Justified Star Lost Iron Man to Downey Jr. but Took Hitman from Statham, Instead
Timothy Olyphant had quite a ride competing with other A-listers for “something-man” roles: despite losing Iron Man, the actor overtook Hitman.
For most movie roles, there’s a huge competition between dozens of actors who want to bag those parts. Aspiring performers show up in hopes of a big breakthrough; experienced A-listers look to solidify their status or are genuinely interested in the role… But either way, it’s a battle that often includes different weight classes.
In the case of Timothy Olyphant, who’s quite a famous actor himself, he had to go against more popular counterparts more than once. Curiously enough, both the situations we’re talking about today were about the roles of “something-men,” and Olyphant somehow ended up in the loss twice despite having two opposite results.
When one of the most iconic video game franchises ever, Hitman, was looking for the lead actor to play the legendary Agent 47, Jason Statham was initially eyed to play the part. It only seemed fair: after all, who’s the best choice for a fictional world-famous dangerous bald guy than a real-life world-famous bald guy?
However, Timothy Olyphant came around and took the role of Hitman from right under Statham’s nose. This looked like a win, but in the end, 2007’s Hitman movie was largely hated by the audience (and Olyphant himself), so it was, instead, a loss.
The actor could have begged a much more successful “something-man” role with 2008’s Iron Man, though. As he revealed to The Playlist years later, Olyphant was “scared to death” but still decided to audition for the part because he thought it “would be fun.” And this movie could’ve become his new breakthrough, but…
…but as we all know, Robert Downey Jr. came along and charmed the hell out of Iron Man’s casting director. Later, his first outing as Tony Stark would become an instant cult classic that would launch the entire MCU — but for Timothy Olyphant, all of this would already be irrelevant.
Honestly, the one takeaway from this story is that wins and losses are not always as obvious as they appear. And also, that there are way too many “something-men” characters in modern cinema.