Some acting careers are made by one great role and some fall into obscurity when one is declined. Would Al Pacino be the star he is today if Robert Redford had accepted the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather? Imagine Tom Hanks rejecting Uma Thurman, saying that she acted like someone in a high school play when she auditioned to play opposite him in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Picture Danny Thomas as The Godfather, or Marilyn Monroe as Cleopatra. This reference work lists hundreds of such stories: actors who didn't get cast or who turned down certain parts.
Each entry, organized alphabetically by film title, gives the character and actor cast, a list of other actors considered for that role, and the details of the casting decision. Information is drawn from extensive research and interviews. From About Last Night (which John Belushi turned down at his brother's urging) to Zulu (in which Michael Caine was not cast because he didn't look "Cockney" enough), this book lets you imagine how different your favorite films could have been.