Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
These things happen in Hollywood, and, this time, they happened to Tobey Maguire.
Maguire didn't jell in Ang Lee's forthcoming Life of Pi—he was "too famous" for the $100 million drama's largely unknown cast, according to the Hollywood Reporter—and the actor has been excised from the flick, replaced by Prometheus' Rafe Spall.
Here's a rundown of other male stars who lost big-screen jobs after the cameras started rolling:
Note: Actors replaced mid-shoot because they died (à la Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) or fell ill (see, or rather, don't see Buddy Ebsen as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz) are not included here. We're strictly looking at cases, like Maguire's, where the chemistry just wasn't right:
Universal; Michael Tran/FilmMagic
1. Back to the Future: For a moviegoer of a certain age, this is the ultimate Hollywood recast tale. Eric Stolz lasted five weeks as Back to the Future's time-traveling Marty McFly before Robert Zemeckis realized Stoltz's comic sensibility wasn't his comic sensiblity. The "heartbreaking" decision to let Stoltz go resulted in a massive reshoot—and a career-changing opportunity for Michael J. Fox.
New Line Cinema; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
2. Lord of the Rings: Filming was underway on the back-to-back-to-back Lord of the Rings mega-production when Peter Jackson hit the reset button on Aragorn, judging that Stuart Townsend, then in his late 20s, was too young to play the trilogy's hero. Enter the 40-something Viggo Mortensen.
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3. Apocalypse Now: In 1976, the intense Harvey Keitel enlisted to play the Kurtz-seeking Capt. Willard in Francis Coppola's Vietnamized take on The Heart of Darkness. But while some of the film's crew spent years on the epic shoot, Keitel only lasted a matter of days (or maybe a few weeks, depending on the account) before Martin Sheen was belatedly flown in to the Philippines to replace him. Keitel, as film historian David Thomson put it in the New York Times, had simply "been miscast." Keitel later was scrubbed from Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and replaced by Sydney Pollack, but that swap was chalked up to a scheduling conflict.
Orion pictures; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
4. The Purple Rose of Cairo: Woody Allen is, among other things, a tough crowd. For his movie fantasy the writer-director pulled the plug on the pre-Batman Michael Keaton's performance just days into the shoot, finding the actor "too contemporary" to play a 1930s leading man. Jeff Daniels fit the bill instead.
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5. September: Again with Allen…Two films after Purple Rose, Allen cast the much-loved (and much-imitated) Christopher Walken in his somber drama. But as shooting got a few weeks in, ''We couldn't get copacetic on what to do," the filmmaker explained. So, Walken was out, and Sam Shepard was in. In the end, Allen decided the movie wasn't copacetic, so he reshot it (yes, all of it) with pretty much an all-new cast, including Sam Waterston, who was swapped in for Shepard.