This certainly is a strange reason to step away from such a massive film.
Shortlist recently published a deep-dive article celebrating the 20th anniversary of Face/Off, and inside it comes a surprising reveal sure to incite a few chuckles. When Demolition Man director was attached to helm the film, he wanted Johnny Depp to play the part of FBI Special Agent Sean Archer, which ultimately ended up going to John Travolta. However, when approached about the project, the Pirates of the Caribbean star refused to take on the role due to a major plot misunderstanding: Depp assumed the film was about hockey, and was upset that it wasn’t.
The outlet explained how the mix-up happened: “[In the ’90s], Paramount [was] trying to turn 27-year-old Johnny Depp into a movie star. The studio said that they would only agree to including Nicolas Cage—who wanted to be in the film—if Depp could star opposite him. After finally reading the script, however, Depp refused to take part. Having read the title, he thought the film would be about hockey. He was disappointed when he discovered that it was not about hockey. He was out.”
So there you have it. Depp walked away from Face/Off because it turned out to be a sci-fi action flick rather than an icy sports picture. While we, admittedly, can see where Depp got the idea that the plot would revolve around hockey, it’s equal parts odd and hilarious to hear the outlet confirm his logic and explain his reason for denying a lead role.
If you’re in the mood for more casting could-have-beens, we’ve got you covered with a list of movies that almost cast the wrong person and the run-down of all the actors who were close to starring as superheroes.