Most movies take years to transform from an initial idea into a final product and during production projects often morph continuously, sometimes to end up completely different from originally imagined. This applies not only to screenplays and directorial artistic visions but to the cast as well. Often parts are offered to several actors until the right fit is found, and even then artists can be replaced or even fired due to differences in vision, scheduling or even personal conflict.
1. Ryan Gosling
The Canadian heartthrob was told not to come back to the set of The Lovely Bones after he showed up 60 pounds overweight!
2. Christian Bale
Bale was once hired, fired and then hired again when Leonardo DiCaprio backed out of the lead in American Psycho at the last second. Bringing Bale back proved to be a wise choice, as he delivered an unforgettable performance.
3. Megan Fox
Legend has it that Megan Fox got the boot from the Transformers series after she compared director Michael Bay to Adolf Hitler.
4. Jean-Claude Van Damme
JCVD was supposed to play the lead role in Predator but he bowed out claiming he didn’t find it appealing to be a character which he perceived as nothing more than a special effect.
5. Anne Hathaway
Anne was cast as the main female character in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up but she got into an argument with the director about the inclusion of a vagina in the film and was ultimately replaced by Katherine Heigl.
6. Eric Stoltz
Believe it or not, Stoltz was originally cast as the main character in Back To The Future, even shooting several scenes! Reportedly, he was replaced because he could not nail the comedic lines.
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7. Sylvester Stallone
Sly was actually supposed to star in Beverly Hills Cop, even writing the screenplay which at that stage was much more action than comedy-oriented. The studio did not have the budget to back his ideas so they split over creative differences, after which Eddie Murphy was cast.
8. Samantha Morton
The British actress was initially cast as the voice in Spike Jonze’s Her, but despite the good working relationship, the director ultimately decided he wanted a different-sounding voice.
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9. Stuart Townsend
It might sound strange now, but Viggo Mortensen’s iconic Aragorn in Lord of the Rings was a role initially given to Stuart Townsend.
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10. Annette Bening
Michelle Pfeiffer was awesome as Catwoman in 1992’s Batman Returns alongside Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito but that role was Annette Bening’s until she got pregnant and had to be replaced.
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11. Frank Sinatra
As difficult as it is to imagine it, Sinatra was meant to play the lead in the iconic Dirty Harry. After he broke his hand, however, Clint Eastwood came in and delivered a role which would become almost synonymous with him and spawned several sequels.
12. Tom Selleck
Selleck was originally supposed to play Indiana Jones but was replaced by Harrison Ford when issues arose with the contract he signed for the TV series Magnum P.I.