Pacino would be on the other side of the table for the role that made him a star. The role of the reluctant family outsider who transforms into a ruthless mafia boss, Michael Corleone, is iconic on so many levels and the movie The Godfather is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever committed to celluloid, but it could have been so different if Paramount executives had gotten their way.
Francis Ford Coppola insisted he wanted an unknown actor who looked like an Italian-American but the executives were determined to cast a famous face in the role. And that would have been the case had it not been for the honesty and integrity of the legendary Jack Nicholson, who when offered the part of Michael, he actually turned it down as he believed, as the director did, that the role should be played by someone of Italian descent. Al Pacino may have made the role his own but we still wonder what the New Jersey native would have brought to the table, we bet it would have been spectacular!