James Franco Nearly Starred in ‘Bring it On’

You hear stories sometimes of how famous actors missed out on or passed on roles. Some of those missed opportunities leave actors kicking themselves as the films went on to blockbuster or cult-classic success. One such example might surprise you. Did you know that James Franco almost starred opposite Kirsten Dunst in the cheerleading film, Bring It On?

James Franco smiling in front of a white background
James Franco | Noam Galai/Getty Images

We’ll take a look back at the other shenanigans that took place on the Bring It On set. James Franco wasn’t the only “almost” candidate cast.

So, who did James Franco almost play in ‘Bring It On?’

BuzzFeed shared a few instances of crazy, behind-the-scenes tidbits you may not know about your favorite stars and most beloved movies. For example, who knew that Billy Crystal turned down the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story? And another missed opportunity included James Franco, who auditioned for a role in Bring It On.

James Franco showed up to audition for the role of Cliff, Torrance’s love interest in the film. BuzzFeed shared director Peyton Reed’s first impressions of Franco as being “so great and an oddball.” But Franco had also been cast in another teen hit, Freaks and Geeks, which meant he wouldn’t have time to fulfill both commitments.

Ultimately, Reed said he chose Jesse Bradford for the leading man role because of his chemistry with Kirsten Dunst, citing too that he was “smart and soulful.”

How some of the other casting stories unfolded

It turns out that James Franco wasn’t the only actor who showed up to audition for Cliff. Jason Schwartzman also came to try out for the role but failed, says Insider. And there were plenty of other behind-the-scenes goings-on that Bring It On fans may not know about either.

Marley Shelton was the first cast as Torrance Shipman. The original Bring It On screenplay had original intentions of being an MTV documentary, too. And the production paid $40,000 just to secure the rights for the Warrant song, “Cherry Pie,” during the cheerleading audition scene.

Eliza Dushku is another actor known for her role as Missy Pantone in Bring It On. She had recently earned notoriety as a recurring character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her popularity from Buffy played a significant role in landing the role of Missy Pantone.

Everyone was surprised about the movie’s success

It’s hard to believe the movie just recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of the theatrical release. And no one predicted it would rise to endear such a cult following. Bring It On was produced under the radar and with very little hype. Despite low expectations, it made $22 million its first weekend out and another $15 million on week two.

Opening number one at the box office, Bring It On, resonated far better with fans than the director or even Kirsten Dunst expected.

So, was James Franco feeling blue about missing out on the Bring It On role? It’s not likely. Of course, he would have probably loved to have been a part of such an iconic film. But Freaks and Geeks helped him break out in a big way.

And he’s known for a host of big-time roles in blockbuster-level films like the Spider-Man trio of movies, Eat, Pray LoveOz the Great and Powerful, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as IMDb lists.

RELATED: James Franco Breaks His Silence on 2018 Sexual Misconduct Allegations