Bright Side

8 Times Fans Frowned Upon Casting Choices but Ended Up Being Completely Wrong


On March 16, 2019, the news that Robert Pattinson was going to play the new Batman was released. The Internet literally exploded with negative comments toward the film studio and the actor. Several petitions aimed at revoking the decision were created. On May 31, the rumors were proven to be true. This isn’t the only example of people’s indignation toward casting choices. Almost every actor up for the role of this character has been criticized by fans.

Bright Side has decided to take the actor’s side in this battle and look back at other cases where fans’ disappointment with film studios’ decisions turned into boundless love.

8. Hugh Jackman / Wolverine

It’s hard to believe but we almost missed the chance to see Hugh Jackman as the famous mutant, Wolverine. Both the film studio and fans had doubts about the little-known Australian actor’s talent. Heck, even Jackman’s wife was against the role!

In 2000, Dougray Scott and Russell Crowe were also in talks to play the leading role, but Scott chose a role in Mission: Impossible II and Crowe found the offer boring. But it was Crowe who recommended Jackman.

Fans were dissatisfied with the actor’s age, height, and so on, but Jackman got the part and reprised the role again and again for almost 17 years. He’s also been given a Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a live-action superhero.

7. Tom Cruise / Lestat

At the time Tom Cruise was cast in the role of Lestat, Anne Rice, the author of the vampire novels, was really disappointed with the choice and fans agreed with her. The writer wanted Julian Sands, famous for his role in Warlock, to take the part instead. She also suggested Jeremy Irons and Daniel Day-Lewis for the part.

In an interview for Playboy, producer David Geffen said, “I get all these letters from people in Anne Rice’s fan clubs who are unhappy about Cruise playing Lestat. They wanted Julian Sands. But the director casts the movie, not the fans.”

All in all, Geffen was completely right! Cruise made an incredible Lestat and even Anne Rice confessed she was mistaken.

6. Heath Ledger / Joker

Heath Ledger posthumously received an Oscar for his role in The Dark Knight. As of now, he’s the only comic book movie actor to win an Oscar for his performance. But Christopher Nolan was the only person who believed in Ledger. Fans, the film studio, and even the filmmaker’s brother thought the actor wasn’t good enough to star in a superhero movie. Many people said that Ledger’s previous dramatic roles wouldn’t allow him to turn into the crazy villain.

The film’s first teaser trailer made fans change their minds, and the film completely destroyed their negative opinions. A huge “thank you” to Nolan and Ledger who proved people were awfully mistaken!

5. Tobey Maguire / Spider-Man

The role has already been played by 3 actors so far. But it’s Tobey Maguire who’s usually associated with Spider-Man. Today, not many people remember how angry audiences were when he got this role. Fans simply couldn’t imagine him being a superhero.

Maguire wished people would change their opinion — and eventually, they did! Sam Raimi’s work is highly appreciated, and critics say that the trilogy with Maguire is the best so far. Many fans are even petitioning for Tobey Maguire to appear in the Marvel Universe with a small cameo.

4. Vivien Leigh / Scarlett O’Hara

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is considered to be an American national treasure. Because of the success of the book, a lot of attention was paid to the actors getting cast in the film. Fans’ indignation was boundless when they realized the role of the American girl from the South would go to little-known English actress, Vivien Leigh.

Producers tried to solve the problem by saying that Vivien only studied and played in a couple of films in England. But the studio continued to receive letters from fans who claimed it was an insult to the memory of the decolonization of the United States.

But when the film was released, all claims were forgotten. People loved Leigh, and she won her first Oscar at age 26.

3. Matt Damon / Jason Bourne

Before turning into an amazing hitman with a strange past, Matt Damon played dramatic roles exclusively which is why fans of the book were rather skeptical about this casting choice. Even Doug Liman, the director of the franchise’s first film, wanted to offer the part to Sylvester Stallone or Brad Pitt. But after talking to Damon about the film, he understood they’d found common ground and had the same views.

The film was a great success, and fans even came up to him at the airport, urging him to make another Bourne film.

2. Robert Downey Jr. / Tony Stark

We can hardly imagine a different person playing “a billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist”. But in 2006, when Marvel had started developing their idea, Downey had quite a bad reputation. Problems with the law and substance abuse made him a really unreliable actor in fans’ eyes, who had been waiting for this film since 1990.

Film director Jon Favreau had to fight for Downey. As a result, fans got one of the most charismatic on-screen characters of their time.

1. Robert Pattinson / Edward Cullen

Being cast as Batman isn’t the only casting issue Robert Pattinson has faced in his career. Pattinson smiles and recalls being cast in Twilight and how fans felt “unanimous unhappiness” over it.

Apparently, there’s only 1 step from hate to love in this case. The actor said during this time, he couldn’t buy a house and was forced to live in hotels to avoid paparazzi and crazed fans.


Not all casting is 100% successful, right? But don’t criticize the actor before the film is released. Keep in mind that a good team can create an amazing film, one which the audience will never forget.

Do you agree with our conclusion? Can you recall other successful or failed casting choices?

Preview photo credit Gone with the Wind / MGM