Once upon a time, many of our favorite fictional roles were almost awarded to other actors, which sometimes is very hard to believe. It seems as though some of the most popular characters were written for specific stars in mind, even if that’s far from the truth. With a franchise like Star Wars, a handful of big-name celebrities were considered for — and even in some cases, offered — the main parts. And for a role like Han Solo, the list of those who were in the running is certainly star-studded.
Among those who tried out for the role of Han Solo, according to Mental Floss, were Sylvestor Stallone, Christopher Walken, and Kurt Russell. Al Pacino was offered the part, to which he declined, and he’s not the only A-lister who did so. The late Burt Reynolds turned down Star Wars, as Variety reports, along with a long list of famous roles.
Reynolds spoke with Business Insider in 2016 about the decision to turn down the part of Han Solo, admitting that it wasn’t the right move. He stated: “I just didn’t want to play that kind of role at the time. Now I regret it. I wish I would have done it.”
Other huge roles Burt Reynolds said no to, as Variety points out, were the iconic James Bond, Michael Corleone in The Godfather, and other surprising parts. The actor, of course, still had quite an impressive career without these films, most notably starring in Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights, and Deliverance. Reynolds passed away in 2018 at the age of 82.
Star Wars fans all know who eventually would be cast as the one and only Han Solo: Harrison Ford. And this casting was pretty serendipitous if you ask us. As we’ve previously reported, Ford scored the role almost by accident, being at the right place at the right time. The actor went on to become a blockbuster movie star, leading the Indiana Jones series and appearing in multiple Star Wars films.