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Top 10 Movie Recasts You Don’t Know

therabidgoat . . . Comments

What if your favorite character had been portrayed by a completely different actor than the one you’re familiar with? Would you still feel the same way about the movie? Most movie productions go through a long casting process before they’re able to find the right person for the lead. In some cases, recasts take place just before, or sometimes during filming. Whether because of differences of opinion with the director, poor acting skills, or prior obligations, some actors just don’t work out. These are ten of the most surprising could-have-been stars of popular movies that you might not know about.


Lance Henriksen as The Terminator

Lance Henriksen

When James Cameron first wrote the script, he wanted a regular looking guy who didn’t stand out in a crowd. Henriksen, who was a long time friend of Cameron’s, was his first choice. When Schwarzenegger came in to read for the role of Kyle Reese, it was decided that he would be better suited in the lead role. Henriksen would eventually be cast as Detective Vukovich, a relatively small role. Afterwards he would also star in Cameron’s Aliens in the role of Bishop. O.J. Simpson had also been considered as the Terminator but Cameron felt he was “too nice” to play a killing machine.


Dougray Scott as Wolverine

Dougray Scott 07

Little known Scottish actor, Dougray Scott, had originally been cast in the role of Wolverine. Unfortunately for Scott, the filming of Mission Impossible 2 had been delayed for several weeks and caused him to miss out on the role of a life time. Director Bryan Singer had to make a last minute recast and chose, then unknown, Hugh Jackman; who has since reprised the role 3 more times with plans for yet another sequel. Jackman has gone on to have a highly successful career. Dougray Scott, on the other hand, went on to play some guy on Desperate Housewives.


Sylvester Stallone as Axel Foley
Beverly Hills Cop


Jerry Bruckheimer originally wanted Mickey Rourke in the lead role, but when he pulled out, it was offered to Stallone. Stallone personally rewrote the script. He removed all the elements of humor and had plans on turning the film into an action packed blockbuster. Due to budgetary constraints, Stallone and the producers went their separate ways. Stallone took his ideas from his rewrite and made the film Cobra. After Eddie Murphy was cast, script rewrites were made to repair the damage done by Stallone. In Beverly Hills Cop 2, there is a brief scene in which Axel Foley is looking at a poster from Cobra while talking on the phone.


Leonardo DiCaprio as Patrick Bateman
American Psycho


From the start, director Mary Harron had wanted Christian Bale to star, but when the production company offered the role to DiCaprio, she backed out. Oliver Stone was hired on to direct, with DiCaprio starring as Patrick Bateman. However, before filming started, several women’s rights activists, including Gloria Steinem, protested the film being made due to what they felt was misogynistic content, and how it would affect DiCaprio’s young female fanbase. DiCaprio left the project due to several issues with the script, Stone followed shortly after. Mary Harron and Bale returned. Coincidentally, Gloria Steinem married Christian Bale’s father, John, shortly afterwards.


Jean-Claude Van Damme as Predator


Producers cast van Damme as the title role in the hopes that his martial arts abilities would make the predator seem agile, despite the costume; which, at the time, was a completely different design from the one seen in the movie. Van Damme found the suit uncomfortable and clumsy, about which he was quite vocal on set. He quit after two days of filming, allegedly because he was upset about playing an “uncredited special effect”. A new, more agile costume design and 7’2″ actor Kevin Peter Hall made for a much more imposing villain.


Stuart Townsend as Aragorn
the Lord of the Rings trilogy


Irish actor Stuart Townsend spent two months rehearsing and training for the role of Aragorn, only to be fired the day before filming began. At the last minute, Peter Jackson decided that he needed someone older than Townsend, who was only 29 at the time. There were also rumors that the two did not get along well on set. Viggo Mortensen, who was 14 years older than Townsend, accepted the role after being convinced by his son, who was a fan of the novels. Townsend never received compensation for his time on set, yet he was apparently happy to be moving on.


Chris Farley as Shrek


Chris Farley was originally signed on to voice the ogre, Shrek, and had recorded the majority of the dialogue for it. Tragically, Farley died from a heart attack, induced by a drug overdose, before he could finish. The script that Farley read from was vastly different from the version completed with Mike Myers. Originally, Shrek was written as a kind hearted, teenaged ogre who wanted to become a knight. After Farley’s death, Dreamwork’s decided to start fresh. As a tribute, Shrek is seen using finger quotes throughout the movie in reference to one of Farley’s famous SNL characters.


Harvey Keitel as Willard
Apocalypse Now


Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film was plagued with problems from the start: Sets were destroyed by typhoons, Marlon Brando was uncooperative and overweight, and he was forced to settle on Harvey Keitel in the lead. Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino had all turned down the role. After a few days of shooting, Coppola reviewed some of his footage and decided that Keitel was not well suited for the role. Martin Sheen, who had impressed Coppola when he had read for the part of Michael Corleone in the Godfather, stepped in as Keitel’s replacement. A few months into shooting Sheen had a heart attack, delaying the film, yet again. What was to be a 5 month shoot ended up taking over a year to complete.


Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones


Little known actor Tom Selleck auditioned for Indiana Jones as well as Magnum P.I. in the same year, and was cast in both roles. Unfortunately for Selleck, he had signed the contract for Magnum P.I. first and CBS wouldn’t let him out of it. Selleck had no choice but to turn down what could have been the biggest role of his career. Spielberg convinced Lucas to give Harrison Ford the part. Ford went on to become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, while Selleck is now starring in a series of TV movies. As it turned out, shooting for Magnum P.I. was delayed until after Raiders had commenced, which would have given Selleck time to do both.


Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly
Back to the Future


Robert Zemeckis’s first choice for the part of Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox, was unavailable due to his contract with Family Ties. Zemeckis then settled on Eric Stoltz and began filming. According to some rumours, the entire film was shot before the casting change was made. Stoltz’s portrayal of McFly came off as “humorless and dramatic”, which wasn’t what producers had in mind. Zemeckis decided the film wasn’t going to turn out the way he had intended and, despite costing an extra three million dollars, he decided to sack Stoltz and start from scratch. Fortunately for Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox had since become available, and the Marty McFly we know and love was born.

  • Avi

    Man I am glad some people changed their roles. Chris Farley would have been better than Mike Myers and Hugh Jackman could have replaced, though i dont know who that guy is, but the rest of the choices were excellent recasts.

    • I loved Chris Farley, but as teh writer stated the role that Chris Farley would have played was vastly different and therefore you can't really compare the 2 and say that Chris would have done a better job since it was a completely different story.

      • Mimz

        I'm with you on that one, Pamela. So, four thumbs up from me.

  • @#$%!!

    the comedy…

    OJ "too nice to play a killing machine"

    And Chris Farley's picture reminds us all that being grossly overweight and taking lots of drugs will probably kill you. In fact it is certain. Suicidal jack ass.

    Side note:
    Don't feel bad for Tom Selleck. –Do you know how many millions of actors there are that never get famous and rich. Selleck hit the jackpot with his famous TV role. Hey, who are the other actors that tried for that part or would have been great in the role? We don't know them.

    • Beast Of Gevaudan

      Good point about Tom Selleck.

      He's a successful actor anyway, so I don't think he'd be losing any sleep over that "missed opportunity".

  • Avi

    On second thought Harvey Keitel is fantastic so I am sure he would have done great regardless of the role.

  • henrysmyagent

    All I can say is thank god Tom Selleck got Magnum PI. He would have ruined Indiana Jones before Lucas and Spielberg could with that piece of crud 4th movie. Aliens, really? Has the creative juices of both of these guys totally dried up or did they give the script writing chore to the guys writing Power Rangers?

  • menari

    I like Dougray Scott. I think he could've been a great wolverine. haha.

  • c man

    i think seeleck could have pulled indie off, but thank god dicaprio dropped out of american psycho, and townsend is too wimpy too play aaragon

  • rhea

    how about the role of dumbledore?
    first portrayed by richard harris then by michael gambon after harris' death
    i used to like harris better as dumbledore
    but as the movie progressed and dumbledore's character got more strong, gambon fitted became fitted well for the character

    • MLD

      the title was 'you don't know' Most people are aware of Dumbledore's recast due to Harris' death.

    • magnumto

      I thought Gambdon made a terrible Dumbledore. Harris played Dumbledore perfectly – kind, intelligent, powerful, and shrewd. Gamdon, to me, comes across as a grouch, never kind.

      • leithold

        i agree on this one. Gamdon looks to me more like an angry old man, especially in the fourth film

        • Mimz

          Totally agree with you on that one. At least with Richard Harris, he brought that 'loving'-ness out in Dumbledore like his character had in the books. He always said things calmly, collectively and never raised his voice. Gamdon is terrible! He plays Dumbeldore as if he were meant to be a grumpy old man who raises his voice at the first chance he gets.

          R.I.P. Richard Harris, the original Dumbledore!

          • Dumbledore is a grumpy old man- have you read the books? I won't name specific things to prevent spoliers but given what is learnt during the last book you might forgive Dumbledore for being a little grumpy. Also he is pretty mad at himself for ruining Harry's life for the good of many which would make you pretty grumpy, especially at anything that makes it worse or harder.

            I realise I sound like a complete geek, but what they heck- I am one! And also to almost everyone above it's Gambon not Gamdon.

      • mustainer

        what r u hi? evrything gasmbon does in every film comes across as kinder than harris’ portrayal – try watching the films and then point out to me where he isnt – and if u mean that scene where harrys name comes out for the tri-wizard tournament then u missed the point!!

  • Can't imagine anyone else in these roles. Things happen for a reason, and if these had been shot as originally cast, they may not have become the icons that we love.

  • Wow @ O.J. Simpson considered for Terminator. That would have been… eh. The only one I knew about in here was the Patrick Bateman one. Bale was perfect for that, good thing Leo didn't. That book was way better than the movie, but ANYWAY, if I ever watch Shrek again, I'll be watching for the Farley reference. Damn, he was a funny man.

    • I agree, Patrick was best suited for that role, Leo DiCaprio wouldn't have been able to pull that off for those of us that have read the book.

      • im not real sure he could have pulled it off for people who hadn't read the book.

        and im, frankly, surprised he was even considered–
        if you had told me viggo mortenstern or edward norton or sam rockwell or someone like that, i'd buy it, but leo just doesnt seem right for that role
        at all

        • I agree, DiCaprio isn't the worst acor in the world, but I don't think he could have pulled that one off – it was like Bale was made for that part. Sam Rockwell would've been intersting though.

          • BJF1998

            He's actually an amazing actor. Check out "What's eating Gilbert Grape" some time. He just got sucked in to the Hollywood money making machine and has been turning out blockbuster crap.

          • i agree he kicked ass in home alone…

          • oliveralbq

            right on tara — exactly right.
            the upper echelon consists of people who pick *mostly* roles that make you say "oooo couldnt see him *not* being in that movie" — whereas, the next level down are actors who are almost as good — but pick weeeeird roles for their style. and cant quite pull it off — even if they "acted" the part well.
            note: you get more gold stars and happyface stickers if they do pick something not in their element, and they blow you away. bale in the machinist – connery in untouchables — ice cube in boyz in the hood — hopper in easy rider (rip) — tim roth in 4 rooms — marshal mathers in 8 mile — mos def in 16 blocks — claudette colbert in it happened one niight — robrt loggia in lost highway — whoever played pre-cog agatha in minority report —- i could go on for about 3 hours.

            leo is sometimes good — gilbert grape…basketball diaries,,,etc, and sometimes s h i t t y — the aviator….the beach.

            american psycho? —- noooo way

  • Matt

    Don't forget – Gene Hackman was the first choice to play Mike Brady on "The Brady Bunch."

    • MLD

      Was he really??? I can't even imagine that!

  • bluesman87

    Cool List , Chris Farley Shrek wouldve been cool . Mike myers seems dried up now hasnt had anything fresh in so long .
    I think underestimating Tom Selleck could be the greatest mistake the human race has ever made -something tells me he has yet to unlock and understand the true cosmic power of that incredible moustache of his ……..but when he does the world will tremble in fear, god help us………………

  • Armadillotron

    I`ve got nothing against James Cameron, the man is a LEGEND, but why does he always seem to have the same actors in his movies? Bill Paxton was in Terminator, Aliens, and True Lies, Michael Bein (I know thats spelt wrong) was in Terminator then Aliens, Lance Henriksen was in Terminator, then Aliens, and that woman who plays that hard as hell chick in Aliens, was also in Terminator 2. And why is it, that EVERY film that Bill Paxton has been in, he`s the only actor to have been in a Terminator, Aliens and Predator film, the poor guy always gets killed? Give the guy a break!

    • Well, Scorsese also has DiCaprio in his every other movie..both great directors!

    • Mokos

      Try being a Coen brothers fan (which I am). They have the same actors in every movie (all of which I love)!

    • He didn’t die in Titanic or True Lies.

  • Kon

    This is a really interesting and well-researched list, the kind that Listverse deserves to be publishing each day. Kudos to therabidgoat!

  • Dikko

    Chris Farley is the greatest actor of all time. No arguments.

    • i agree chris farley makes me want to be fat……..

    • ??
      dude — farley was great, helped snl when everything was going to shit. (sorta — in the general scheme of things, it still kinda sucked)
      man — love him

      he isnt anywhere near the best though.

      acting is simply too deep of a subject, and the truth is he was a fantastic actor, when he was acting like a crazy fat funny dude — probably because he was a crazy fat funny dude. actors should be just as good at acting like someone else, than they are at acting like themselves. he isnt even in the top 5 of snl alums. — think john belush (74-79), robert downey jr (85-86), bill murray (77-80), gilda radner (75-80), eddie murphy (80-84), and phill hartman, and ben stiller (89) and akroyd and billy crystal and christopher guest and tina fey and on and on

      i do like farley but gimme a break

      i hate he's gone and i miss his acting, it just was on an entirely different level

      • disagree, farley is the best , the other day i rented the full collection of his movies and me and my bro got a case of beer and watched it . i havent laughed so hard in YEARS!! Ben stiller , billy crystal etc are boring – city slickers vs beverly hills ninja…….no way . old guy on a horse vs a fat guy doing a flying kick ? the colour of his belt is like the inside of a coffin on a moonless night………..

        • yanno — actually, i'd rather watch ninja than anything that billy crystal did

          i was going for versitility over entertainment

          farley was funny as shit — not very versatile — but hysterical
          billy crystal, on the other hand, could portray about 23 different kinds of boring, widening his acting scope

          its this same thing that makes me like sam kennison better than dan akroyd, even though he is an inforior actor.

          and robert downey jr is better than farley — i dont care what you say ;)

          • robert downey has got alot of and talent character( couldnt beleive he actually made that boring old dust fart sherlock holmes cool) , but farley has the raw shot gun humour , but its subjective , like many things . …if he were alive today i honestly think there is a great chance he would be sitting where obama is today (lol) or at least kicking david spades ass at everything …………

          • oliveralbq

            oh shit man — of course its subjective. — another point is that theyre on different levels all toghther. its like comparing anderson silva and brett favre as simply athletes .. too different
            downey made chaplin cool too. unfortunately, farely died before the movie about fatty arbuckle got made — that would have been grade a badassness.

            but thats why i can argue with you about subjectivity — cause you say shit like 'sitting where obama is' and i go to work, picturing farely — coked up, no fucking sleeves, and cigarettes in his nose, sitting in the oval office. that will get me through most of my day right there……..

      • Dikko

        How could you possibly take that as a serious comment? Sheesh!

        Cheers bluesman! He makes me, too, want to be fat – he also makes me want to get all coke'd up and do endless cartwheels!

        • oliveralbq

          man—-i really didnt take that *that* seriously
          although in hindsight, i can see where you thought i did.
          lack of sleep — dry sense of humour — in a hurry….. i see where humour got obfuscated by multi tasking (smoking cig, feeding cat, yelling at 5 year old nephew who filled the toaster with sour cream, getting dressed, and hunting for a flash drive for kimmie at work).

          the truth is that comment was 85% tailored to see what bluesman was gonna come up with. he's always logged on between 3am and 5am my time, and he responds to dry humour with hysterics. i really thought he was gonna say that chris farley would have made the most baller version of forrest gump ever imagined. or that they shoulda recast him in the role of mrs. doubtfire. or benicio del toro's role in fear and loathing in las vegas. or tootsie. or robin williams role in jack. or as little orphan annie. — something like that.
          what does he come up with?
          probably knowing im from wash. d.c. and my dad worked for clinton, and ive been to the oval office more times than ive been to buffalo wild wings?

          ""…if he were alive today i honestly think there is a great chance he would be sitting where obama is today (lol)""

          mission accomplished.

          ill try to be more clear in the future
          (meh…..not really) ;)

          • Dikko

            Ha. No worries : )

          • yes ive grown to enjoy our talks…What the??!!!! I never realised you been to buffalo wild wings !!!! kick ass!!!!!

          • oliveralbq

            dude —– i was at buffalo wild wings about an hour ago.
            39 beers on tap, 15 varieties of wings — most on the gulf coast
            the buffalitos arent bad, but if youre feelin especially froggy, you
            can always take the blazin buffalo challenge. dozen ultra-hot blazin wings free if you kill em in like 15 minutes or somehting dumb like that
            –pardon my lack of knowledge of this promo — i like hot food just fine, but 'blazin' ultra super hella- hot' — man, fuck all that
            — i'd rather pay for my wings than shit lightening bolts for 3 days.

          • 39 different beers on tap ?! awesome . I know what you saying enjoy your wings and eat at your own lesiure rather than having to keep your toilet paper in the freezer for a week.

  • Tom Selleck is my dad. I mean, my father is one of his best lookalikes.
    I didn't get much of his genes though…
    I knew about Magnum P.I. and the Indiana Jones plan but am fairly happy the part went to Ford.
    All else is new to me.

    Well done therabidgoat

  • Joe

    I'm glad Eddie Murphy still got his role in Beverly, can't imagine it any other way.

  • Ben Dover

    Let's not forget Frank Sinatra was the first choice to play Callahan in Dirty Harry. Carrol O'Connor almost played the Skipper in Gilligan's Island.

  • MLD

    Most hardcore Viggo Mortensen or LOTR fans are well aware of the recast with Stuart Townsend. Might be better titled '…you probably don't know.'

    • Nack

      I think the key term there is "Most hardcore". Most "regular joes" don't know.

    • there are "hard core Viggo Mortensen" fans ??? Wow those guys must know how to party….

  • Interesting and very original. I'm glad for the Indiana Jones re-cast, ugh. I can't picture Tom playing that role let alone playing it again almost 20 yrs later lol. Hugh Jackman was a good call as well.

  • Yeah Stallone in Beverly Hills Cop would've been a bad idea lol

    • true — but i kinda wish mickey rourke hadnt pulled out

      • That's what she said….

        (Oh GREAT shades of 'The Office'!!!)

  • Loved the list, didn't know about most of these, glad that they cast the people that they did =)

  • im kinda surprised there werent more examples of recasting due to death. this is a good list, but farely is the only one mentioned in this list.

    i remember anne rice was pissed off tom cruise got cast as lestat in interview… (preferring rutger hauer or julian sands) but everything was forgotten as the role of malloy, (the interviewer) had to be completely re-shot due to the death of river phoenix — christian slater was never comfortable doing that role, wasnt hapy with the finished product, and donated all his money to phoenix's favourite charities

    i hate that we lost heath ledger, and his joker probably couldnt have been recast, but in one *good* recasting call, when terry gilliam got johnny depp, colin farrell, and jude law to play the different incarnations of ledger's character in the imaginarium of dr. parnassus — it was a great call

    i dont even remember who they got as a replacement for brandon lee, as eric draven in the crow sequel —
    there's a bunch of these

  • Ricky

    Funny thing is, the number one spot went to the only part I knew-the one I though EVERYONE knew about, and as such was shocked to see it's inclusion on the list.
    I did know that Coppola wanted Brando for Apocalypse Now, but I had no idea that Harvey Keitel was involved.

  • MouseintheHouseMI

    Awesome list rabidgoat!

  • i dont know which roles people know and dont knnow but:

    the whole popeye thing would have been weird — with dustin hoffman as popeye and lily tomlin or gilda radner as olive oyl — that just doesnt even sound right

    eddie murphy as the black ghostbuster would have been ok, i think — but he pulled out of that

    woody allen switched out michael keaton with jeff daniels in purple rose of cairo — but everyone probably knows that

    steve mcqueen in close encounters of the 3rd kind
    steve martin in eyes wide shut

    a lot of these too — and i just cannot — for the life of me — see frank sinatra as dirty harry. at all

    • Steve Martin in eye wide shut ? thats like casting tommy chong as "jack" in Titanic….

      • wouldve been awesome….

      • other than what's eating gilbert grape, i think tommy chong would be great in leo's roles.

        clare danes yelling for her romeo, and tommy chong popps out from behind the curtain.

    • Steve McQueen in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind??? Hmmmm….thinking I really enjoyed my distant cousin in the movies he was in before his death in the early 80's. Glad he was not in Encounters…

      Most of this list was new to me, except for Chris Farley. Funny, just had the conversation last night about who the original Shrek was and could not remember!! Thanks for the list!!

      • oliveralbq

        jesus — i would rather have seen butterfly mcqueen in close encounters. —

        i have always thought it weird that someone of his clout would go to juarez mexico for alternate treatment, and wind up dead before the end of the month

        something in the combination of coffee enemas and cow cell injection —
        i mean — ive been to juarez.
        if you need chiclets — goto juarez.
        anything else — stay in el paso across the boarder.

        the blob was one of the first movies i ever remember seeing.
        i really really dont see him as a fit for close encounters…….just seems too random

  • Marty

    Neo was cast to will smith he reject it

    • You beat me to mentioning it :) He probably would've been good too, but Keanu Reeves in that role has become kind of iconic, even if it wasn't for his stellar acting :P

  • I'm glad they recast with Viggo as Aragorn. In the story he IS supposed to be early middle aged ish in appearance although in years he is much older as befits the heir of Isildur

  • Davo

    knew all these so im awesoem, but yeah th Predator is an excellent recast/new idea. The original idea sounds horrible

  • I love the list! So glad the changes were made. I don't see how any of them could have turned out the way they did if they had chosen differently. Especially with Indiana Jones. That would have been awful.
    Chris Farley would have ruined Shrek (however, it sucked that he had to die to have it changed to Mike Meyers). I don't find him funny at all when compared to John Candy.

  • Gladiator

    What about Hugo Weaving who replaced Frank Welker on the Transformers live action movie? stupid beyond belief.

  • This is straight out of IMDB Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia, I shit you not:

    "Actors considered for the role of Indiana Jones included Nick Nolte, Steve Martin (who chose to do Pennies from Heaven (1981) instead), Bill Murray (who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with "Saturday Night Live" (1975)), Chevy Chase, Tim Matheson, Nick Mancuso, Peter Coyote, and Jack Nicholson. Harrison Ford was cast less than three weeks before principal photography began. "

    Chevy Chase would have been surreal at best.

    • the mick

      lol, Raiders Of The Lost Griswolds !!

      • Here's another interesting one: "Tim Burton originally wanted Sammy Davis Jr., a favorite star of his since childhood, to play the role of Betelgeuse but studio executives didn't like that idea at all. "

    • Nick Nolte would have been a disaster.

      I'd like to see Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray or Steve Martin racing down a hill with a pack of Taino (?) Indians in hot pursuit. I think they'd have to give those guys a dirtbike or something.

      Indiana Jones playing a banjo, or using Murray's dry humour would have been . . . interesting.

      I could see Nicholson, Chase, Murray or Martin playing villains, but it's hard to imagine anything else.

      • Ha ha ha, and I've offended a Nick Nolte fan out there somewhere.

        -1 for Scratch.

    • It's like they were trying to make a comedy and then Harrison Ford had to come and screw it all up by being an awesome action star.

  • Omg, that's a horrible picture of Sly… Ugghh…

    Cool list, btw. Things are the way they are, than God!

    • Moonbeam

      But I like how it makes it look like he's got horns growing on his head.

    • I meant "Thank God!" Wow… O_o

  • Most of these would have made a big difference in the final product. ESPECIALLY 'American Psycho'.

    The only two that would be similar, in my opinion, would be 'Back to the Future' and 'Apolcalypse Now'.


    I like this list… I couldn't imagine Farley as Shrek or DiCaprio as Bateman, but I would have loved to see Stallone in as Axel Foley if he stuck with the origional script.

    Thank God Van Damm wasn't the Predator.

  • I actually think Leo could have handled American Psycho in the present. Back in his pretty boy days, I'm not sure, but he really does have some fine, well acted roles under his belt now. Maybe that would have been his break out and he would have gotten out of the pretty boy roll faster. Oh well.

  • This is a fun list mostly because I didn't know about these. And *ugggg* I HATE Eric Stoltz. There's really no reason for it-I just can't stand the guy.

  • Tfisch73

    What about how George Lucas wanted Christopher Walken as Han Solo? Imagine THAT!

  • FO

    “Top 10 Movie Recasts You Don’t Know”

    sorry…I did know.

    • Clark88

      Wow, good for you!!!

  • This list would have been pretty cool 10 years ago. As it stands now, I've read about every one of these instances about 20 times apiece.

    Culling extremely old news and putting it into a list that's been done 100 times does not interesting reading make. F for originality.

  • I thought DiCaprio left American Psycho in favor of The Beach.

  • Funny that most of these show how much people missed out by not taking the role. I wonder how often people miss being in a terrible movie by a close casting call like this. I'm glad that all of these turned out the way they did.

    • Mimz

      I completely agree with you. They *could* have done a great job, but fate intervened and the actors chosen made the movies twice as sensational as if they were portrayed by the original people. I think that Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman was one of the most fantastic castings ever. He improved a lot and added his own twisted personality into it. Leonardo DiCaprio would have just read the lines, acted the scenes out and what was done was done. I'm very glad that things turned out the way they did. They made movie history!

  • Moonbeam

    I know everyone has heard of this one, but this list reminds me that Shirley Temple was supposed to play Dorthy in The Wizard of Oz I can't even imagine Over the Rainbow sung by anyone other than Judy Garland.

  • First of all what a great list. Second, I think most of the actors would have been good in these movies. Other than the Terminator of course.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. But the aluminum-based makeup made him sick, so he had to quit, and was replaced by Jack Haley. Oops! I know about this switcheroo, so that means it doesn't belong on this list! ;)

    • Budgyrl

      Just one little correction, it was actually the Tin man makeup that Buddy Ebsen was alergic to. Jack Haley replace him in the Tin Man role and Ray Bolger, was originally cast as the Tin Man, but his childhood idol had played the Scarecrow in 1902, so he insisted on playing the Scarecrow. Ray Bolger never wore the Tin Man makeup.

      But still, we knew about this, so it doesn't belong.

  • Lifeschool

    hi, as a major Tom Selleck/Magnum P.I fan (I have the whole 8 seasons) I have to say thank God he missed out on Indiana Jones, and also that so many other ‘rivals’ missed out too; I mean Chevy Chase? C’mon!

    The producers gave Selleck an Indiana Jones type script in the final season of P.I called Legend of the Lost Art as a small homage to the lost role. Selleck also made a low budget Indiana-type movie called High Road To China – which was great as a slow sunday matinee movie but otherwise a bit lame.

    Didn’t know most of the others – but I’m glad they all ended up going to the right people. I especially like Viggo in LOTR and Beverly Hills Cop would never be the same with Stallone smirking in the background. EEww.

    Also, I love J. Fox in BTTF – he really made it his own. I also like him in The Secret of My Success and Doc Hollywood – although the rest are forgettable (and that includes Teen Wolf). He’s also the second-most well known Parkinsons guy I know – full respect to him!

    On the whole an interesting list – well done Goat!

  • Tear'emup

    Harvey Keitel as Willard? Nobody but Bruce Davison for that role! I liked the part when the rats ate Marlon Brando.

  • I'm surprised no one has mentioned Ronald Reagan originally cast as the lead in Casablanca…think of how that could have changed world history

  • I can totally see Farley as Shrek. Not so much Keitel in Apocalypse Now; imagine Sport or The Wolf in that role.

  • I knew most of these.

  • I don't get Leonardo DeCaprio's appeal. He can act but I think he's one of the homeliest people I've ever seen.

  • lomez

    This was lifted straight outta Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Lazy, lazy.

  • I think Farley would make a good roll as Shrek he was very funny

  • Mimz

    I can see a few of them as good as the actor used for the final movie. Leonardo DiCaprio would have been a good Bateman, Stewart Townsend would definitely have been a good Aragorn…okay, that's all I got. The rest would have been terrible, almost especially Dougray Scott as Wolverine. No! Sometimes the roll just calls naturally to the actor/actress, and they make that character twice as badass, like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, or Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth. EVEN Timothy Olyphant [sp] as Agent 47 on Hitman. I thought that he was going to be terrible, but he was wonderful! Or even heart-throb Heath Ledger as THE JOKER???? Really?! I was PISSED! when they announced him. Now? I can't look at another actor being the Clown Prince of Crime.

  • Mike

    I have to strongly disagree with the folks who posted that Tom Selleck would not have done a great job with the Indiana Jones role. He would have been terrific in it. Harrison Ford was also wonderful in the part but I've always felt that he has a limited range as an actor,whereas Tom doesn't.

  • Beast Of Gevaudan

    Entertaining list.

    It's fun to imagine how these films would've turned out if those casting changes weren't made.

  • Hannah

    Tom Selleck may not be the most successful actor but by god he's certainly not "little known"

  • Another one that I have heard, but not sure if it's true, is that they had Will Smith in mind to play Neo before they opted for Keanu Reeves.

  • In an episode of Fringe taking place in the 80's in a parallel reality, a theater Marquee read "Back to the Future staring Eric Stoltz.

  • Tom Selleck is very well known worldwide. Too bad he never really made a successful movie. I do think he might have been great as Indiana Jones.

  • Nixxa

    Will Smith was originally supposed to be Neo from Matrix.

  • LilyAlisons

    Bonjour, Nice to unify you, I am alise

  • cecillebdm

    Love Eric Stoltz but Michael J. Fox owned that Marty McFly role. Still I'd be interested to see the unreleased footage.

  • sleepyzootsy

    I remember reading that Chuck Norris was the original intended actor to play Red Forman on That 70's Show. I'm glad he didn't get cast.

    • Why? That would have been funneee!! :)

  • Creepella

    Henry Winkler was considered for the role of Danny in Grease. Can you even imagine anyone except John Travolta??!

  • Budgyrl

    Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump and David Alan Grier, Ice Cube and Dave Chappelle turned down the role of Bubba.
    I really couldn't imagine not having Tom Hanks and Mykelti Williamson playing those two roles.

  • tuugii

    all itis excellent mongolian predator

  • beth563

    Ugh, don't remind me about Dougray Scott. I've been seething since I found this out years ago, and can't even watch any Hugh Jackman films, I'm so mad at him. And it isn't even his fault!!
    And that Mission Impossible movie was ridiculous.
    Please somebody give this guy another chance. He's hot as hell.

  • Timothy

    They also forgot Rocky 3. Stallone originally wanted Smokin’ Joe Frazier to be Clubber Lang but during rehearsal, Frazier gave Stallone a headbutt a split him wide open, naturally Stallone switched gears and history was made.

  • The Assassin

    IDK maybe the shrek movies would have been good with chris farley at the helm never mind the maybe part they would have been much better. Im sure Zemeckis made well over the lost 3 million and plenty more considering the re-released Back To The Future DVD's & Blu-Rays those movies are probably THE best trilogy in existence thanks to Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd. I'm gonna go and watch them now

  • Elizabeth Bagwell

    dougray scott i love ever after is my favorite movie alot.
    you’ll always be the one i know i’ll never forget there’s no use
    looking back no matter how i try and try i never found the words to say
    you’re the one i think about each day. no matter where love takes me.
    Elizabeth bagwell 3141 Queensgate way Mt.Pleasant S.C.

  • elizabeth bagwell

    dougray scott
    i want to be on Desperate houeswives with you on it and with you and want to and it is my dream i always wanted. always with my favorite actor like you
    Elizabeth Bagwell 3141 Queensgate way Mt.Pleasant S.C.

  • Elizabeth Bagwell

    dougray scott
    when can i be a actress i love acting and i iwhant to learn so much from you and i am needless and emotional with out you.
    Elizabeth Bagwell 3141 Queensgate Way Mt.Pleasant S.C.

  • always on time

    interesting and damn good list

  • Name

    What I want to know is how Jean-Claude Van Damme wound up looking so much like John Waters…

  • Dangerface

    These are the TOP? What about Frank Sinatra as Dirty Harry, Bill Murray as Batman (1989) or Harrison Ford as Elliott Ness in The Untouchables?

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  • gator

    U forgot to mention will smith as the part of neo in the matrix. He turned it down to star in wild wild west.

  • You aught to have mentioned at least one female preproduction recast. A good one would have been Sean Young as Vicky Vale in the 1989 Batman, the role you remember Kim Basinger in. Look it up.

  • You aught to have posted at least one female preproduction recast. Sean Young was cast as Vicky Vale in the 1989 Batman. She broke her arm falling off a horse and couldn’t be on set with a cast. Ironic, that word “cast”. Kim Basinger got it instead.

  • YouRecast

    Great recasts! If you like to recast yourself any of your favorite movies, try

  • Audrey

    Great list! I knew about Stuart Townshend as Aragorn and Eric Stoltz as Marty, but a lot of these were surprises for me.

  • TruStory

    How about Will Smith turning down the role of Neo in “The Matrix”…He decided to do the “Wild Wild West” instead….considering Will’s success, it probably doesnt bug him much.

  • miss_bookworm

    aww, poor Dougray Scott. i watch desperate house wives and i had no idea he could have been wolverine. although i love hugh jackman as that character, i do feel sorry for him!

  • miss_bookworm

    i feel bad saying this but im glad Stuart Townsend didnt get the part of aragorn. viggo is an amazing actor and i think he’s what makes lotr, lotr!

  • Chad

    I heard the producers from fight club originally want russel crowe to play Tyler durden over brad Pitt. That would have been weird

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