I watched Gidget for the first time not too long ago. I didn’t like it as much as I expected to. The best part about it, for me, sadly, was learning that the studio wanted Elvis for the role of “Moondoggie” but he was serving in the army at the time and couldn’t take it (I got bored and read the movie’s wikipedia entry at a dull point in the film).
This piece of trivia stuck with me, because Moondoggie was a rich kid who wants to be a surfer loafer. And there is no way Elvis could have pulled that off.
Somehow, I ended up talking to a co-worker about this the other day and we decided that it should be a new genre of movie; the non-Elvis-movie. So I promised her I’d investigate and blog about it, because then it would be a Thing on the Internet.
The things I found were shocking. Shocking.
Gene Wilder’s role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Jon Voight’s role in Midnight Cowboy:
No, no, no. Just no.
Paul Newman’s role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
John Travolta’s role in Grease (I didn’t have to mock something up for that one; a similar-minded soul made a video!)
No, no, no, NO, NO, NO, NO.
Elvis was also supposed to have been offered roles in Being There, The Rainmaker, The Defiant Ones, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, West Side Story, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Fastest Guitar Alive, Thunder Road, True Grit and A Star Is Born.
And, lucky last — Elvis apparently wanted the role of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, but he was turned down after his audition.