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9 Movie Posters That Almost Happened

Movie Posters
Kristy Puchko

Some movies are so iconic (or at least permanently ingrained in our brains thanks to TBS) that it’s impossible to imagine them any other way than the way they are. Of course, that doesn’t mean that’s the only way they could ever have been. Here are posters for some of your favorite movies, if they had been made with their original casting choices. (Photoshops by Kristy Puchko. Text by Emerald Catron.)

Will Smith in ‘Django Unchained’

Django Unchained Will Smith
Kristy Puchko

Will Smith was Quentin Tarantino’s first pick for the title role of ‘Django Unchained,’ but the Fresh Prince had to turn it down because of commitments to ‘Men in Black 3.’ Definitely reminds us of the time Michael Caine couldn’t accept his Oscar because he was filming ‘Jaws 4.’

Mark Wahlberg in ‘Brokeback Mountain’

brokeback mountain wahlberg
Kristy Puchko

Mark Wahlberg met with ‘Brokeback’ director Ang Lee, but did not protest when the role he was considered for went to somebody else because he was “creeped out” by the idea of playing a gay cowboy. Sure. But ‘Fear’ was tooooooootally cool.

Dustin Hoffman in ‘Blade Runner’

blade runner Dustin Hoffman
Kristy Puchko

Hoffman was nearly Rick Deckard in ‘Blade Runner.’ After months of discussion, Hoffman eventually left the project because he was trying to make a different movie than director Ridley Scott.

Vince Vaughn & Zooey Deschanel in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Silver Linings Playbook Vaughn Deschanel
Kristy Puchko

The rewrite process for ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ took director David O. Russell years to complete. By the time it was finished, it was no longer a movie for Vince Vaughn and Zooey Deschanel to scream and cute their way through, respectively.

Liam Neeson in ‘Lincoln’

lincoln liam neeson
Kristy Puchko

The story of Liam Neeson and the time he was almost Abraham Lincoln is remarkably similar to the previous one. The movie took forever to come into fruition — Neeson was first attached to the project in 2005 but left after a few years, feeling he was too old for the role. (According to Sally Field, the passing of his wife Natasha Richardson also influenced Neeson’s decision.) It seems he’s maybe a little more interested in action movies these days anyway.

Sean Connery in ‘Lord of the Rings’

LOTR Sean Connery
Kristy Puchko

Sean Connery famously turned down the role of Gandalf in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy because he didn’t understand the screenplay. It’s a decision that has reportedly cost him $450 million.

Nicolas Cage in ‘The Matrix’

matrix nic cage
Kristy Puchko

You read that right: Nicolas Cage actually turned down a part for a movie. (Not ‘Ghost Rider 2.’ He did that one.) ‘The Matrix.’ He turned down ‘The Matrix.’ To be fair, Cage said the choice was made because filming the movie in Australia would have kept him from his family for too long a time. Also, he hadn’t bought that dinosaur head yet.

Robin Williams in ‘Batman Forever’

Riddler Robin Williams
Kristy Puchko

Reportedly, Robin Williams was wanted to play the part of the Riddler in ‘Batman Forever,’ but director Joel Schumacher went with Jim Carrey instead. Maybe it was because he wanted his Batman movie to be the same level of quality as ‘The Mask.’ Mission accomplished.

Tom Selleck in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Tom Selleck Indiana Jones
Kristy Puchko

Although Harrison Ford was Steven Spielberg’s first choice for Indiana Jones, George Lucas wanted to cast Tom Selleck because Ford had already appeared in ‘American Grafitti’ and ‘Star Wars.’ Selleck, on the other hand, decided to play the good guy, and turned down the part because his contract for ‘Magnum, P.I.’ prevented him from taking any other projects. In an ironic twist, a writer’s strike prevented ‘Magnum, P.I.’ from filming, and the show didn’t get back to work until ‘Indiana Jones’ was wrapping up shooting. Indy narrowly missed having a sweet ‘stache.

Next: See More Actors Who Almost Played Famous Roles

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