Sometimes an actor can make or break a movie. Even with the best director, best script, and a great cast, a movie can easily become unwatchable because of one bad miscasting. There are some obvious examples of actors who ruined otherwise good movies such as Keanu Reeves in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Sofia Coppola in The Godfather III and then there are obvious examples of actors who ruined movies that were pretty much already ruined to begin with: Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and John Travolta in Battlefield Earth. Not every famous actor is a good one but when they have star power, sometimes they get horrendously miscast in a movie that they have no business being in--and they end up ruining it.
Then there are actors whose talent and/or star power end up not only saving a movie but an entire franchise. While franchises like Marvel and Star Wars have made billions of dollars over the years, it takes some seriously talented actors with a lot of star power to keep the franchise fresh and new. This can be a difficult thing to do and even the biggest actors in the world can't revive a franchise. However, we know of ten instances in which an actor (or multiple actors) helped to save a franchise from relative obscurity. You'll be surprised to learn which actor helped to save the biggest franchise in the world by taking on a role that also helped to save his career.
20 Ruined The Movie: There's Something About Cameron
Cameron Diaz was once one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood but since she got her start in There's Something About Mary, she was known for starring in romantic comedies. When she was cast in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York, it seemed pretty clear that she was miscast and while her performance isn't as bad as it's made out to be, she is often criticized for "ruining" the movie. While her performance is pretty solid, her Irish accent isn't great, the romantic subplot slows the movie down, and she is much too fresh-faced to be taken seriously as a gritty woman slumming it on the streets of New York. However, she was cast in the movie because she was a much more bankable star than Sarah Polley who was originally cast and the casting was widely criticized because some people forget that while making a movie is an artistic endeavor, they also need to make money.
19 Saved The Franchise: A League of Her Own
After Batman vs. Superman was a total flop, Warner Bros. and DC needed a win. Though there have been ten actors who have played Batman over the years in various movies and TV shows, there has never been a Wonder Woman movie and the only TV show based on the superhero aired way back in the 70s. Though the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was somewhat controversial, she was the best part of Batman vs. Superman and the Wonder Woman movie was already in the works. When the film was released in 2017, it was one of the highest grossing films of the year, grossing over $821 million worldwide. Though the film was skillfully directed by Patty Jenkins, beautifully shot, and well-written, Gadot proved to be the perfect actress to play Diana thanks to her undeniable charm, earnestness, and tenacity. It's impossible not to like her after you watch this movie!
18 Saved The Franchise: He Saved the World And Looked Good Doing So
Over the years there have been multiple actors who have played James Bond but the franchise was in a slump after Pierce Brosnan threw in the towel in 2002. When it was announced that Daniel Craig would be playing 007, there was a bit of an outcry due to the fact that he has blond hair. However, Casino Royale was a success and Craig proved to be worthy of the role. In 2008, he returned with Quantum of Solace and then again in 2012 with Skyfall--which became the highest grossing Bond movie ever. His fourth stint at 007, Spectre, became the second highest grossing movie in the franchise after Skyfall--which still isn't bad. With the big box office numbers and the critical acclaim, it's fair to say that without Craig, James Bond would still be in a slump. Though the Logan Lucky actor still maintains that he dislikes playing Bond, he confirmed that he will be returning to the franchise in 2019.
17 Ruined The Movie: The Crimes of Johnny Depp
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the biggest in the world and has made billions of dollars of the years. However, Warner Bros. knew they had to think of another way to keep making money off of the franchise after the last Harry Potter movie was released. In order to keep profiting off the series, they released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which is based on a book that's only about 40 pages long. This meant that J.K. Rowling had to create a whole new story centered on Newt Scamander which also incorporated a young Dumbledore and his nemesis Grindelwald. However, the studio lacked the foresight to hire someone other than the problematic Johnny Depp to play Grindelwald which led to a backlash from fans. Since there are many people who refuse to watch Depp's movies because of his past of domestic violence, many will be boycotting the new movie (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) which is centered on the character of Gendelwald. This boycott may end up hurting the franchise but only time will tell.
16 Saved The Franchise: Off to a Not-So-Rocky Start
Before Creed, there were six movies in the Rocky series and they all made a lot of money--with the first winning an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing. The series has grossed more than $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office. That's nothing to shake a stick at. However, Rocky Balboa, which came out in 2006, was the last movie in the series and before that, it had been sixteen years since Rocky V. The franchise needed a comeback and they would need a new star to revive it. Creed was released in 2015 and starred Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed. Jordan was exactly who the franchise needed to become the new face of the franchise because of his star power and acting talent. Creed was called the best Rocky movie in years by the critics and it was a box office success. Creed II is set to come out later this year.
15 Ruined The Movie: Cruise Control
To be fair, the newest remake of The Mummy would have probably still been unwatchable even if Tom Cruise hadn't starred in it--but he definitely didn't help. Since Universal was looking to find itself a profitable franchise, the likes of Marvel and DC, they decided to reboot their monster movies which included Frankenstein, Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Dracula, and The Mummy. This would be their own superhero-esque franchise and The Mummy was going to be the first of the reboots. They got Tom Cruise and whatever is left of his star power to play the lead. Unfortunately for Universal, Cruise had no intention of taking a back seat when it came to the creative process and he made a lot of decisions that ended up in the final cut which made the film so terrible that it only opened to $33 million. Universal dropped its plans of rebooting the movies and it looks like they'll have to start from scratch with something else.
14 Saved The Franchise: Batman Begins...Again
While Batman, Batman Returns, and Batman Forever were all big hits, the Batman franchise took a hit with Batman & Robin which was so bad it also ruined the careers of Alicia Silverstone and Chris O'Donnell. For awhile it looked like the franchise might not recover. Eight years after Batman & Robin, Christopher Nolan took the helm of Batman Begins with Christian Bale as the caped crusader. The movie was a huge hit and The Dark Knight was an even bigger hit--thanks in no small part to Heath Ledger as the Joker. While The Dark Knight Rises didn't meet the fans' expectations, it wasn't a flop. Nolan's Batman trilogy helped to bring artistic integrity back to superhero movies and also helped to revive the Batman franchise--with the help of an all-star cast. Too bad the franchise slumped again when Ben Affleck took on the role of Bruce Wayne.
13 Ruined The Movie: 2017, The Year of Whitewashing
In the same year that Matt Damon drew criticism for starring in The Great Wall, Scarlet Johansson starred in Hollywood's adaptation of the classic Japanese movie and manga series, Ghost in the Shell. Considering that the lead character, Motoko Kusanagi, is supposed to be a Japanese woman, people were not happy that Johansson, a white woman, was playing her. Though the movie garnered some pretty bad reviews despite Johansson's inclusion in the movie, it lost a lot of money because fans of the series refused to see it. If a studio is going to make a movie based on a series that already has a huge following, they need to make sure that the fans will be happy with the finished product. If the fans refuse to see it, then the studio is screwed. The controversy caused Paramount and DreamWorks to lose $60 million on the movie but maybe this will finally teach studios a lesson on whitewashing movies.
12 Saved The Franchise: Sandra and Company Changed The Ocean's Franchise
The Ocean's 11 was released way back in 1960 and starred the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop. In 2001, the remake of the original Ocean's 11 arrived in theaters and it was a huge success, resulting in two more films: Ocean's 12 and Ocean's 13. It's been eleven years since another movie has been added to the franchise but, in order to revive the series, they needed a star-studded cast. Ocean's 8 is a spinoff of the Ocean's 11 series and it will star Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rihanna. Of course, there are plenty of people out there who dislike the idea of an Ocean's movie with an all-female cast but with all of the buzz around this movie, it's sure to be a hit. Time will tell if the cast can save the franchise but the odd's are definitely in their favor.
11 Ruined The Movie: Sorry But Emma Stone Isn't Asian
Speaking of whitewashing, there are few movies which messed up more than Cameron Crowe's Aloha. Though Emma Stone is one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood, people were not happy when she was cast as Allison Ng, a character of Hawaiian and Asian heritage even though she is neither Hawaiian or Asian. Though you might think that she should be able to play any role even if she isn't exactly like the character because she's an actress and that's what actresses do but the problem is that when a white actress plays an Asian character, she's taking that role away from an equally talented Asian actress who can't land any roles because they keep getting taken by white women. Aloha ended up getting a lot of negative reviews and it was boycotted for the whitewashing controversy. Still, studios are still making mistakes like this over and over again and you'd think they'd learn their lesson by now.
10 Saved The Franchise: A New Hope
For years, the idea of Star Wars Episode VII was just a fool's dream but after years of waiting, there was finally hope--a new hope. J.J. Abrams took the reins of the new Star Wars movie and it was already destined to be a huge hit--but it would need some help from the original cast. It took some convincing but Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher signed onto the movie and made it a million times better than it ever would have been without them. Of course, Ford only agreed to do the movie if his character could get killed off but there was nothing more satisfying than hearing Han Solo say, "Chewie, we're home." Though Fisher agreed to star in all three movies, she tragically passed away in 2016 but she helped to breathe life into Episode VII and VIII. Hamill was only in Episode VII for a moment, but he came back in a big way in VIII. The three of them helped to make the new instalments nostalgic and satisfying.
9 Ruined The Movie: He's Out of His League
There have been many actors who have played Batman over the years and though Batman & Robin is the worst reviewed Batman movie on Rotten Tomatoes, few actors received backlash quite like Ben Affleck when he was cast as the caped crusader. Even though he is a hugely successful actor with a few Oscars under his belt, he has somehow managed to become one of the most hated men in Hollywood because of "Bennifer" which produced one of the worst movies in history, Gigli, and it didn't help that he was caught cheating on his wife, Jennifer Garner, with the nanny. He's just not a likable guy. The movie, Batman vs. Superman, received terrible reviews and Affleck's presence in the movie definitely didn't help anything. Now, after Justice League also flopped, Affleck is ready to put this all behind him and now Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to play Bruce Wayne which would be a much better casting.
8 Saved The Franchise: Rock On
Dwayne Johnson has been responsible for saving (or at least trying to save) multiple franchises over the years such as Jumanji, The Mummy (with The Scorpion King and The Mummy Returns), Bay Watch, G.I. Joe, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. However, his biggest success was with The Fast and Furious franchise which is now one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood. Johnson didn't show up to the series until Fast 5 but he made a lasting impact and has had big parts in the sixth, seventh, and eighth instalments--with his own spinoff already in the works. Though the Fast and Furious franchise already has a stellar ensemble cast, Johnson helped the franchise by embracing the comedy and making it a campy adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride. Though Tyrese Gibson may not like that The Rock is getting his own Fast and Furious movie, we can't wait to see it.
7 Ruined The Movie: He Can't Sing
Russell Crowe was once one of the biggest and hottest actors in Hollywood but at some point after Cinderella Man, his star power faded. When he was cast in Tom Hooper's Les Miserables, everyone asked the same question: can Russell Crowe sing? It turns out that he can't and we all learned the hard way. Though the movie won a Golden Globe and was nominated for eight Oscars, Crowe's terrible voice makes it almost unwatchable. While the majority of the actors played their parts well, many of them fell short when it came to the whole singing aspect of the movie because most of them were not actual singers. While the cast had a lot of star power between them, they weren't the greatest singers. Considering that Les Miserables is a musical in which more dialogue is sung than spoken, they should have really just left it to the professionals--especially Crowe.
6 Saved The Franchise: Jamie Lee Curtis Is Back In Horror
The Halloween movie series is one of the most beloved horror franchises of all time, with the first installment coming out in 1978. There have been ten Halloween movies in all and the last film in the series came out in 2009 which means it's been almost ten years since another movie in the series has been released. It has been sixteen years since the star, Jamie Lee Curtis, has returned to the series. Two of the films were directed by Rob Zombie with Scout Taylor-Compton as Curtis' character, Laurie Strode. However, in 2017, Curtis announced that she would be returning to the franchise in a new movie that will depict Laurie Strode's final confrontation with Michael Myers. The movie is currently in production and is set to be released at some point this year (probably around Halloween) and, with Curtis returning as the lead, it's sure to be a success.
5 Ruined The Movie: Leto's Annoying Method Acting
Ugh. Jared Leto has become a joke in Hollywood ever since he made a fool of himself on the set of Suicide Squad by "method acting" which consisted of him sending bullets, dead animals, and used contraceptives to his cast members. Sorry, Jared, but that's not what method acting is. To be fair to Leto, Suicide Squad was terrible despite him but he definitely didn't help. He also helped to (almost) ruin Blade Runner 2049 by being just as insufferable as he was in Suicide Squad. For some reason or another, Leto's character in Blade Runner 2049 is blind and in interviews he said that he made himself partially blind in order to play the character correctly. Seriously, he needed to blind himself in order to play a blind character? Since he won an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, he has become insufferable. Leto's idea of method acting is exhausting and it's pretty much ruining all of the movies that he's in.
4 Saved The Franchise: You'd Have to Be Psycho To Dislike This Show
Since Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was released in 1960, there have been five other movies in the series, one of which was directed by Norman Bates' portrayer, Anthony Perkins. While none of the films could ever match the success of the original, they helped to keep the story alive and the franchise profitable. After Vince Vaughn's shot-for-shot remake of Psycho flopped, it seemed like the Psycho franchise was dead but it was revived again with the A&E series, Bates Motel. Though Anthony Perkins immortalized the role of Norman Bates in Hollywood history, Freddie Highmore was the perfect replacement and Vera Farmiga was as talented as always in the role of Norma Bates. The series helped to introduce the classic film to a new audience while also making the franchise profitable once again. Though the series ended in 2017, it helped to revive the reputation after it was tarnished by the 1998 remake.
3 Ruined The Movie: She's No Linda Hamilton
Since Terminator Salvation was a total flop and since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (the last good movie in the series) came out in 2003, the Terminator franchise needed a win. Terminator Genisys was going to the movie that would bring the Terminator franchise back to its former glory. Skydance Media assumed that Clarke's Game of Thrones star power would be enough to get people to the theater. They were wrong. Somehow Emilia Clarke beat out Brie Larson AND Tatiana Maslany for the role of Sarah Conner and it's almost unbelievable that she could win the role over such talented actresses because Clarke gave a stilted performance, void of any of the charisma or moxie that Linda Hamilton originally brought to the role. Though she might be able to fool Game of Thrones fans into thinking she's a good actress, it's only a matter of time until everyone realizes that she's not very good.
2 He Didn't Ruin the Movies...But He Didn't Help
To be fair, even the best actor in the world couldn't make the stilted dialogue of the Star Wars prequel sound good but Hayden Christensen made it sound a whole lot worse. Let's face it, Mark Hamill wasn't the best actor in the original Star Wars trilogy but with the solid story, ensemble cast, and talented directors of the originals, he didn't completely ruin the movies--also he wasn't as bad as Christensen. It didn't help Christensen that George Lucas directed the prequels and while he may be good at coming up with stories, he's not the best director. Regardless, Christensen completely dragged the movies down and made it 100 times worse than they ever would have been without him. Christensen has been dragged for years for his performance in Star Wars and we're lucky to have the new installments to help us forget the monstrosity that was the Star Wars prequels.
1 Saved The Franchise: Iron Man Saved Robert Downey Jr. (and Vice Versa)
For years Robert Downey Jr. was known as Hollywood's resident bad boy who was always having trouble with the law due to his addiction problems. In the early 2000s, he almost had a comeback after he was cast on Ally McBeal as Calista Flockhart's love interest but was fired when his addiction got the best of him again. By 2008, the Chaplin actor was ready for his comeback and he came back in a big way when he starred in Marvel Studios' first movie Iron Man. This was the movie that changed the game for Marvel Studios and it brought forth a slew of superhero movies such as Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther. However, this movie did not only change the game for the Marvel franchise, it also gave RDJ the vehicle he needed to make a comeback in Hollywood. He's been sober since 2003 and his career is bigger and better than ever.