15 Hollywood Casting Mistakes that Nearly Happened


Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself that the person cast as a particular character simply IS that character? It’s the feeling that no matter how hard producers, directors and the people who do the casting for movies tried, they never would have found anyone else in Hollywood more perfect for that role. It happens all the time, but you might not know that some of the most famous roles in Hollywood were almost cast horribly. There are casting mistakes that were narrowly avoided. Read on to see if your favorite character was almost given to the wrong actor or actress.

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Britney Spears as Allie Calhoun

Who could have taken The Notebook seriously if they hadn’t cast the glorious Rachel McAdams as Allie? More importantly, who would have watched this lovely love story had the casting director actually cast the pop singer Britney Spears in the role? It would have been an outright disaster. It would have been very, very bad. Thankfully, she was not as amazing in the role as McAdams, who was eventually chosen over Spears for the classic part. She had such an amazing onscreen – and off – with Ryan Gosling that producers couldn’t pass her up for the role.

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Jessica Biel as Allie Calhoun

We all love Jessica Biel, especially when she played Mary on 7th Heaven. However, despite our love for Justin Timberlake’s wife, we have a really difficult time imaging her as Allie in The Notebook. She doesn’t seem like a whimsical fairytale love kind of girl, and that makes it difficult for us to see her in the role of Allie. It also makes it difficult for us to see her in the role because it seems that no one could every play Allie like Rachel McAdams. She made the movie what it was.

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Reese Witherspoon as Allie Calhoun

Had the casting directors of The Notebook not cast Rachel McAdams in the role of Allie opposite Ryan Gosling, Reese Witherspoon probably would have made a good choice. She wouldn’t have been the amazing choice that McAdams was, but she would have been a far better Allie than either Jessica Biel or Britney Spears. Fortunately, she was not able to take on the role and then directors saw McAdams and it was all history from there. Witherspoon is a wonderful actress who would have done well in the role, but she wouldn’t have been as amazing.

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Al Pacino as Han Solo

There is no on in the world that should ever play Han Solo other than Harrison Ford. However, when Star Wars was originally being cast, it seemed that the casting directors wanted to see Al Pacino in the role. He was actually the only man George Lucas had in mind when he created the role. Thankfully, Al Pacino didn’t get the script and wasn’t even remotely interested I the role of Han Solo. Since he passed on the role, it was given to Harrison Ford, and he rocked it. And now he’s one of the most famous actors in Hollywood. 

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John Travolta as Forrest Gump

Let’s be honest here; no one in the world could ever play Forrest Gump except for Tom Hanks. We can’t even begin to imagine John Travolta in the role, and we love John Travolta. Travolta as Forrest Gump would be like watching Tom Hanks as Danny in Grease. It just doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try to imagine either in the opposite’s role. Thank goodness he turned down the role so that Tom Hanks could accept the role. Life is like a box of chocolates, but it wouldn’t have been as good with Travolta teaching us that particular lesson.

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Bill Murray as Forrest Gump

Again, why did Hollywood casting directors ever want to consider anyone for the role of Forrest Gump other than Tom Hanks. We cannot look back in time and see anyone else play the iconic character with the same amazing performance as hanks. However, someone in Hollywood thought that Bill Murray would make a great Forrest Gump. Whoever that was shouldn’t be allowed to make any casting decisions in the future after that questionable choice. Fortunately, Bill Murray, like John Travolta, turned down the role of Forrest Gump, leaving it open for Tom Hanks, the rightful Gump.

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Chevy Chase as Forrest Gump

At this point, let’s just ask the obvious question: Did no one want Tom Hanks to portray Forrest Gump? It seems that might be the case. The role seems to have been offered to just about everyone in Hollywood before it was actually offered to, and accepted by, Tom Hanks, the person who is the only person in the world to do justice to the character. Thank goodness that Chase didn’t want to play the part of Forrest Gump, or maybe his schedule wouldn’t allow it, and he had to turn it down. Otherwise, it might not be the movie we all love.

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Pamela Anderson

Pam Anderson as Scully

The X-Files would have been a bit more racy if the casting directors who originally chose Pamela Anderson for the role of Agent Scully had gotten their way. Let’s’ face it: Gillian Anderson is the only woman for the role of Scully, and Pam Anderson never would have been able to pull off the role of a kick-butt character such as this. She’s too provocative and too feminine for a role like this, and it could have been the worst casting mistake in Hollywood history.

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Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

We all know and love Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the awesome character from 1985’s Back to the Future. However, what if that wasn’t MJF? What if someone else was McFly? It wouldn’t have worked. Thank goodness casting directors quickly realized that their first choice, Eric Stoltz, was not the right choice. They even shot five weeks worth of the movie before Steven Spielberg put a stop to filming and demanded that the role was recast with MJF. Once they realize he was perfect for the role, the film went on successfully.

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Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

Could you imagine Tom Selleck playing the role of Indiana Jones? Neither can we. However, before the film was shot, casting directors were dying to get him on board for the role. They were even in the midst of shooting test scenes with him as the main character before they decided he simply was not right for the part. Thankfully, they were able to make some sort of contractual difference work out in their favor so that they could give the role to its rightful actor and get Selleck off the set.

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Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck as Batman

Back in the day when Magnum P.I. was a big hit, everyone wanted Tom Selleck for everything. Can you imagine his signature moustache under Batman’s mask? Yeah, we can’t imagine seeing him as Bruce Wayne, either. However, he was almost given the role before he wasn’t. Thankfully, Batman was eventually cast and we can all stay a little moment of thanks for the fact that it was Michael Keaton and not Tom Selleck that took on the role of the iconic superhero that saves Gotham City from criminals and questionable villans.

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Bill Murray as Batman

There are so many roles in which Bill Murray has been amazingly cast, however, Batman would not have been one of them. We all think of Bill Murray as someone funny and a bit goofy, and he simply would not have been a good Batman. Fortunately, producers were unable to agree on the script so after a long time of negotiations and other Hollywood type stuff, the role fizzled out and Batman Bill Murray did not become. Thank goodness, because we cannot imagine him in the role as a superhero. He’s just not the superhero type.

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Aaron Paul as Francis Wilkerson

Remember the hit television show “Malcolm in the Middle?” It was a great show, and the show’s casting was superb. Except that it almost wasn’t quite as superb as it ended up being. The show’s casting director’s initially offered the role of Francis Wilkerson, oldest son in the family, to Aaron Paul, who had already auditioned and done a great job of it. He would have played the role of Bryan Cranston’s son on the show, but he admits he wouldn’t have been as good at it as Christopher Masterson.

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Matthew Broderick as Walter White

We all love Breaking Bad, but could anyone in the world have been a better meth-cooking drug dealer than Bryan Cranston? No, they could not have done so. Even the wonderful Matthew Broderick would have had a difficult time playing the role of a meth-cooking criminal. The job, however, was offered to Broderick before it was offered to anyone else. Thankfully, something didn’t work out in that light and he was not cast as the role of Walter White. We don’t know if the casting director decided to go a different way or if Broderick turned it down, but we are happy.

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John Cusack as Walter White

Now, we have a bit of an easier time seeing John Cusack playing the role of a man who cooks meth for a living, especially when we compare him doing it to Matthew Broderick doing it. However, Cusack still isn’t right for the role of Walter White. When casting directors approached him about the role in Breaking Bad, he turned it down. We don’t know why, and we don’t care why. We are just happy that he did and that directors quickly realized that they couldn’t imagine anyone but Bryan Cranston in the role of White.

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