The extraordinary Hollywood career of the star will be discussed tomorrow Clint Eastwood. In the documentary Life on Film in the Sky. He is also an Oscar-winning director and an acclaimed composer and songwriter. It’s hard to imagine Cool Hand Luke himself ever losing his credibility, even as he flatly turned down two of the silver screen’s biggest and most iconic roles. In the years since, the actor has shared both the reasons for the rejection and, refreshingly in an industry where many missed opportunities or bad decisions have been made, his complete lack of regret. “It was a long time ago, I was a little more excited.”
Eastwood said: “I remember, and this was many years ago, when [Warner Bros. President] Frank Wells came to me about doing Superman. So it could happen. This is when they first started thinking about making it.
“I was like, ‘Superman? Yeah, that’s not for me.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s for somebody, but not me.”
However, the Hollywood stalwart had no problem with the genre and happily revealed his love of comics, with his favorite character being Marvel’s Namor; “The Sub-Mariner, it is the one he always liked. I had all those comics when I was a kid.”
Despite this, Eastwood happily admitted that his reason for turning down the role was also to protect his own career.
When Superman finally hit the big screen with Christopher Reeve, Eastwood was enjoying great success away from his cowboy and cop projects in the light-hearted Every Which Way But Loose (with the orangutan Clyde).
But then and later, her main reservation (besides the tights) was that any such role could overshadow an entire career.
He said. “That was part of the discussion, a big part. Look at Reeve, he was great. That was a big factor. You get a role like that and it blocks you a little bit. That’s right, I had the western. genre and playing Dirty Harry, but everyone was doing westerns and cop movies, they didn’t seem so bad.”
Eastwood said he didn’t show up this time for fear of being typecast, or because it wasn’t his type of movie. I will do it.”
Sean Connery actually announced his retirement from James Bond after 1967’s You Only Live Twice. George Lazenby is known to have appeared in one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, before shockingly leaving, partly due to fear of publication and an inflated sense of his own career prospects.
Five decades later, when screenwriter Derek Kolstad originally wrote John Wick, the plan was for the retired hit man to actually be of retirement age. The details are revealed in Edward Gross and Mark A Altman’s They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog. In The Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action.
In it, the producer of the franchise, Basil Ivanik, said: “The leader was a 75-year-old man twenty-five years after retirement. Clint Eastwood’s butt was fun to watch.
“I thought. “Okay, there’s probably one or two names you could do that with: Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford.” Other than that, I’m not sure how I put this movie together. But the tone of John Wick’s script was subversive and really fun. It has a very clear emotional line and a great premise for an action movie.”
It’s a tempting thought, but then Keanu Reeves came into the picture and the rest is history.
That’s unlikely to make Clint lose his cool either…
On January 15, at 11:00, Clint Eastwood. Life in Film is on Sky Documentaries