One of the biggest shows in television history was almost a completely different series. It's lead character, Jack Shephard played by Matthew Fox, was almost a one-episode role with Michael Keaton in the part.
That's right, the once-Batman actor was offered the role as LOST's spinal surgeon plane crash survivor Jack Shephard. However, the role and offer were very different when Keaton was first approached. It's not a scenario where Keaton turned it down so ABC turned to their number two choice in Fox.
"I started to feel badly about this," Keaton said before going on to clarify what happened. "It didn't exactly play out like that."
"J.J. [Abrams] and I had a conversation," Keaton said. "He did about this thing that he was doing and I like what he does. This goes back to then. He told me about this thing and I thought, 'Well, this guy's worth talking to because he's real smart.' I had read some things he had written and he told me about this idea."
So, yes, at first Keaton was interested -- but he was interested in a different Jack Shephard than the one we know.
"It's no news now, I'm not revealing anything," Keaton said. "[Abrams] said, 'Here's what happens: the guy that you think is the lead dies in the last 10 minutes. Immediately, when I hear things like that it's like Soderberg calling and going, 'Hey, I want Ray Nicolette to pop up in this movie.' Those type of things intrigue me. And I went, 'Yeah!' The idea of doing an hour television show... I'm just too lazy. I thought, 'Wow, this is pretty good! Then I don't have to be in the series!'"
As we know, those plans changed and Jack became the front man on a six-year series for more than 115 episodes.
"He thought better of it or the studio said, 'That ain't gonna happen!'" Keaton said.
If the role had remained as originally planned, Keaton says he would have taken it.
This swap is not the only one made in the last minutes of pre-production on LOST. The ABC series swapped plans involving Matthew Fox playing James "Sawyer" Ford, likely when they took Keaton out of the role, and found themselves putting Josh Holloway (currently on USA's Colony) in the con man role.