Movies and their stars are a big deal in Hollywood. Choosing the right celebrity to play a certain role can totally make a movie. A wrong move during casting can send a film down the drain. We’ve all seen a movie where there’s a good storyline, but one or two of the actors totally throw things off.
As movies come out, we take note of which of our favorite actors and actresses are in them. We know who’s been in which movies. What we don’t usually know is who could have been in the movies. We simply see the finished film and not each little—or big—change made throughout the recording process.Sometimes celebs are cast, but they don’t actually end up appearing in the movie. Other times, celebs will drop out halfway through. This can be for any number of reasons. Maybe there is conflict between a couple of co-stars. Sometimes a better offer comes up elsewhere.
No matter what the reason, it’s always interesting to learn about what could have been. Would movies have had better outcomes with their original actors?
Today, we’re going to look into some movies whose actors had to call it quits while still filming.
16 Zendaya—Sticking To Her Morals
This Disney star was supposed to play a lead role in a movie, but she ended up having to drop out. Zendaya was cast in Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. This was back in 2014 and clearly Zendaya has done just fine without this role in her filmography.
Unfortunately, there ended up being some issues once the movie was in the works. Zendaya spoke out about the problems a little bit later and explained that she didn’t agree with the values of the movie’s production. There were also apparently a few “complications with the music rights.”
The family of Aayilah—the late singer who the film was supposed to be about—was pretty unsupportive of the entire deal anyway. The role was then played by Alexandra Shipp.
15 Ryan Gosling The Lightweight
Usually when we hear about celebs working in order to land specific roles, it’s about the women. Women are sometimes asked to lose weight in order to play a position more effectively. Ryan Gosling was in a similar place, but he thought his new character should gain weight instead.
Gosling was originally supposed to be in Lovely Bones. After he gained a whole 60 pounds, he was pressured into quitting. This was after just one day of production. Maybe they should have given this kid a chance at making it work instead of forcing him out the door on the first day.
Later, Gosling spoke about this experience and said, “We had a different idea of how the character should look. I really believed he should be 210 pounds. We didn’t talk very much during the preproduction process, which was the problem.”
14 This House Of Cards Fell Down
It’s been impossible to avoid the sexual assault allegations that have been all over the media for the past few months. It’s one right after another, and they’re seemingly never-ending. It’s costing some celebrities their jobs, and we totally get why.
Kevin Spacey is one of these actors who lost a spot in a show. Prior to the sexual assault allegations, Spacey was a star in House of Cards. This quickly crashed when his victims came forward and told their stories. These brave souls put Spacey out of his job. He got forced off the cast of House of Cards.
It’s unfortunate that it had to come to the point of him having to drop that gig, but he had it coming for him after his inappropriate moves. We think the show did the right thing by pushing him away.
13 Salling Was Sailing Away
This one got himself into some trouble. It was his fault because he made the mistakes. Then he had to suffer the consequences—including losing a gig. Mark Salling was cast in a mini-series called Gods and Secrets. All seemed well when he first got hired.
That role ended up being very short-lived because he got forced out of the cast. The reason? He had been caught for possession of child content. Naturally, his career was negatively influenced by his bad behavior.
Later, the director opened up about the decision to let Salling go. He said, “‘Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets will be moving forward without Mark Salling. He has been cut from the mini-series. I will personally be paying for the reshoots and I hope that Mark finds inner peace.”
12 Ryder Riding Dirty
Winona Ryder was a huge star back in the ’80s. She had some killer roles and was loved by so many movie buffs. She also happened to be a total stunner. What we may not have realized about this babe is that she was supposed to be in The Godfather Part III.
Ryder was meant to play Al Pacino’s daughter, but she didn’t end up fulfilling the position. At the time, Ryder said she was forced to quit because her doctor was requesting that she rest due to a 104-degree fever. She also claimed that she could not follow through with the role because of her heavy workload.
Rumors were spread. Some said she was pregnant. One even said that she had a drug problem. Regardless of the real reason, it’s a little suspicious.
11 Nicole Kidman—Panicking
Nicole Kidman was going to play a very important part in Panic Room. It was the lead role and it was going to be a pretty big deal for the young star. While she was working on Moulin Rouge—a movie she was in right before she was supposed to be in Panic Room—she ended up with an injury. It was a ligament in her knee and it proved to be a much larger issue than anticipated.
Kidman went on to begin filming Panic Room, but she had to drop out after just a few weeks of production. This was because of the physical aspect of the role in the new movie. She was having to run and fight a lot, which ended up making the knee ligament injury worse.
10 Triple-Threat Shearer
Fans of The Simpsons will recognize the name Harry Shearer. The rest of us probably won’t. He voiced Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns and Smithers in the TV show until 2016. Shearer ended up leaving then, but there is some discussion about the real reason he decided to back out.
Some believe that Shearer was forced to give this gig to someone else simply because he wanted to move on to different roles elsewhere. As we can imagine, having to voice three characters in a single show would likely restrict him from branching out into other work.
Apparently, the production crew of The Simpsons didn’t give him the space he needed to pursue new types of work, so he was forced to quit. We’re guessing they had a tricky time finding a replacement who could voice all three characters.
9 Wide Eyes Shut—Now Closed
Harvey Keitel was originally cast in Wide Eyes Shut. He was supposed to play the role of Victor Ziegler, but he ended up backing out. He was then replaced by Sydney Pollack.
The main reason that Keitel quit is that he was too busy working on other projects. There was a scheduling conflict in particular, and apparently the other film won out. It’s interesting to consider how different the movie would have been had Keitel stuck around. He had already filmed a decent number of scenes in the film before he was forced to quit so he could work on the other movie.
We would think that Stanley Kubrick—the director—could have been more flexible if he truly wanted Keitel to star in the film. He didn’t seem to care much about loyalty because Jennifer Jason Leigh was also replaced by Marie Richardson in this film.
8 The Tin Man Tragedy
An all-time favorite classic movie was met with the challenge of trying to locate a new actor. This all began when Buddy Ebsen tried out for a part in The Wizard of Oz. He ended up landing a role—after he had starred in The Beverly Hillbillies.
Ebsen got cast as the Tin Man. He had to drop the role just a week in because he had an allergy to the makeup he was having to wear. He was met with very serious and almost fatal health concerns.
This was a big deal and it’s pretty heartbreaking to think about how successful Ebsen could’ve been after the role in The Wizard of Oz, too. Luckily, the production crew was able to track down another actor fairly quickly and the film could be completed.
7 Remar Alienated Himself
James Remar got himself into a tricky situation when he was supposed to be starring in James Cameron’s Aliens. Unfortunately, substance abuse doesn’t discriminate and hits people of all types. Remar is one of the celebs who suffered from this challenge.
At the time, it was announced that Remar abandoned his role as Corporal Hicks because of “creative differences.” This is basically a cover-up excuse for anything else that could be happening behind the scenes.
Remar later explained that he had a drug problem. He even got caught for drug possession, which is what tossed him out of the role in the first place. Just a couple weeks into filming, Michael Biehn got lucky and picked up where Remar had left off. It sounds like Remar’s drug issues were temporary because he got over them eventually.
6 A Group Effort
The film Cursed truly seemed to be cursed. The production crew was met with numerous difficulties, which made the whole thing kind of impossible. It’s a surprise that it even got completed.
Due to all of the challenges throughout the filming process, there were tons of delays. The production company ended up having problems with the script. As a result, the movie was canceled for over a year. About half of the cast dropped out at this point because they could be working elsewhere during the in-between time.
One of the worst parts is that the director of this movie was Wes Craven. Some of us will quickly realize that he has directed tons of other horror movies in his time, including Scream. We would have expected him to have it together and be able to make this one work out.
5 Will Ferrell Will Not
Will Ferrell is a favorite comedian and actor of ours. Others aren’t huge fans of his humor and his personality. Nonetheless, he was originally expected to play President Ronald Reagan in a film titled Reagan. Apparently, Ferrell quickly jumped out of this spot.
Shortly after it was announced that Ferrell would star in the film, he received some negative input from Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis herself. She felt as if the film would be making a joke out of the former president’s battle with dementia, and she feared the humor that would come of it.
His spokesperson later mentioned, “The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell, which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”
4 Christian Grey—Hunnam Vs. Dornan
Ladies everywhere swoon over the raunchy Fifty Shades of Grey movies. They’ve quickly become hits among some women and deemed inappropriate by others. Regardless of one’s opinion of the book and film series, we are all able to think about this question. What would the movies have been like had Christian Grey been played by a different actor?
Well, this isn’t actually a far-fetched question. It turns out that Charlie Hunnam was originally cast for the role of Mr. Grey. At the time, he was working on finishing Sons of Anarchy and had recently committed to Crimson Peak. This put Hunnam in a tough spot, as he wanted to do both. He simply couldn’t make both work with his schedule. He was forced out of the Fifty Shades role, which was picked up by Jamie Dornan.
3 A Whole Cast Calls It Quits
We all know how Adam Sandler is. He’s stupid funny, and he sometimes says things that he probably shouldn’t say out loud. He—once again—stepped out of his boundaries and forced some of his extras out of the role.
Sandler was working on filming a Netflix movie called The Ridiculous Six. He then went to cast some extras, who were portraying Native Americans. It seems like Sandler stepped out of line here because he created their characters to seem childish. These extras were outspoken and they voiced their concerns with the inaccurate and offensive message being sent about Native American people.
Then, they left the set. This was their way of protesting, and it worked. A petition—which went viral—ended up with more than 20,000 signatures. Sandler should have thought about what he was doing with the film’s extras before going through with it!
2 McSorley—Sore Loser?
After he was cast in a film called The Departed, Gerard McSorley was quickly released from his duties. He was set to appear in the movie but it never happened.
From what we can tell, there was never one direct answer released as to why McSorley didn’t get his shot at actually being in this movie. It’s still somewhat of a mystery to this day. Several sources had mentioned that the star wasn’t prepared for the role, but it is well known that he had been spending his free time learning more about the Boston police. This was important to his new character’s parts, but apparently the management of the film didn’t appreciate it.
Even the star himself came out after he had been let go and stated that he didn’t know what was going on or what he was supposed to do next.
1 Christian Bale—Outed By Mrs. Jobs
All of us should be familiar with who Steve Jobs is—and some of us are on our devices invented by him at this moment. In all movies, there should be careful consideration about who should play which character and how it will all work out. The creators of Steve Jobs were questioned in this though.
Christian Bale was first cast as Steve Jobs himself. This didn’t work out for him though because Laurene Jobs—Steve’s wife—was trying to bring the movie to an end before it even began. Bale was forced out of this movie pretty quickly.
There is also some suspicion that she had something to do with Bale having to leave the film. It’s reported that she had called several of the actors who were planning on starring in the film.