The 2005 movie focused on the secret love story shared by Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger). It was directed by Ang Lee and won three Oscars.
Lee wasn’t the first person approached to direct the movie, though. Gus Van Sant was tapped to helm the film and, in a new interview, he has revealed Ledger and Gyllenhaal weren’t the first choices for their parts either.
“Nobody wanted to do it,” Van Sant told IndieWire. “I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast. That wasn’t working out.”
The director said Matt Damon and Ryan Phillippe were also asked to be in the movie, as well as Pitt and DiCaprio, but “they all said no.” Van Sant added: “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,” he continued. “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.”
Diana Ossana, who served as a producer and screenwriter on Brokeback Mountain confirmed that Damon, Phillippe, DiCaprio and Pitt were all approached for roles in the film. “Yes, all those young gentlemen (at the time) turned down the project, for various reasons,” she said.
Meanwhile, Pitt and DiCaprio will appear together in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, the new movie from Quentin Tarantino. The film, which follows an actor and his stunt double during the Charles Manson murders of 1969, will be released on July 26, 2019. It was originally scheduled for August 9 – the anniversary of Manson victim Sharon Tate’s death.