As Hollywood moves on to a franchise culture, the actors undertake gruelling physical and mental conditioning to keep up with the fans’ expectations. As creative artists and people of expression, a true actor always would like to test out new things and explore new roles in different areas. Being stuck to one movie franchise for a decade or maybe even more, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes the actors are too fed up to pursue it. But the Directors and the Studio houses would never dare let go of a cash cow. Some actors even like their characters to meet a proper farewell, a fictional closure of you will, so that those memorable characters could go down guns blazing and their legacies remain untarnished. The following list contains a list of such actors who tried to turn the table but failed to do so. They thrashed and begged all they could but the studio houses never let go of them or their character. Presenting – 10 actors who literally begged the Directors to kill the characters they played.
1. Sir Alec Guinness – Star Wars
Sir Alec Guinness became a household phenomenon after he played Obi Wan-Kenobi in the Star Wars original trilogy series of movies. But his distaste for the Star Wars movies is also pretty popular. Sir Alec Guinness was so hateful of the Star Wars movies that he once convinced an ardent Star Wars fan to stop watching Star Wars movies provided Sir Guinness gave him a personally signed autograph. The reason for his hatred for the Star Wars movies keeps changing with due passage of time. But the strongest of the rumours talks about a story where Alec Guinness almost lost his cool and walked out of the theatres after he read the script where Obi Wan-Kenobi is killed right after the Death Star scene. He became so angry at George Lucas that he personally asked the latter to kill off his character as soon as possible.
2. Sean Connery
The one true James Bond will always be Sean Connery. His suave immortalized James Bond in the minds of millions. But he too was very unhappy with playing the same character in another movie. He asked the Directors to kill off James Bond or at least create a getaway vehicle for him in the script so that he does not have to return to play Bond ever again. Apparently, Connery disliked being looked as a womanizer. He still returned though. After the Studio increased his pay check and agreed to finance some of Connery’s own projects, Connery returned to play the British spy again in several other Bond movies.
3. Jamie Lee Curtis – Halloween
Jamie Lee Curtis used to be Hollywood’s premium hot stuff during her prime years. She probably still is. The one movie franchise that shot her to fame is the Halloween series. The movie revolved around a seemingly immortal and psychopathic serial killer that is trying to kill a woman named Laurie Strode, played by Curtis. Curtis was contractually obligated to play Strode for two movies, Halloween H20 and Halloween Resurrection. But she once tried to get the Director into killing Laurie after she found out that a clause in the contract meant that the Studio had the power to never kill off Michael Myers. The studio obviously never agreed and Myers was found out to be alive and Laurie had only killed a disguised paramedic. The new Halloween movie also saw the return of Curtis so she probably never managed to negotiate her way out of the series.
4. James Marsden – X-Men
James Marsden may be known for many roles he has played in Hollywood. But he will never be remembered for playing Scott Summers aka Cyclops of the X-Men in the Fox Verse. After Bryan Singer left the X-Men franchise to direct Superman Returns, James Marsden followed him into the same movie. The X-Men franchise changed hands. At first, it was Mathew Vaughn who was set to be the shot caller. Then it turned out to be Brett Ratner. Regardless, Marsden soon played the role of Lois Lane’s husband in the Superman Returns movie and the rest is history. If you had ever thought that why did they kill Cyclops so easily in the X-Men: The Last Stand movie, now you know why!
5. Brent Spiner – Star Trek: Nemesis
Playing the joyful android crew member of in the Star Trek series, Data was a valuable asset to Captain Picard and they went to a lot of adventures together. In Star Trek: Nemesis, it is revealed that Data sacrificed himself to save Captain Picard and in the process, destroyed the evil clone and his ship. But Picard later discovers that Data is not actually dead. A robot clone of him, called B-4 had managed to retrieve his personality files so Spiner could come back again since he was just an android. The reason was that Spiner was getting old and it was getting tough for him to play the immortal android over and over again.
6. Johnny Depp – 21 Jump Street
Johnny Depp is a man of mystery. He is talented but his demands could be very unpredictable. As one of the most sought after actors ever, his tantrums are justifiable. When Jonah Hill was trying to contact Johnny Depp for playing a role in 21 Jump Street, Depp was more than happy to be a part of it. But he had two conditions – One: Peter DeLuise, who portrayed Doug Penhall in the original comedy TV-series will also be a part of the production and two: both his and DeLuise’s character need to be killed off. The Studio agreed.
7. Charlton Heston –Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Charlton Heston was the lead star in the first Planet of the Apes movie and he is an outrigfht indispensable character. After the first movie though, Heston decided to let go of the role and the Studio agreed. But when they made Beneath the Planet of the Apes, a movie that was more or less a sequel to Planet of the Apes, Heston decided to be a part of it after the Studio requested him on the condition that all his pay goes to a charitable organization. Heston dies trying to stop the detonation of a doomsday bomb buried underneath the earth.
8. Harrison Ford – Star Wars
Could there ever have been Star Wars without Han Solo? It turns out, there was once a possibility that it could happen. Han Solo was Harrison Ford’s breakout role. And he wanted the best character he ever played (Second only to Indian Jones) to have a proper farewell. Ford wanted Solo to die while he was still ahead and he gives a beautiful explanation why:
“I asked him to ask the writers to kill me off, because I thought that it would be good that the character who appeared to have not so much of a complex interweaving with the theme of the Force and all that good stuff… I thought it would be good that the character, if he sacrificed himself in some noble way.”
9. Michelle Trachtenberg – Black Christmas
Michelle Trachtenberg had just returned from a lengthy stint in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There was no way she was going to sign a contract for another slasher franchise. So she became a part of the iconic 2006 remake of the 1974 slasher movie Black Christmas on the condition that the Directors kill off her character. Agnes, the eyeless stalked, kills her after she is alone in the Sorority House and she does that with a pair of ice blades.
10. Sigourney Weaver – Alien
The Alien franchise might be one of the most depressing journeys for a blockbuster movie franchise to make. The Studio never stopped milking the legendary Alien movie and the result was that Sigourney Weaver, who played the female protagonist Ripley in the movie, decided to call it quits. Moreover, the Alien vs. Predator movies also turned out to be duds. In Alien 3, after Weaver’s character realizes that she is carrying an alien queen embryo that will one day fall into the hands of the Weyland- Yutani Corporation she jumps into a furnace rather than watch the world burn.