Mister D: This came from SideSplitter.com on roles Eddie Murphy turned Down:
The role: Hoke Colburn
Who got it: Morgan Freeman
Studio executives considered casting Bette Midler and Eddie Murphy as the leads in this Oscar-winning film. This is perhaps the most shocking entry in Murphy’s cache of missed opportunities, and it’s a part I don’t think he was ready to pull this off at the time. Morgan Freeman’s age is a big part of his character, and one of the reasons I can’t imagine Murphy in this role is that he was so much younger at the time. He was still in his 20s while this one was in production. Slotting Bette Midler in the lead role is another odd notion, although she’s done better with dramatic roles than Murphy has. The Midler-Murphy version of Miss Daisy would have lacked the critical appeal and effectiveness of the Jessica Tandy-Morgan Freeman one that actually came to exist, but if Murphy and Midler’s performances ended up being good, this may have still been a success and not the disaster that it sounds like.