Paulette Goddard was an outspoken actress whose affair with Charlie Chaplin who cast her in his film Modern Times (1936) was widely known. She made several public claims that she had been cast as Scarlett and though this angered Selznick, she was indeed the front runner until the very end.
TO OSHEA FROM DOS
May 10, 1937
PAULETTE GODDARD HAS FOR A LONG TIME BEEN CAMPAIGNING FOR THEROLE
OF SCARLETT, RECENTLY SHE HAS TELEPHONED GEORGE A COUPLE OF TIMES.
I HAVE EXPLAINED TO GEORGE THAT WHILE I AGREE SHE IS AN EXCELLENT
POSSIBILITY THAT WOULD BE WELL WORTH TESTING, THERE IS NO POINT IN
EVEN MAKING A TEST UNTIL AND UNLESS WE CAN DETERMINE THAT WE CAN
SECURE HER AT REASONABLE TERMS AND WITH THE USUAL LONG TERM OPTIONS.
CERTAINLY I HAVE NO INTENTION OF MAKING A STAR FOR CHAPLIN ALTHOUGH
I WOULD BE AGREEABLE TO LET CHAPLIN HAVE HER FOR ANY PICTURES HE
PERSONALLY WANTS TO MAKE WITH HER, NOT TO EXCEED ONE YEARLY AND TO
MAKE SURE HE DOESN'T SPEND A WHOLE YEAR ON THE PICTURE AS HE IS WONT.
I SUGGEST YOU CONTACT CHAPLIN THROUGH ARTHUR KELLY IFHE ISSTILL ON
THE COAST BECAUSE I EXPLAINED OUR POSITION TO KELLY AND HE UNDER
TOOK TO SECURE HER ON THIS BASIS. IF KELLY HAS LEFT SUGGEST YOU
CONTACT CHAPLIN THROUGHM DR. GIANNINNI ALTHOUGH YOU MAY CONSIDER IT
PREFERABLE TO CONTACT MISS GODDARD DIRECT IN VIEW OF WHAT I CONFI-
DENTIALLY LEARNED IS AN IMMINENT SPLIT BETWEEN CHAPLIN AND GODDARD.
YOU CAN REACH HER THROUGH CHAPLIN'S HOME, THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OF
WHICH YOU CAN GET OVER AT MY HOME OR FROM THE UNITED ARTISTS STUDIO.
PLEASE KEEP ME ADVISED.