10 Lead Roles Mel Gibson Turned Down or Didn’t Get

Mel Gibson is in rare company when it comes to Hollywood success. Experience great success both as an actor and as a director. He has had some truly impressive performances in his impressive career and despite controversy in his private life has remained a prominent and revered figure in the film industry. When you’re as popular as Gibson, most important roles will be thrown at you throughout your career, and sometimes they don’t all work out.

These are the ten lead roles Mel Gibson hasn’t gotten or turned down in his 45+ year career.



10 Fred Flintstone – The Flintstones (1994)

The Flintstones (1994)
Universal images

A live action big screen version that was the flints; ‘The Flintstones, certainly sounded better on paper than it turned out to be in execution. While the film is a perfect family adventure comedy, the film as a whole was widely panned by critics. Starring John Goodman as the legendary Fred Flintstone, it was almost Mel Gibson who ended up in the Bedrock role. While the actor was considered for Fred, it never really seems to have progressed beyond that. Gibson would later star in the 1994 western comedy. loner.

9 Jim Garrison-JFK (1991)

Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison in JFK
Warner Bros.

The Oliver Stone Classic, JFK, is widely considered one of the best films about an American President. Tell the emotionally accurate story of the events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the aftermath. The film stars Kevin Costner as the real-life district attorney and JFK assassination investigator, John Garrison. The lead role was one Mel Gibson turned down before Costner landed the part. JFK would continue to enjoy major box office and awards success after its release. Gibson would not act in any films in 1991.

See also: The best films about politics of the 20th century, ranked

8th Robin Hood – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves
Warner Bros.

In another 1991 role that eventually went to Kevin Costner, it was Mel Gibson who again turned down that role, this time as Robin Hood Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Since Gibson had just played Hamlet, the actor was reluctant to take on another iconic literary character so soon.

7 Eliot Ness – The Untouchables (1987)

Costume design by The Untouchables
Paramount Pictures

Let’s keep the Kevin Costner train going because yes, you guessed it, Mel Gibson was set to play the role of Eliot Ness The Untouchables that eventually went to Costner. True, in this case, Gibson did not refuse the role, but was considered and did not get it. The connection between the two actors from 1987-1991 is certainly interesting.

6 George Ellerby – The Departed (2006)

Alec Baldwin the deceased
Warner Bros. Pictures

Best Picture award-winning crime novel by Martin Scorsese The departed, features a powerful cast working at the peak of their powers. One such performance is that of Alec Baldwin as brazen police captain George Ellerby. Before Baldwin got the role, however, it was offered to Mel Gibson, who unfortunately had to turn down the role in order to direct his Mayan epic. apocalypto.

5 John Keating – Society of Dead Poets (1989)

Dead Poets Society 1989 John Keating Robin Williams
Buena Vista pictures

It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the Oscar-nominated performance of John Keating, given by Robin Williams in Society of Dead Poets, one of the best of his career. Not to mention the brazen action star Mel Gibson. When director Jeff Kanew was attached to the picture, Gibson was really considered for playing the role. Ultimately, he turned down the role because Gibson felt the salary was low.

4 Maximus – Gladiator (2000)

Russell Crowe in Gladiators
Universal images

Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama, gladiator, has become an iconic piece of cinematic history and helped propel the careers of some of its main stars to new heights. One such star was Russell Crowe, who took on the lead role of Maximus, a Roman general-turned-gladiator slave. A performance that would earn Crowe an Oscar for Best Actor. It was also a role in which Mel Gibson could have swapped his blue Scottish face paint for gladiator armor, as the actor was offered the role of Maximus before turning it down.

3 Oskar Schindler – Schindler’s List (1993)

A scene from Schindler's List
Universal images

Oskar Schindler is a role that, had Mel Gibson gotten it, wouldn’t have aged well or shed a friendly light on the Oscar-winner. This is because of a drunken anti-Semitic tirade that Gibson continued during an arrest in 2006. This hypothetical controversy was avoided, however, as director Steven Spielberg felt that a star of Gibson’s caliber could detract from the story Schindlers List.

Related: These are some of the most evil and terrifying characters in movies

2 James Bond – Goldeneye (1997)

Gold eye
Metro Goldwyn Mayer
United International Pictures

Whenever James Bond is recast for a new series of films, the most notable actors are inevitably considered for the iconic part. Such was the case with Mel Gibson when names were considered Gold eye, who introduced us to a new iteration of Bond that ended up being played by Pierce Bronson. Admittedly, it’s difficult to imagine a world where Mel Gibson is 007.

1 Terminator – The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator
Tri-Star Pictures

As hard as it is to envision Mel Gibson in a James Bond role, it’s actually easy to envision Gibson playing the T-800 in James Cameron’s breakout hit. The Terminator. While Arnold Schwarzenegger is now synonymous with the franchise role, it would certainly be a fun and wild ride to see Gibson in the role.

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