Back in the 1960s, actor Lee Marvin was slated to play gang leader Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch—even before director Sam Peckinpah became involved in the project. The part of an aging, morally conflicted outlaw seemed perfect for Marvin.
But then he was offered the payday of a lifetime—a million dollars—to play a drunken miner in the musical Paint Your Wagon. The money won out. But the movie bombed (though Marvin had a hit with “Wandering Star”).
William Holden took over the lead in The Wild Bunch, which has since gone on to legendary status.