Mel Gibson’s Missed Opportunity: Almost Starring In ‘Schindler’s List’


Mel Gibson, a prominent Hollywood figure, was reportedly considered for the lead role in the iconic 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” However, despite his interest in the project, the director had different plans.

Key Takeaway

Mel Gibson’s interest in starring in “Schindler’s List” sheds light on an intriguing what-if scenario in the film industry, highlighting the delicate balance between casting decisions and the impact of an actor’s public image.

Mel Gibson’s Interest and Spielberg’s Vision

According to Hollywood agent and CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz, who was involved in the making of the film, Mel Gibson’s name came up during the casting process. It was revealed that Mel expressed interest in the project, and his agent made efforts to secure him the part. However, director Steven Spielberg was specifically seeking a non-movie star for the pivotal role.

Why Mel Gibson Wasn’t Chosen

At the time, Mel Gibson was already a well-established and widely recognized figure in Hollywood, particularly known for his role in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movie series and other popular credits. Spielberg’s decision to opt for a lesser-known lead ultimately led to the casting of Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler.

The Outcome and Irony

Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Oskar Schindler contributed to the film’s success, as “Schindler’s List” went on to win seven Oscars at the 1994 award show, including the prestigious Best Picture award. Interestingly, this revelation about Mel Gibson’s potential involvement in the film raises questions, especially considering the actor’s controversial remarks and behavior related to anti-Semitism in later years.