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Actor Jack Nicholson's character, astronaut Garrett Breedlove, does not appear in the novel. The part was created for Burt Reynolds, but he was already committed to another film, so it was handed to James Garner. Garner quarreled with the director over differing interpretations. The part then went to Harrison Ford who turned it down because he didn't like the age difference between himself and Shirley MacLaine. The role wound up going to Nicholson.(wikipedia)
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