20+ Actors Who Almost Made It to Our Favorite Movies
Casting can be tricky, especially when the movies are being adapted from popular books or comics. Some actors and actresses were so good, they made it almost impossible for us to see anyone else as our beloved on-screen characters. But behind the scenes, other actors and actresses almost made the cut.
Bright Side looked into who could’ve portrayed some iconic movie characters and the reasons why they didn’t end up getting the roles.
1. Emily Blunt as Black Widow
Emily Blunt was almost cast as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 but she turned down the role because of a scheduling conflict while working on Gulliver’s Travels.
2. Ryan Gosling as Doctor Strange
Before Benedict Cumberbatch starred as Doctor Strange in the movie, Marvel wanted Ryan Gosling so much that they commissioned some concept art of Gosling as Doctor Strange.
3. Jason Momoa as Drax
Jason Momoa who is now known for his role as a DC superhero, Aquaman, rejected the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy because he said he had done a lot of roles where he didn’t say much and appeared with his shirt off. There was even some concept art done of him as Drax.
4. Will Smith as Neo
Will Smith passed on the role of Neo in The Matrix because he couldn’t get on board with the idea when it was pitched to him. He admitted that he would’ve messed the movie up since he had a more animated approach than Keanu Reeves did.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose DeWitt Bukater
Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the last 2 contenders for the lead female protagonist in Titanic, but she turned the offer down. She was hesitant to talk about it because her mother would not have been pleased to learn she was turning down offers and would deem it “unladylike”.
6. Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone
Jack Nicholson who was known for his portrayal of The Joker in Batman (1989) was considered for the part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. But ultimately, it was Al Pacino who made the character come to life.
7. Hugh Jackman as James Bond
Fearing he would be typecast as an action star if he took on both Wolverine and James Bond roles, Hugh Jackman said no when his agent called him up about acting in Casino Royale.
8. Christina Applegate as Elle Woods
After 10 years of playing Kelly Bundy in Married With Children, Christina Applegate rejected the role of Elle Woods for fear of being typecast as a dumb blonde. She said sarcastically that she couldn’t possibly regret her decision after Reese Witherspoon became more successful than her from starring in Legally Blonde.
9. Sean Connery as Gandalf
The original James Bond said no when Peter Jackson offered him the part of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings because he claimed he didn’t understand the script.
10. John Travolta as Forrest Gump
John Travolta was the first choice for Forrest Gump, but he had to turn down the offer. While Tom Hanks did a marvelous job as the lead character, Travolta starred in Pulp Fiction which is also one of the greatest movies of all time.
11. Eddie Redmayne as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord
Eddie Redmayne was a serious candidate for the role of Star-Lord and was confirmed among those reading for it. However, in the end, Chris Pratt who was known for his role in Parks and Recreation became the Star-Lord we know today.
12. Michelle Pfeiffer as Clarice Starling
Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the first choices to play the FBI agent who had that famous conversation with Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
13. Christopher Walken as Han Solo
George Lucas disliked the idea of reusing actors from his previous films. That’s why he initially didn’t want Harrison Ford who had appeared in his film American Graffiti as Han Solo in Star Wars. He had Christopher Walken in mind but Ford eventually landed the job.
14. Liam Hemsworth as Thor
Liam Hemsworth, the brother of Chris Hemsworth who played Thor on the big screen, was also considered to play the character. In the end, the older Hemsworth won the role.
15. Jim Carrey as Edward Scissorhands
The director of Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton, considered Jim Carrey to play the titular character. Carrey’s movie antics would’ve made Edward very different than how Johnny Depp interpreted the role.
16. Gal Gadot as Nebula
Gal Gadot almost became Marvel’s Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. The DC’s Wonder Woman said she would’ve had to shave off her hair and turn her head blue for the role which is ultimately what Karen Gillan did for it.
17. Bruce Willis as Sam Wheat
Bruce Willis passed on the chance to engage in some sensuous pottery-making with then-wife Demi Moore in the movie Ghost. He said no to the role and it wound up going to Patrick Swayze.
18. Reese Witherspoon as Cher Horowitz
While the director wanted Alicia Silverstone to play Cher Horowitz in Clueless from the beginning, the studio held auditions with other actresses including Reese Witherspoon who would star in Legally Blonde just a few years later.
19. Matt Damon as Jake Sully
Matt Damon had to give up the role of Jake Sully in Avatar due to a scheduling issue as he was just finishing The Bourne Ultimatum.
20. Jake Gyllenhaal as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man
Fearing a delay in Spider-Man 2 (2004), Sony reached out to Jake Gyllenhaal to replace Tobey Maguire. However, in the end, Maguire reprised the role while Gyllenhaal made a splash with his part in Brokeback Mountain. In an odd turn of events, the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home would actually show Gyllenhaal as the villain, Mysterio!
21. Olivia Wilde as Gamora
The part of the “most dangerous woman in the galaxy” was offered to Olivia Wilde. However, she did not accept it for undisclosed reasons.
Which of these casting choices surprised you the most? Who do you wish you could see give these parts a chance?