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“They are used to having people wait a year”: Brad Pitt Got 48 Hours From Christopher Nolan for $837M Film Lead Role Before Will Smith Refused the Part

“They are used to having people wait a year”: Brad Pitt Got 48 Hours From Christopher Nolan for $837M Film Lead Role Before Will Smith Refused the Part

Undoubtedly, the film business is contracting significantly, and Hollywood’s elites are losing their sway. One group, however, has kept its influence and may have even expanded: the power directors. 

These are the select few filmmakers who have proven themselves capable of either massively successful blockbuster films or consistently profitable comedies.

Christopher Nolan’s Casting Strategy for Inception

Christopher Nolan is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood today. His films are frequently praised for their originality, depth, and ability to challenge viewers’ minds. 

Both critics and fans have praised box office hits like The Dark Knight and Inception. Beyond his creative genius, Nolan’s power and impact lie in his unwavering reputation for being extremely meticulous when casting his projects. 

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According to a talent rep, the directors being spoken of are “like the big stars now,” further stating, “they’re the ones people are willing to bet on.”

“These directors are like the big stars now. They create these tentpoles, they’re the ones people are willing to bet on. … Having them [as clients] is better than having a big-shot actor.”

How Nolan selected Inception exemplifies the filmmaker’s authority and creativity as a casting director. The director initially approached Brad Pitt with the lead part and asked for a response within 48 hours. 

Will Smith
Will Smith

Christopher Nolan contacted Will Smith after the star declined, but Smith also declined the offer. It’s easy to see why two of the biggest actors in the world wouldn’t want to commit to a project as risky as Inception, but when they didn’t, Nolan turned to Leonardo DiCaprio.

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An executive with knowledge of this matter also highlights that the request is never made in the tone of showing their actor status.

“It’s never couched as, ‘Hey, I’m more important than you, therefore just say yes,’ ” says an executive with knowledge of the matter. “They invent kabuki reasons for why they need an answer, but [the stars] are getting jammed.”

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt

They further clarify that big actors like Will Smith and Brad Pitt “are used to having people wait a year or more”

“[Stars like Smith and Pitt] are used to having people wait a year or more. They don’t usually have to board a moving train.”

Clearly, Nolan doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for the stars to decide. He has to keep the momentum going and ensure his projects’ progress.

The Changing Landscape of the Movie Business

Such actors typically make fans wait a year or more before getting their commitment, but when it comes to the trains that filmmakers like Christopher Nolan set in motion, they have to jump on as soon as possible.

Because of his innovative approach to casting and stellar resume, Christopher Nolan has risen to the top of the Hollywood food chain. Nolan’s stature as a filmmaker keeps rising and is in high demand.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan

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It’s obvious that directors like Christopher Nolan have risen to prominence and changed the traditionally unequal power dynamic between directors and actors. A-list actors used to have a lot of sway in Hollywood, but the emergence of powerful directors has shifted the dynamic.

The Hollywood power structure will surely evolve alongside the industry as a whole. A-list actors must adjust to a new reality in which directors like Christopher Nolan continue to wield enormous power and influence over the film business.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Written by Mabel Andrady

Mabel, aka MJ, is a FandomWire Sr. Writer, pop-culture fanatic, and an MA in Health Demography holder. When she's not indulging in her guilty pleasure of penning everything Hollywood, Marvel & DC, she writes academic essays on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. With 2500+ articles published online, she brings a unique twist to entertainment writing. A jack-of-all-trades, MJ enjoys movies, writes/acts in plays, writes music, and dreams of being a successful actress. She offers a fresh perspective, making her writing a must-read for those seeking knowledge and entertainment.