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Another Top 10 Alternate Casting Choices

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake Oh, what might have been… Welcome to and today we're counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Alternate Casting Choices. For this list, we're taking a look at more actors who were at one point considered for iconic movie roles that later went to other people. Special thanks to our users Contributor101 and Tudor Baltoiu for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Nick Spake

Another Top 10 Alternate Casting Choices

Oh, what might have been… Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Alternate Casting Choices.

For this list, we’re taking a look at more actors who were at one point considered for iconic movie roles that later went to other people. We’re not necessarily saying these films would’ve been better with a different performer, but these casting choices certainly would’ve been interesting to see nonetheless. If you don’t see someone you think should be on the list, be sure to check out our first video of the Top 10 Alternate Casting Choices in Film.

#10: Chevy Chase as Lester Burnham
“American Beauty” (1999)

It’s hard to imagine anybody in this Oscar-winning role other than Kevin Spacey. At the same time, we could actually see funnyman Chevy Chase slipping into the part quite comfortably. After all, Chase is no stranger to playing dysfunctional family men. If Clark Griswold had a total midlife crisis and aspired to cheat on his wife with his dream woman, you’d essentially have Lester Burnham. Chase turned down the role as he felt it would ruin his family-friendly image. Were “Caddyshack” and “Hot Tub Time Machine” really “family-friendly,” though?

#9: Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sean Archer & Castor Troy
“Face/Off” (1997)

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, Stallone and Schwarzenegger reigned as Hollywood’s most kickass action heroes. People often wondered when these superstars were finally going to team up onscreen. Unfortunately, the two wouldn’t co-star together until they were old and expendable. We almost got to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger unite in their prime, however. “Face/Off” was specially written with them in mind and they would’ve been right at home in a project so over-the-top. This seemingly perfect casting sadly wasn’t meant to be, but John Travolta and Nicolas Cage made for a fun rivalry nonetheless.

#8: Guy Pearce as Daredevil
“Daredevil” (2003)

We’re optimistic that Ben Affleck will make a good Batman despite the fact that he made for a pretty forgettable Daredevil. To Affleck’s credit, he wasn’t given very gripping material to work with and there aren’t a ton of actors that could’ve brought more to this part. That being said, Guy Pearce still might have been able to inject a little more life into Matt Murdock. Pearce turned the role down, but his commanding, multi-layered performances in thrillers like “Memento” demonstrate his ability to completely lose himself in dark, twisted roles. At least Charlie Cox is finally doing Daredevil justice.

#7: Jennifer Lawrence as Bella Swan
“Twilight” (2008)

Before she was the most beloved actress in the world, Jennifer Lawrence had to endure plenty of rejection. Perhaps the most notable part that she didn’t get was Bella Swan in “Twilight.” The role instead went to Kristen Stewart who, for what it’s worth, did a spectacular job at capturing Bella’s bleak, blank, bland emptiness. While it would’ve been a huge role for Lawrence, she fortunately got to play a much stronger and more compelling young adult protagonist a couple of years later. Still, imagine what it would’ve been like if JLaw had pierced Edward Cullen’s heart with an arrow…figuratively that is…

#6: Christopher Lee as Dr. No
“Dr. No” (1962)

With his tall stature and commanding voice, Christopher Lee brought great presence to some of the most recognizable villains of all time, from Saruman to Frankenstein’s monster, to lord knows how many Count Draculas. We totally could’ve seen Lee playing Dr. No in James Bond’s initial cinematic outing. Author Ian Fleming, who was Lee’s step-cousin, even suggested him for the role. Despite the wishes of 007’s creator, the producers had already cast Joseph Wiseman. Matters worked out pretty well regardless since Dr. No would go on to become Wiseman’s most iconic character and Lee would eventually appear in a Bond movie too.

#5: Harrison Ford as Oskar Schindler
“Schindler’s List” (1993)

Indiana Jones and Oskar Schindler have a lot in common if you think about it. Both were heroes, both confronted Nazis, and both were at the center of films by Steven Spielberg. Because of this, Harrison Ford seemed like a natural choice to play Schindler. At the same time, though, it admittedly would’ve been hard to picture Ford here without expecting him to break out a whip. Given the importance of the role, Ford respectfully turned it down. So Spielberg turned to Liam Neeson, who did an impeccable job at portraying the man who saved 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.

#4: Johnny Depp as Jonathan Harker
“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992)

While Francis Ford Coppola delivered one of the best adaptations of Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel, most people would agree that Keanu Reeves’ performance was the film’s weakest link. With Johnny Depp’s incredible acting range and charisma, Jonathan Harker could have really risen to life. Given his other roles in the horror genre, it’s actually rather surprising that Depp didn’t leap at the chance to star in a movie such as this. Maybe Harker was just too straightforward of a character for Depp in a film full of more eccentric personalities.

#3: Dustin Hoffman as John Rambo
“First Blood” (1982)

Dustin Hoffman is a phenomenal actor, although he’s not exactly the first name that comes to mind when we think of action stars. Because of this, you may be shocked to learn that Hoffman was offered a chance to play one of the most famous action heroes of all time: John Rambo. Hoffman rejected the role, however, as he felt it was too violent. He actually declined to play Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver” for the same reason. Perhaps Hoffman’s talents were better suited elsewhere anyway, but wouldn’t it have been cool to see him with a machine gun?

#2: Tom Cruise as Iron Man
“Iron Man” (2008)

Robert Downey Jr. rejuvenated his career with Iron Man and it’s now impossible to picture any other actor in the role. Just for a second, though, try to picture that guy who jumped on Oprah’s couch as Tony Stark. An “Iron Man” picture had been in development for years and Tom Cruise was the studio’s top pick. After reading an early draft for the screenplay, Cruise’s interest in starring and producing fizzled out. Director Jon Favreau really turned the project around, however, taking a chance on a struggling actor. Ironically, Cruise and Downey’s paths would collide that same year when they co-starred in “Tropic Thunder.”

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Brandon Lee as Bruce Lee
“Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” (1993)
- David Bowie as Captain Hook
“Hook” (1991)
- Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey
“Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015)
- Albert Finney as T.E. Lawrence
“Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)

#1: Robin Williams as Jack Torrance
“The Shining” (1980)

In the early ‘80s, Robin Williams was primarily viewed as a comedic performer. Mainstream audiences could see him playing a crazy character, but not necessary a scary crazy character. Nevertheless, Stanley Kubrick thought Williams had potential to be Jack Torrance, although the director ultimately decided he was too psychotic for the role. The part thus went to Jack Nicholson, who’s familiar with playing crazy as well. Upon starring in “One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia” years later, Williams demonstrated just how spine chilling and genuinely menacing he could’ve been in “The Shining.”

Do you agree with our list? What alternate big screen casting choice would you like to see? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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