Happy 34th birthday, Big. Everyone, go celebrate by playing “Heart and Soul” with your feet!
As noted in on the homepage, for some reason, Tom Hanks did not attend this premiere — or at least was not photographed doing so. He ended up getting an Oscar nomination for it, but perhaps he was salty because he was BY FAR not the first choice for this role. From the film’s Wiki:
Steven Spielberg was originally attached to direct the film and wanting to cast Harrison Ford as Josh but Spielberg dropped out when his son Max was born. Kevin Costner, Steve Guttenberg, Warren Beatty and Dennis Quaid were all offered the role of Josh, all of whom turned it down. Albert Brooks was also offered the role but turned it down as he didn’t want to play a kid. John Travolta wanted to play Josh but the studio wasn’t interested in casting him. Sean Penn was considered for the role of Josh but [eventual director Penny] Marshall deemed him too young, Gary Busey auditioned for the role of Josh but Marshall didn’t think he could pull off playing an adult. Andy García read for Josh but one of the studio executives didn’t want to spend 18 million for “a kid to grow to be Puerto Rican” (García is actually Cuban). [Yikes – J] Debra Winger tried to convince Marshall to rewrite Josh into a woman. Robert De Niro was originally cast in the lead role with Elizabeth Perkins. He later dropped out due to “scheduling conflicts” and was replaced by Tom Hanks.
You know Guttenberg in particular had to be kicking himself about that one. (FWIW, Hanks lost the Oscar that year to Dustin Hoffman for Rain Man.) Interestingly, Debra Winger was at this premiere and was perhaps still irked that she didn’t manage to get cast in the role herself.