Brad Pitt is a name known to all cinemagoers. From being Hollywood’s A-lister megastar to being the most attractive man in the world for several years, Pitt has experienced it all. Apart from his dashing charisma, Pitt’s acting career has earned him many accolades. From a breakthrough role in Ridley Scott’s 1991 road film Thelma & Louise, Pitt never looked back. Later, he appeared in David Fincher’s crime thriller Seven and Fight Club – two career-defining movies of his life.
The Fight Club actor has worked with the industry’s acclaimed directors like Steven Soderbergh, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, and many more. Pitt has several accolades to his name including two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Even after working in the industry for nearly 35 years, the actor is still enjoying his heyday.
has played many iconic characters like Tyler Durden (Fight Club), Benjamin Button (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and stuntman Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood for which he won an Oscar in the best supporting actor category. As per reports, the Fight Club actor also had his eyes on playing the iconic character Willy Wonka. The character is an adaptation of 2005 the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . Pitt also auditioned for the role which later went to . Earlier reports also indicate that several other actors were also jostling for the role of Wonka including Bill Murray, Michael Jackson, Jim Carrey, and Michael Keaton.
Director ’s obvious choice for the role was obviously his long-time collaborator, Johnny Depp. It is also easy to associate Depp with Tim Burton-esque movies. Marking the first collaboration between the actor and the director duo, Depp first appeared in Edward Scissorhands in 1990. Later, they collaborated on multiple projects- Ed Wood , musical horror thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sleepy Hollow, and Alice in Wonderland among others.
Despite losing the role to Depp, Pitt did not walk away from financing the movie. His production company Plan B Entertainment helped finance the iconic movie. Apart from his acting career, Pitt is also recognized as a successful producer. He has produced Steve McQueen’s historical drama and critically acclaimed, 12 Years a Slave , and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari which has several Oscars and other notable nominations.
There are several other roles Pitt has turned down which later went on to become remarkable in the history of Hollywood movies. Reportedly, pitt was the first choice of The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman to play CIA assassin, Jason Bourne. Due to scheduling conflicts and his commitment to Tony’s Scott’s Spy Game Pitt had to turn down the successful franchise and Matt Damon played the role.
The makers of The Matrix have previously approached Pitt and for Neo’s role before . Both actors have turned down the iconic character of one of the greatest sci-fi movie franchises in history. In 2021, Pitt admitted turning down the role officially, “I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill. That’s the only one I’m naming… I wasn’t offered two or three. Only the first, just to clarify that.”
Further, he turned down the role of Colin Sullivan in The Departed , Jim Swigert in Apollo 13 , and Russell Hammond in Almost Famous .
Other than Willy Wonka, the Fight Club actor failed to get in some other iconic movies as well. He wanted to play Jack Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic which later went to Leonardo DiCaprio. He was also featured in American Psycho as Patrick Bateman, J.D. in Daniel Waters’ beloved 1989 black comedy Heathers .
Sometimes, even the A-listers do not get their desired role.