10 Epic Film Roles That Were Turned Down By Huge Actors

Hollywood is full of "almosts" or "what-ifs." Imagine Rachel McAdams as the intelligent co-assistant Andrea Sachs in "The Devil Wears Prada", or Leonardo DiCaprio as the famous mathematician Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game." Believe it or not, all of the above might have happened if those actors had said "yes."
In fact, in the history of Hollywood, many actors turned down roles for different reasons. Some had scheduling conflicts, others lost faith in young directors or they just don't see themselves in this role. No matter what it is, these roles that they refused ended up being iconic in the cinema world. And their decisions left them the pangs of regret. On the other side, some actors don’t regret it, they’re glad that the casting directors made the right choices.
Today, we share with you a list of 10 epic film roles that were turned down by huge actors.

#1 Leonardo DiCaprio - Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game"

Leonardo DiCaprio - Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game"Source: © PopularImages / Deposit Photos© The imitation game / Black Bear Pictures

At some point, Warner Bros. even managed to buy the rights to "The Imitation Game" because DiCaprio showed interest in starring in the movie. However, the actor didn't formalize anything, so the production company eventually decided to cancel the whole thing. Eventually, the copyright was acquired by Black Bear Pictures, and Benedict Cumberbatch played the famous mathematician Alan Turing, which helped him take home an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

#2 Rachel McAdams - Andrea Sachs in "The Devil Wears Prada"

Epic Film RolesSource: © Gilbert Flores / Broadimage / East News© The Devil Wears Prada / Fox 2000 Pictures

It’s hard to imagine "The Devil Wears Prada" without Anne Hathaway. But this is exactly what could have happen if Rachel McAdams had accepted the offer from Fox to play Andrea Sachs. Given the success of the movie at the box office, McAdams may now regret that decision. It made over $300 million and earned 2 Oscar nominations.

#3 Jennifer Lawrence - Daisy Domergue in "The Hateful Eight"

Jennifer Lawrence - Daisy Domergue in "The Hateful Eight"Source: © Jennifer Lawrence / Facebook© Scott Kirkland / PictureGroup / East News

"The Hateful Eight"'s director Quentin Tarantino wanted Jennifer Lawrence to portray the female protagonist so he met the actress. However, he claimed that the meeting might have just been the polite thing to do. At the time, Lawrence wasn't able to shoot Joy because he was too engaged with "The Hunger Games" intense publicity campaign. Finally, Tarantino changed his mind and chose Jennifer Jason Leigh instead of Jennifer Lawrence because she brought a new vibe to the role despite being 28 years older than Lawrence. Tarantino struck the mark, and Jason Leigh's performance received an Oscar nomination.

#4 Emma Stone - a role in the female version of "Ghostbusters"

Emma Stone - a role in the female version of "Ghostbusters"Source: © Dennis Van Tine / Photoshot / REPORTER / East News© Ghostbusters / Columbia Pictures

One of the reasons Emma Stone declined the invitation to join the all-female version of "Ghostbusters" (2016) was that she has just wrapped up filming "The Amazing Spider-Man." Stone read the script and thought it was hilarious, but she wasn't ready to start another franchise due to the commitment that this kind of project entails. In the end, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon starred in the movie.

#5 Emma Roberts - Brit in "Spring Breakers"

Emma Roberts - Brit in "Spring Breakers"Source: © Emma Roberts / Instagram© Spring Breakers / Muse Entertainment

"Scream Queens"'s star Emma Roberts was on the verge of playing a leading role in "Spring Breakers", together with Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. But finally, she decided not to participate in the movie. Director Harmony Korine explained that he and Roberts had "creative differences". Therefore, Ashley Benson, the actress in the television series "Pretty Little Liars", took up the role that Roberts was scheduled to portray.

#6 Willow Smith - Annie Bennett in "Annie"

Willow Smith - Annie Bennett in "Annie"Source: © Willow Smith / Instagram© Annie / Village Roadshow Pictures

Originally, Will Smith's daughter, Willow Smith, was supposed to star in the remake of the musical rom-com "Annie". Despite her father's enthusiasm, Willow left the project because she had a difficult time on her tour with Whip My Hair. Even when Will Smith told her she could bring her friends to the set and that she would meet Beyoncé, Willow was clear in her response: “Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.” Finally, the role was played by Quvenzhané Wallis, and won her a Golden Globe nomination.

#7 Molly Ringwald - Vivian in "Pretty Woman"

Epic Film RolesSource: © Molly Ringwald / Instagram© Pretty Woman / Touchstone Pictures

Director Garry Marshall's first choice for the role of Vivian in "Pretty Woman" was Molly Ringwald, who starred in such iconic '80s films as "The Breakfast Club", "Pretty in Pink", and "Sixteen Candles". However, after reading an early draft of the script titled $3000, the actress decided against taking the part. Eventually, Julia Roberts, who was only supposed to be a supporting one played the role. Roberts received an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and the movie was a box office hit (grossing over $460 million).

#8 Sandra Bullock - Margaret "Maggie" Fitzgerald in "Million Dollar Baby"

Epic Film RolesSource: © Scott Kirkland / PictureGroup / East News© Million Dollar Baby / Warner Bros. Pictures

Sandra Bullock was supposed to play boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in "Million Dollar Baby". However, the movie was scheduled to be shot at the same time as "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous". Therefore, Hilary Swank took up the role of Maggie and made the movie a hit. And the actress gained a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actress, among other honors.

#9 Miles Teller - Sebastian in "La La Land"

Epic Film RolesSource: © Miles Teller / Twitter© La La Land / Summit Entertainment

Sebastian’s role in "La La Land" was originally written for Miles Teller, but the actor said no after long contract negotiations. Finally, Ryan Gosling was the actor the filmmaker looked to. For the part, Gosling even had to pick up piano playing. But in the end, it appears that all the work was worthwhile: as a result of his outstanding performance, he received a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

#10 Matthew McConaughey - Peter Quill in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"

Epic Film RolesSource: © Matthew McConaughey / Instagram© Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) / Marvel Studios

At that time, Matthew McConaughey had to choose between 2 big franchises: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and "The Dark Tower". He ultimately decided on the latter, which is an adaptation of a series of novels by Stephen King. According to McConaughey, "Guardians of the Galaxy" was such a hit, they could have accommodated a more well-known actor in the sequel, and it would have left him feeling like a kind of amendment. And he believed that because "The Dark Tower" was fresh, he would be free to give the character his own spin and let him develop across the films. But he didn't know it was going to flop at the box office.
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