What if Google was still called BackRub, and Julia Roberts didn’t star in “Pretty Woman?”
Hey Siri – what if you were voiced by Jeff Goldblum?
The 64-year-old star of “The Fly,” “Jurassic Park” and “Independence Day” – and most recently the face of Apartments.com – revealed he almost voiced Apple’s virtual assistant.
“Steve Jobs called me up a few decades ago to be the voice of Apple. That was early on, and I did not know it was Steve Jobs,” Goldblum told “Today Show” in Australia.
But alas, the voice-activated assistant you’ve come to know and love has been brought to life by voice over artist Susan Bennett since Siri debuted in 2011. Her pipes have also recorded messages for GPS navigation software and the Delta Air Lines public address system.
Too bad – a world where The Goldblum could set an alarm or look up Chaos Theory would be a fun one, which led us to wonder: What else might have been if other actors were cast in our favorite roles, or if the world’s biggest companies were named something else? Here’s a few of the most mind-boggling alternate realities.
ROLE PLAYING: Would your heart still go on if Matthew McConaughey had played Jack Dawson in “Titanic?” Rumor has it that the role that catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio from “Growing Pains” heartthrob to a global superstar was almost filled by Mr. “All right, all right, all right,” and Kate Winslet’s Rose could’ve been Gwyneth Paltrow. Director James Cameron will neither confirm or deny it. Some other iconic movie characters we can’t imagine being cast any other way: “Pretty Woman’s” Vivian, which was meant for Molly Ringwald before Julia Roberts sashayed in. And Harrison Ford’s roles as “Star Wars” smuggler Han Solo and the titular “Indiana Jones” were almost played by Al Pacino and Tom Selleck, respectively.
MOVIE TITLES: Would these Hollywood hits have drawn blockbuster crowds by any other name? “The Breakfast Club” was written as “The Lunch Bunch.” Talk about bashing skulls. Or picture buying a ticket for Woody Allen’s “Anhedonia,” the medical term that refers to an inability to experience pleasure, instead of “Annie Hall.” The producers behind “Pretty Woman” were calling the film “3000,” referring to how much money Vivian charges for a week of her company, but audiences snarked it sounded to sci-fi. And would Ridley Scott’s “Alien” have struck fear into so many hearts if it was called “Star Beast,” which sounds more like a Pokemon character?
BRAND NAMES: Speaking of money-making monikers, would you ever call looking something up online “backrubbing?” Because search engine juggernaut Google was originally called BackRub in 1996. No, really – google it. Twitter would have been “Twitch” or “Jitter” if those words didn’t bring addicts to mind. Or would Playboy have appealed to horny young bucks if it was called Stag Party, which Hugh Hefner originally toyed with? And some other potential brand names that are a harder sell than the final product include Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web, a.k.a. Yahoo, as well as AuctionWeb (eBay), Blue Ribbon Sports (Nike), Brad’s Drink (Pepsi-Cola) and Sound of Music (Best Buy.)
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