehabilitated curiosity – stemming from the footage that was recently released… albeit 25 years later! – in Eric Stoltz’s engagement as Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” pre-Michael J.Fox, and of course the big casting switcheroo on “The Hangover 2” (Mel Gibson swapped for Liam Neeson), thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the could-have-been’s of the celluloid struggle.
The following list includes roles that some passed on, movies that an actor or actress was forced to pull out of for one reason or another (ultimately having to be replaced), and some, like Stoltz, that were vetoed either just before – or at the start of – a particular film’s shoot.

43. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Tom Selleck as ‘Indiana Jones’
It was a done deal. TV star Tom Selleck would play adventure-seeking archaeologist Indiana Jones in a film by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Unfortunately the pilot of a TV series that Selleck had filmed (“Magnum P.I”) was picked up and Selleck was legally obligated to it. So the moustached-hunk was off to Hawaii, and “Raiders” was a hero short. Spielberg suggested that Lucas hire his “Star Wars” star Harrison Ford to play “Raiders”’ superman, but Lucas was dead against using actors he’d used before (always has been). Lucas eventually agreed that Ford was the best man for the job.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tom Selleck interview: talks Indiana Jones role

from an interview September 30, 2010 with Collider

What did you think Magnum was going to be when it started?

Tom: Thirteen paychecks. We were picked up, and that was the best thing that ever happened. I didn’t know past that. It almost didn’t go because CBS got in a fight with Universal. Universal said, “We’re not shooting it in Hawaii,” and CBS said, “We bought a show for Hawaii.” It was off the schedule after it sold, so it was a bit of a roller-coaster for awhile. Then, I went over there to start it and the Screen Actors Guild went on strike. I was stuck with a rent I couldn’t afford and worked for my landlady for seven bucks and hour, so I didn’t have to give up my security deposit until the show actually started.

Is that when you almost got the Indiana Jones role?

Tom: Yeah, I couldn’t do it. Bob Daly wouldn’t let me do it. I got offered Indiana Jones, after I did the pilot. While it turned out I could’ve done both, CBS said, “No, we’ve got a contract.”

Was that disappointing?

Tom: Yeah.

More disappointing when you saw the box office?

Tom: No. Steven [Spielberg] and George [Lucas] let me read the script. Up until then, I was pretty philosophic because I thought Magnum was probably going to sell and I told them that. They said, “We’re not worried about that. We’ve got cards to play with the network.” I screen-tested without seeing the script, and they let me go into an office when they made me the offer, so that I could read the script. I went, “Oh, my God!” because it was all there. It was on paper. They held out the offer for about a month. Harrison gets sick of this because he’s indelible. He’s Indiana Jones. It’s just an interesting story and I’m proud that I didn’t drive my car into a wall. I lived up to my contract and things didn’t work out so badly.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photoshopped Tom Selleck & Sean Young photo "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

Back in the early 80s, you took the measure of a man based on the luxuriousness of his perm and mustache, and so it was that when casting Raiders of the Lost Ark, the obvious first choice was apparently Tom Selleck.

Check out this photo shopped masterpiece of "Raiders" starring Tom and the always wonderful Sean Young.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The really big problem for Selleck was how the timing worked out - CBS, naturally, would have had no problem having Selleck star in the picture under normal circumstances. Who wouldn’t want the star of their upcoming series to be the lead in a major motion picture? It’s great publicity.

The problem was that Magnum P.I. was developed for a specific purpose - to make use of the sets and production equipment left in Hawaii from the filming of the long-running series Hawaii 5-0.
Therefore, since that series was still filming until the beginning of 1980, CBS could not film Magnum P.I. any earlier than early 1980, which directly conflicted with the March 1980 filming schedule for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Thus, CBS told Selleck he could not do the film.

That’s fairly well known, but what’s a bit less well known is that, as it turned out, there was a television writer’s strike in the Spring of 1980 that halted production of Magnum P.I. long enough that production was delayed for a few months, giving Selleck plenty of time to do Raiders of the Lost Ark…if it hadn’t already been given to another actor.

Pretty sad.

As a cute gag, in one of the very last episodes of Magnum P.I. ever made, Selleck was finally given the chance to play Indiana Jones, with “The Legend of the Lost Art.”