14 Actors Who Were Going to Play Famous Roles, but a New Star Stepped In
Sometimes when actors fit perfectly into their roles, their characters go down in history and become iconic. So it is unbelievable that some actors, who either got the job in the middle of the franchise or who got their leading role at the last moment, were still able to (or will most likely) make their characters legendary.
We at Bright Side collected a list of actors who got their parts instead of another actor and we believe they could (or would’ve been able to) make their characters totally iconic.
1. Johnny Depp vs Margot Robbie — Pirates of the Caribbean
Although the new Pirates of the Caribbean reboot’s plot details are top secret, we can be sure that Margot Robbie is not going to compete with Captain Jack Sparrow for The Black Pearl or the hearts of Pirates’ fans, by trying to replace the iconic pirate. Instead, Robbie will lead a completely original story in the Pirates’ universe’s settings, bringing us back into the atmosphere of the favorite franchise.
2. Johnny Depp vs Mads Mikkelsen — Fantastic Beasts
Mads Mikkelsen, a charming ex-Hannibal Lecter, is going to replace Johnny Depp in the third movie about the Fantastic Beasts. Mikkelsen is excited, but also a bit edgy about the responsibility he’s taking on by joining the franchise in the middle of the story. “This is the tricky part. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I’m going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own,” Mikkelsen shared.
3. Elliot Page vs Anya Taylor-Joy — The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit, a recent Netflix drama series, has become a hit and revived the popularity of chess among Americans. Nevertheless, it could have turned out to be a completely different story, shot in 2008 by the iconic Joker, Heath Ledger, himself.
Allan Shiach, a screenwriter who was working with Ledger on the adaptation of the novel The Queen’s Gambit, shared that Ledger wanted to debut with the movie as a director. For the leading role, he considered taking Elliot Page. Sadly, Ledger didn’t get the chance to work on the movie. However, luckily or not, the role of Beth Harmon was fulfilled by a redhead with beautiful big eyes, Anya Taylor-Joy.
4. Ryan Gosling vs Mark Wahlberg — The Lovely Bones
If there were a contest of the oddest reason why someone got fired, Ryan Gosling would probably win. Back in 2007, he should’ve been playing the role of Jack Salmon in Peter Jackson’s movie The Lovely Bones, but he got fired because he and Jackson had “a different idea of how the character should look. I really believed he should be 210 pounds,” Gosling revealed. So, he left the film, and the role of Jack Salmon was filled by Mark Wahlberg.
5 .Chris Evans vs Chris Pratt — Captain America
Chris Pratt, the iconic Star-Lord Peter Quill, first wanted to become Captain America and tried his hand during the audition. “He did an audition for Captain America. It was so interesting, but it wasn’t quite a fit. But he had so much heart. And I was really tracking his progress and what he was doing and seeing him growing into this leading man,” shared Sarah Finn, the Marvel casting director.
Although we don’t know how Pratt’s Captain would’ve turned out to be, we are pretty sure that no one could make Star-Lord be as hilarious and charming as he did.
6. Tamzin Merchant vs Emilia Clarke — Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke seems to be the perfect match for the role of Daenerys Targaryen. That’s why it’s so strange that she was not the showrunners’ first choice.
Tamzin Merchant, The Tudors’ star, was not just a candidate to play Daenerys, but she actually played a role in the pilot of Game of Thrones. Later, a large part of the roles, along with Daenerys herself, were recast, and the role went to Clark, giving fans probably the best Daenerys possible. However, Merchant does not regret losing the role, saying that she is “profoundly grateful to have claimed my own path to be carving it for myself.”
7. John Boyega vs Taron Egerton — Kingsman: The Secret Service
The role of Eggsy, a promising street kid that is about to become a spy in the secret service, was also not an easy-to-choose one.
Among the contenders to take the role were Star Wars actor, John Boyega. “Boyega is a fabulous actor, but there’s something about Taron. You have to listen to your instincts about who that role is,” recalled Mathew Vaughn, Kingsman’s director. And Vaughn’s instincts did not fail him — Taron Egerton made Eggsy as adorable, endearing, and committed as he is.
8. Eddie Redmayne vs Christian Coulson — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
It’s hard to believe, but Eddie Redmayne initially didn’t want to play the good-natured Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts’ leading character, but the great and terrifying Lord Voldemort, in his young guise of Tom Riddle. “I actually auditioned to play Tom Riddle when I was back at university. I properly failed and didn’t get a callback,” shared Redmayne. Ultimately, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was played by Christian Coulson.
9. Olivia Wild vs Margot Robbie — The Wolf of Wall Street
Olivia Wild shared that she was told she was “too old” for one of the leading female roles in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Ultimately, the role of Jordan Belfort’s, aka Leonardo DiCaprio’s, first wife, was played by Cristin Milioti, and his second wife-supermodel, was fulfilled by Margot Robbie. Though, Wild still got an opportunity to work with Scorsese on the TV series, Vinyl.
10. Dafne Keen vs Millie Bobby Brown — Logan
Millie Bobby Brown, known for her role of Eleven in the Netflix series Stranger Things, was auditioned for the role of Laura Kinney, Logan’s little companion, in a movie with the same name. Brown considers this audition to be the best one in her career. “I was like, ’It’s going to be amazing, I’m going to really prepare,’ and I sat in my room reading the lines. Honestly, for me, I felt so — I felt like an actor in the audition room,” she shared.
Nevertheless, Brown didn’t get the role, and Laura Kinney was filled by then-11-year-old actress Dafne Keen.
11. Tobey Maguire vs Freddie Prinze Jr. — Spider Man
Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker is probably the best played Spider-Man for a big number of fans. However, before Maguire got the part, Freddie Prinze Jr. almost got it. “I got a meeting with [the director, Sam Raimi], and I was super-excited, super-nervous,” Prince said. During the discussion, though, Prinze didn’t talk much about Spider-Man, but about his greatest enemy, Venom.
So, Raimi thought Prince was not excited enough to play Spider-Man, and the role went to Maguire.
12. Kristen Stewart vs Jennifer Lawrence — Twilight
Before Twilight aired in 2008, nobody could imagine it would become such a hit.
This is also true for Jennifer Lawrence, who auditioned for the role of Bella Swan. “I didn’t really know what it was. You just get like 5 pages [at the audition], and they’re like, ’Act monkey.’ And when it came out, I was like, ’[Oh, wow],” shared Lawrence. Eventually, the role went to Kristen Stewart, and the rest is history.
13. Jennifer Lawrence vs Emma Roberts — The Hunger Games
However, Jennifer Lawrence also took over a role herself. For the role of Katniss Everdeen, the winner of the Hunger Games, around 30 different actresses were auditioned. One of the most famous candidates was Julia Robert’s niece, American Horror Story’s star, Emma Roberts. Lawrence overcame all of them and played Katniss, giving an essential push to her career.
14. Ryan Gosling vs Miles Teller — La La Land
Surprisingly, Ryan Gosling was not the first candidate in line to play Sebastian, a romantic jazz musician, in the Oscar nominee movie, La La Land. In the very first stages of filmmaking, Miles Teller was about to play Sebastian. However, after a set of misunderstandings, the role went to Gosling.
Johnny Depp vs Timothée Chalamet — Edward Scissorhands
Unlike other participants on our list, Timothée Chalamet did not take over the role of Edward Scissorhands, previously played by Johnny Depp. Instead, he played the role of Edgar Scissorhands, Edward’s son, in a recent Cadillac Super Bowl commercial. Chalamet fit the role so well that fans are begging Tim Burton, the director of the original movie, to make a sequel of Edward Scissorhands, with Timothée playing the leading role.
How many movies from the list have you seen? Do you think the alternative actors would have made the roles better? Tell us in the comments below.