20 Famous Actors You Didn’t Know Were Fired From Major Movies
7. Harvey Keitel – Apocalypse Now (1979)
Keitel was let go three weeks into production with director Francis Ford Coppola stated that he was “unsuitable”. Coppola bumped into Martin Sheen at the airport and gave him the part instead.
Years later Keitel sited the real reason he was fired was because he had been a marine for three years and Coppola kept putting things into the movie that were inaccurate.
Keitel would correct the errors, which would lead to squabbles on set between the two men. Keitel said that if Coppola had “understood the real value of my contribution the separation wouldn’t have happened.” Coppola claimed that the reason for his dismissal from the role was because Keitel “found it difficult to play him (the character) as as a passive onlooker.”
8. Richard Gere – Lords of the Flatbush (1974)
Gere was fired by the director after him and Sylvester Stallone came to blows on set. According to Stallone, Gere was arrogant and too method in his acting, roughing him up a little too much during a simulated fight scene.
The final straw for Stallone was when Gere squirted mustard and chicken grease onto Stallone’s clothes during a lunch break, he responded by forcefully elbowing Gere in the side of the head. The two dislike each other to this day and have never worked together again.
The part of Chico went to Perry King instead. Some people believe that the hatred between the two men runs so deeply that Stallone started the unfortunate rumour relating Gere and a gerbil to a bizarre sex act. Something that Stallone denied to Ain’t It Cool News saying “He (Gere) even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the Gerbil rumour. Not true… but that’s the rumour.”
9. Lindsay Lohan – The Other Side (2013)
Production for The Other Side was plagued by a host of actors backing out of the project at the last second. The lead character Max was originally supposed to be played by Katie Holmes, but she had to drop out due to scheduling issues. Then Brittany Murphy was cast, only to quit production a couple of months later.
Eventually Lindsay Lohan scooped the lead, with big hopes for a career comeback. The production had such little faith in her that they took out insurance on her in case she behaved “unprofessionally.” Lohan was fired the same month the movie went into production with Olivia Thirlby playing the lead instead.
The writer and director of the movie David Michaels said she was fired because she’s “not bankable.” Reportedly Michaels was having problems scoring funds for the film because “financiers have been resistant to finance a movie with Lindsey in the lead role.”
10. Anthony Michael Hall – Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Hall was offered the iconic role of Joker in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, but lost out on the part after a long and tedious eight month contract negotiation. Kubrick got fed up and cast Matthew Modine instead. Hall stated that he “wanted to be part of the film, but it didn’t work out.”
Rumours circulated for months that Hall had been fired on set or had started arguments with Kubrick over filming too long, Hall denies all these rumours pointing out that he never even made it onto set in the first place. Hall missed out on the role of a lifetime over monetary disputes.
11. Dougray Scott – X-Men (2000)
Dougray Scott was all set to play the part of Wolverine in the X-Men movies but unfortunately had to drop out due to production on Mission Impossible II running over schedule. Hugh Jackman scooped up the role and went to on to play Wolverine in three more X-Men movies and two (soon to be three) solo Wolverine movies.
Scott, although disappointed that he missed out on the role, has since stated that “I like Hugh, he’s a really lovely guy. It wasn’t as if he stole it off me. Basically my movie ran over and I had to pull out. It wasn’t his fault and he did a fantastic job.” Hugh Jackman actually met Scott in 2012 and thanked him for his big break. He described Scott as “very gracious.”
12. Megan Fox – Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Shortly before production was set to begin on the third movie in the blockbuster Transformers franchise, Megan Fox made the terrible decision to public insult director Michael Bay in an interview with British Magazine Wonderland. Fox said that Bay is “like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets.” She was replaced with actress Rosie Huntingdon-Whitley shortly after making the comments.
According to Bay, the reason she was fired was because executive producer Stephen Spielberg said “you know the Hitler thing? Fire her right now.”
Fox was already an unpopular choice for the role with one crew member even going so far as to write an open letter on Bay’s website stating that he’d had the “tedious experience of working with the dumb-as-a-rock Megan Fox on both Transformers movies.” Bay and Fox have apparently patched up their differences as she was hired in the lead role for Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
13. Slyvester Stallone – Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
When Stallone received the script for Beverly Hills Cop in the mail he thought it had been sent to him by mistake. Stallone spent the next few months re-writing the script to suit his strengths better, making the movie more action oriented.
In Stallone’s ending Axel drives a stolen Lamborghini towards a freight train being controlled by the villain in a mad game of chicken. The official explanation given by Paramount for Stallone dropping out of the project was that his heavy action script had caused the budget to sky-rocket and the studios didn’t want to pay that much money.
The unofficial story and Hollywood legend is that Stallone dropped out of the movie because of failed negotiations over what type of orange juice he wanted in his trailer.
Eddie Murphy ended up playing Axel Foley and Stallone used the vast majority of what he’d written for Beverly Hills Cop to write his own movie, Cobra (which did indeed end up having a budget twice the size as Beverly Hills Cop.)