Some things are just meant to go together: strawberries and cream, cheese and marmite, pitta bread and hummus (oh GOD I’m so hungry).
When it comes to movies, there are some casting decisions that just seem absolutely spot on. I mean, could you even begin to imagine Pulp Fiction without John Travolta? It sounds mental but that could have been a very real possibility if director Quentin Tarantino had got his own way. According to the original cast wish list that’s recently emerged, Tarantino reportedly wrote the part of Vincent for Michael Madsen. He also really wanted Gary Oldman for pretty much every role.
While Pulp Fiction without John Travolta is pretty fucking impossible to imagine, it’s got us thinking about other original casting choices which would have completely changed the movies we know and love:
Hugh Jackman as James Bond
Super-suave Hugh Jackman was reportedly offered the role of James Bond but chose not to accept – because he was already involved with one uber-successful franchise (X-Men) and didn’t want to be part of another. Which is a real shame considering how good he scrubs up in suits:
Sean Connery as Gandalf
…and talking of James Bond, Sean Connery also made a bit of an error, opting to pass on the role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings because he ‘didn’t understand it.’ That decision cost him around $450 million. Ouch.
Never mind, I doubt the Scottish star was that upset about it. When asked about the role a few years later he said: “I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it.”
Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman
No Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?! Who would suggest such a thing? Luckily Molly Ringwald passed on the role of Vivian Ward to go live in France instead – and the world fell head-over-heels in love with Roberts.
Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly
We all know and love Michael J Fox as the character of Marty McFly in Back to the Future, but we very nearly got a very different lead boy. Eric Stoltz (of Mask and, uh, Anaconda fame) was replaced in the role after five weeks of filming, because he didn’t have the ‘comic sensibilities’ the director was looking for.
We can imagine that was a pretty awkward conversation…
Henry Cavill and Emily Browning in Twilight
Henry and Emily were apparently writer’s Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for Edward and Bella – thank the LORD this did not happen. They’re both far too good actors to have their CVs tainted by those films…
Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones
The moustached-hunk that is Tom Selleck was all set to film Raiders of the Lost Ark when a little-known show called Magnum P.I. or something was picked up by the network. Because of contractual obligations, Selleck had to drop out and Harrison Ford was drafted in. The rest, as they say, is history. Or archeology, to be exact.
Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose
While Kate Winslet nabbed a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars for her role as Rose in Titanic, she wasn’t director James Cameron’s first choice for the role. His preferred choice was blonde-goddess Gwyneth Paltrow, before he consciously uncoupled her from the film.
David Bowie as Hook
He’s known for playing outlandish characters such as Jareth in Labyrinth and Thomas in The Man Who Fell to Earth, but it seems like the role of Hook was a step too far for Bowie. The role eventually went to Dustin Hoffman, and the film became an iconic hit.
If you liked that, see more articles on RiseFeed including These Celebrities Are Pretty Bad Role Models and Former Heart-Throb Johnny Depp is Looking Horrific.