Fun with counterfactuals

16 December 2014

reading time:  minutes

The world we live in was not inevitable. But it can feel like it is.

One of the ways I like to draw attention to this is by looking at movies that could have been casted very differently. Imagine:

  • Cary Grant as the first James Bond;
  • Al Pacino as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies;
  • Scott Baio as Maverick in Top Gun;
  • OJ Simpson as the Terminator;
  • Jim Carrey as Dr Evil in the Austin Powers movies;
  • Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the roles that were played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in The Departed;
  • Sean Connery as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movies; and
  • Will Smith as Neo and Sean Connery as Morpheus in The Matrix.

These all, allegedly, could have happened.

It’s easy to imagine that with different actors, these would have been very different movies.

The importance of who is cast in a movie is, in the scheme of things, not especially important. What other twists of fate, of greater import, could have occurred, to make the world seem like a very different place?


counterfactuals, decision making, scenario analysis, scenarios

About the author 

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie provides financial planning services via his business, Fairhaven Wealth ( Fairhaven Wealth provides independent, advice-only, fixed-fee financial planning services. Sonnie is also a “recovering lawyer”: he has specialised in financial services, trusts, and estate planning.

You may also like

Books I enjoyed in 2021
Most popular articles of 2021