Imagine turning down a role only for it to become wildly successful later…
When we stop to think about the history of cinema, some characters end up being more evident than others. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones (or Han Solo), Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo and Will Smith as the Agent J these are just three examples among a great diversity of roles that have been marked in the public’s imagination because of the performance of their respective actors.
But what if the reality was different? It was with this in mind that we selected 15 Artists Who Turned Down the Opportunity to Play Iconic Movie Characters. Was there any regret afterwards?
Role that was turned down: Neoin Matrix.
Will Smith is easily one of the most popular celebrities in cinema, and over the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to play many iconic characters. But what if Smith had starred Matrix as Neo in place of Keanu Reeves? Well, that could have happened if the actor hadn’t turned down the role.
At the time the Wachowski sisters were looking for actors to star in one of the most important films of recent times, Will Smith was one of the lucky ones who received the proposal. However, the actor was not convinced by the story and ended up saying no to the opportunity.
Role that was turned down: Andy Sachsin The devil Wears Prada.
The devil Wears Prada is a great classic of the filmography of Anne Hathaway and, to this day, he is fondly remembered by people, whether through memes or iconic scenes from the film. However, as much as it is difficult to imagine someone else in Anne’s place, she was not the studio’s first choice to live the character.
The owner of this post was Rachel McAdamswho was determined not to accept the role of Andy Sachs in the film: the actress turned down the opportunity three times. Eventually, the job ended up in the hands of Anne Hathaway, and the rest is history.
Role that was turned down: Wolverinein X-Men.
Nowadays, it is extremely difficult not to associate the image of Hugh Jackman the one of Wolverine, one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes who marked the actor’s career. But things could have been different if Viggo Mortensen had accepted to live the character on the big screen in X-Men.
Remembered for making the iconic Aragorn in the trilogy of Lord of the Rings in peter jacksonMortensen even met with the director Bryan Singer to discuss the opportunity to play Wolverine, but negotiations did not go ahead. That’s because Viggo didn’t like the idea of having to commit to living the same character for many years.
Furthermore, the actor’s son also played a certain amount of influence in his decision. As a fan of the X-Men comics, the boy, who had read the script, said that everything there was “wrong”, which contributed to Mortensen saying a definite no to the role.
Role that was turned down: Forrest Gumpin Forrest Gump.
no matter how many papers Tom Hanks do, he will always be remembered by people because of one of the most iconic performances of his career: Forrest Gump. The film was a milestone of the 90s and helped to consolidate the name of Hanks as one of the great icons of cinema, but the character almost escaped the hands of the star because of john travolta.
There wasn’t a very grand motivation behind Travolta’s decision: he turned down the proposal to star in Forrest Gump to be in pulp Fictionanother great classic from the 1990s and from the career of Quentin Tarantino.
Role that was turned down: Clarice Starlingin The Silence of the Lambs.
The Silence of the Lambs marked the history of cinema when she won the five main Oscar statuettes in 1992, and actress Michelle Pfeiffer I could have been a part of it all if I hadn’t turned down the opportunity to play Clarice Starlingthe famous FBI agent who awarded the golden statuette to Jodie Foster.
The reason for Pfeiffer’s refusal was because the actress was insecure about the role due to the themes that would be dealt with in the film. Soon, she decided to pass the role along, and it ended up in Jodie’s hands eventually.
Role that was turned down: Michael Corleonein The Godfather.
Although he has several iconic roles on his resume, such as joker It is Jack Torrance in The illuminatedthe actor Jack Nicholson he could have added one more important figure in the history of cinema to his filmography, if he had agreed to do it Michael Corleone in The Godfather.
It is not new, for those who follow the film industry, that the Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most iconic films in the history of the seventh art. Marked by the performances of Marlon Brando It is Al Pacinothe feature could have counted on the presence of Jack as the son of Vito Corleonebut the actor thought it best to turn down the opportunity because he believed he was not the right person for the role.
Role that was turned down: Sidney Prescottin Panic.
And if Sidney Prescottone of final girls most famous of horror, had been interpreted by Drew Barrymore rather than Neve Campbell? Does the opening scene of Panic would have the same impact without Barrymore as Casey Becker?
The answer to these questions will only be in the field of imagination, but the fact is that Drew Barrymore could have won the role of the real protagonist. That’s because the actress was the team’s first option to fill the position in the feature.
However, Barrymore turned down the opportunity because he found it more interesting to play the first victim of the Ghostface in season.
Role that was turned down: Annie Porterin Maximum speed.
The film Maximum speed was one of the most profitable and popular films of the early 1990s. In addition to critical and public success, the feature helped to boost the careers of Keanu Reeves It is Sandra Bullockbut this story could have been very different, especially for Bullock, if Halle Berry had accepted the opportunity to play the character Annie Porter.
Although he now regrets letting the opportunity pass, Berry decided to scrap the project at the time he was offered the proposal (she was the studio’s first choice) because he hadn’t liked the script very much when he read it.
Role that was turned down: Dirk Digglerin Boogie Nights – Unlimited Pleasure.
Imagine a world where, instead of having Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson in Titanicwe would have the actor as Dirk Digglera porn industry star in Boogie Nights: Pleasure Without Limitsthe classic film by Paul Thomas Anderson. The curious thing is that this could have been the case if DiCaprio had agreed to participate in Anderson’s film.
Although he admitted in 2008 that he would have liked to Boogie NightsLeonardo does not regret having chosen Titanic, but it would have been interesting to see what direction his career would take if the reality were different. However, at that time, Paul Thomas Anderson was still taking his first steps as a director and DiCaprio was not convinced to accept the opportunity.
So, after Leonardo DiCaprio’s refusal, the role ended up in the hands of the actor. Mark Wahlbergwho achieved success in the industry after starring in the film.
Role that was turned down: jake sullyin avatar.
Another actor who turned down a big role in Hollywood was Matt Damon. In her case, the rejected opportunity was to star avatarthe impactful 2009 film directed by James Cameron. The paper got Sam Worthington and, despite not fully regretting the decision, Damon has a certain resentment for having wasted the chance to work with Cameron and star in the highest-grossing film in cinema history.
Role that was turned down: Rose DeWitt Bukaterin Titanic.
A Rose in Titanic is one of the most defining roles of the career of Kate Winsletbut that might not have happened if the actress Gwyneth Paltrow had accepted the role. Can you imagine someone else playing the character?
Several names were considered for the role, but Gwyneth was practically one of the finalists. However, plans had to be changed when she said no to the opportunity, which ensured that Winslet was cast as Rose afterwards.
Role that was turned down: Black Widowof MCU.
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to think of another interpreter to Natasha Romanoffthe famous Black Widow of the Marvel Studios franchise, other than Scarlett Johansson. The actress appeared as the heroine for the first time in Iron man 2but things could have been different if Emily Blunt had not passed the opportunity on.
Blunt’s refusal was due to a scheduling conflict, as she had been hired to do the film. Gulliver’s Travels2010. Soon, the actress would not be able to reconcile the two projects, which made her give up the role.
Role that was turned down: Gilderoy Lockhartin Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Did you know that Hugh GrantBritain’s most beloved romantic comedies, almost played Gilderoy Lockhart in the franchise Harry Potter? Yeah, Grant came pretty close to nabbing the role of the narcissistic teacher in The Chamber of Secretsbut he was kind of “forced” to give up the opportunity because he had already committed to the film Love at Second Sightwhere he co-starred with Sandra Bullock.
Role that was turned down: Ren McCormackin Footloose.
Footloose is a great eighties classic that made the public fall in love with the performance of Kevin Bacon with the young Ren McCormack. However, although Bacon’s career was marked by this role, the world could have been different if tom cruise had agreed to enter the dance before him.
This just didn’t happen due to scheduling conflicts, as Tom Cruise was already committed to the film. the chancewhich made it unavailable at that time.
Role that was turned down: Alan Grantin Jurassic Park.
If there’s one person in Hollywood who has an extensive collection of iconic characters under his belt, it’s him. Harrison Ford. Han Solo and Indiana Jones are just a few figures that have enshrined the actor in the industry, and he could have added another franchise to that baggage if he had agreed to play the Doctor. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park.
Ford was the director’s first choice Steven Spielberg to bring the character to life, but the actor ended up turning down the opportunity. The exact reason behind Harrison Ford’s decision is not known, but the fact is that, eventually, Doctor Grant ended up in the hands of Sam Neill.