The movie which starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in 2005 was an Oscar-winning smash, picking up three awards from eight nominations.
Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger played Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, who were two sheep herders in Wyoming, America in the 1960s, who had to hide their relationship.
Gus Van Sant, who was approached to direct the ground-breaking movie before it was taken over by Ang Lee, has now revealed the Hollywood stars who turned the lead roles down.
According to the director, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Ryan Phillipe all turned down the roles.
He said: ”Nobody wanted to do it. I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast.
”That wasn’t working out. I asked the usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe. They all said no.”
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He continued to tell IndieWire: ”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. 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.”
The movie’s producer and screenwriter Diana Ossana confirmed that Pitt, DiCaprio, Damon and Phillippe did indeed turn down the roles.
She said: “Yes, all those young gentlemen [at the time] turned down the project, for various reasons.”
Matt Damon previously spoke about his regret at turning down the movie.
He told Entertainment Weekly in 2007: “Years ago, Gus Van Sant wanted to do it with me and Joaquin Phoenix. But I was on my way to Italy to do The Talented Mr. Ripley and then All the Pretty Horses.
“And Gus wanted to do Brokeback right after. And I was like, ‘Gus, I’m going to do a gay movie, then a cowboy movie. I can’t follow it up with a gay-cowboy movie!'”