Kevin Spacey's unnerving performance in David Fincher's crime-horror mashup Se7en really made John Doe one of the most recognisable villains in recent memory.

Slight, unassuming, but with a viciousness and calmness that made him terrifying, Spacey was fascinating in the role - and you really couldn't imagine anyone else taking it on. However, according to Michael Stipe of R.E.M., the role was originally his.

"All I had to do was run down some hallways and look scary," said Stipe in a recent interview on Alec Baldwin's Here's The Thing podcast.

According to Stipe, Fincher was thinking "outside the box" for the role of John Doe and approached the R.E.M. singer about the role. As Stipe tells it, he was on for the role - but had it turn it down as the record label wanted the band to go on tour in support of their album, Monster, and the two clashed. Not unsurprisingly, the role of John Doe was vastly rewritten when Spacey turned up, as Stipe's version of the character was meant to be much less dialogue-heavy than Spacey's.

That wasn't the first time Fincher went after a musician for a key role. Panic Room saw alt-country musician Dwight Yoakam turn up as one of the three burglars trying to sort out Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart, whilst The Social Network featured Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the creator of Napster, so Fincher has some form in the area.

What would do you make of Michael Stipe in Se7en? Could you see it happen? Let us know in the comments!


Via Here's The Thing