Top 10 Movies That Could Have Starred Scarlett Johansson
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
She's already got an impressive filmography, but imagine if these credits were on the list! For this list, we'll be looking at films for which Scarlett Johansson auditioned, was considered or was rumored to be attached to at some point. Our list includes “Mission: Impossible III ” (2006), “Gravity” (2013), “The Craft” (1996), “Jumanji” (1995), “The Great Gatsby” (2013), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Could Have Starred Scarlett Johansson.
Script written by Michael Wynands
Top 10 Movies That Could Have Starred Scarlett Johansson
She’s already got an impressive filmography, but imagine if these credits were on the list! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Could Have Starred Scarlett Johansson.
For this list, we’ll be looking at films for which Scarlett Johansson auditioned, was considered or was rumored to be attached to at some point.
#10: “My Week With Marilyn” (2011)
This fantastic 2011 drama earned Michelle Williams the Golden Globe for Best Actress, as well as a nod from the Oscars and BAFTA, and rightfully so. As the iconic silver screen icon and sex symbol, Williams absolutely shone, turning in a performance worthy of Monroe herself. And to think, Scarlett Johansson passed up the opportunity to do the same! In 2009, The Insider reported that ScarJo was the director’s top pick; however, as Johansson told the press shortly after the film’s release, she never had any interest in the role. The actor had long garnered comparisons to the late great Monroe, and she apparently didn’t want to feed into that.
#9: “Mission: Impossible III ” (2006)
Who could have predicted that Tom Cruise’s “Mission:Impossible” franchise would span three decades, undergo such a tonal evolution, or see so many big name stars play a role? For the third film, director J.J. Abrams took the film in a more serious and gritty direction, leaning into spy/thriller aspects of the story, while still delivering on the action front. The film introduced Lindsey Farris, an IMF Agent trained by Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. Played by Keri Russell, Farris wasn’t long for the franchise, but she certainly made an impression. Had things played out differently and the film’s development not been so troubled, Scarlett Johansson would have played Farris, but she ultimately dropped out.
#8: “The Craft” (1996)
There’s something very bewitching about this star, which makes it easy to imagine her playing a teenage practitioner of magic arts in this 1996 supernatural horror. Though it received mixed reviews at the time, “The Craft” did well at the box office and has since become a cult classic. We nearly got a different version of this movie however, which would have found Angelina Jolie, Alicia Silverstone or Scarlett Johansson in Neve Campbell’s role. Funny enough, Campbell reportedly won the role because, at the time, she was the most recognizable contender. And to think, now Johansson is one Hollywood’s biggest names! Imagine a cult classic ScarJo double feature of “Ghost World” and “The Craft”?
#7: “The Great Gatsby” (2013)
Carey Mulligan did a great job as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s extravagant retelling of this classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. With that being said, we’d have relished the opportunity to see the phenomenal Leonardo DiCaprio acting opposite Scarlett Johansson. As two of the biggest names in the industry, it’s kind of shocking that they’ve never shared a scene together; and this is, to our knowledge, the closest they’ve ever come. Insiders had told Vulture that Johansson was being heavily considered for the role, but a commitment to another film made her unavailable. In the end, the role went to Mulligan, and Johansson honored her prior commitment, appearing in “We Bought A Zoo”.
#6: “Gravity” (2013)
Every actor should be so lucky as to work with the great Alfonso Cuarón; and with “Gravity”, Johansson very nearly did. Sandra Bullock’s performance as the tenacious Dr. Ryan Stone is just about flawless, and rightfully earned her numerous award nominations. But we still would be interested in seeing a version of the film with Scarlett Johansson. The role of Stone is a demanding one, but also a great opportunity for an actor to showcase their acting chops, as the entire film hinges on the performance. Of course, Bullock wasn’t Johansson’s only competition; Carey Mulligan, Blake Lively, Sienna Miller, Marion Cotillard, Olivia Wilde, and Angelina Jolie were also considered, among others.
#5: “Les Misérables” (2012)
Can Scarlett Johansson sing? You tell us! But seriously, the answer actually is: Yes, yes she can, and she should’ve. This 2012 big-screen adaptation of the beloved musical and French novel upon which it’s based earned numerous award nominations. Among its wins was an Academy Award for Anne Hathaway’s performance as Fantine, which just so happens to be the role that Johansson auditioned for. Though we have no trouble imagining her owning the part, apparently the audition did not go as well as it could have. To use Johansson’s own words, she “sang [her] little heart out”, but she was fighting an uphill battle, as she had laryngitis at the time.
#4: “Jumanji” (1995)
Scarlett Johansson’s talent for acting has been evident from a young age; just watch 1996’s “Manny & Lo”, for which she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination, or “The Horse Whisperer” which won her a YoungStar Award. Unfortunately, her talents hadn’t been fully recognized before “Manny & Lo”, which means that she failed to nab the part when she auditioned for “Jumanji”. She was just nine years old at the time, and though we’re sure that she would have done a great job in the role, we have to admit that the slightly older Kirsten Dunst was probably a better fit. Also… little ScarJo didn’t seem overly enthused by the role.
#3: “V for Vendetta” (2006)
Natalie Portman had a tough role to play in this adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic dystopian graphic novel, and critics were divided as to whether or not she delivered. Portman has proven herself to be an incredible performer, of course, and her turn as Evey did win her a Saturn Award, but some weren’t convinced. Either way, we would have been very interested to see what Scarlett Johansson could have done with the role, had she landed it. ScarJo auditioned alongside the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard and Keira Knightley for the part, and in hindsight, considering the roles they’ve all tackled since, Johansson might’ve been the best pick.
#2: “The Parent Trap” (1998)
Lindsay Lohan’s personal life may have derailed her film career, but there’s no denying that her early filmography is made up of some cherished childhood and teen classics. Nostalgic viewers don’t have many misgivings about Lohan in “The Parent Trap”, but if you were looking for an different star to play the twins, with less future baggage, Scarlett Johansson would have been a great choice. “The Parent Trap” was released the same year as “The Horse Whisperer”, for which Johansson received much praise, including (as previously mentioned) a Youngstar Award. In a 2017 interview, she admitted to still feeling a little bitter about having not landed the dual part of Hallie Parker and Annie James.
#1: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)
Of all the the roles that Scarlett Johansson nearly claimed but missed out on, this one feels like most significant one. She’s already playing a badass in the MCU as Natasha Romanoff (aka The Black Widow), but we would have relished the opportunity to see her crank things up to an R-rated level in a more gritty and grounded franchise. In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story claiming that director David Fincher thought she was too attractive for the role of Lisbeth Salander, but ScarJo later refuted that claim. When the franchise got a soft reboot and recast in 2017, her name came up again; but once more, it went to someone else.