Back when Warner Bros. was developing the “Batman” movie in the late 1980s, they weren’t thinking of MICHAEL KEATON. They were actually thinking of taking the campy, comedy tone of the 1960s TV series and casting . . . BILL MURRAY. They ended up changing that after TIM BURTON signed on to direct and took the film to a much darker, more grounded place. Apparently MEL GIBSON and ALEC BALDWIN were also considered, but they settled on Keaton.
That’s actually not the only ICONIC movie role that ALMOST went to Bill Murray. Here are seven other major movie roles that Murray almost got.
–Han Solo in “Star Wars”, over HARRISON FORD, who was GEORGE LUCAS’S CARPENTER at the time.
–Allen Bauer in “Splash”, over TOM HANKS. He turned it down for “Ghostbusters”. JOHN TRAVOLTA and Keaton both got offers before Hanks, too.
–Forrest Gump in “Forrest Gump”, over Tom Hanks. Apparently both Murray and CHEVY CHASE passed before the role was offered to Hanks.
–John Kimble in “Kindergarten Cop”, over ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER. Murray turned down the role.
–Willie “Bad Santa” Stokes in “Bad Santa”, over BILLY BOB THORNTON. He would’ve taken it but the shooting conflicted with “Lost In Translation”.
–The voice of Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story”, over TIM ALLEN.
–Raymond in “Rain Man”, over DUSTIN HOFFMAN. Murray, JACK NICHOLSON, and ROBERT DENIRO all turned down the role.