Can you think of someone else portraying the part of Brangelina, which sparked one of the largest pop cultural debates of the early 2000s? What if the other well-known Hemsworth sibling fought a certain Marvel superhero? And what would Friends be like without Jennifer Aniston? Another option is Sex and the City minus Sarah Jessica Parker. In all honesty, we can’t even imagine such scenarios, it’s almost absurd to think of it that way.
Although it’s difficult to picture other celebrities portraying these well-known roles, it almost occurred. And if you still think that’s crazy, they are only a few among many and many such cases. This is why we have put together a list of 12 well-known Hollywood roles that almost went to completely different performers, ranging from Loki in MCU movies to James Bond in the James Bond franchise. See which of your favorite actors may have portrayed your favorite movie and TV characters in the list below; you might be surprised.
#1 David Schwimmer as Agent J
Source: © Men in Black / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © Friends / Warner Bros. Television and co-producers
Ross is a well-known character played by actor David Schwimmer in the comedy Friends. He received an invitation to play Agent J in the film Men in Black as a result of the series’ rising popularity. Schwimmer declined it nevertheless since he was already working on another project. The filmmaker ultimately decided on Will Smith since his wife enjoyed watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series and thought Smith’s performance was good.
#2 Robin Williams as Hagrid
Source: © Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. and co-producers, © Jumanji / TriStar Pictures and co-producers
Robin Williams approached the director after the director gave the go-ahead for the Harry Potter movie because he wanted to portray Hagrid. But because British performers had to be in the cast, he was rejected. Robbie Coltrane was the ideal choice for the part, according to the author, since he was endearing and amusing while yet maintaining some roughness.
#3 Henry Cavill as James Bond
Source: © Casino Royale / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © Enola Holmes / Netflix and co-producers
Henry Cavill was one of the 200 candidates that were considered for the role of James Bond in the Casino Royale casting process. He was the ideal choice to portray the fabled agent 007. Cavill was not hired because he was at the time seen to be too young. Afterward, the actor claimed that the director had truly rejected him due to his lack of physical fitness.
#4 Liam Hemsworth as Thor
Source: © Thor / Paramount Pictures and co-producers, © Poker Face / Sky and co-producers
Despite the actor’s enthusiasm in the role, Chris Hemsworth wasn’t the first option to play Thor. Liam, his younger brother, was on the audition list and came close to landing the part, but something came up at the last. Chris finally got a role after many ups and downs, and because of his iconic portrayal of Thor, he became a household name.
#5 Lily Collins as Jenny
Source: © Gossip Girl / 17th Street Productions and co-producers, © The English Teacher / Artina Films and co-producers
Lily Collins revealed that she wanted to play Jenny in the Gossip Girl television series, so she went to the casting with the hopes of getting the part. As she had only ever been in films, it would have been her first time in a TV program. Being in a TV studio for a screen test was an interesting experience for the actress. Collins maintained working hard until she was hired for a TV drama, and although though Taylor Momsen ultimately received the part, she believed that everything happens for a reason.
#6 Matthew McConaughey as Jack
Source: © Titanic / 20th Century Fox and co-producers, © How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days / Lynda Obst Productions and co-producers
Matthew McConaughey said in an interview that he tried out for the part of Jack in the film Titanic. He even took part in the screen test with Kate Winslet and got favorable feedback, so he was confident that he would get the job. Winslet, for her part, said she thoroughly enjoyed auditioning with McConaughey and affirmed this.
#7 Josh Hartnett as Loki
Source: © Thor: Ragnarok / Walt Disney Pictures and co-producers, © The Faculty / Dimension Films and co-producers
Josh Hartnett was slated to play Loki in the first Thor movie for a very long time. He was one of the top contenders and had already met with the director. Tom Hiddleston, the villain, was later revealed to be playing the part, and he signed the deal to make it official in 2009.
#8 Simon Pegg as Lt. Archie Hicox
Source: © Inglourious Basterds / Universal Pictures and co-producers, © The World’s End / Universal Pictures and co-producers
The actor Simon Pegg was one of the best candidates to take on the role of lieutenant Hicox in the movie Inglourious Basterds. Regrettably, he had to decline due to schedule issues because he was currently working on the Tintin movie. While initially trying out for another part in the same movie, Michael Fassbender was ultimately chosen for the part.
#9 Leonardo DiCaprio as Hans Landa
Source: © Inglourious Basterds / Universal Pictures and co-producers, © The Wolf of Wall Street / Red Granite Pictures and co-producers
DiCaprio was originally slated to play Hans Landa, one of the movie’s principal protagonists, according to the director of Inglourious Basterds. But in the end, he concluded that a German-speaking actor would be more appropriate for the part. So he chose Christoph Waltz, who, in Tarantino’s opinion, was the ideal choice for the part.
#10 Jennifer Lawrence as Bella
Source: © Twilight / Summit Entertainment and co-producers, © The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 / Lionsgate and co-producers
In Twilight, Jennifer Lawrence aspired to be Bella Swan. But, after watching Kristen Stewart in the film Into the Wild and thinking she was ideal for the part, the director decided to cast her. Lawrence subsequently said that she was relieved that she had not been chosen because she did not want to experience the same level of media exposure as Stewart did at the time.
#11 Ryan Gosling as Stephen Strange
Source: © Doctor Strange / Marvel Studios and co-producers, © The Gray Man / AGBO and co-producers
Ryan Gosling met with the directors to try out for the main part in the first Doctor Strange movie. While they had previously given Benedict Cumberbatch some thought during the creation of the Marvel franchise, they ultimately decided to go with him. Even their timetable had to be changed in order for the actor to work on the project.
#12 Jodie Foster as Princess Leia
Source: © Star Wars / Lucasfilm Ltd. Production and co-producers, © The Accused / Paramount Pictures and co-producers
Producers offered Jodie Foster the role of Princess Leia while choosing the primary actors for the original Star Wars film. Due to other obligations, she was unable to take the part, thus Carrie Fisher was chosen in the end with the stipulation that she would trim down before shooting.