If someone were to count all the iconic roles portrayed by the great Harrison Ford, they would most likely fall short of fingers. In fact, since his first appearance in the 1977 Star Wars, he likely became one of the most sought-after leading men in the industry. In fact, science fiction and fantasy became his top genres despite his versatility. So much so that he was once also up for a role in a sci-fi film that ultimately went to Will Smith.
The 2019 Gemini Man almost had Ford as the protagonist. This seems hardly a surprise given the veteran actor’s portfolio of work and the recent rumor of him joining the MCU. Nevertheless, let us find out what went down and how Will Smith finally snagged the role.
Why was Harrison Ford considered for Will Smith’s part in Gemini Man?
From the unforgettable Han Solo (Star Wars) to the exemplary archeologist Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford has several massive films in his arsenal, including but not limited to Blade Runner, Air Force One, and Patriot Games. While the Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee ultimately made the Will Smith starrer Gemini Man, that wasn’t the initial plan for the film.
At first, the Top Gun director Tony Scott had taken up the project and the protagonist and the clone were to star two different actors. While Mel Gibson and Nicolas Cage were also fine choices for the role, Harrison Ford and Chris O’Donnell were the top contenders. As a matter of fact, the idea of a man battling his clone was doing the rounds since 1997. In the 90s, star power was enough to get the audience to watch a film. Given that Ford was at the peak of his career at the time, the casting was an absolute no-brainer.
However, with the film changing hands and a delay of more than a decade, it was Will Smith that led the show. The Fresh Prince played both the protagonist and his doppelgänger, which meant double the stardom. Sadly, the rules of the game had changed completely. The 2010s saw the trends shift from star power in favor of intellectual property. No wonder Gemini Man, which was riddled with the 90s hangover, tanked at the box office.
Is Ford really joining the MCU?
If the rumors are to be believed, Harrison Ford is, in fact, up for a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the tragic loss of the actor William Hurt, reports suggested that the Indiana Jones actor will take his place. Ever since The Incredible Hulk, Hurt embodied the character of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and was last seen in the 2021 Marvel film Black Widow.
According to the comics and the films, General Ross is a U.S military officer. He led the gamma bomb project responsible for Bruce Banner turning into the angry green monster. General Ross is also Banner’s father-in-law, who ultimately turns into the Red Hulk. Ford is reported to appear in the Thunderbolts film and Captain America: New World Order.
How do you think Gemini Man would fare with Harrison Ford instead of Will Smith? Also, are you excited for Ford to play the Red Hulk? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.