Films Pop Culture What If

What If: Jim Carrey as Batman

Riddle me this…

In the mid-90s, Jim Carrey was in the midst of an epic run of box office hits. From 1994 – 1998, he starred (or co-starred) in eight films, all of which grossed at least $100 million dollars globally, with three of them doubling that figure and three more tripling it.

Halfway through that streak he brought his talent and star power to the film that had the highest domestic gross of 1995 – and sixth-highest worldwide – playing the Riddler in Batman Forever.

Films What If

What If: Film Edition

will-smith-neo-matrix-movie-how-will-smith-turned-down-the-matrix-and-blew-a-chance-to-change-hollywood-forever-jpeg-189668 (2)

It is often said that so many things need to go right on a movie set that it’s amazing that any films survive long enough to make it to the theater. Also, many scripts and plans take years to develop with various directors and actors becoming attached to productions before dropping out of them and pursuing other avenues of work.

Here is a short list of just some my favorite what ifs in the film industry:

  • What if Will Smith had not turned down the lead roles in The Matrix and Django Unchained?
  • What if Marvel Studios had not let Jon Favreau cast Robert Downey Jr. as the lead in Iron Man?
  • What if Quentin Tarantino had gotten his dream cast for Pulp Fiction?
  • What would The Dark Knight Rises had been if Heath Ledger had lived?
  • What if Jim Carrey and Steven Spielberg had made Meet the Parents (Carrey is the one that came up with the last name of “Focker”)?
  • What if Jack Nicholson had not turned down the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather?
  • What if Francis Ford Coppola had not waited so long to make The Godfather Part III?
  • What if Robert Duvall’s salary demand not have prevented him from starring in Godfather III?
  • What if Robert De Niro hadn’t dropped out of the role of Frank Costello in The Departed?


  • What if the ending of I Am Legend not been changed?
  • What if Molly Ringwald had not turned down the lead role in Ghost?
  • What if Leonardo DiCaprio had not turned down the role of Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights?
  • What if Forrest Gump had been made with any of the studio’s first three choices as the titular character – John Travolta, Bill Murray or Chevy Chase?
  • What if Brad Pitt had played the lead in Memento?
  • What if David Lynch had directed Return of the Jedi?
  • What if Lucas had let others direct (and write) the prequels?
  • What if Brandon Lee and River Phoenix had lived?

Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

NBA What If

What If: NBA Draft Edition

How different would the Association had looked if different decisions had been made? 

2007 NBA Draft Portraits