Demolition Man is a solid 90s action flick that has become a bit of a cult classic over the years. The film stars Sylvester Stallon, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock, but Bullock actually wasn’t the first one cast in the role of Lenina Huxley. Lori Petty, who was best known for Point Break and A League of Their Own at the time, originally had the role but was fired after two days of filming, apparently because she and Sly didn’t get along too well.
Lori Petty was originally cast as Lenina Huxley instead of Sandra Bullock, but she only lasted two days before Sylvester Stallone had her fired.
A 1993 article in Entertainment Weekly originally reported on the firing of Lori Petty from Demolition Man, with Petty herself claiming the fact that she and Stallone didn’t get along, saying, “Sly and I were like oil and water.” The article also says that Warner Bros apparently wasn’t happy with her production dailies, which played into the decision to replace her. Producer Joel Silver cited “creative differences” as the reason that Petty was let go from the film.
In any case, Sandra Bullock ultimately played Huxley over Lori Petty in Demolition Man, which ended up being a fairly big box-office smash. The film didn’t fare as well with reviewers, getting a mixed reception. Bullock was even nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award in the Worst Supporting Actress for her performance.
“Sly and I were like oil and water.”Lori Petty on her issues with Sylvester Stallone
Of course, Sandra Bullock is a great actress, so it’s possible that Lenina Huxley just wasn’t all that well-written of a role and that Lori Petty might have made the right move by not appearing in Demolition Man. It was also sort of a bigger deal for Bullock’s career since it was undoubtedly the biggest movie she had been in yet, and she would get her breakout role in the film Speed just one year later. As mentioned, Petty already had a couple of popular films under her belt at that point (which likely helped her snag the role in the first place.)
While Lori Petty may have missed out on Demolition Man, she would actually star in a cult classic film of her own just a couple of years later in 1995’s Tank Girl. Tank Girl was an adaptation of the post-apocalyptic Deadline comic series. It followed the titular hero Jet Girl (Naomi Watts), and supersoldiers known as Rippers in their battle with the oppressive corporation Water and Power. While the film had mixed reviews upon release, it has become influential with a fairly large cult following.
Lori Petty went on to star in the sci-fi cult classic, Tank Girl, a few years after she was fired from Demolition Man.
Interestingly, both Lori Petty’s Tank Girl and Sly’s Demolition Man announced the development of a reboot and sequel in recent years. The Tank Girl reboot was set to be produced by Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment production company, but the most recent news was in 2020 that the development of the film would be put on indefinite hiatus due to the pandemic. Similarly, there hasn’t been much news on the Demolition Man sequel, as the last time Stallone said anything about it was in 2020.
For now, revisiting Lori Petty’s original Tank Girl and the first Demolition Man will have to suffice. Hopefully, we’ll get some updates on these projects soon, but it’s not a good sign that we haven’t heard anything new in years. We’ll keep you updated if anything comes up.