Arnie in 'Die Hard', 'Flash Gordon', and 'RoboCop'? Yep, that nearly happened.

Focusing on Arnold Schwarzenegger for this round of actors who missed out on major roles doesn't mean we're focusing on just roles the Governator missed out on, but parts others missed out on in some of Arnold's biggest hits. In one of our earlier posts, we already covered that Schwarzenegger was considered for the lead in 'Die Hard' when it was originally proposed as a sequel to 'Commando', but that's just the tip of the iceberg...

  • Debra Winger, Glenn Close, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Bridget Fonda as Sara Conner in 'The Terminator'

    Debra Winger was originally cast as Sarah Conner, but changed her mind and dropped from the project prior to filming.  Reports suggest Glenn Close was also offered the role but couldn’t accept due to scheduling conflicts.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus was also rumored to have been approached for the role but had to decline due to commitments with ‘Saturday Night Live’.  Bridget Fonda was also believed to be James Cameron’s idea for the role while writing it, but she passed on the project.

    Getty Images & Orion Pictures
    Getty Images & Orion Pictures
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  • Billy Idol as the T-1000 and Charlie Korsmo as John Conner in 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day'

    Billy Idol was James Cameron’s original choice for the T-1000, but couldn’t accept the role due to a motorcycle accident.

    Charlie Korsmo (‘Dick Tracy’ & ‘Hook’) was offered the role of John Conner, but was unable to accept because of commitments with ‘What About Bob?’

    Getty Images & TriStar Pictures
    Getty Images & TriStar Pictures
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  • Edward Furlong as John Conner, Peta Wilson and Chyna as the T-X, and Sophia Bush as Kate in 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines'

    Edward Furlong was supposed to reprise the role of John Connor but was allegedly dropped from the project for his substance abuse problems.

    Peta Wilson and Joanie Laurer were considered for the role of the T-X, with Laurer being suggested for the part by Schwarzenegger himself.

    Sophia Bush was cast as Kate, but director Johathan Mostow thought she looked too young for the role after viewing initial footage and recast the role with Clare Danes.

    Getty Images & Warner Bros
    Getty Images & Warner Bros
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  • David Duchovny as Batman and Sly Stallone, Hulk Hogan, and Patrick Stewart as Mr. Freeze in 'Batman & Robin'

    David Duchovny was considered for the role of Batman after Val Kilmer declined to return.

    Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan were Joel Schumacher’s second and third choices, respectively, had Schwarzenegger not taken the role.  Patrick Stewart was also a fan-favored choice for the part and considered by filmmakers until they decided make Mr. Freeze look “big and strong like he was chiseled out of a glacier.”

    Getty Images & Warner Bros.
    Getty Images & Warner Bros.
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  • Jean-Claude Van Damme as the Predator in 'Predator'

    Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the title character, and even filmed some scenes as the “invisible” Predator which made it to the final cut of the movie.  Van Damme was released from the project after filmmakers felt he wasn’t imposing enough at 5’9” with the rest of the cast ranging from 6’2” to 6’5”.

    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
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  • Arnold as Alex Murphy in 'RoboCop'

    Schwarzenegger was cast as Alex Murphy for the original ‘RoboCop’, but his size caused issues with the bulky costume, causing filmmakers to change plans and go with an actor with a smaller build.  After seeing ‘RoboCop’, Schwarzenegger was so impressed with the film that he wanted to work with director Paul Verhoeven, ultimately working together on ‘Total Recall’

    Getty Images & Orion Pictures
    Getty Images & Orion Pictures
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  • Arnold as Flash Gordon in 'Flash Gordon'

    Schwarzenegger was in contention for the title character in ‘Flash Gordon’, but was disqualified by producer Dino De Laurentis who felt Schwarzenegger’s thick Austrian-accent wasn’t suited for the role, saying that Flash Gordon shouldn’t have an accent.  Ironically, Sam Jones had to hide his Texas accent while filming.

    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
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  • Arnold as Conan/Kull in 'Kull the Conqueror'

    ‘Kull the Conqueror’ was originally designed to be the third film in the Conan franchise.  It is believed Schwarzenegger swore off doing any more sequels after the failure of ‘Conan the Destroyer’.  The script was rewritten for a new character, Kull, ultimately played by Kevin Sorbo.

    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
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  • Arnold as Conan in 'Red Sonja'

    Schwarzenegger was originally meant to play Conan, of which Red Sonja is a spin-off of the original comic book, but rights issues prevented the use of the name, so the character Kalidor was created for Schwarzenegger, basically being Conan in every way except name.  An unofficial explanation endorsed by fans is that “Kalidor” is one of the names Conan travels under.

    Getty Images & MGM
    Getty Images & MGM
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  • Nick Nolte as John Matrix and an unnamed actor as Bennet in 'Commando'

    Nick Nolte was the original choice for John Matrix before Schwarzenegger.

    Another unnamed actor was cast in the role of Bennet, but was fired on the first day of filming.  Vernon Wells, who had previously auditioned for the role, was brought in last minute and forced to use the other actor’s wardrobe, which is why all of his clothing looks tight.

    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
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  • Arnold as John Mason in 'The Rock'

    Schwarzenegger was offered the role of Mason before Sean Connery accepted, but declined due to the unfinished status of the script (at the time, only 80 pages long with a lot of handwritten notes and scribbles).  Schwarzenegger has since said he regrets not accepting the part.

    Getty Images & Buena Vista Pictures
    Getty Images & Buena Vista Pictures
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  • David Lander as Malak in 'Conan the Destroyer'

    David Lander (‘Lavern and Shirley’) was originally cast as the thief Malak, but was forced to drop out of the role due to deteriorating health from multiple sclerosis.

    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
    Getty Images & Universal Pictures
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  • Arnold and Danny DeVito in 'Suburban Commando' and Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd in 'Twins'

    Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were approached with two scripts, ‘Twins’ and ‘Suburban Commando’, with Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd set to take whichever script wasn't chosen.

    Getty Images, Universal Pictures, & New Line Cinema
    Getty Images, Universal Pictures, & New Line Cinema
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  • Patrick Swayze and Christopher Reeve as Quaid, Kurtwood Smith as Richter, and Cynthia Rothrock as Lori in 'Total Recall'

    When under the production company of Dino De Laurentis, Patrick Swayze was cast as Douglas Quaid, but the company went bankrupt prior to filming.  Other actors including Jeff Bridges, Tom Selleck, and Mark Harmon were considered for Quaid before Schwarzenegger convinced Carolco to purchase the rights for he and Paul Vehoeven to work on.  Christopher Reeve was also offered the role, but turned it down.

    Kurtwood Smith turned down the part of Richter, feeling it was too familiar to his part of Clarence Boddicker in ‘RoboCop’.

    Cynthia Rothrock was considered for Lori Quaid, finding out years later she was ruled out due to other stars’ concern of being outshone by Rothrock’s martial arts ability.

    Getty Images & TriStar Pictures
    Getty Images & TriStar Pictures
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  • Jodie Foster and Geena Davis as Helen and Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd as Albert in 'True Lies'

    The role of Helen Tasker was intended for Jaime Lee Curtis; though other actresses were considered.  Jodie Foster was offered the role at some point, but declined due to commitments with ‘Nell’.  Other considered actresses included Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Annette Bening, Geena Davis, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Sharon Stone.

    Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd were in the running for Albert Gibson before Tom Arnold was cast.

    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
    Getty Images & 20th Century Fox
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