I was doing some fact checking for a Film Threat review and called out to my wife, “I have to see if it was Hilary Duff or Hilary Swank who was in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’.”

“It was Swank,” she quickly told me.

“I know. I just thought it was funny to say that.” And there was the idea for a new column. What if some movies we’re all familiar with were cast differently? What would the films be like?

Hilary Duff would have brought something totally different to “Boys Don’t Cry.” Swank was good, but Duff would have had the X factor. With Duff in the lead, the movie would’ve appealed to the teen crowd and, dare I say, may have been a lot sexier.

Another good recast would’ve been Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner teaming up one more time in …Monster’s Ball. Just picture that for a minute. Beautiful. I doubt Houston would’ve won an Oscar for it, though. If by some miracle she did, I can guarantee her speech would have been a hell of a lot better than Berry’s. Crack babble never sounded so good.

Then there’s Governor Schwarzenegger, something I can’t even write without laughing. Suppose he would’ve been the new Leatherface in the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? It would have done better at the box office, and it would’ve been much scarier. Arnold with a chainsaw? Hell yeah! Forget the Conan sword and obscenely huge guns. Lumberjack tools are far more terrifying.

Remember Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”? Of course you do. It was an awesome movie. Would it have had the same feel if Keanu Reeves was the lead? I highly doubt it. It would’ve been a bizarre movie, though, and it would’ve failed and cost the studio millions. Had that happened, we probably would’ve never got “The Matrix,” and we all know how I feel about that franchise.

If you like porno, chances are you’ve seen one or two dozen movies with Jenna Jameson, who sounds like a Marvel character. (I wonder what her powers would be?) Picture her movies with Sandra Bullock in her place. I can visualize her semen splattered face as I write this twisted fantasy. I’m not even sure I have ever heard her say “f**k,? but I know I want to. And I really want to see her go down on another girl … maybe even Cher. The mind reels.

How about Gary Coleman as Yoda? That little guy would’ve kicked a*s against Dooku. “Whatchu talkin’ about, Mace?” He would bring a whole new feel to the “Star Wars” movies, too. Lessons on The Force via Arnold Jackson. Mr. Lucas wouldn’t do that to us, though, because he has compassion for his audience. Still, it would’ve been pretty cool.

Remember the anger over Michael Keaton as Batman? It turned out he was the best one of the bunch. Suppose instead of Keaton, George Clooney got the role. Oh. Wait. Never mind.

Robert DeNiro, who hasn’t really been worth watching in years, did get some critical acclaim for his role in Meet the Parents. I say he wasn’t right for that part. Instead, I would’ve cast Christopher Walken. I’m not even kidding about this. That guy is creepy and funny; just watch any of his performances. If I was some dork going to meet my gal’s family and met him … I’d be wearing Depends the entire time. On a lighter note, Ben Stiller might have been able to get some wacky mistaken identity love scene with Walken, too, and that would’ve just added to the disturbing nature of the film.

Those are just some of the great recasting ideas I’ve had over the past half hour. I’m full of them, though, if Hollywood wants to give me a call. I work cheap, and I can totally alter the profit margin on any picture with just a few well-placed casting changes.

I do really hope the Sandra Bullock one comes true, though. Man, that would be sweet.

Discuss Doug Brunell’s “Excess Hollywood” column in Film Threat’s BACK TALK section! Click here>>>

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