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