Marlon Brando made one of his life’s best decisions when he refused to star in The Conqueror. The John Wayne disaster is considered one of the worst movies ever made. The movie is based on the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan and is highly infamous for miscasting Wayne in the lead role.
However, the story doesn’t end there. The movie also has a reputation as cursed for being the reason for the death of several crew members. It is reported that even John Wayne developed cancer due to the movie which caused his death at the age of 72.
Why did Marlon Brando refuse to act in The Conqueror?
John Wayne has been a part of several blockbuster movies and has been one of the most renowned names in Hollywood. However, The Conqueror has been one of the greatest mistakes of his life. The movie delivered one of Hollywood’s most infamous and “Racist” miscasts by taking in Wayne for the role of Genghis Khan. However, the role was initially written for The Godfather star.
It was Marlon Brando who was initially tapped in for the role of Genghis Khan. According to The Guardian, Don Corleone, fortunately, missed the opportunity to be the Mongol conqueror due to his commitments to other contracts- “The Conqueror was written for Marlon Brando, but he dodged it thanks to his contract with another studio”.
Later the True Grit actor loved the script and saw it as a Western flick. Although the director Dick Powell repeatedly warned the actor that he was ill-suited for the role, John Wayne paid no heed. Although the legend later admitted his mistake of trying to be in a movie he was not suited for, it was too late.
The movie was not only flagged as negative and racist but turned out to be one of the greatest box office bombs and brought misfortune over several crew members including the lead. The controversial filming locations were subjected to great debate for leading to fatal diseases.
Did John Wayne lose his life due to the 1956 ultra disaster?
The Conqueror turned out to be a subject of great regret to John Wayne and all the associates of the movie. The movie had such an impact on RKO Radio Pictures that it was shut down after a year of The Conqueror’s research. The movie went on to have a horrific story attached to itself after it became the reason for causing cancer among a huge portion of the crew.
The 1956 movie was shot in nuclear testing sites in Utah which reportedly caused cancer in 41% of the crew out of which 21% even lost their lives. As reported by People, 91 of the crew of 220 developed cancer due to the filming location. Later it turned out to be fatal for 46 of those crew members. Even John Wayne’s children and several other family members of the crew went on to develop cancer as well.