5 Movies Where Mel Gibson Could Have Replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Williams and Other Famous Stars

Mel Gibson could have brought a unique skill set and style to these iconic movies

5 movies where mel gibson could have replaced arnold schwarzenegger, robin williams and other famous stars

SUMMARY

  • Mel Gibson is regarded as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
  • Mel Gibson's filmography includes roles in films like Braveheart, The Patriot, and Lethal Weapon
  • We examine five movies where he could have played the roles of Robin Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other legendary actors.
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We have always been amazed by the extraordinary talent of Mel Gibson, best known for playing Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon film series, and Max Rockatansky in the original Mad Max trilogy. He is not just a gifted actor but also an acclaimed director of Braveheart, the film for which he received an Oscar. Even at 67, the actor is still regarded as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

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And yet Gibson’s star power ensures that several significant roles must have been offered to him throughout his career. Occasionally, we find ourselves wondering how a character played by another actor could have had a completely different essence.

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We shall therefore examine five movies where The Passion of the Christ director could have played the roles of Robin Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other legendary actors.

Mel Gibson in Fatman
Mel Gibson in Fatman

Read more: “I was outraged”: Bojack Horseman Creator Found Out Harvey Weinstein & Mel Gibson Were Fans, Destroyed Them With Greatest Gag Ever in TV History

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1. The Terminator (1984)

Though it is difficult to picture anyone else in the role, Arnold Schwarzenegger nearly did not get the job as the Terminator. It is said that Sylvester Stallone was first considered for the acclaimed role. In the end, Schwarzenegger—who starred alongside Stallone in The Expendables—accepted the role after Mel Gibson and the Rocky star both declined.

Gibson playing the role would have been a wild and exciting ride, even though the former Governor of California is now inextricably linked with the franchise. After dominating the US box office for two weeks, The Terminator brought in $78.3 million despite having a relatively small $6.4 million budget. 

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The Terminator
The Terminator

The Terminator is available for streaming at Max.

2. Dead Poets Society (1989)

In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams portrayed John Keating in an Oscar-nominated performance that stood out among his best. However, what if Mel Gibson, the action star, had accepted the role? The latter was actually considered to fit the character when director Jeff Kanew joined the project.

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Mickey Rourke, Dustin Hoffman, and Tom Hanks were among the other actors who were also considered for the part. Having won multiple awards, including nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Williams, Dead Poets Society was a critical and financial triumph.

Robin Williams In Dead Poets Society (1989)
Robin Williams In Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society is available to rent on Apple TV.

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Read more: “We tested lines by stealing lines:” Mel Gibson Got A Role In $227 Million Movie Because Of Jodie Foster’s Gambling Comedy Flick

3. Gladiator (2000)

Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama Gladiator, which helped launch the careers of several of its leading actors, has won five Academy Awards. Russell Crowe, a former Roman general turned gladiator slave, was one of these stars. His performance as Maximus made him win an Oscar for Best Actor. Mel Gibson was also offered the role of Maximus, but sadly, he declined it.

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Had he accepted the role, it would have been a major asset to his résumé. With a global box office receipt of over $503 million, Gladiator surpassed Mission: Impossible 2 as the second highest-grossing movie of 2000.

Gladiator (2000)
Russell Crowe in Gladiator (2000)

You can watch Gladiator on Netflix.

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4. Schindler’s List (1993)

Had Mel Gibson been cast as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List, it would have been a positive reflection on the Oscar-winning actor. Although he expressed interest in playing Schindler, director Steven Spielberg decided to go with the then relatively unknown Liam Neeson instead of the popular actor so as not to overshadow the role. He thought Gibson’s fame could take away from the story of Schindler’s List.

Notably, Kevin Costner has expressed interest in starring in the role as well. Often regarded as one of the best movies ever made, Spielberg’s film won praise from critics for its tone, acting, score, cinematography, and direction. It also made $322 million at the box office globally on a $22 million budget.

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Schindler's List (1993)
Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List is available on FuboTV.

5. JFK (1991)

Oliver Stone’s JFK is widely regarded as one of the best movies about the 35th president of the United States. It recounts the emotionally accurate events that preceded and followed the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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Kevin Costner played real-life district attorney and JFK assassination investigator John Garrison in the film’s lead role. Prior to Costner landing the part, Mel Gibson had declined the offer. After its release, JFK enjoyed tremendous box office and award-show success. 

JFK (1991)
JFK (1991)

After a slow start at the box office, the movie progressively gained traction, grossing over $205 million globally to rank as the sixth highest-grossing picture of 1991. 

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Stream JFK on DIRECTV.

Read more: Mel Gibson Refused To Star In Nicolas Cage’s $162 Million Flick, Chose $120 Million Movie Instead

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1000 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.