Mindhole Blowers: The Actors Who Almost Starred in Twenty of the Biggest Films of 2013
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Mindhole Blowers: The Actors Who Almost Starred in Twenty of the Biggest Films of 2013

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 6, 2014 | Comments ()

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1. Jude Law was considered for the role of Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, which went to Guy Pearce. Meanwhile, Gemma Arterton, Diane Kruger and Isla Fisher were considered for the role of Maya Hansen. Jessica Chastain was actually cast, but had to drop out, making way for Rebecca Hall.

2. Taylor Kitsch, Armie Hammer, Hunter Parrish, and Garrett Hedlund were considered for the role of Finnick Odair in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The role eventually went to Sam Claflin. Also, Alfonso Cuarón, David Cronenberg, Bennett Miller, Tomas Alfredson, Cary Fukunaga, Duncan Jones and Joe Cornish were all considered or approached to replace Gary Ross before Frances Lawrence landed the director’s job.

3. Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves and Jonathan Liebesman were considered before Zack Snyder landed the director’s job on Man of Steel. Viggo Mortenson was considered for the role of Zod, while Sean Penn and Clive Owen were considered for the role of Jor-El. Julia Ormond was actually cast as Lara Lor-Van, but had to drop out, making way for Ayelet Zurer.

4. Angelina Jolie was originally cast in the lead role on Gravity, but dropped out. Natalie Portman turned down the role. Before Bullock was cast, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Carey Mulligan, Sienna Miller, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall and Olivia Wilde all were considered or screen tested.

5. In Fast & Furious 6, both Jason Statham and David Tennant were considered for the role that Luke Evans would eventually take (Statham would appear in another capacity).

6. Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp were both offered the role of Oz before James Franco landed it in Oz the Great and Powerful.

7. Before Benedict Cumberbatch accepted the role of “John Harrison” in Star Trek: Into Darkness, it was offered to Benicio Del Toro, but he declined for monetary reasons. Demian Bichir, Édgar Ramírez and Jordi Mollà were also considered.

8. In Thor: The Dark World, Mads Mikkelsen was considered for the role of Malekith, but had to drop out (due to Hannibal), making way for Christopher Eccleston.

9. Ed Harris and Bryan Cranston were both originally cast in World War Z, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

10. Before Jason Sudeikis was cast in We’re the Millers, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Steve Buscemi were considered in the lead male role. Oh, and Adam Driver was originally cast as this guy, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Girls:


11. Ben Affleck was originally cast in Joel Edgarton’s role as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Bradley Cooper and Luke Evans were also considered. Meanwhile, before Carey Mulligan was cast as Daisy Buchanan, Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Hall, Rachel McAdams, Keira Knightley, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman, Eva Green, Anne Hathaway, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson were on the not-so-short list.

12. In the original conception of Now You See Me, an older cast was envisioned, featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jim Carrey, Hugh Grant, Sacha Baron Cohen and Colin Firth. That was scrapped in favor of a different cast, although Amanda Seyfried was originally offered the role that went to Isla Fisher, and Jake Gyllenhaal was originally offered the role that went to Mark Ruffalo.

13. Tom Cruise was originally considered for the Idris Elba role in Pacific Rim.

14. The Emma Watson role in This Is the End was originally written for Mila Kunis. (Separately, Daniel Radcliffe was offered a role in the film but declined).

15. In the original conception of 2 Guns, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington’s roles were played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

16. In A Good Day to Die Hard, Aaron Paul, Liam Hemsworth, James Badge Dale, Paul Walker, Ben Foster,Milo Ventimiglia and Paul Dano were considered for the role of Bruce Willis’ son, which went to Jai Courtney.

17. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale were originally set to star in the Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman roles in Prisoners, but opted to do The Fighter instead.

18. Gillian Jacobs had auditioned for the lead role in Evil Dead but lost to Lily Collins, who had to drop out and was subsequently replaced by Jane Levy.

19. Both Chris Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt auditioned for Wolf of Wall Street. Blake Lively, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Teresa Palmer and Amber Heard auditioned for Naomi before Margot Robbie was cast, while Julie Andrews was considered for Joanne Lumley’s role of Aunt Emma.

20. Before Chloe Moretz was cast as the lead in Carrie, Shailene Woodley turned it down, while Haley Bennett, Emily Browning, and Lily Collins were also considered. Jodie Foster was also considered for Julianne Moore’s role of the mother.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Flash

    Wtf is that "you know what I'm sayin' guy? (we're the millers)
    What's his name?

  • Anthony D.

    Wow, any one of those actresses would have been better in Gravity than Sandra Bullock (weakest part of the film by far). Man of Steel would have been so much better if Snyder hadn't been the director. Mads Mikkelson would have been interesting in Thor but Hannibal is amazing so I'm glad he did the show instead (Eccleston did a good job as Malekith anyway). Also, I can't imagine anyone but Emma Watson in This Is The End despite being a fan of Mila Kunis.

  • GillianAndersonCooper

    I would have liked to see Julia Ormond in Man of Steel. Lara was the only character who I really felt should have been cast with someone different (although Zod and Lois were both perhaps a bit off, I'm okay with Shannon and Adams).

    I'm very glad that Rebecca Hall got the Iron Man 3 gig. I love her.

    Finally, Tom Cruise...how many sci-fi films can he be in every year? I liked Oblivion, but am very glad that Elba got Pacific Rim.

  • Sammy Lane

    Whoa!David Cronenberg as Director for THE HUNGER GAMES would have been so weird,huh??I can see Katniss using her SCANNER powers on Elizabeth Banks.Ha!

  • Semi Automatic PEZ

    "Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves and
    Jonathan Liebesman were considered before Zack Snyder landed the
    director’s job on Man of Steel."

    Any of those directors would've been a better choice. Aronofsky and Jones would have made it brilliant. Affleck would be at least watchable. Reeves and Liebesman would lower expectations so anything half decent would be a pleasant surprise. Even Scott would've been better; we'd know beforehand that the movie was crap. Snyder however, massive failure.

  • MSJ

    Snyder was perfect given how the movie looked. Snyder can carry a whole movie without dialogue and he's really good at visual storytelling. It was Goyer's writing that was the issue.

    You have terrible opinions about the other directors there. Affleck would probably make it more than at least "watchable"; he's one of the most acclaimed modern directors. Reeves has a knack for executing some very good scenes and character, the late Scott had a gritty style that would be interesting to see in a Superman movie, and Liebesman loves art direction inspired by cheap horror movies like CHUD.

  • GrungellaCronk

    Fascinating list. One thing though, why does Blake Lively always get shortlisted? She's a fucking terrible actress that talks like she has cotton balls stuffed in her mouth.

    Thank God Aaron Paul didn't get the part of Bruce Willis' son. He's too good for that movie

  • MrONegative

    I think she's a human threat. Like a mutually assured destruction card.


    "Ugh...you really don't care, do you? ...Fine, I'll lower my fee."

  • MovieLover

    She should have more pride than to keep sniffing around DiCaprio.. It's over.

  • Irina

    Why do they even have auditions for lead male in Scorsese movies anymore? We all know it's always DiCaprio, stop wasting time and money.

  • Maddy

    It's crazy to me how many people were considered for Bullock's role in Gravity. She is perfect in that role. I was initially one of the complainers about the Finnick casting, but that guy actually pulled it off.

  • Uriah_Creep

    13. Tom Cruise was originally considered for the Idris Elba role in Pacific Rim.

    Is that sentence even in English? It doesn't make any sense at all.

  • AvaLehra

    Any post that features my (imaginary) boyfriend, David Tennant, in the header picture is all right with me.


  • Guest

    Any post that features my (imaginary) boyfriend, David Tennant, in the header picture is all right with me.

  • xhikari

    They can cast anyone as Aldrich Killian for IronMan 3 but it's not gonna change the fate of that movie for being....IronMan 3.

  • MSJ

    Yeah, it's going to make over a billion dollars anyway. That's mostly because of Robert Downey Jr.

  • Guest

    A billion? Are you sure? I highly doubt it. Very highly.

  • MSJ

    Iron Man 3 made over a billion dollars worldwide months ago. In the US it was only recently surpassed by Catching Fire.

  • "Tom Cruise was originally considered for the Idris Elba role in Pacific Rim." Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Woo hoo hoo hoo. Hee hee hee hee. [ack, snort, chortle.] Sorry, I choked on my own fit of laughter. Have managed to recover.

    Benicio Del Toro said no the Khan for monetary reasons?! What, he's averse to big paychecks? I mean, how much did he get paid for Savages? $25 and some food stamps?

  • GillianAndersonCooper

    Del Toro, you fool. You shoulda taken the role.

  • 13. Tom Cruise was originally considered for the Idris Elba role in Pacific Rim.

    Disaster averted there.

  • Watching Pacific Rim, I couldn't help but think it was TOP GUN with Robots. It would have worked perfectly with Tom Cruise.

  • Ben

    I'm dissapointed that you didn't say the apocalypse was cancelled right there.

  • nice.

  • Whistler

    "Star Trek 2: ten thousand latino actors considered, end up with an englishman"

  • maureenc

    "Dammit, Mitchell, I told you to email Ben Kingsley's agent!"

    "He's already signed for Iron Man 3 anyway. Besides, this guy is red-hot."

    "Fine, but you get to explain it to the Indian press. Where's my latte?"

  • TimeTravelMan

    I will pay to see the R rated Hunger Games directed by Cronenberg

  • BlackRabbit

    Oh lord, think of the wasps and muttations....shudder..

  • Tinkerville

    Despite the cheese factor, I adore the Fast and Furious franchise (don't judge, it's popcorn fun). I'm now extremely bitter about the fact that I didn't get some awesome Tennant action up in there

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Do you think Wahlberg and Bale discussed jumping ship to The Fighter together? Or do you think Bale was trying to get away from working with Marky Mark, and then was like DAMMIT. CAN'T GET AWAY FROM HIM.

  • Sammy Lane

    Where was Lucius Fox and Alfred when Bales needed them to "Bale" him out,right?Ha! :)

  • I would see the shit out of a Now You See Me reboot with that cast.

  • Sammy Lane

    No doubt that the older cast would have gotten much favorable revues than the young cast did,huh??

  • Zirza

    David Tennant was also the frontrunner to play Hannibal Lecter before Hugh Dancy recommended Mads Mikkelsen. I love Mikkelsen but I'm curious about how Tennant would have fared.

  • Collin Scott

    Which is funny because Mikkelson had to drop out of Thor and was then replaced by another doctor

  • Three_nineteen

    Have you seen the UK TV movie Secret Smile? Tennant does creepy stalker pretty well. Not the same as Hannibal but kind of in the ball park.

  • Whistler

    That film scared me so much. My friends recommended me it because I have a big Tennant boner, but I must say it's practically nightmare fuel for a woman.

  • Zirza

    Have not seen it, will trowl the internet. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Becks

    It's on YouTube in full, Zirza.

  • BWeaves

    Well, that information makes me tingly in uncomfortable places.

  • Guest

    Not exactly the front runner. Tennant and Mikkelsen both auditioned at the same time and the showrunner Bryan Fuller felt Mikkelsen gave a better audition and was more right for the role.

  • el_mediocre

    Can't imagine what Man Of Steel directed by Aronofsky would look like, but I'd probably break out in shrieking fits.

  • GillianAndersonCooper

    An absolutely mind-bending thought. And a good one, for me.

  • Sammy Lane

    You would but with the actual MoS..I did breakout into shrieking fits.I hated it and wish Aronofsky or Matt Reeves would have done it instead of Synder.

  • Three_nineteen

    I definitely would have paid to see an Aronofsky Superman film.

  • crispin

    Or the Wolverine movie that was supposed to happen and probably would've been much better.

    Less bland and all that....

  • NegativeFeedback

    Studios are the ones who water down the movies. I'm sad for the directors who never get to share their whole vision in theaters.

  • Art3mis

    It makes me sad that of the 9 people we know either directed or were in contention to direct one of The Hunger Games movies, zero were women. Especially since it's a book about a woman written by a woman and yet there were somehow still no women considered for the job of putting it on the big screen.

  • Davis

    But it is a total rip off of a Japanese book written by Japanese man so there should have been a Japanese an up for consideration.

    Also these 'facts' taken from IMDB were hardly breathtaking and was evil dead really a big hit?

  • MSJ

    Your first and second paragraphs contradict each other.

  • Davis


  • MSJ

    "Hunger Games is a Battle Royale ripoff" is one example of 'facts taken from IMDB'.

  • Davis

    no it's not

  • NegativeFeedback

    Everyone keeps saying it's a rip-off of Battle Royale, but it's CLEARLY a rip-off of The Condemned which was released right before she wrote the book. Not a coincidence.

  • Zirza

    ...and there I was, thinking Carey and Frances were women's names and thinking, well, that's very forward of them.

    *Shakes head* Silly, naive me.

  • Art3mis

    Ha, good point. Perhaps I should consider that a partial victory.

    Step one: consider directors with girly names.
    Step two: let actual girls direct movies.

    We're halfway to equality, everybody!

  • Aaron Byrd

    If you want equality, sign up for selective service

  • Sammy Lane


  • Boston Red

    For #18, I assume you mean Evil Dead?

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