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Brokeback Mountain was, for many, one of the best films that came out in 2005 and it went on to receive several Oscar nominations. It won three Oscars but many film pundits/fans were left bemused when Crash won Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were the two male leads in the movie that, before Ang Lee took up the reigns of director, was originally meant to be directed by Gus Van Sant.
Gus Van Sant
In an interview with IndieWire, Van Sant revealed that interest in the film from actors was minimal and that huge movie stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were approached to star in the film but turned it down. Here is what he specifically had to say:
“Nobody wanted to do it. I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast. That wasn’t working out. I asked the usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe. They all said no.”
“What I could have done, and what I probably should have done, was cast more unknowns, not worried about who were the lead actors. I was not ready. I’m not sure why. There was just sort of a hiccup on my part. There was something off with myself, I guess, whatever was going on.”
Call Me By Your Name
Gus Van Sant also stated that he was offered to direct Call Me By Your Name before Luca Guadagnino was eventually hired:
“I think in that case in particular…I don’t think it would have panned out the way it did if I had directed it. I think it was great. I like the film. I think the sentimentality and the ending of the film was something that probably wasn’t in the book in the same way. It maybe was in the book, but I think that he got something really great that I think is very… I’m not sure I would have ended up in the same place, so it probably wouldn’t have done as well.”
Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here on Soapbox as well as my reviews which you can also find at my blog theturnertalks.com.