Michael Douglas admits Debra Winger bite ‘broke the skin’ as Kathleen Turner replaced her

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Michael Douglas, 77, has admitted that he once refused to work with Debra Winger. The two were due to work together on 1984’s Romancing The Stone, but Michael refused after Debra allegedly bit him – and so Kathleen Turner replaced her.  

Debra was initially the studio’s top choice to star in the film as Joan Wilder. 

The plot involves a romance novelist who falls in love with a bird hunter while in the Colombian Jungle. 

It was Kathleen Turner who eventually landed the role in Robert Zemeckis’ cult classic. 

Robert and Michael reportedly met with Debra while she was shooting Terms of Endearment in Texas. 

Michael explained that when they met to have dinner for the first time, Debra bit him as a means of introducing herself. 

He told Rob Lowe on the Literally podcast: “She comes out for us to have a dinner one night and we all have dinner together.

“We are talking and knocking back some tequilas and this and that,” Douglas said. 

“We walk out and, just as you would kind of go, ‘Oh you!’ and give someone a little punch in the arm. 

“Like a joke-around, she goes, ‘Oh you!’ and she reaches over and she bites me on my arm.”

He said that he screamed in pain after the bite, saying he saw her in a different light after the bite.

When Michael returned to his dresser, he discovered that she broke through his skin. 

During his meeting with the studio, Michael said he broke down in tears and explained that he would be unable to go to the jungle with her. 

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They then reportedly agreed not to cast Debra in the role. 

The actor told Variety in 2019 while marking the film’s 35th anniversary that they were scared Debra wouldn’t be fully committed to the role anyway. 

“We couldn’t get a direct answer whether Debra was committed or not,” he claimed. 

“We had concerns after being down to Mexico with [Ropbert Zemeckis] on locations and seeing how difficult it was going to be. 

“We were going to need somebody to be a total team player.”

Romancing the Stone was released in March 1984. 

The film quickly became a box office hit at $115 million worldwide. 

1985 saw the release of a sequel called The Jewel of the Nile which saw Michael and Kathleen reprise their roles. 

Express.co.uk have reached out to Debra’s reps for comment. 

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