Did You Know: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis and Robin Williams Almost Starred in 'Three Amigos?'
Dec 16, 2011
It's the week of the 25th anniversary of John Landis' Three Amigos
with Steve Martin
, Chevy Chase
, and Martin Short
starring as the titular heroes. The film is a veritable who's who of the comedy world with Martin and Lorne Michaels on script duties and Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz in supporting roles. The project took many twisty turns as it developed, with various title changes, a revolving cast, and cuts that trimmed more than just running time — the edits excised a few well-known stars completely. Fran Drescher
was one name deleted during the cuts. She would have played a "shallow movie star." Screamy Sam Kinison
also had an extended cameo as a "cannibal mountain man."
Initially, Steve Martin wanted to cast Dan Aykroyd and … John Belushi together for The Three Caballeros (the film's previous working title), but the duo ended up starring in the cruddy Neighbors instead. Steven Spielberg almost took the reins on Three Amigos after he completed Raiders of the Lost Ark. The filmmaker wanted Bill Murray (for Chevy Chase's Dusty Bottoms), Robin Williams (for Martin Short's Ned Nederlander), and Steve Martin (for the same role he played, Lucky Day) in the leads. The War Horse director chose to focus on E.T. instead. When Landis finally took over, he brought up Rick Moranis' name in the event that Martin Short couldn't commit. While that would have been a pretty great match, Moranis ended up doing well regardless with favorites like Ghostbusters and Spaceballs.
Check out the full development history on Splitsider
, which talks more about Belushi's involvement and more.