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Al Pacino Speaks About Why He Turned Down The Role Of Benjamin Willard In Apocalypse Now

Published Mon Sep 02 2019 By Travis
Al Pacino Speaks About Why He Turned Down The Role Of Benjamin Willard In Apocalypse Now

Al Pacino talks about why he didn't play the role of Benjamin Willard in the acclaimed movie Apocalypse Now.

Al Pacino is one of those actors who left major roles on the table which went on to earn other actors Oscar nods and allowed them to become relevant. Out of several roles he left, just go through some of the characters he rejected and they will leave you baffled. 'Beverly Hills Cop', 'Born on The Fourth of July', 'Kramer vs. Kramer', 'Star Wars', 'Taxi Driver' and 'The Usual Suspects' were all the movies where Al Pacino was offered the lead role, and he left all of them.

Out of all those iconic roles he portrayed over the years one of those characters we wished he didn’t pass on was 'Apocalypse Now'. 'Benjamin Willard' was the character offered to the actor who worked with Francis Ford Coppola in the Godfather trilogy but decided not to be involved. The director later hired Martin Sheen for the role, and it was one of the most notable characters he ever played.

Watch: The 40th anniversary cut for Apocalypse Now releasing this year

The actor was talking with Empire for an exclusive interview for this month’s issue of the magazine, and Al was among the cast members for the upcoming The Irishman movie. The film is set to premiere during the Christmas time, and Netflix will also be releasing the film in the theatres. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Martin Scorsese were all on hand to promote the $165 million budgeted film where Al Pacino talked about the choice to not do 'Apocalypse Now'.

“I just wasn’t ready to do it. I was at a certain point in my life and not in the right space for going away and doing a movie like that. I remember Coppola saying at the time, ‘Pacino won’t do a film unless you do it at his house.’ I said, ‘Yes, come over to my place. We can do Apocalypse Now here. Look, we’ll get somewhere with it.”

Watch: The Irishman coming to Netflix this fall starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino

The film was not exactly easy going, and we now know many stories where the production needed to be shut down because of complications during the filming. Marlon Brando was famously overweight when he first came to film his scenes, and the director stopped production because he couldn’t get the film made.

Francis Ford Coppola made a more extended version of the movie in 2001 when he released the Redux cut. It was a new version of the movie which was much longer than the theatre cut. Francis also finally cut the Redux version down to 181 minutes for release on the 40th anniversary of the film’s original release. The new version of the movie will be made available on 16 September.

Empire cover.
Al Pacino was talking to Empire magazine where he spoke about the reason for not doing Apocalypse Now.

Source: Empire

The Irishman is scheduled for a release on 27 November when the movie will be made available for streaming on Netflix, and the film will also see a theatrical release on 8 November, three weeks before the film makes its streaming bow.