Did You Know This ‘Friends’ Star Almost Robbed Will Smith of This $62,01,30,196 Franchise?

Published 07/25/2023, 2:31 AM EDT

via Getty

Hollywood has witnessed a plethora of comic book adaptations over the years, with franchise series becoming a vital part of its legacy. One actor who effortlessly carries on this rich tradition is none other than the charismatic Will Smith, fondly known as The Fresh Prince. His versatility knows no bounds as he seamlessly masters action-packed roles and fearlessly takes on iconic characters like Muhammad Ali.

Smith’s illustrious career boasts a plethora of movie credits. But, there is one franchise that truly catapulted him into Hollywood’s spotlight for good. Fate played its hand, and luck smiled upon Smith, as he narrowly averted the risk of losing this blockbuster franchise to a Friends actor.

Imagine Friends actor in place of Will Smith

Ah, the cherished childhood movies that remain etched in our memories! Who could ever forget the dynamic duo of Agent J and Agent K, with their playful antics and wit, fearlessly safeguarding the Earth from extraterrestrial threats? However, let your imagination run wild for a moment. Picture another talented actor, David Schwimmer from the show Friends, stepping into the shoes of Agent J. It almost came to be, but fate had other plans. Schwimmer, known for his brilliant portrayal of Ross Geller, had to turn down Men in Black due to prior commitments.

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, Schwimmer revealed, “It wasn’t even like a choice.” The clash with his production of the romance reunion Since You’ve Been Gone left him with no other option. Schwimmer’s Hollywood career might not be as extensive as that of his on-screen girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston (aka Rachel). He holds no regrets about turning down the role. Instead, he viewed it as a blessing in disguise. It eventually enabled him to focus more on personal projects and explore other creative endeavors.

David Schwimmer’s decision to decline the role indeed paved the way for the brilliant portrayal of Agent J by Smith. However, he was not the only one who passed on the opportunity to don the iconic suit.

Schwimmer not the only one turning down Men in Black

As much as it may sound wicked, those who rejected the $62,01,30,196 franchise inadvertently blessed the devoted Smith fans. Witnessing Smith’s impeccable portrayal as Agent J reaffirms the belief that no other actor could have aced the role quite like him. Amidst those who passed on the opportunity, including the talented David Schwimmer, another noteworthy actor, Chris O’Donnell, also turned down the chance to be part of Men in Black. 

Chris O’Donnell, after turning down the role of Agent J in Men in Black, candidly expressed his reasons. According to him, he felt it bore too much resemblance to his previous portrayal of Robin in Batman. While some may have had mixed reactions to his performance as Robin, O’Donnell firmly believed that a solo Robin movie could have redeemed the character and showcased its full potential.

Did you know that David Schwimmer was also considered for the role in Men in Black? Let us know in the comments below.



Riva Khan

423 articles

Riva Khan is an entertainment reporter at NetflixJunkie. Given her love for the language and writing, she has honed her narrative skills from a young age. She loves her latest tea in Hollywood and keeps an eye on the news.