There was a rumor that John Travolta had been considered for the role that made Harrison Ford a household name. Whether that’s true or not (and it is probably true that both Christopher Walken and Nick Nolte were considered) doesn’t matter now. We have our Han Solo. The Han Solo, as far as we’re all concerned.
Here are a couple more:
Eric Stoltz was originally cast in the role of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future franchise, not Michael J. Fox. The role of Ripley of the Alien movies could have gone to Veronica Cartwright (she was cast as Lambert, the navigator of the Nostromo) instead of Sigourney Weaver. Or, as the cast was intended to be unisex, Ripley could have been played by a man.
We come to view our heroes, heroines, and villains in a certain way. In a book, a character is described by the author, who has a vision of what that character looks like. But each reader will have a slightly different idea. When we watch a film, the image of that character is burned into our brains. Even though the actors are merely doing their job, if they do it well enough (or perhaps too well) they become the ONLY actor that could have possibly pulled off that role. After seeing Star Wars a gazillion times, can you ever imagine John Travolta or Christopher Walken or Nick Nolte as Han? Me neither.
So, we’re going to play some games. First, think of one of your favorite films (SF or otherwise). Was the characterization perfect? Could you see any other actor in the lead roles? What if Ripley had been played by a male actor? Which one would have carried it off with the strength and vulnerability of Sigourney Weaver? (BTW, can you tell I can’t imagine *anyone* other than her in that role?)
Another game: Think of your favorite SF or SFR book, or if you’re a writer, your own book will work What would be the ideal casting? And hey, let’s go for broke here. Pick any actors you want, living or dead.
Cathy Pegau‘s debut SFR Rulebreaker will be released August 8, 2011.