Buddy Comedies That Almost Starred Completely Different Buddies

We definitely would pay to see Clint Eastwood yell at David Schwimmer about aliens for 90 minutes
Buddy Comedies That Almost Starred Completely Different Buddies

Buddy comedies live and die based on the chemistry of their leads, which is why theyre called buddy comedies and not people barely acquainted with each other comedies. These films are so strongly associated with their star actors that its hard to imagine them even existing with someone else in those roles, yet many of them nearly did. But how different would they really have been? Lets examine the evidence... 

Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz in Bad Boys


Other than the characters being older and whiter, one big change this movie would have had if theyd gone with the original plan of casting SNLs Church Lady and Hanukkah Harry in the lead roles is less promiscuity. Reportedly, Carvey didnt care for his (eventually Will Smiths) characters philandering ways, so that scene in the trailer where he wakes up next to two naked women that he doesnt seem to remember would have been different. Presumably, he would have said, Good morning, Margaret and Roberta. Please put some clothes on and tell me about your week while bringing them breakfast.

Martin Lawrence and Chris Farley in Rush Hour


Lawrences potential involvement with this movie has been confirmed by multiple credible sources, while Farleys... not so much. Still, as the story goes, Rush Hour was originally supposed to be about a hapless white officer who gets paired with a smart-talking Black one, leading to endless jokes about how white cops drive like this and Black cops drive like this. The biggest difference in this Jackie Chan-less version would have probably been way less martial arts, but Farley did have previous experience playing a master of ninjitsu, so who knows?

Sylvester Stallone and Nobody in Beverly Hills Cop


We know almost exactly what Stallones version of Beverly Hills Cop would have looked like because, after leaving the project, he actually went ahead and made his version anyway under the name of Cobra. Why almost? Because Stallone has mentioned scenes that didn’t make it into Cobra, like when he steals a Ferrari and plays a game of chicken with a freight train or when his buddy in this buddy comedy (Judge Reinholds character) gets violently murdered halfway through the film. Cue the funky 1980s synths.

Clint Eastwood and Richard Pryor in 48 Hrs.


In the 1970s, 48 Hrs. was supposed to star Clint Eastwood... as the criminal. Please imagine Eastwood saying, Ive been in prison for three years. My dick gets hard if the wind blows. The director wanted someone like Eastwood as the hard-ass cop and Richard Pryor as the wise-ass criminal, but no one liked the idea. Its kinda hard to imagine Eastwood and Pryor pissing each other off as hilariously as Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte did, but hey, maybe theres a parallel universe where they became pals and Pryor ended up making a bunch of comedies with Dirty Harry instead of Willy Wonka. 

Clint Eastwood and David Schwimmer in Men in Black


Hollywood was determined to have Eastwood in a high-concept buddy comedy, one way or another. When Men in Black was in development, the studio really wanted Eastwood as the grizzled old-timer instead of Tommy Lee Jones (which we can totally see), while Will Smiths hip, street-savvy new recruit role was offered to David Schwimmer (which we cannot). Would it have been a better movie? Probably not. Does part of us still wish we could see Eastwood staring at the dweeb from Friends with total contempt for 98 minutes? Absolutely.

Mel Gibson and George Clooney in Wild Wild West


Dont know about you, but Im having a hard time imagining Mel Gibson pulling off that theme song. Tom Cruise was reportedly courted for a role, too, which means there was a very real chance that he would have died trying to fight a real mechanical spider in the mid-1990s. George Clooney was actually locked in for the Artemus role once Will Smith was in, so theres an alternate world where having his nipples sculpted in rubber by Joel Schumacher wasnt his worst blockbuster experience.

Kurt Russell and Macaulay Culkin in Cop and a Half


Remember Cop and a Half? With Burt Reynolds and... that kid who starred in nothing else of note? Theres a slightly bigger chance you would if it actually starred Snake Plissken and Kevin McCallister as initially planned. Hell, the movie might have ended up with 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes instead of the current 14 percent! Theyre probably kicking themselves to this day. 

Stephen Baldwin and Ellen DeGeneres in Speed


The youngest Baldwin was reportedly the first choice for Speeds star but turned it down, probably thinking, What kind of movie offers the lead to Stephen Baldwin first? Meanwhile, the Sandra Bullock role was intended for Ellen DeGeneres, which, combined with Baldwin, would have given this endeavor a distinctly more TV movie vibe. No word on who would have played the villain in this version instead of Dennis Hopper, so Im gonna go ahead and guess Bulk from the Power Rangers.

Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon in Training Day


Why are we counting this as a buddy comedy? Because, with all due respect to Jacksons considerable dramatic abilities, a movie where he drives Damon around the hood and spooks the hell out of him is 100 percent a comedy, sorry. They could have kept the exact same script word for word, and itd still be funny. He wouldnt even have needed to add any extra motherf@#%ers.

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Die Hard with a Vengeance


Yep, the script that became the third Die Hard movie was at one point considered for the fourth Lethal Weapon one, so maybe instead of being Hans Grubers brother, Simon could have been some random henchman Martin Riggs shot in the dick in a previous film. Also, we could see Gibson floating the idea of moving the sandwich board scene from Harlem to an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood and changing the slur on the sign, only to get strange looks and drop it. Theres only one change we can be absolutely sure of: way more saxophones

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?