The movie making process can be long and arduous. What the writer wrote and what the director envisioned are not always what ends up on screen. There's no greater example of that than the casting process. While there are some actors who are so iconic in their roles that it's almost hard to separate them from their work, they weren't the original choice to play that part. Here are some iconic roles that almost went to different actors.
Julia Roberts was originally considered for the role of Leigh Anne in The Blind Side. Roberts, who was committed to Valentine's Day had to pass on the project. Bullock ended up taking on the part and won an Oscar for her work. And that's a true story!
Paul Rudd was The Hangover director Todd Phillips's first choice for the role of Phil. Rudd turned down the part and it went to Bradley Cooper instead. Because who wants to be in yet another bro-ey movie... that ended up becoming one of the most successful comedy franchises.
It's almost impossible to imagine anyone else as Captain Jack Sparrow (except for maybe Kieth Richards who Depp based his character off of.) Unless you're Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Stuart Beattie. Beattie pictures Hugh Jackman as Jack Sparrow, but Jackman wasn't a big enough star for the role in 2003.
50 Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction, so it shouldn't be a surprise that E.L. James's first choice to play Christian Grey was Robert Pattinson. Pattinson was, however, already committed to the popular vampire franchise and unable to play the character that was inspired by another character he was playing. Plus that would have been waaay too meta for us to be able to handle!
Han Solo is one of Harrison Ford's most iconic roles. He's so effortlessly cool, he's practically frozen in carbonate. But it almost went to Al Pacino, who turned it down because he couldn't understand the concept of the film. Honestly, we can't blame him because we have a difficult time wrapping our heads around the sequels ourselves!
If Michael Keaton seems like an unlikely choice to play Batman, just know that he wasn't the first choice. The role was first offered to Mel Gibson, but he didn't see any potential in the 1989 film, so he turned it down. We get it, Mel Gibson. Who would want to see a comic book movie?
The role of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook made Jennifer Lawrence a household name (that, and a little movie not many people saw called The Hunger Games.) However, Anne Hathaway was originally cast in the film. Hathaway turned it down due to creative differences with director David O. Russell. She ended up with a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Les Mis. Wow! We sure hope things turned out okay for her!
The part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather was first offered to Jack Nicolson. Nicolson wasn't Italian, so he turned the part down. The part then went to the actually Italian Al Pacino, who didn't even have to put a horse head in anyone's bed to get it.
Keanu Reeves wasn't the only one who was offered the role of "The One." Will Smith turned down the role of Neo - multiple times. Smith said he didn't see the potential in the movie when it was pitched to him. Proving that Smith is an all around nice guy, he said after seeing the film that Reeves was the better man for the job.
Julia Roberts defines Pretty Woman so much that we're sure that the title is a reference to her. The role of the hooker with a heart of gold was almost played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer passed on the role. However, it still wasn't easy for Roberts to get the part. At the time she wasn't well-known enough. Big mistake! Huge!
The part of Mia in La La Land almost went to another famous Emma - Emma Watson. Watson was attached to the project, which took six years to make. Watson got to star in Beauty and the Beast instead. Because no matter what, Watson was going to be in a musical where she got to wear a yellow dress!
The role of Maggie in Million Dollar Baby was almost played by Sandra Bullock. Bullock had been active in pushing to get the movie made, however once the studio realized that people might actually want to see a female boxing movie, Bullock was already committed to Miss Congeniality. Swank ended up winning an Oscar for Best Actress. Bullock did not win an Oscar for Miss Congeniality. We're not sure why, though.
Jack and Rose from Titanic go together like Kate and Leo. But the role of Rose was initially offered to Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow turned it down, and thank goodness! Because Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are our favorite Hollywood couple who's not actually a couple.