Sorry, Justin Long, Ben Affleck Was Bruce Willis’ First Choice for ‘Die Hard 4’
Over the past four decades, Ben Affleck has had quite the career. He’s played Batman, Daredevil, and the man who played Superman. He’s also been a comic book artist, the manager of Eden Prairie Mall’s Fashionable Male clothing store, a wooden paddle wielding high school senior, an oil rig worker turned astronaut, a World War II pilot, a thief, an assassin, a suspected wife murderer, and a slew of other roles.
Affleck’s career has been full of ups and downs. It’s also resulted in two Oscars and box office earnings in the billions. Fans might not know, though, that there are a lot of other roles that he has come close to over the years.
Ben Affleck was a child actor in the 1980s
Before he started making a name for himself in movies in the 1990s, Affleck was a child actor on television in the 1980s. He landed roles in an ABC Afterschool Special, a couple of TV movies, and a PBS kids show. He also came close to landing a starring role in the 1988 teen movie License to Drive.
According to Uproxx, Affleck says that when he first moved out to California as a teenager, he was “turned down for everything.” He ended up losing the role in License to Drive to Corey Haim.
A decade later, Affleck’s name was in the running for Runaway Bride, along with Sandra Bullock. However, it ended up being the unofficial follow-up to Pretty Woman when they cast Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
Oddly enough, four months before the release of Runaway Bride, Affleck and Bullock co-starred in the romantic comedy Forces of Nature.
The Oscar winner hit a bad stretch in his career in the 2000s
It’s no secret that the aughts were not the best decade for Affleck’s career. After winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar with Matt Damon in 1998, Affleck starred in box office blockbusters like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. But by 2001, things took a bad turn.
Amid Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez, they starred in the major flop Gigli. He followed that up with more flops like Surviving Christmas, Paycheck, and Jersey Girl. But, he came close in 2005 to starring in the Oscar-nominated Cinderella Man.
It took eight years for Cinderella Man to get made. For a while, Affleck was set to star in the film with Billy Bob Thornton directing. However, when Russell Crowe and Ron Howard discovered the script while filming A Beautiful Mind, they ultimately pushed Affleck and Thornton out of the project.
In 2006, Affleck dropped out of the Disney sports movie Glory Road due to a scheduling conflict. Josh Lucas took over the role of 1960s Texas basketball coach Don Haskins, who led the first all-black team to the NCAA championship.
Bruce Willis wanted Ben Affleck for ‘Die Hard 4’
According to Looper, when Bruce Willis was set to star in Live Free or Die Hard back in 2007, his first choice for the role of computer hacker Matt Farrell was Affleck. Apparently, Willis was hoping to recreate some of the magic and chemistry they shared in Armageddon.
Originally, Live Free or Die Hard was a very different movie than what fans eventually saw. Instead of fighting a cyber terrorist in Washington DC, the movie took place in a jungle.
It seems that the role of Matt was originally more of an action hero type as opposed to a computer nerd. After Affleck turned it down, the role eventually went to Justin Long.
Affleck will soon star in the Snyder Cut of The Justice League. It is expected to hit HBO Max in March 2021.