Michael J. Fox Reveals the Major Movie Role He Turned Down

May 13, 2023
1 min read
Michael J. Fox Reveals the Major Movie Role He Turned Down
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Michael J. Fox is regretful after rejecting a big role.

In a profile with Variety, the actor revealed that he missed out on some major opportunities after wrapping up the Back to the Future franchise, including turning down the starring role in Ghost alongside Demi Moore. The part ultimately went to Patrick Swayze, which became the late actor’s most iconic role after Dirty Dancing.

“I didn’t see how it would work,” Fox said about Ghost. “It shows I can be an idiot too.”

After Fox turned down Ghost, he realized he needed work and took roles in Hollywood flops Life With Mikey and For Love or Money.

The Family Ties star admitted that he prioritized paychecks over substance upon being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. He was told by doctors he likely could only work for the next 10 years. “It’s such a shitty disease. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to deal with it. It didn’t fit my story. I just shut down,” Fox said about how he handled his Parkinson’s diagnosis at the time.

It was first revealed that Fox turned down the role in Ghost in Vanity Fair’s oral history of the 1990 film. The movie’s screenwriter, Bruce Joel Rubin, said the filmmakers “went to every major actor in Hollywood who was hot at the time” but “everybody” turned it down. “Harrison Ford said, ‘I read this thing three times and I still don’t get it,'” he said. “Michael J. Fox, Paul Hogan, on and on, we kept getting turned down.” 

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