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Core points of Gamers

Gamerstail

Core points of Gamers

Why Jack Nicholson Turned Down The Godfather


The Godfather is one of the most acclaimed and beloved films of all time, being a groundbreaking story both at the time of its release and now, and inspiring countless movies and television shows since. The story of a young man’s descent into his family’s shady mob business, the film is best known for its iconic cast. Though it had several all-time greats, including Marlon Brando as patriarch Don Corleone, it also launched plenty of lesser-known stars into the stratosphere. However, there is one casting in particular that could have gone differently.


Many actors were considered for the role of Michael Corleone, although Al Pacino, of course, got the role. However, prior to Pacino, Jack Nicholson was in the running to play Michael, but he turned down the role for quite a progressive reason.

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How Jack Nicholson Almost Joined The Cast Of The Godfather

Anyone who knows anything about movie history knows that Michael Corleone was a role made famous by Al Pacino, and in turn, the role did the same for him. However, before he became the son of Vito Corleone, Pacino was basically an unknown actor with little major work to his credit. Despite this, he was always chosen by director Francis Ford Coppola to play the college kid-turned-godfather.

However, the studios were courting several much bigger names, and one of them was Jack Nicholson. Nicholson had already made a name for himself in the realm of screenwriting and acting, with the casual role of him in easy rider quickly putting him on the path to stardom. He read the script and knew that the film, based on the quality of Mario Puzo’s novel, would only be a success. But even with this enthusiasm for the project, Nicholson turned down the role of Michael Corleone. And his reasoning, as revealed in a 2004 interview with Movelinewas that “Italians should play Italians”.

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The Godfather, Hollywood and Casting

Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in The Godfather

This attitude towards a role was definitely quite progressive for the time, although it did show the direction that Hollywood was moving more in. For decades past, Caucasian actors played infamous minority roles in often offensive cartoons, preventing even serious movies from portraying these cultures or characters with respect or dignity.

Ironically, Robert Redford was at one point considered for the role of Michael, but Coppola was steadfast in his belief that no one would buy the light-haired Redford as an Italian. Despite struggling for authenticity with options like Simonetta Stefanelli as Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone, Santino “Sonny” Corleone is played by James Caan, who previously had to inform fans, much to his chagrin, that he wasn’t actually Italian. . Nicholson’s predominantly German and Irish heritage also mirrors that of Tom Hagen, who was played by Robert Duvall.

Even though Nicholson missed out on the role of a lifetime in Michael Corleone, the entertainment world owes him a favor for helping Pacino shine and become famous. The Godfather in the iconic film that it is. Fortunately for moviegoers, the call from the Corleone family was an offer Nicholson proudly declined.



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