The Bodyguard Wasn't Written For Whitney Houston

Categories: Film


Far from it.

An imminent biography of Oscar winner Michael Douglas, written by Marc Eliot, reminds us that The Bodyguard had a long and checkered history before it finally came to the screen in the '90s.

As Eliot writes:

Director Tony Richardson offered Jack Nicholson the male lead in The Bodyguard, based on a script Richardson wrote with Sam Shepard.

At first, the project appealed to Nicholson, but then he read Bo Goldman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and his mind started straying over to that project.

He ended up saying yes to the movie about the loony bin rather than the one about pop stardom.

But The Bodyguard was hardly dead in the water.

It became a reimagined vehicle for superstars Steve McQueen and Diana Ross.

Alas, that version didn't go forward because McQueen refused to take second-position billing after Miss Ross, and no way was Miss Ross taking second billing!

But in 1992, with the starring duo of Kevin Costner and The Whitney Houston, the classic show biz saga finally took flight.

And I-eee-aye-ee-aye will always love that film...ooh-oooh-ooh-ahhh will always love that film....I-eee-aye-ee-aye will always...

And don't I relay 20-plus-year-old gossip better than anyone?

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The Bodyguard was Lawrence Kasdan's first script, written for Steve McQueen.   I'm not sure it had any relation to the earlier incarnation of The Bodyguard offered Nicholson.  Kasdan's script sat in a drawer until after he became a power to reckon with in Hollywood, when it was remained with Kostner & Houston.


who cares! whitney got it and the rest is history!

always loved rachel´s queen of the night outfit!

bethesda topcommenter

Lady Di would have been very ironic casting.

musto moderator editor

Yes, apparently there was talk of Ryan O'Neal, Madonna, and even Lady Di. Thankfully it worked out the way it did.


I've read Ryan O'Neal was also considered as the male lead opposite his then girlfriend Diana Ross.


Actually, I heard the first draft was written for John Gilbert and Anna May Wong...


Oh you dooooo--oooo-ayyyye-will-always lub yoooou.


Unfortunately, this also ushered in the era of way tortured bad singing. (American Idol)


But you make it sound so fresh!


Well, Jack Nicholson certainly made the right decision!!