Movie making is a very complicated process. Often, the actors you have in mind for certain characters don’t want to do the role or have scheduling conflicts and just have creatives differences. So filmmakers often have to improvise. Today, we look at some of the first choices for these roles and imagine how different the movies would have been, especially The Matrix!
1. Russell Crowe: Aragorn in Lord of the Rings
During an interview with Howard Stern, Crowe said that he didn’t do the film because he didn’t feel Peter Jackson wanted him for the role and had been forced to talk to him. Too bad, given that Crowe was offered 10% of the money the movie made, which would have made him $100 million richer.
2. Emilia Clarke: Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey
The Game of Thrones actor turned down the role because she was tired of people constantly talking about her nudity in the show despite her not having done such scenes for a while. Speaking about turning down the role, she said:
Well, Sam (Taylor-Johnson, the director) is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful. But the last time that I was naked on camera on (Game of Thrones) was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman…And it’s annoying as hell and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character — I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my tits, for God’s sake.
3. Reba Mcentire: The ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown in Titanic
Before the iconic Kathy Bates signed up to play the role, it was offered to country singer Reba Mcentire, who had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. The movie went on to win 11 Oscars.
4. Alden Ehrenreich: Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girls
The Han Solo actor was the first choice for the role of Dan Humphrey on the hit show but the producers decided on Penn Badgley because the former was too short as compared to his co-star Blake Lively.
5. Claire Danes: Rose in Titanic
Before the producers landed on Kate Winslet, Dicaprio’s Romeo + Juliet co-star Claire Danes was offered the now iconic role. However, she had just done a film with DiCaprio and wasn’t a fan of the overnight stardom they had received.
6. Al Pacino: Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise
Pacino was first offered the role but he refused saying that he didn’t get the script and it was ‘too out there’.
7. Anne Hathaway: Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook
Hathaway was offered the part and she was keen on it but eventually had to leave the movie due to creative differences. Jennifer Lawrence then came on board and won an Oscar for the same role. It didn’t matter much to Hathaway though as she bagged her own Oscar for Les Misérables.
8. Jack Nicholson: Michael Corleone in The Godfather
Jack Nicholson was offered the part way before Al Pacino was even in the picture. But Nicholson, at that time believed that only Italians ought to be playing Italians and hence, turned down the role.
9. Emma Watson: Mia in La La Land
Watson, along with Miles Teller were the first choices for musical. What happened that gave her the chop is not yet known, but the role eventually went to Emma Stone, who did a fabulous job at it.
10. Henry Cavill: Edward Cullen in Twilight
Speaking to Graham Norton, the Superman actor revealed that he was Stephanie Meyer’s first choice for the character of the eternal teenager, Edward but the producers weren’t so inclined.
11. Tom Cruise: Tony Stark in Iron Man
Cruise had been very interested in playing the character that started the MCU but he eventually had to drop out due to creative differences and the role, thankfully, went to Robert Downey Jr.
12. Sandra Bullock: Neo in The Matrix
While, many actors were thought about for the role of Neo, one of the earliest ideas was to cast Sandra Bullock and turn Neo into a woman, The Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed in 2019.
Not gonna lie, can’t imagine a lot of those movies without their actual cast.