Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Steve Reeves - His Missed Opportunities

In 1959, Steve Reeves was the highest paid actor in Europe thanks to the success of HERCULES (1958). He starred in 5 films after that movie, all made in 1958 - 1959. He was sought after and was approached for many great projects which went nowhere. Here's just 3 of the many major projects that almost were. 

Samson in SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)


Steve auditioned for the role of Samson in SSAMSON AND DELILAH in 1948, as the card above shows. Director Cecil B DeMille was interested in casting Steve but he thought Steve's physique was something audiences back then weren't ready for so the role went to Victor Mature. Steve eventually went to great success with HERCULES, and I'm sure DeMille and others in Hollywood saw what a missed opportunity not casting Steve as Samson was. Ironically, the poster of SAMSON AND DELILAH, re-released after the success of HERCULES, imitated Reeves' explosive physique (below) which Victor Mature didn't have.


The producers of James Bond were working on DR NO and they wanted Reeves to play 007 but they were willing to pay $100,000 while Reeves was making twice as much for his PEPLUM movies. He declined the offer. Reeves looked great in a suit. It's a shame he declined the offer. Sean Connery got the role. Connery was also into bodybuilding.


The producers of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966) starring Raquel Welch approached Reeves to play the lead male role but they only offered $50,000 for a role that's very physical. Like the James Bond offer, Reeves declined the project which eventually went to John Richardson who, admittedly, was pretty good in it. Remarkably enough, I actually made a Fantasy Casting post about how amazing the movie would have been if Steve had starred in it opposite to Raquel and lo and behold, this Fantasy Casting almost became real when an article years later wrote about this missed opportunity. Reeves and Welch were good friends.

More in a future post!


Anonymous said...

The interest of Reeves in Samson and Delilah is more involved than you suggest. There is quite a bit about it in the book Hollywood and the Bible.

PEPLUM TV said...

Ok thanks