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21 Actors Who Turned Down Iconic Roles, and It Changed the Movies for the Better

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Keanu Reeves portrayed Neo in The Matrix and Leo portrayed Jack in Titanic so effortlessly that we can’t even imagine someone else playing their characters on screen. But what if we tell you that they weren’t the first choice for these movies! Sometimes, actors tend to turn down iconic roles for a number of reasons and their replacements can turn out to be significantly better choices.

So, Bright Side wants to show you how the movie posters would’ve looked if the original actors had never refused to act in these films in the first place. Brace yourselves, because your mind is going to be blown.

1. Matthew McConaughey as Jack and Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose in Titanic

Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

2. Will Smith as Neo and Val Kilmer as Morpheus in The Matrix

Played by: Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne

3. Tom Cruise as Ren McCormack in Footloose

Played by: Kevin Bacon

4. Michelle Pfeiffer as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman

Played by: Julia Roberts

5. Mel Gibson as Maximus in Gladiator

Played by: Russell Crowe

6. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Brokeback Mountain

Played by: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal

7. John Travolta as Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump

Played by: Tom Hanks

8. Al Pacino as Han Solo in Star Wars

Played by: Harrison Ford

9. Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone in The Godfather

Played by: Al Pacino

10. Hugh Jackman as James Bond in Casino Royale

Played by: Daniel Craig

11. Daniel Day-Lewis as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

Played by: Viggo Mortensen

12. Leonardo DiCaprio as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

Played by: Christian Bale

13. Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

Played by: Jamie Dornan

14. Jake Gyllenhaal as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad

Played by: Joel Kinnaman

15. Leonardo DiCaprio as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

Played by: Benedict Cumberbatch

16. Anne Hathaway as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook

Played by: Jennifer Lawrence

17. Tom Cruise as Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands

Played by: Johnny Depp

18. Julia Roberts as Margaret Tate in The Proposal

Played by: Sandra Bullock

19. Sean Connery as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings

Played by: Ian McKellen

20. Jim Carrey as William ’Buddy’ Hobbs in Elf

Played by: Will Ferrell

21. Jennifer Lawrence as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2

Played by: Kristen Stewart

Do you feel that they should have accepted these roles? Who do you think could have been a better cast choice in the movies you have seen? Share with us in the comments below.

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