July 28, 2021

Robert De Niro confirms the myth and explains why he rejected the lead of I would like to be Great

Although Tom Hanks was already a recognized name in Hollywood in the late 80s, thanks to some cult comedies such as Splash Y Single party -both from 1984-, the definitive consecration for the actor came four years later with Big (1988), the endearing fantasy comedy about a boy who grows up overnight after making a wish, and who in addition to hitting the box office earned Hanks an Oscar nomination for his role as Josh Baskin.

But the film directed by Penny Marshall – which in cinemas and video stores on this side of the world became known as I would like to be great O Wish fulfilled– It could have had a very different vibe and result: according to the actress Elizabeth Perkins, part of the cast of the film, told a few weeks ago, the first actor considered for the leading role was Robert De Niro, who after a decade dedicated to dramas and films about gangsters was looking for those days to explore other genres and registers more linked to comedy and the family audience (something that he ended up doing years later).

Robert De Niro was cast in the role of Josh in the movie Big“Perkins said in an interview last April. “But it all fell apart because there was a scheduling conflict and then they went to Tom Hanks. It is a totally different film in my brain with Robert De Niro “, added the actress, who even managed to audition with the protagonist of Taxi driver.

De Niro himself took charge of this version and last night, invited to the popular Jimmy Fallon late show, confirmed the veracity of the myth, surprising part of the audience of the program.

“We had something with the negotiation, one thing, so it went as it turned out,” said the actor, as part of a questionnaire with short answers, although clarifying that what happened was not a major problem. “So, everything is fine,” he said.


Although he did not provide more details of the episode, De Niro ended up premiering that year Escape at midnight (1988), the film he filmed with the recently deceased Charles Grodin, materializing his intention to jump into comedy (which he had already explored in The king of comedy, although to the Scorsese) after releasing The Untouchables.

Apparently, the protagonist of Wild bull would have leaned toward that project rather than Big, after the times did not coincide or the negotiations with the second did not prosper. At least the dates match.