Big was originally "more of a horror movie" starring Robert De Niro

Emily Hutchinson
·2-min read

It's pretty much impossible to imagine Big without Tom Hanks playing boy-turned-man Josh Baskin, but it turns out that was actually very close to happening. The beloved movie almost had a very sinister edge with a totally different A-List actor in the lead role.

Elizabeth Perkins spilled the beans this week on Watch What Happens Live on Thursday (April 8), where she revealed the original plan was for it to be much darker and more like "a horror movie" starring none other than Robert De Niro.

"Robert De Niro was actually cast in the role of Josh in the movie Big. It fell apart because he had a scheduling conflict, and then they went to Tom Hanks. It's like a totally different movie in my brain with Robert De Niro – and dark," the star, who played MacMillen Toy Company employee Susan, claimed.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

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Perkins continued that De Niro's version of Josh "was more moody" and the whole thing was "a little more of a horror movie" that would see the actor "wandering around the streets of New York".

She added: "What Tom Hanks brought to it was so much lighter." No kidding!

The revelation came a few years after the actor who played the young version of Josh admitted he didn't think the 1998 movie would be made today because of the relationship between Susan and the grown-up version of Josh (who, inside, is still a 12-year-old kid).

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

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David Moscow told Yahoo! while celebrating its 30th anniversary that he thought "people would jump on it" if it were made in more modern times.

"If they did make it, the press, before it even came out, would be ripping it to shreds," he claimed, adding, "I don't think you could."

He continued: "It would be sort of like the other body-switching comedies where it was more about the father and the son flipping."

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