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Michael Jackson Almost Played This Iconic Johnny Depp Movie Character

While Johnny Depp had already seen great success in his career with a lead role on "21 Jump Street," it goes without saying that working with Tim Burton on 1990's "Edward Scissorhands" helped boost his profile even further. It's strange to think what might have happened if that casting didn't pan out ... and it almost didn't. Tom Cruise was in consideration but ultimately refused to take part in "Edward Scissorhands." Now, it's been revealed that Deep also beat out the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, to play the gothic weirdo. 

People reports that in a new Tim Burton-centric docuseries directed by Tara Woods, Depp revealed that everyone wanted a piece of "Edward Scissorhands." Apparently, Jackson and Tom Hanks reached out to try to get the part. There's no indication of how seriously Jackson was considered for the role, although it sounds as though Cruise was heavily favored. Depp says Cruise "was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands — true story."

Clearly, this was a coveted character, and Depp loved the project so much he was afraid to audition for it. He persevered and landed the role, which began a highly prosperous working relationship with Burton. The two collaborated on many other projects, including "Ed Wood" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

Edward Scissorhands is yet another role Michael Jackson wanted but couldn't have

In hindsight, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Johnny Depp portraying Edward Scissorhands. Both Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise don't feel like they're enough of oddballs to take on that kind of role. With the character's pasty white skin and jet-black hair, one could almost see Michael Jackson in the part, but it didn't work out for one reason or another. It wouldn't be the last time Jackson set his sights on becoming a genuine Hollywood player. 

Jackson was one of many actors almost cast as Spider-Man, even getting a meeting with Stan Lee to discuss producing a Spider-Man film with him in the titular role. Steven Spielberg thought about casting Jackson as Peter Pan in "Hook" before the story changed considerably, at which point Jackson was no longer interested. Given Jackson's Neverland Ranch, it makes sense why he would consider that particular role. 

Just like Jackson could connect with Peter Pan, Depp connected with Edward Scissorhands. While he was initially cagey about pursuing the part, it genuinely spoke to him, as he states in the documentary, "The writing was beautiful. The character was beautiful. What I suppose [attracted] me emotionally was that Edward was me. It's exactly what I should be doing." The Tim Burton docuseries premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and should hopefully become more readily accessible in the near future.