Hollywood is a place where no-name actors can become award winners in a blink of an eye, while famous stars lose everything after an unsuccessful action flick. Directors have a habit of casting the same actors for big-budget movies to get the viewers’ attention, but there are also times when they can’t book the actor they want and end up hiring unknown artists. More often than not those risks pay off and we get to see new stars rising on the Hollywood horizon. Here’s a list of celebs who either turned down life-changing roles or got to play some of the most iconic characters in movie history.
Ryan Reynolds and Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy, was bent on getting Ryan Reynolds to play Xander in his new supernatural show. Ryan, however, was about to play Deadpool in X-Men: Origins and didn’t want anything to distract him from this supposedly big role. In the end, Buffy became one of the biggest hits of late 90s, while Deadpool’s screen time was reduced to just a few scenes. Did Ryan Reynolds regret his decision? We certainly think so! He could’ve gotten his own Deadpool movie sooner if he had Joss Whedon on his side.
Nicole Kidman and Indecent Proposal
Can you imagine someone other than Demi Moore playing the wife in Indecent Proposal? Well, it could have very well been Nicole Kidman! Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman should have starred in the movie together, but decided to turn down the roles in favor of other films. Thus, Demi Moore ended up playing the poor man’s wife who had to spend the night with a billionaire for one million dollars. Indecent Proposal hit the box office with a bang, making it one of the most recognizable movies of the 90s.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Star Wars
When Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was in need of a grown-up Anakin Skywalker, George Lucas could think only about Leonardo DiCaprio, whose Titanic success would attract gazillions of young ladies to the movie theaters. It would have been perfect for the Star Wars franchise! Nevertheless, Leo didn’t feel he was up for the job, so Hayden Christensen was cast instead. It’s hard to tell whether Leo dodged a lightsaber there or he could have won an Oscar a decade sooner.
Shailene Woodley and The Carrie
Gorgeous Shailene Woodley definitely made the Divergent movie series a more worthwhile experience, so we can’t but wonder what would have happened if she starred in The Carrie remake? Shailene decided to turn down the role, making Chloë Grace Moretz the next best option for the leading role. Critics weren’t too happy about how the remake turned out, saying it was too shallow and predictable. Carrie seemed almost bored running around all covered in blood, reeking havoc and destruction everywhere she went!
Sean Astin and Stranger Things
Can you imagine Stranger Things without Sean Astin playing Bob Newby? He’s so amazing at this role that it’s impossible to think about anyone else for it. Yet the Duffer brothers were quite reluctant about casting him as he’s a famous actor and they didn’t want the show’s success to depend of someone else’s fame. We’re glad they decided to cast him anyway! Sean Astin is an incredibly talented actor and he made Bob Newby just as lovable as he did Sam Gamgee in Lord of the Rings!
Christian Bale and The Dark Knight
One might say that Batman’s voice is a little bit funny in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but now it’s impossible to imagine the movie without Christian Bale’s peculiar growl. Can you believe that this BatVoice almost ruined his audition? When Christian Bale got home and tried a few lines on his wife, she could only laugh in reply, telling him there’s no way he would be cast with a funny voice like that. Yet she was wrong! Not only did Christian Bale use his super husky BatVoice for the movie, he also made one of the most iconic Batman performances of all time!
Ryan Gosling and the Fifty Shades of Grey
Not many people know that E. L. James had a very particular person in mind while writing the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Yep, Ryan Gosling was her inspiration for the dark and broody billionaire Christian Grey! Fans also thought the actor was a perfect match, but Ryan Gosling turned down the role despite all the hype. Whether it was the script or the fact that Ryan Gosling doesn’t like to take part in movie series, but we ended up with Jamie Dornan playing the role of Christian Grey. Critics weren’t too happy about the movies, but was it really Jamie’s fault?
Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman
We can all agree that Gal Gadot was a perfect match for the new Wonder Woman movie, but Patty Jenkins, the movie’s director, wasn’t so sure about casting her at first. After all, the movie is filled with American patriotism, making it weird for an Israeli actress to play the leading role. Zack Snyder was the first to cast Gal Gadot for his Batman Vs. Superman movie, leaving Patty Jenkins with virtually no choice. But despite his fears, Gal Gadot turned out to be a hard-working actress bent on creating the perfect Diana Prince for the movie. And she did a great job!
Will Smith and The Matrix
Men in Black hit the box office in all the right places, making Will Smith one of the most wanted actors in certain genres. That’s why the Wachowski brothers (now sisters) wanted to cast him for the leading role of Neo in their Matrix trilogy. Rumor has it that Will Smith agreed to take on the role initially, but immediately turned it down after watching the auditioning tape of Keanu Reeves! Apparently, he was such a perfect match for the role that Will Smith just couldn’t take the part. We can only agree with Will Smith on that decision! Although, we can’t help but wonder what the movie would have looked like with Will Smith playing the leading role.
Hugh Jackman and James Bond
Hugh Jackman could have been such a breathtaking addition to the James Bond universe! It appears he was going to play the iconic action hero in Casino Royale, but had to turn down the role after reading the script. It was too far-fetched for his liking and he wouldn’t have any say in it, so it was only natural to ditch the part. After X-Men movies with their gritty realism, Hugh Jackman didn’t want to get into something he wasn’t 100% sure about, so he went on to expand his repertoire and landed the roles in The Greatest Showman and Les Miserables. We can only applaud him for these choices! Although, it would have been amazing to see Hugh Jackman rock all of James Bond’s spy toys, while saving the world a few times.