I just discovered the joy of notstarring.com, which chronicles parts not taken and movies left unmade. You can browse by actor or by movie. Most of them are just a big relief, like these:
Fatal Attraction — Thompson auditioned for the lead. Actor who got the part: Glenn Close. The Brits do love their “boiled dinner.”
Basic Instinct — Foster was considered for the role of Catherine Tramell. Actor who got the part: Sharon Stone. With Foster in the role, the girl-on-girl stuff might have been more believable, but no less exploitative.
Frida — Madonna was reportedly considered to play Frida Kahlo. Actor who got the part: Salma Hayek. Imagine Madge with a monobrow!
The Accused — Weaver turned down the role of the ADA. Actor who got the part: Kelly McGillis. That could have worked: “Get away from her, you bitch!”
Cabaret — Streisand turned down an offer to do the film. Actor who got the part: Liza Minnelli. Either way, so gay.
And some of them will blow your mind:
Thelma and Louise — Jodie Foster agreed to do the movie, but pre-production took so long, she had to drop out. Actor who got the part: Susan Sarandon. Also, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn considered doing the movie together, but decided to do Death Becomes Her instead. Whoa. I mean, jeez, Louise.