I love movies that never were. As someone whose job it is to read movie news day in and day out, I'm always coming across casting announcements that never come to pass. Those stories aren't particularly interesting, though, because there's no way to play the "What if?" game. However, when it comes to plausible alternative casting for a film that has been out for years and is already a staple in pop culture, well, the "What if?" game is a lot more interesting.
Josh Spector at Comedy.com has gone ahead and done a great round up of "10 Classic Characters That Were Supposed to be Played by Different Comedians." A few of these alternate-universe casting calls I knew about, such as Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey as the original buddy cop duo in Bad Boys, but a lot of them are new to me. I had no idea that Jim Carrey, for example, was a contender to play both Ferris Bueller and Dr. Evil (I particularly can't imagine Austin Powers having the same level of charm without Myers playing both roles) nor who the original pair envisioned for Animal House. It's also interesting to me how many of these roles could have (or did) belong to to Bill Murray at some point -- Cheech and Chong in Stripes is just weird to me...
If you too are a fan of reading about films that never came to be, I'd highly recommend checking out the updated version of David Hughes' The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. And if you've got any recommendations for similar reading, please do share below.