Imagine “Edward Scissorhands” with a Maverick-esque grin instead of his signature goth tears! Believe it or not, this almost became a reality. Johnny Depp, fresh off teen heartthrob roles, desperately wanted to break free. But he wasn’t alone in vying for Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest | Disney

Dive into a near-miss casting catastrophe as we discover Tom Cruise almost stole a role that became iconic for Depp. Did Burton make the right choice? Get ready to dissect this “core” Hollywood mystery!

From Teen Idol to Scissorhands: Depp’s Fight for a Career-Defining Role

Johnny Depp as King Louis XV
Johnny Depp as King Louis XV | Why Not Productions

Regarding his legendary performance in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp is alleged to have stated, “It went to the very core of whatever I am.” But the man whose hands were like swords may have looked so much different! For the young Depp, who was just out of teen heartthrob roles, this wasn’t really a sure thing.

Johnny Depp was determined to shed that image, so he aggressively sought the role. A recent Tim Burton documentary claims that Michael Jackson and Tom Hanks were among the other A-list celebrities who were given consideration. BUT the biggest near-miss, though? Tom Cruise

Depp himself admits that Cruise “was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands.” Even though he was still a rising celebrity at the time, Depp felt overpowered by the competition. He was so afraid of being rejected in front of such powerful people in Hollywood that he even thought about skipping the audition.

Thank goodness his agent stepped in and encouraged him to take the risk. “Are you f***ing nuts?” was the actor’s agent’s response, Depp recalled. Despite reports that Burton met with Cruise at the studio’s request, the filmmaker never really thought of Cruise as Edward. Ultimately, Depp’s affinity for the character’s helplessness and seclusion secured him the part.

This near-miss showcases how incredibly important casting decisions can be. Would a different performer have found the same kind of resonance in Edward Scissorhands? No wonder, Depp proved he could play more than just heartthrobs with his unvarnished portrayal—solidifying his reputation as a Hollywood chameleon!

Movies starring Johnny Depp Can’t Break a Tom Cruise Record Even with $8.3B in the Bank

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise in 2022’s Top Gun : Maverick | Paramount Pictures

In the entertainment business, very few actors have ever come close to reaching the coveted $1 billion milestone. As a lead, Depp has exceeded that threshold three times. During his remarkable career, the Pirates of Caribbean actor has witnessed his feature films, in which he plays the lead role, bring in over $8.3 billion at the box office. Nevertheless, when compared to Tom Cruise’s record, the 60-year-old’s astounding accomplishments begin to seem insignificant.

This decade, Cruise, 61,  introduced fresh entries in the Top Gun and Mission: Impossible franchises to theaters. He continues to be the only real superstar in Hollywood, as evidenced by the two films’ combined box office receipts of over $2 billion. In the process, Cruise broke Depp’s record of $8.3 billion in box office receipts. According to The Numbers, since the Jack Reacher actor starred in them, his films have made over $10.5 billion worldwide.

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