10 Movie Roles That Almost Were Cast VERY Differently

9. Dustin Hoffman As Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)

Robert De Niro Wonka
United Artists

No one does grizzled charm like Harrison Ford but he wasn't the original choice to play Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Instead, the director originally cast Dustin Hoffman. By this point in his career, Hoffman had played a number of put-upon, harried everymen that get put through the emotional wringer. It's fairly easy to draw a line from Straw Dogs and Marathon Man to Blade Runner.

Not to mention that the original theatrical ending finds Deckard and Rachel drive off into the country, hinting at the prospect of a happy ending, but maintaining an air of ambiguity. One of the great ambiguous happy endings in all of cinema is, of course, the end of The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman. After being cast as Deckard, Hoffman eventually left the role, citing 'artistic differences', following unsuccessful requests for rewrites.

Just as well, as Deckard needs the more cynical, disillusioned energy that (a relatively young) Ford brought to the role. Blade Runner is a film about what it means to be human and Ford's detached performance treads the line between human and replicant(?) perfectly. Dustin Hoffman went on to drag up and play Tootsie in the same year as Blade Runner's eventual theatrical release, which fared much better at the box office!


Citizen of the Universe, Film Programmer, Writer, Podcaster, Doctor Who fan and a gentleman to boot. As passionate about Chinese social-realist epics as I am about dumb popcorn movies.