Lee Daniels Reveals He Was the Original ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Director Before Ang Lee

The musical chairs of hot directors once attached to direct the classic pastoral gay romance “Brokeback Mountain,” which ultimately went to Ang Lee, is the stuff of legend.

Gus Van Sant was once set to helm the adaptation of Annie Proulx’s story, with Matt Damon and Joaquin Phoenix eyed to star in the roles that went to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Joel Schumacher was at another point linked to direct the 2005 Academy Award-winning film, and co-screenwriter Larry McMurtry even offered the project to Pedro Almodóvar, who said he was tempted to make a more “animalistic” version of the love story.But as revealed in a new interview with Insider, Oscar-nominated “Precious,” “The Butler,” and “The Paperboy” director Lee Daniels said he was originally attached to direct the film, but getting it off the ground proved to be complicated.“I was going to be directing ‘Brokeback Mountain,’” the “Empire” creator said.

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