If you've seen The Wire, you'll be aware that it's hard to imagine anyone else but Dominic West playing the role of one of the show's main characters, Detective Jimmy McNulty.

However, according to creator David Simon, another actor was almost cast in the role that would have made for a very different character.

We're used to seeing John C. Reilly in mostly comedic roles, but being part of a gritty crime series like The Wire may have changed both our perception of him, and perhaps even the tone of the series, too.

Simon told GQ that he ‘thought John C. Reilly could be a different McNulty.’

"Certainly not the same, but I thought he could carry all of the excesses and vices of McNulty in a different way," he said. "I’ve loved his work in a lot of stuff. I was on the phone with him. It was three weeks before Halloween [2001], because I was in a corn maze with my kid, Ethan, who would have been like seven, six.

“So, I’m trying to keep up with my kid, who’s running around like a madman in this maze, and that’s when John C. Reilly called me back. I really couldn’t take the call. I talked to him for maybe five minutes, and I said, “Hey, listen, can I call you back? I’m in a corn maze with my kid.” And he said, “Yeah, yeah. Call me back.” In the time between when he called me and when I called him back, he stopped taking calls. He later told Dom [West, who got the role] that his wife was like, “We are not moving to Baltimore.”

He added: “Later on, Dom was working with him on Chicago and they’re looking at each other. They’re so different, and Dom’s like, “What were they going for?' That’s kind of how casting is sometimes. You go in one direction. You find out you’re on the wrong track or circumstance thwarts you, and you end up going in a different direction.”