9. DJ (Joaquin Phoenix)
Before Benicio Del Toro’s name was attached to The Last Jedi, allegedly Joaquin Phoenix was up for the role of DJ. Claims suggest that Phoenix had actually been offered the role, only for him to walk away from the deal, which paved the way for Del Toro’s casting.
While Joaquin Phoenix is most recently known for his titular role in Joker, the Academy Award winner has been known to walk away from offers to appear in major blockbuster films from Star Wars and Marvel. Back in 2014, the actor pulled out of negotiations to portray Dr. Strange in the Marvel films citing the demands of being in a major franchise. This may explain the reasons behind him backing down from Star Wars as well.
In an interview with Time Out New York, the actor stated, “I’ve flirted with several of those films, having meetings and getting close, but ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling. There were too many requirements that went against my instincts for character.”
Joaquin Phoenix may not have ended up taking on the role, it is easy to imagine why director Rian Johnson would have considered him for the role. Phoenix embodies the smooth-talking charm and ambiguity that the role demanded. Ultimately though, Del Toro was the perfect choice for the role of DJ.