Rejected Roles

Roles Harrison Ford turned down ************ Roles Harrison Ford was considered for

This is a list of the movies Harrison Ford had turned down during his career for several reasons:


Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
Basic Instinct 2 poster Rating: 4.1/10 (26,613 votes)
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Writer: Leora Barish, Henry Bean, Joe Eszterhas (characters)
Stars: Stan Collymore, Sharon Stone, Neil Maskell, David Thewlis
Runtime: 114 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Released: 31 Mar 2006
Plot: Novelist Catherine Tramell is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.

He was in the running for the lead when the film was initially set in the USA, but he turned down. The setting was changed from New York to London later and David Morrissey took the part.

Syriana (2005)
Syriana poster Rating: 7.0/10 (93,478 votes)
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Writer: Stephen Gaghan, Robert Baer (book)
Stars: Kayvan Novak, George Clooney, Amr Waked, Christopher Plummer
Runtime: 128 min
Rated: R
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Released: 09 Dec 2005
Plot: A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

He was the original choice to play Bob Barnes, but turned it down. He later told that is one of the few movie career decisions that he has regretted. The actor who got the part was George Clooney.

A History of Violence (2005)
A History of Violence poster Rating: 7.5/10 (158,434 votes)
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: John Wagner (graphic novel), Vince Locke (graphic novel), Josh Olson (screenplay)
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt
Runtime: 96 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Released: 30 Sep 2005
Plot: A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

He turned down the role of Tom Stall, that later went to Viggo Mortensen.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang poster Rating: 7.7/10 (146,498 votes)
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Brett Halliday (novel), Shane Black (screen story), Shane Black (screenplay)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen
Runtime: 103 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Released: 14 Sep 2005
Plot: A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

Warner Brothers production was willing to produce the movie with a larger budget if Harrison Ford accepted to play the role of the detective Gay Perry. When he passed, Val Kilmer took the part instead.

Kinsey (2004)
Kinsey poster Rating: 7.1/10 (38,962 votes)
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Bill Condon
Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard
Runtime: 118 min
Rated: R
Genre: Biography, Drama
Released: 24 Mar 2005
Plot: A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.

He was offered the role of sexuality research pioneer Alfred Kinsey but turned it down. The actor who got the part was Liam Neeson.

Bob the Builder: Ready, Steady, Build! (1999–)
Bob the Builder: Ready, Steady, Build! poster Rating: 5.3/10 (1,058 votes)
Director: N/A
Writer: Keith Chapman
Stars: Rob Rackstraw, Kate Harbour, Neil Morrissey, Rupert Degas
Runtime: 10 min
Rated: N/A
Genre: Animation, Family
Released: 15 Jan 2001
Plot: Bob the Builder is the animated adventures of Bob and his machines. Working together to overcome various challenges they get the job done.

Back in 2003, Harrison Ford was in talks to become the voice of popular children’s TV character Bob The Builder in a film version of the animated show. The project fell apart at some point and it is unknown if Harrison did accept the part or not.

Dragonfly (2002)
Dragonfly poster Rating: 6.0/10 (28,098 votes)
Director: Tom Shadyac
Writer: Brandon Camp (story), Mike Thompson (story), David Seltzer (screenplay), Brandon Camp (screenplay), Mike Thompson (screenplay)
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susanna Thompson, Joe Morton, Ron Rifkin
Runtime: 104 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Released: 22 Feb 2002
Plot: A grieving doctor is being contacted by his late wife through his patients near death experiences.

The role of Joe Darrow was written with the intention of Harrison Ford taking the part but he turned down the role to take a year off from movies. Kevin Costner signed on instead.

The Sum of All Fears (2002)
The Sum of All Fears poster Rating: 6.4/10 (74,561 votes)
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writer: Tom Clancy (novel), Paul Attanasio (screenplay), Daniel Pyne (screenplay)
Stars: Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt, James Cromwell, Ken Jenkins
Runtime: 124 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Released: 31 May 2002
Plot: CIA analyst Jack Ryan must thwart the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.

Phillip Noyce and Harrison Ford declined to direct and star another Jack Ryan movie respectively. It is still unclear whether their decisions were related (probably to screenplay issues). The actor who got the part was Ben Affleck.

Proof of Life (2000)
Proof of Life poster Rating: 6.2/10 (44,620 votes)
Director: Taylor Hackford
Writer: Tony Gilroy, William Prochnau (article), Thomas Hargrove (book)
Stars: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse, Pamela Reed
Runtime: 135 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Released: 08 Dec 2000
Plot: Alice hires a professional negotiator to obtain the release of her engineer husband, who has been kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America.

He was originally offered the role of Terry Thorne but turned it down. The actor who got the part was Russell Crowe.

The Perfect Storm (2000)
The Perfect Storm poster Rating: 6.3/10 (115,174 votes)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Sebastian Junger (book), William D. Wittliff (screenplay)
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John C. Reilly
Runtime: 130 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Released: 30 Jun 2000
Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

Harrison Ford was offered the role of Captain Billy Tine but he turned it down. The actor who got the part was George Clooney.

Traffic (2000)
Traffic poster Rating: 7.7/10 (151,867 votes)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Simon Moore (miniseries Traffik), Stephen Gaghan (screenplay)
Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Jacob Vargas, Andrew Chavez, Michael Saucedo
Runtime: 147 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Released: 05 Jan 2001
Plot: A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is an addict.

Michael Douglas originally declined the role of Robert Wakefield, and it was offered to Harrison Ford, who accepted. Harrison worked with director Steven Soderbergh to improve the character, but then decided not to do the movie. Douglas liked the change in the character so much, he accepted the revamped part.

The Patriot (2000)
The Patriot poster Rating: 7.1/10 (167,579 votes)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: Robert Rodat
Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs
Runtime: 165 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Released: 28 Jun 2000
Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

He declined the role of Benjamin Martin, feeling the script had boiled the Revolutionary War down to a “one-man’s-revenge” melodrama. The actor who got the part was Mel Gibson.

Runaway Bride (1999)
Runaway Bride poster Rating: 5.4/10 (59,649 votes)
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Josann McGibbon, Sara Parriott
Stars: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Hector Elizondo
Runtime: 116 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Released: 30 Jul 1999
Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Harrison Ford was attached to the project at some point of its ten years of development. The actor who was finally confirmed was Richard Gere.

The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
The Mirror Has Two Faces poster Rating: 6.4/10 (9,753 votes)
Director: Barbra Streisand
Writer: André Cayatte (screenplay), Gérard Oury (screenplay), Richard LaGravenese (screen story), Richard LaGravenese (screenplay)
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Lauren Bacall, George Segal
Runtime: 126 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Released: 15 Nov 1996
Plot: Rose and Gregory, both Columbia University professors meet when Rose's sister answers Gregory's "personals" ad. Several times burned, the handsome-but-boring Gregory believes that sex has ...

He was approached to play the male lead but the part went to Jeff Bridges.

Outbreak (1995)
Outbreak poster Rating: 6.5/10 (78,222 votes)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey
Runtime: 127 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Released: 10 Mar 1995
Plot: Extreme measures are necessary to contain an epidemic of a deadly airborne virus. But how extreme, exactly?

The role of Sam Daniels was originally written with Harrison Ford in mind but he turned down. Dustin Hoffman took the part instead.

Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park poster Rating: 8.0/10 (391,224 votes)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Michael Crichton (novel), Michael Crichton (screenplay), David Koepp (screenplay)
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Runtime: 127 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Released: 11 Jun 1993
Plot: During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

He turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant. The actor who got the part was San Neill.

Schindler's List (1993)
Schindler's List poster Rating: 8.9/10 (621,895 votes)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Thomas Keneally (book), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall
Runtime: 195 min
Rated: R
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Released: 15 Dec 1993
Plot: In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

He was offered the role of Oskar Schindler but declined saying that people would not be able to look past him as a star to see the importance of the film. The actor who got the part was Liam Neeson.

Basic Instinct (1992)
Basic Instinct poster Rating: 6.9/10 (108,045 votes)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Joe Eszterhas
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Runtime: 127 min
Rated: R
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Released: 20 Mar 1992
Plot: A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.

He was considered for the role of Nick Curran. The actor who got the part was Michael Douglas.

Cape Fear (1991)
Cape Fear poster Rating: 7.3/10 (104,912 votes)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John D. MacDonald (novel), James R. Webb (earlier screenplay), Wesley Strick (screenplay)
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis
Runtime: 128 min
Rated: R
Genre: Thriller
Released: 13 Nov 1991
Plot: A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Scorsese asked Robert De Niro to call him and offer him the role of Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte took it) but he said he would be in Cape Fear only if he could play Max Cady (the role of De Niro).

JFK (1991)
JFK poster Rating: 8.0/10 (96,247 votes)
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Oliver Stone (screenplay), Zachary Sklar (screenplay), Jim Garrison (book), Jim Marrs (book)
Stars: Sally Kirkland, Anthony Ramirez, Ray LePere, Steve Reed
Runtime: 189 min
Rated: R
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Released: 20 Dec 1991
Plot: A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

He turned down the part of Jim Garrison in Oliver Stone’s film. Kevin Costner took the role later.

Misery (1990)
Misery poster Rating: 7.8/10 (108,964 votes)
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Stephen King (novel), William Goldman (screenplay)
Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen
Runtime: 107 min
Rated: R
Genre: Thriller
Released: 30 Nov 1990
Plot: A famous novelist is "rescued" from a car crash by an obsessed fan.

He declined the role of Paul Sheldon. The actor who got the part was James Caan.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The Hunt for Red October poster Rating: 7.6/10 (120,406 votes)
Director: John McTiernan
Writer: Tom Clancy (novel), Larry Ferguson (screenplay), Donald Stewart (screenplay)
Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill
Runtime: 134 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Released: 02 Mar 1990
Plot: In 1984, the USSR's best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect, or to start a war?

He turned down the role of Jack Ryan in the first movie due to scheduling conflicts with the Presumed Innocent filming production. Alec Baldwin took the part instead.

Quigley Down Under (1990)
Quigley Down Under poster Rating: 6.8/10 (13,065 votes)
Director: Simon Wincer
Writer: John Hill
Stars: Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman, Chris Haywood
Runtime: 119 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance
Released: 19 Oct 1990
Plot: Sharpshooter Matt Quigley is hired from Montana by an Australian rancher paying a very high price. But when Quigley arrives Down Under, all is not as it seems.

Harrison Ford was offered the lead role, but turned it down because he considered it too visibly similar to Indiana Jones. Tom Selleck took the role instead.

Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Tequila Sunrise poster Rating: 5.9/10 (19,370 votes)
Director: Robert Towne
Writer: Robert Towne
Stars: Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell, Raul Julia
Runtime: 115 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Crime, Romance
Released: 02 Dec 1988
Plot: Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very ...

When Robert Towne was reworking the script for Frantic, he had all but finished the script for Tequila Sunshine, in which Harrison Ford immediately became interested and agreed to star. He eventually dropped out at the very start of pre-production because of personal conflicts with the role. Mel Gibson took his role instead.

Big (1988)
Big poster Rating: 7.3/10 (119,008 votes)
Director: Penny Marshall
Writer: Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard
Runtime: 104 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Released: 03 Jun 1988
Plot: When a boy wishes to be big at a magic wish machine, he wakes up the next morning and finds himself in an adult body.

Tom Hanks was the first choice to play Josh Baskin but was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with other films. Harrison Ford was then offered the lead role but he turned down. Tom Hanks then became available and accepted.

Fatal Attraction (1987)
Fatal Attraction poster Rating: 6.9/10 (43,517 votes)
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writer: James Dearden (screenplay), James Dearden (short film)
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Ellen Hamilton Latzen
Runtime: 119 min
Rated: R
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Released: 18 Sep 1987
Plot: A married man's one night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

He was considered for the role of Dan Gallagher. The actor who got the part was Michael Douglas.

The Untouchables (1987)
The Untouchables poster Rating: 8.0/10 (181,832 votes)
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Oscar Fraley (suggested by book), Eliot Ness (suggested by book), David Mamet
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia
Runtime: 119 min
Rated: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, History
Released: 03 Jun 1987
Plot: Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

He was offered the role of Eliot Ness but he turned it down. Kevin Costner signed on instead.

Santa Claus (1985)
Santa Claus poster Rating: 5.9/10 (6,843 votes)
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Writer: David Newman (story), Leslie Newman (story), David Newman (screenplay)
Stars: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith
Runtime: 107 min
Rated: PG
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Released: 27 Nov 1985
Plot: The first half of this film, set hundreds of years ago, shows how the old man who eventually became Santa Claus was given immortality and chosen to deliver toys to all the children of the world. The second half moves into the modern era, in which Patch, the head elf, strikes out on his own and falls in with an evil toy manufacturer who wants to corner the market and eliminate Santa Claus.

He was offered the role of B.Z. The actor who got the part was John Lithgow.

Terms of Endearment (1983)
Terms of Endearment poster Rating: 7.4/10 (32,178 votes)
Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: Larry McMurtry (based on the novel by), James L. Brooks (screenplay)
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito
Runtime: 132 min
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released: 09 Dec 1983
Plot: Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of ...

Harrison Ford turned down the role of Garrett Breedlove before Jack Nicholson signed on.

Making Love (1982)
Making Love poster Rating: 6.8/10 (1,688 votes)
Director: Arthur Hiller
Writer: Barry Sandler (screenplay), A. Scott Berg (story)
Stars: Michael Ontkean, Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, Wendy Hiller
Runtime: 113 min
Rated: R
Genre: Drama
Released: 05 Mar 1982
Plot: A successful young L.A. doctor and his equally successful television-producer wife find their happily-ever-after life torn assunder when he suddenly confronts his long-repressed attraction ...

Harrison Ford turned down the role of Zack. The actor who got the part was Michael Ontkean.

Alien (1979)
Alien poster Rating: 8.5/10 (405,197 votes)
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Dan O'Bannon (story), Ronald Shusett (story), Dan O'Bannon (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton
Runtime: 117 min
Rated: R
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Released: 22 Jun 1979
Plot: The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

He declined the role of Captain Dallas. The actor who got the part was Tom Skerritt.

All in the Family (1971–1979)
All in the Family poster Rating: 8.5/10 (6,371 votes)
Director: N/A
Writer: N/A
Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers
Runtime: 30 min
Rated: TV-PG
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released: 12 Jan 1971
Plot: A working class bigot constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

He was offered the role of Mike Stivic but he turned it down because he felt Archie Bunker’s bigotry was too offensive. The actor who got the part was Rob Reiner.

Model Shop (1969)
Model Shop poster Rating: 6.5/10 (445 votes)
Director: Jacques Demy
Writer: Jacques Demy, Carole Eastman (english dialogue)
Stars: Anouk Aimée, Gary Lockwood, Alexandra Hay, Carol Cole
Runtime: 95 min
Rated: N/A
Genre: Drama
Released: 01 Apr 1969
Plot: George Matthews is a young man who is having a bittersweet affair with a French divorcée in Los Angeles. Waiting to be drafted, he is unable to commit himself to anything or anybody, ...

Harrison Ford was director Jacques Demy’s first choice for the main character instead of Gary Lockwood, but Columbia did not agree because he was an unknown actor.

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