One of the revelations that came out during the legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Hear was that Warner Brothers was seriously considering replacing the actress in the upcoming Aquaman after. Heard was retained, however, thanks to Jason Mamoa and director James Wan. While the news may come as a surprise to some, replacing actors mid-production is nothing new for major Hollywood banner production companies. Today we take a look at some of the instances where the movie could have had very different actors:
9) James Purefoy in V for Vendetta
While already an established actor before the film, V for Vendetta propelled Hugo Weaving’s popularity into the stratosphere. But surprisingly, Weaving was not the first choice for this role.
During the first six weeks of filming, the iconic mask was donned by James Purefoy, known for his television roles as Mark Antony in Rome and Joe Caroll in What follows. However, during production, it was felt that Purefoy could not make the character work, citing that he could not emote properly.
8) Harvey Keitel in Revelation now
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Martin Sheen playing the role of a tortured soldier in search of one of his peers. Things could have been very different. The now iconic role of Captain Benjamin L. Willard was played by Harvey Keitel, who had previously worked with Coppola on average streets.
However, aside from the many issues that plagued the film’s production, Coppola decided to recast the role as he felt the actor’s performance did not fit the role. Luckily, Martin Sheen, who was first choice for the role but couldn’t commit due to scheduling issues, agreed to join us.
7) Samantha Morton in His
Scarlett Johanson’s performance as an AI in Spike Jonze’s His is one for the highlight reel. But the role of Samantha was first taken on by my Samantha Morton, whom we saw in Minority report and 2016 fantastic beasts film.
In fact, the director shot the entire movie with Morton narrating. However, in post-production, Jonez felt that his voice was unsuitable for the role. Consequently, Johansson was later brought in to re-record the entire film.
6) Dougray Scott in The X-Men
We may have just gotten the best possible version of the live action Wolverine with Hugh Jackman. The role which spanned more than a decade saw Jackson’s career launched into the A-lister category. However, the Aussie wasn’t always Bryan Singer’s first choice. The role was supposed to go to Dougray Scott, who had signed on to star in x-men and Impossible mission. Unfortunately, the production of Mission: Impossibleble went on too long and Logan’s role had to be recast.
5) Ryan Gosling in The beautiful bones
This might be one of the most unintentionally hilarious redesigns on our list. In 2007, Peter Jackson approached Ryan Gosling to play the role of a father who sees his daughter being kidnapped.
For this, Gosling would have put on 30 kg of weight to “look the part”. The only problem was Jackson never asked Gosling to do it. The actor felt it was the right look for a man whose child was missing. The director didn’t understand this and quickly fired Gosling, eventually recasting the role with Mark Wahlberg.
4) Anne Hathaway In knocked up
Despite Katherine Heigl’s comments about the film after its release, knocked up was perhaps the last success in the actor’s career. But that almost didn’t happen. Judd Apatow originally cast Anne Hathaway to play the role of Alison. However, during filming, Hathaway learned that footage of a real birth would be used in the film’s climax, along with additional nudity. It was too much for our old catwomanwho later retired from the film.
3) Kevin Spacey in All the money in the world
In 2017, the sex scandal involving Kevin Spacey had just been revealed. Amid the #MeToo movement, everyone from Netflix to other major production houses have dropped the actor like a hot potato.
This put Ridley Scott’s film All the money in the world in a difficult puzzle. However, instead of shelving or doing a reshoot, the director decided to digitally replace the actor with Christopher Plummer, a few months before the release. Although it seemed shocking at first, Plummer’s performance was universally praised, while the film achieved less than moderate success.
2) Eric Stoltz In Back to the future
Marty McFly is perhaps one of the most iconic characters in movie history. But did you know he wasn’t always played by Michael J. Fox? Production on this classic sci-fi film began with Eric Stoltz in the lead. However, after almost five weeks of filming, director Robert Zemeckis realized he had made a huge mistake with Stoltz, who wasn’t as charming as the movie needed him to be. He was therefore quickly replaced by Fox.
1) Stuart Townsend in The Lord of the Rings
It would be heresy to consider anyone other than Viggo Mortenson to play the role of Aragon in Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But the cast wasn’t without its own trial and error. Jackson originally cast 27-year-old newcomer Stuart Townsend to play the role of Aragon. However, Jackson soon realized that Townsend was far too young for the role. He was later replaced by Mortenson, who is 14 years older than the actor.
(Image credits: Warner Brothers)