Before there were the iconic duo of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in Ang Lee's iconic adaptation of Annie Proulx's short story Brokeback Mountain, two other early 2000s heartthrobs were set to take on the role.
Originally, actor Josh Hartnett and Joaquin Phoenix were cast to play the star-crossed lovers in the Oscar-nominated film. As that would never come to pass due to schedule conflicts, the version we know now arose from this version's ashes.
But Harnett most certainly still has a few regrets about not playing the role.
Hartnett ended up as a cast member of the film The Black Dahlia, based on the infamous unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short in 1940s Los Angeles.
"[Brokeback Mountain] was a different film altogether, it was me and Joaquin Phoenix. But they went on to do it with Heath [Ledger] and Jake [Gyllenhaal].”
Hartnett was sad his dream of kissing Joaquin Phoenix was dashed.
“I’ve always wanted to kiss Joaquin, so that’s my biggest regret."
The film would go on to receive 7 Oscar nods and remains one of the more consequential films ever made by a large studio for LGBTQ+ people.
Ledger and Gyllenhaal received Oscar nods each.
2022 will have to be the year when Hollywood finds some way to get Phoenix and Hartnett to kiss on screen, since 2005 was so unfairly robbed of that event.