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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 10/11/2006

Hump Day Helper:

By Liz Kelly

Can you imagine an "American Beauty" without Kevin Spacey? Imagine, instead of Spacey, Chevy Chase pumping iron in his garage and taunting Annette Bening as Lester Burnham in the 1999 Academy Award-winning Best Picture. Luckily, we never had to find out if Chase was up to the task.

Thanks to the U.K.'s Guardian, though, for publishing this list of stars who almost starred in some of the biggest movies of the last century. Shudder at the thought of Kevin Costner as "The Matrix's" Neo or Julia Roberts trying to hobble her way through an English accent (again) in "Shakespeare in Love." (Kate Winslet also apparently turned down the role that won Gwyneth Paltrow an Oscar, according to a recent EW interview.)

Look over the Guardian's list and check out the new site for more near-misses (like O.J. Simpson as the Terminator). This site is good for at least 30 minutes of mid-week "multi-tasking."

By Liz Kelly  | October 11, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Kevin Costner is to Keanu Reeves as Six of One is to Half a Dozen of The Other.

Which was worse: "Waterworld" or "Johnny Mnemonic"? Discuss.

Posted by: byoolin | October 11, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Interesting site -- trying to imagine "Blue Velvet" with Willem Dafoe, Val Kilmer, Helen Mirren, and Molly Ringwald in the Hopper, Maclachlan, Rosellini and Dern roles somehow makes that movie even more disturbing!

Posted by: jim | October 11, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

byoolin brings up a good point.

However, it was not easy to choose between these truly horrid films. My pick is Johnny Mnemonic, after seeing it I immediately went through a partial mindwipe treatment. So now I don't recall what it was about but I know it sucked.

Posted by: petal | October 11, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I doubt MGM holds the copyright on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I think it ran out quite a few years back.

Posted by: Fremont | October 11, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

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