Tom Hanks has the kind of filmography that every actor strives for, but rarely a few achieves. Appearing in the industry since the 1980s, Hanks made some splendid headlines for his beloved movies and even received globally acclaimed awards and nominations.
Despite filling his resume with films like Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and the Toy Story film series, the legendary actor stepped away from the 1990s biggest hit Jerry Maguire. Leaving out the lead role of Jerry Maguire for Tom Cruise, the Splash actor later mentioned not having any regret over the $273M movie.
Jerry Maguire Was Originally Written For Tom Hanks
Being a beloved movie star from the 80s, Tom Hanks has majorly been the director’s first preference for several roles. Thus, having a packed schedule, it wasn’t always possible for Hanks to accept every role that came his way. However, often accepting brilliant scripts and headline-evoking roles, the actor failed to appear in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire.
Reflecting upon his Jerry Maguire journey, Cameron Crowe appeared for an interview with Deadline. Mentioning how the titular role was initially written for Hanks, Crowe mentioned eventually settling for Tom Cruise. “The idea was, let’s not be slaves to writing this as a Tom Hanks in capital letters movie, but let’s have Tom Hanks on our minds as a guy who would play Jerry Maguire,” Crowe stated.
Discussing the journey from Hanks to Cruise, Crowe detailed how “Hanks got more and more into that white-hot heat of super stardom”. He further explained “I always did think, well, if Tom Hanks doesn’t do this, who would be the dream Jerry Maguire? More and more over time, that was Tom Cruise.” Although the director originally wrote the lead character for Hanks, and desperately wanted him to play the role, it eventually went to Tom Cruise who even got Oscar nominations for his pivotal appearance.
Tom Hanks Doesn’t Regret Losing $273M Role To Tom Cruise
Willing to divert himself from acting for a while and dive into directing, Tom Hanks rejected the role of Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire. Coming up with That Thing You Do! as his directorial debut, Hanks thereafter repeatedly choose his passion projects over classic movies. However, given the enormity of Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise, the casting of Jerry Maguire happens to be Hollywood’s most fascinating what-ifs of all time.
Standing by his decision and believing in Cruise, the Toy Story actor turned down the $273M movie, that landed Cruise with an Oscar nomination. Writer-director Cameron Crowe initially reached out to Tom Hanks, however by the time he finished his screenplay Hanks was no longer in the position to take up the role.
“I took so long doing the script that Hanks was no longer a 35-year-old man. By the time he got (the script), he was almost 40 and had two Academy Awards and wanted to direct.” Crowe explained to Empire magazine in 1997.
Despite watching Tom Cruise bagging an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe win, for his role as Jerry Maguire, Tom Hanks repeatedly confessed having no regrets over turning down the movie. Graciously admitting, “I think you look at it now and it couldn’t have been anybody other than Tom Cruise” Hanks even joked about Cruise owing him a dollar for Jerry Maguire.
Watch Cameron Crowe directed Jerry Maguire (1996) on Amazon Prime Video.