The Boondock Saints was released in 1999 and is absolutely one of my favorite movies! Starring Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead fame and Sean Patrick Flannery from Saw. Director Troy Duffy was in a band trying to get gigs at a local bar he worked at as a bouncer and bartender. He was also a heavy drinker, and would often instigate arguments and even led to a well known actor rejecting his film. It was at this bar on breaks and at his apartment he began writing the screenplay. He drew inspiration by his disgust at seeing a drug dealer taking money from a corpse across the hall from his apartment. It didn't garner much at the box office due to the Columbine Massacre just before the film's release, but thankfully due to word of mouth and its home release, it gained an enormous cult following and eventually got followed up a sequel a decade later and has a third film in the works! Norman Reedus currently stars on AMC's The Walking Dead and still has time to sit down and talk to his fans. In an interview where fans could ask Reedus questions, one asked about The Boondock Saints 3 and if co-star Flannery would ever appear on The Walking Dead. His response was,
"Hey good morning. Yeah its on. In the works, happening. Sean would be great on the show, he's a real life ninja"
It's hard for me to imagine anyone else playing the MacManus twins or Detective Smecker, but there were a lot of close calls and casting ideas before we had our perfect cast. Check out some of the original ideas the studios and director Troy Duffy wanted.
Duffy didn't want Pitt as he had already played an Irishman in The Devils Own, and refused to even meet with him. Pitt starred in his own cult classic Fight Club in 1999.
This Matrix star was immediately rejected from the director. Duffy referred to Keanu as a fu--ing punk. As you can imagine Keanu had his own thing going on in 1999, anyways...
Another immediate rejection was Ethan Hawke. Duffy had another thing to say, and this time was calling Hawke a talentless fool. Two years later, Hawke would appear in the Oscar winning Training Day.
But Duffy didn't dislike every actor that was originally considered. In fact, there were a lot of actors who almost got the part, such as...
Although no decisions were ever finalized with these actors, he did meet with Ewan McGregor. Duffy flew out to New York to talk to McGregor about a lead role but after a night out, they had gotten into an argument over the death penalty and McGregor passed on the film.
Though I think I can say for the majority of us, we wouldn't trade Norman or Sean for the world. They are the embodiment of the saints and made the film what it is. They put their hearts and souls into it, and are loved and respected by the fans. I had the pleasure of meeting Sean Patrick Flannery last summer and he is without a doubt one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He cares about his fans and loves the films.
What do you think about the could have been casting calls?