Shooting a movie is a long and arduous process in which many different people are involved. It is impossible to create a good flick without their well-coordinated teamwork. For an ordinary viewer, any movie is primarily the lead actor and sometimes the director. But usually, all the fame and money go to the person we see on the screen the most. But did you know that sometimes the iconic actors we see were not the directors’ first choice?
Here are the actors who were originally cast in your favorite movies!
1. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Steven Spielberg wanted Harrison Ford for the role of snarky archaeologist Indiana Jones, but George Lucas was not so happy about it, and after a long search, settled on Tom Selleck. In addition to Lucas and Spielberg’s contract, Selleck was also tied to the TV series “Magnum PI.” But due to scheduling conflicts, Selleck had to choose between the two projects. He decided that the right thing to do would be to stick to the “first come — first served” policy and went for Magnum. Ironically, the filming was eventually postponed for six months. Selleck was still waiting to start filming in Hawaii while Lucas had already finished the final scene.
2. Lord of the Rings: Brotherhood of the Ring
Stuart Townsend was originally cast for the role of Aragorn. For several months the actor trained and prepared, then the shooting began, and after only four days, Peter Jackson suddenly realized that Townsend was too young. After days of searching, the role was offered to Russell Crowe and Daniel Day-Lewis, but both refused. Then one of the producers yelled out, “Viggo Mortensen!” The actor hadn’t read The Lord of the Rings, but his son was a huge Tolkien fan and persuaded his father to take the role.
3. Back to the Future
Michael J. Fox was the initial choice for Marty McFly, but there was a problem with the producers of “Family Ties”, where Fox was starring at the time, who refused to let the actor go with Robert Zemeckis. The search for other candidates began, and as a result, Eric Stolz got the role! Day after day, Zemeckis and Spielberg became more and more convinced that they made a mistake. Five weeks later, when a third of the film had already been shot, they made an unprecedented decision to fire Stolz. After that, Zemeckis and Spielberg somehow managed to persuade the “Family Ties” people to let Fox go, but it was worth all the effort and money spent.
After going through many potential candidates, a little-known actor, Dougray Scott, was cast for the role of Wolverine. Back then, he was filming “Mission: Impossible 2,” and they were very close to a wrap, but not close enough. Brian Singer waited until the last moment but then was forced to look for a replacement. Three weeks later, he decided to give the role to a no-name Australian, Hugh Jackman. That’s how legends are born.
Initially, the role of Vicky Vale went to actress Sean Young. During a preliminary rehearsal for the scene where Vicky was supposed to ride a horse, Young fell and broke her arm. Burton did not wait for her recovery and replaced the actress with Kim Basinger. And just to be safe, they removed the horseriding scene from the movie.
6. Batman Returns
At the 1991 Academy Awards, Annette Bening was proudly announced to be the actress playing Catwoman in the Batman sequel. But after the execs found out she was pregnant, they had to replace her with Michelle Pfeiffer. Without even realizing it, they made the best decision of their life.
“Predator” is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most famous movies, and initially, the alien design was completely different. At some point, producer Joel Silver wanted the Jean Claude van Damme to wear the Predator suit, but on the set, it became crystal clear that the undersized Van Damme looked ridiculous when paired with Arnold. Aside from that, JCVD started freaking out about the suit, demanding his name to be up there with Arnie, and even got into a fight with a stuntman. As a result, on the third day, Van Damme was fired, and the Predator was eventually played by Kevin Peter Hall, whom the fans loved right away.
8. Demolition Man
Initially, the role of Sylvester Stalone’s partner went to Lori Petty. But just several days after the filming started, Petty got into a serious fight with Joel Silver, after which she was promptly fired and replaced by Sandra Bullock. By the way, this film became her first major project and helped her get a role in “Speed.”