Previously established characters can be a real pain to cast. You either cave in and get a lookalike who can’t act, or you get a Morgan Freeman to play a ginger Irishman. Either way, there will be two camps of people breathing down your neck. Usually, the “better actor” wins, which is good, but this also means that social media won’t shut up about how this or that actor would have been a perfect fit. It’s just a face, people, wake up and get over it!
Here are 7 characters who, according to some people, were played by the wrong actors.
1. Idris Elba in “The Dark Tower”
Even according to King himself, he came up with the image of the last representative of the ancient family of Gunslingers having Clint Eastwood in mind. Many fans even suggested that Scott Eastwood, who looks a lot like his father, should have gotten the role. But the director decided differently, focusing not on the appearance and blue eyes of the Gunslinger, but on his acting. Sadly, not even Idris Elba could save that movie.
2. Morgan Freeman in “Shawshank Redemption”
The 1994 “Shawshank Redemption” film is easily one of the best films of all time. We’ve seen it, we love it, we know everything about it… Well, almost. Just like with The Dark Tower, the movie is based on a Stephen King story. In the original novel, one of the main characters is nicknamed “Red”, partly because of the surname, but in addition to that, he is a ginger from Ireland. You can see how casting Freeman would be a disservice to King’s book, but nobody even noticed!
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator”
It’s true that the movie “Terminator” was an original idea and didn’t have a book or a comic before James Cameron wrote the script. According to his initial drafts, Terminator robots were created to resemble the most ordinary human beings to blend in with the masses safely. As you can tell, Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t exactly a gray mouse. At first, Lance Henriksen was going to play the bad guy, since his “ordinary person” vibe was much more pronounced. But Cameron liked Arnie so much that he got one of the leading roles, and Henriksen played that one policeman.
4. Heath Ledger in the “Dark Knight”
Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” quickly flew sky high and became one of the best films ever. This is mostly due to Heath Ledger’s performance. He completely unexpectedly and unconventionally embodied the image of Batman’s main nemesis – the crazy Joker. Of course, the Batman comics have been published for decades, so the Joker’s appearance has changed on more than one occasion. But it was always a man with a narrow pale face, green hair, and a smile from ear to ear. Heath Ledger did not want to don the iconic image precisely as it was drawn and instead locked himself for a month in the hotel room, inventing a completely different character. And, oh boy, did it work!
5. Keanu Reeves in “Constantine”
John Constantine, the Hellblazer – a series of comic books published by Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics, aimed at an older audience) about an exorcist detective who saves people and sometimes the whole Earth from evil. In 2005, the world saw the first attempt at taking that marvelous character to a big screen. But instead of a British blonde block with an attitude, we got Keanu Reeves, who didn’t have any of these qualities. Thankfully, we got Matt Ryan to show everyone what the real Constantine is like!
6. Al Pacino in “Scarface”
The movie “Scarface,” which for many years has been a golden standard of the gangster action movie, has also been repeatedly criticized for choosing the wrong actor for the lead role. In the story, Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, is a felon who escaped from Cuba. At first, many critics and viewers could not believe that an American with Italian roots could convincingly play a native Cuban. But now we know they were completely wrong.
The latest internet outrage was, of course, about Netflix’s Witcher series. The hardcore book fans have zero chill when it comes to the casting choices. They don’t like any of the characters, maybe except for Ciri. The most unbelievable were the claims that Cavill can’t possibly play Geralt. He’s too bulky, the hair is wrong, he looks nothing like the dude from the games… Dear people, Henry is an outstanding actor, he loves the source material, and the series is based on the books, not the games. So if you could just wait a bit longer to give him a chance, that would be swell.