Mindhole Blowers: What Could've Been Edition -- Early Casting Choices for Twenty 2012 Films
1. In Pitch Perfect, the role that went to Elizabeth Banks was originally written for Kristen Wiig.
2. At one point, Jeremy Renner and Reese Witherspoon were attached to the roles played by Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in The Master.
3. Rooney Mara was first cast as the role that would eventually go to Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Likewise, Tom Hardy was originally considered for the role that went to Mark Strong.
4. The part of Django was originally written for Will Smith in Django Unchained, but he declined. Likewise, Kevin Costner was originally cast in the role that went to Kurt Russell, although Russell’s part was cut from the film. Parts were also written for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael K. Williams, but they both faced scheduling conflicts.
5. Brad Pitt was Ben Affleck’s first choice for the lead in Argo, but when scheduling issues forced Pitt out, Affleck took the role.
6. There was a line of people considered for each of the roles in Les Miserables, including Paul Bettany in the role that went to Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush in the role that went to Sacha Baron Cohen, Emma Watson in the role that went to Amanda Seyfried, and Taylor Swift/Lea Michelle in the role that went to Samantha Barks.
7. In Life of Pi, even though Tobey Maguire filmed all of his scenes, he was replaced by Rafe Spall because Ang Lee thought Maguire was too famous for the role (also, M. Night Shyamalan was originally attached as director).
8. In Silver Linings Playbook, Mark Wahlberg was originally cast in the Brad Cooper role, while Anne Hathaway was originally cast in the Jennifer Lawrence role.
9. Liam Neeson was originally cast as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln.
10. Jessica Biel and Keira Knightley were the other two finalists for the role of Selina Kyle, which would go to Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises. Likewise, Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence also auditioned for the role of Jen, which went to Juno Temple.
11. Chloë Grace Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin were the other frontrunners for the role of Katniss Everedeen in The Hunger Games, which would eventually go to Jennifer Lawrence.
12. Kevin Spacey was originally offered the role of the villain that went to Javier Bardem in Skyfall.
13. Although his first choice for Bilbo Baggins was actually Martin Freeman, James McAvoy, Shia LaBeouf, Tobey Maguire and Daniel Radcliffe were also considered for that role in The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey.
14. Among the people considered for the role of Spider-man, which would eventually go to Andrew Garfield, were Zac Efron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Logan Lerman, Robert Pattinson, Jamie Bell, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Angarano, Michael Cera, Alden Ehrenreich, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Xavier Samuel, Jim Sturgess and Anton Yelchin. Lindsay Lohan Hilary Duff, and Anna Kendrick were among those considered for the role of Gwen Stacey.
15. Emma Stone was originally cast in the role that went to Brie Larson in 21 Jump Street, but had to abandon the movie for The Amazing Spider-Man.
16. In Prometheus, Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, Olivia Wilde, Anne Hathaway, Abbie Cornish and Natalie Portman were considered for the role that went to Charlize Theron, while James Franco was considered for the role of Halloway, which went to Logan Marshall-Greene.
17. Jessica Biel was originally offered, but declined, the role of Brooke (which went to Cody Horn) on Magic Mike (Tatum also originally asked Nicholas Winding Refn to direct, but scheduling conflicts wouldn’t allow for it).
18. Mickey Rourke was originally cast in the role that went to Woody Harrelson in Seven Psychopaths.
19. Jon Hamm and Josh Duhamel were both considered for the lead role in John Carter that would eventually go to Taylor Kitsch.
20. Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder were considered for the role of Evil Queen that went to Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman, and both Viggo Mortenson and Hugh Jackman were offered the role of the Huntsmen before Chris Hemsworth.