We know of the last minute actor swaps that changed films, but there have been many roles that casting directors have had to turn down numerous actors for. These are the roles in Hollywood that everyone went for.
Some characters are destined to be iconic forever, and actors certainly know this, this is why they’re clamouring for these roles. Some of your favourite movie and TV shows almost featured someone else entirely in the role, and as you can imagine it’s hard to picture anyone else in them.
These are the roles that numerous actors went for in Hollywood.
Chris Evans has played the First Avenger since 2011, and although it looks like he’s getting ready to hang up his Shield, there’s plenty of people who wouldn’t mind picking it up for him. There were plenty of choices when it came to the character of Steve Rogers, including Kellan Lutz, Channing Tatum, Garrett Hedlund, Jensen Ackles, Chace Crawford, Will Smith, Alexander Skarsgard, John Krasinski, Mike Vogel, Ryan Phillippe, Sam Worthington and Sebastian Stan – who ultimately got the role as Bucky Barnes, Rogers’ best friend, in the end.
Han Solo in 'Star Wars' spinoff
Along with the new Star Wars films, it was announced that there would be a Han Solo spin-off, a prequel that required an actor to play the younger version of the iconic character played by Harrison Ford.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, every twenty-something male actor in the galaxy lined up to audition.
Among the names to play him were Taron Egerton, Jack Reynor, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zac Efron, and Emory Cohen. Apparently they were just the final few too, as sources say there were more than 2,500 who applied. Alden Ehrenreich was ultimately cast in the role.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt was ultimately cast as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and let’s be honest it was the role that catapulted him to movie star. But there were plenty of people after the role, Joseph Gordon-Levitt auditioned and screen tested, but he turned it down to join Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – we can’t imagine he was too best pleased with that choice.
Other actors who auditioned for the role included Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Paul, Cam Gigandet, Chris Lowell, Garrett Hedlund, John Krasinski, Logan Marshall-Green, Glenn Howerton, Jack Huston, Joel Edgerton, Jim Sturgess, Wes Bentley, James Marsden, Michael Rosenbaum, Jensen Ackles and Lee Pace – who ended up being cast as Ronan the Destroyer instead.
Zoe Saldana was cast as Gamora, but not before Olivia Wilde turned it down, Adrianne Palicki, Rachel Nichols and Gina Carano were also considered.
Before Bradley Cooper was chosen to voice Rocket Raccoon Sharlto Copley, David Tennant Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler were also considered for the part.
Johnny Depp was the first A-lister tapped to play Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." Depp, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, and Ewan McGregor also turned down the role. Christian Bale however happily accepted the role.
Sam Rockwell and Tim Olyphant were two actors considered for the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man. But director Jon Favreau admitted that when he met with Robert Downey Jr there was nobody else on his mind.
Olyphant joked on Conan in 2015: "I'm still waiting to hear back. Those superhero movies are huge. That could be a real game-changer."
Britney Spears, along with Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon, was rumoured to be considered for the role of Allie, but Rachel McAdams stole the show in The Notebook.
Scarlett Johansson ultimately landed the role of Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, but Emily Blunt was one of Marvel’s top choices to play the role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started with Iron Man 2, but a scheduling conflict meant she had to ultimately turn it down. Eliza Dushku publicly campaigned for the role too. On The Howard Stern Show, she said that she was "perfect for the Black Widow character, that they just need to get into it." She also added that she'd learned a lot of Russian for an episode of Dollhouse, which would come in handy playing the Russian character. Ultimately, director Jon Favreau went with Scarlett Johansson.
The roles of Bella and Edward were some of the most highly sort after in Hollywood, they, of course, went to Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who we imagine never expected them to be as huge as they were.
Author Stephanie Meyer had her choices of who she’d like to play the roles of her characters, Henry Cavill and Emily Browning, but obviously, they never landed the roles.
Dave Franco, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dustin Milligan and Shiloh Fernandez were up for the role of Edward.
Actresses considered for the role of Bella before Stewart included: Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lucy Hale, Lily Collins, Sara Paxton and Francis Bean Cobain – but she turned down the role before the audition because she didn’t like the script.
Speaking about the role, Jennifer Lawrence has since said that she didn't expect it to turn into the big thing it did.
Discussions on who will be the next James Bond is always a hot topic, there have been six different actors play the role so far. And it looks like we'll be on the search for the next pretty soon too.
Through the years these are just some of the stars who have been linked to the role, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, and Clive Owen.
With Daniel Craig on his way out, Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and James Norton are hot contenders as the next Bond.
This highly sought after part was actively pursued by Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, and Olivia Wilde. It ultimately went to Rosamund Pike, who was spot on in the adapted thriller.
Fifty Shades of Grey
The book was the hot topic on everyone's lips, so of course, the people who would bring the characters to life was a hot topic for debate too. The fans had plenty to say and really wanted Matt Bomer to play the role, other actors considered to play Christian Grey included Ian Somerhalder, Alexander Skarsgard and Charlie Hunnam, who was originally cast but later pulled out, which meant Jamie Dornan landed the role.
For Anastasia Steele, there was rumours of Alexis Bledel, Alicia Vikander, Cara Delevingne and Felicity Jones, but Dakota Johnson landed the muchly talked about role.
Director Chris Columbus wanted Liam Aiken for the role, but Author J.K. Rowling wanted the boy cast to be British. There were more than 40,000 audition tapes sent in for the role, and even Tom Felton tried for the role of both Harry and Ron, he, of course, landed Draco Malfoy.
Silence of the Lambs
The role that won Jodie Foster an Oscar could have very well been very different had director Jonathan Demme has his way. The first choice was Michelle Pfeiffer but she felt uncomfortable with the cannibalism storyline, other actresses considered were Laura Dern and Meg Ryan.
The Hunger Games
Emily Browning was a top contender for the part of Katniss, Saoirse Ronan, Shailene Woodley, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld were also on the list. The role of Katniss eventually went to Jennifer Lawrence.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Despite the huge secrecy surrounding the third Star Wars trilogy, it was rumoured that Saoirse Ronan, Elizabeth Olsen and Shailene Woodley all auditioned for the role of Rey in the films, the brand new heroine. Newcomer Daisy Ridley nabbed the role after five auditions, including one tearful screen test that blew Abrams away.
Meg Ryan was set to play the part of Vivian in Gary Marshall's masterpiece, but a scheduling conflict saw her decline the role. Michelle Pfeiffer and Daryl Hannah were also offered the role but declined, Julia Roberts eventually landed the part.