6 Movie Cameos That Weren’t Meant to Be
A clever cameo won’t make or break a movie but it can be more than enough to get people talking. For example, Mel Gibson was originally set to have a cameo in the Hangover sequel, however due to his racist insanity he never got the part. All the same, the film got a ton of free publicity simply through its association with the troubled actor. It seems like for every cameo that somehow worked out (Charlie Sheen in the Wall Street sequel, Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder), many others fell by the wayside. What follows are six notable movie cameos which simply never came to be.
Sean Connery in Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
One cameo Indiana Jones fans missed out on from the last flick was Sean Connery as Henry Jones, Sr., Indy’s crotchety but lovable father. Although George Lucas was able to coax back Harrison Ford and Karen Allen for his fourth Indy installment, nothing could get Sir Connery away from his easy going retired lifestyle. We’re certain George tried and tried but perhaps he just got Connery’s voicemail? We’d like to imagine that the former Bond star was chilling on a beach somewhere when George’s calls came in. Connery (being awesome) was likely distracted by the numerous naked women and simply misplaced his phone.
In any case the cameo never came to be and eventually Connery officially declined. Reportedly, Lucas stated that in hindsight it was good that Connery didn’t appear because it would’ve disappointed the audience as his character was not set to come along for the adventure. So the audience was “saved” from that disappointment, however we were still forced to endure every thing else about the film that was utterly and completely disappointing. Excuse us, the sting of that sequel has yet to wear off.
Danny Glover & Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predators
The Predator franchise started out great and even had a kickass sequel. However, the series was eventually polluted by two criminally awful Aliens vs. Predators flicks. In 2010, Robert Rodriguez’ reboot attempted to lift the franchise out of the toilet. It achieved financial success; however we regret to say the stench of the AVP movies still lingers in the air.
During production of the Predators reboot many ideas were kicked around regarding cameos. One proposal was to have Danny Glover reprise his role from Predators 2 in some capacity. Instead we got a similar character, the grizzled veteran warrior Noland who was ultimately portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. When watching the flick you can’t help but think that Glover should have been in that spot. One silly rumor during production was that Glover would somehow return as a CG character. However that notion was quickly dismissed by Glover himself as “stupid”. The plans for Schwarzenegger were a bit more solid. Apparently his cameo would've taken place at the conclusion of the film as an alternate ending. The human survivors were to be greeted by a ship load of Predators whose leader was intended to be Dutch, Schwarzenegger’s character from the original film. Rodriguez stated that due to the Governor's unpredictable schedule they were forced to scrap the cameo. Supposedly THIS is how Schwarzenegger’s reappearance would have played out.
Liam Neeson in Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith
Most Star Wars fans can speak about this topic in extensive detail. Here’s a quick summary. Liam Neeson’s less than memorable character Qui-Gon Jin was killed by Darth Maul at the conclusion of Episode I. From then on rumors began swirling regarding a classic “Jedi Ghost” appearance of Qui-Gon in the sequels. Episode II came and went. The most that film featured was some barely noticeable Qui-Gon shouting clips during a Yoda meditation scene (50% of which wasn’t even recorded by Liam). Finally, Episode III was on the horizon and his cameo seemed like a sure thing. Confirmation came in the form of both the film novelization and in the original script leak. Qui-Gon’s disembodied voice was supposed to speak to Yoda about the mysteries of the force. The cameo was even illustrated in the official comic book...
Fans everywhere were anticipated hearing Qui-Gon one last time. But when the movie hit theaters in 2005, the scene was nonexistent. To make matters worse, Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson had even previously hinted that George Lucas has shot a “top-secret cameo” of a Qui-Gon ghost scene, à la Alec Guinness, for Revenge of the Sith. "I can't speak about it," Neeson joked. "Jedi code of ethics." Apparently he was slated to make a cameo in the movie but was unable to film it after suffering an injury. However, keep in mind we’re talking about Star Wars, as created by George “Special Edition” Lucas. There is a very distinct possibility that the ghost scene will be created for a future release of Revenge of the Sith. Perhaps the scene could appear on the 2011 Blu-rays or in the 3D theatrical releases? One positive sign is that Liam’s already returned in ghost form on The Clone Wars animated series.
Leonard Nimoy & De Forest Kelley in Star Trek: Generations
Many Trek lovers despise the 1994 film. They feel it betrayed both the original series and the next generation fans due to its insistence on sucking harder than any Trek movie has ever sucked before. Many of the complaints revolve around the film’s numerous plot holes, generally poor writing, underwritten villain, reused footage and of course the lame death of Captain Kirk. Two cameos that perhaps would have helped the film were Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and De Forest Kelley (Bones). Yup, the Holy Trilogy of Trek characters were supposed to appear together one last time for (another) send-off.
So what the hell went wrong you ask? Well initially Nimoy was asked to direct the film, which seems to be where the trouble began. Nimoy reportedly wanted the character of Spock to have a larger role in the story as opposed to a mere cameo. Since the producers were unwilling to expand Spock's part (or make any other script tweaks) Nimoy declined to participate in the film. Nimoy also felt that the cameo as written was a worthless endeavor. There are two stories regarding De Kelley’s departure from the project. One story is that when he learned Nimoy had declined, he also backed out. Other sources claim that De Forest was unable to appear since his health was failing at the time. In any case, James Doohan (Scotty) and Walter Koenig (Chekov) happily stepped in as replacements and were given their lines.
The inherent problem with Scotty and Chekov in these particular cameo roles was that it meant Kirk went off into Nexus land and eventually to his grave without his two most loyal friends at his side. Well surely William Shatner, the most iconic character in the entire Star Trek universe got his proper respect in a future Trek cameo right?
William Shatner in Star Trek (reboot)
Let’s just repeat our previous question for the sake of comedic effect. Surely William Shatner, the most iconic character in the entire Star Trek universe got his proper respect in a future Trek cameo right? WRONG! Despite Shatner himself going out of his way to request a cameo in J.J. Abrams 2009 reboot, only “goodie two-shoes” Leonard Nimoy ended up being involved. Star Trek co-writers Roberto Orci and Alan Kurtzman did go on record saying that Shatner almost got his cameo appearance. Supposedly he was to appear in a hologram that the elder Spock used to convince his younger, skeptical self (Zachary Quinto) that he and Kirk really were destined to become lifelong friends. The holo image was a birthday message featuring Kirk saying, 'This is the last time I'm going to be able to wish you happy birthday, so I want to tell you how much you've meant to me and how amazing it was that we had all these adventures together...”
The proposed scene was an attempt by the writers to adhere to established Trek canon (meaning the crappy death from 1994’s Star Trek: Generations) and yet give Kirk a presence in the film via a final taped recording. Alas, it was not meant to be for a variety of reasons, the clearest being that J.J. Abrams felt it may come across as contrived. We find it odd that they didn’t just shoot it anyway and use it as a deleted/alternate scene for the home release. It’s obvious where many fans stood on the issue but even the film’s writer Roberto Orci felt the scene had potential. He actually went as far as to say "I think it could have worked, personally."
Marlon Brando in Godfather II
There’s no denying the sheer impact the Godfather films have had on the world of cinema. Much of the success of the sequel can be attributed to Al Pacino (Pre HooWah!) and the rest of the cast who were all at the top of their game. The same can also be said for the original movie, which featured someone the sequel didn’t…the legendary Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone.
It’s no coincidence that Brando’s absence from the sequel made our list as number one. Interestingly, he was supposed to appear in the flashback scene at the end of Godfather II. Apparently he was still bitter over the crappy way Paramount treated him during the first film. On the day of shooting Brando characteristically neglected to show up and the entire scene was rewritten. Although the scene in question still worked brilliantly we can’t help but wonder how his final contribution in the saga could have played out.Written by Anthony Quaglia – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com