by: Adam Alexander
The great Tom Hanks has starred in over 50 movies plus he’s written and directed two movies, done some TV shows AND produced numerous projects over the years.
It has sometimes felt like Tom is in everything but it could’ve been even crazier, because there are at least 16 other movies that he almost starred in. These are also just the ones that we are aware of! MentalFloss.com has a rundown. Here’s the list:
1. “Get Crazy”, 1983. Even early in his career, Hanks was in demand. Director Allan Arkush wanted him, but the studio insisted on Daniel Stern.
2. “Police Academy”, 1984. Hanks was on the initial ‘wish-list’ for Mahoney along with Michael Keaton and Judge Reinhold. But the part went to THE GUTE, Steve Guttenberg.
3. “When Harry Met Sally”, 1989. Director Rob Reiner wanted Hanks to star . . . and he also talked to Albert Brooks, Richard Dreyfuss, and Michael Keaton. But Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan clicked right off the bat, so that was that.
4. “Super Mario Bros.”, 1993. Hanks was hired to play Mario, but he was later dumped for Bob Hoskins, who was cheaper. This was around the time Tom was winning Oscars for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”, so he dodged a bullet.
5. “Groundhog Day”, 1993. Director Harold Ramis wanted Hanks to play Phil Connors, but they eventually went with Bill Murray. Tom later joked that it was the right call, because he always “plays nice,” and Bill is “such a miserable S.O.B.”
6. “The Shawshank Redemption”, 1994. Tim Robbins only got the role after Hanks, Kevin Costner, and Tom Cruise all passed on it.
7. “When a Man Loves a Woman”, 1994. Hanks was attached, but re-writes delayed the movie, and his schedule got too busy. So, Andy Garcia took over.
8. “Speed”, 1994. This movie was another hard sell. The studio wanted Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise first. When they passed, they went after Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. And when they passed, they settled on Keanu Reeves.
9. “Nixon”, 1995. Oliver Stone had heard that Hanks was supposed to play Richard Nixon in a previous project that never got off the ground, so he talked to him about his movie. Tom turned him down, so he went with Anthony Hopkins.
10. “Jerry Maguire”, 1996. Cameron Crowe wrote the movie with Hanks in mind, but he was too busy directing “That Thing You Do!”. The role went to Tom Cruise, and it was probably better off for it.
11. “Star Trek: First Contact”, 1996. “That Thing You Do!” also prevented Hanks from doing this movie, even though he’s a HUGE “Star Trek” fan. In fact, just before this opportunity, he expressed regret that he didn’t have time to do a “Star Trek: Next Generation” episode or a “Star Trek” movie.
12. “Primary Colors”, 1998. The movie is based on a book about Bill Clinton’s first successful presidential campaign, and Hanks agreed to star in it. But he got too busy again, and had to drop out. John Travolta took it.
For what it’s worth, there were rumors that Tom backed out because of his friendship with Clinton . . . but he insisted he had Clinton’s blessing.
13. “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”, 2001. Woody Allen has said that both Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson turned down the lead . . . possibly because they weren’t offered enough money.
14. “Kinsey”, 2004. Hanks reportedly “flirted” with the lead role, before it went to Liam Neeson.
15. “Shopgirl”, 2005. Steve Martin wanted Hanks to star in it but he was too busy, so Steve took the role himself.
16. “Dino”, a movie about Dean Martin that was never made. Director Martin Scorsese wanted Tom to play Dean, and he hoped to make it after “Gangs of New York”, but for whatever reason it never got off the ground.