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    Transformers Without Shia LaBeouf? 5 Other Blockbuster Franchises That Switched Lead Actors

    Mark Wahlberg, Shia LaBeouf, Transformers Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios

    Talk about a transformation!

    Transformers director Michael Bay recently announced that Mark Wahlberg would star in a fourth Transformers, after three previous outings with Shia LaBeouf in the lead role. 

    In fact, costar Josh Duhamel hinted to E! News earlier this year that as far as he knew none of the films' original actors were set to return, and LaBeouf himself said he's done with the franchise. Meanwhile, the film's producers confirmed that they're completely rebooting the saga.

    Megan Fox has transformed into a mom

    Bay is now looking to test up-and-coming actors to join Wahlberg for the presumably pretty explosive ride, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which lists Isabelle Cornish (Abbie's sis) and Nicola Peltz as two of the actresses being talked about for the role of Marky Mark's daughter. Hunter ParrishJack ReynorBrendon ThwaitesLandon Liboiron and Luke Grimes are testing for the role of the young lady's boyfriend.

    So, how will this new concoction fare? Let's take a look back at other film franchises that have switched up their stars, and whether that amounted to box-office gold—or box-office poison.

    Take a look at Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in the Broken City Trailer

    Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Batman Warner Bros.

    Batman: The action-hero franchise first starred Michael Keaton as the titular hero in 1989's Batman, but when Joel Schumacher stepped in to replace director Tim Burton for the franchise's third flick, Batman Forever, Keaton bowed out and Val Kilmer took over the role before George Clooney's turn in Batman & Robin. When the franchise was rebooted years later with Batman Begins, Christian Bale took over the cape. And while he stayed aboard for Chistopher Nolan's entire trilogy, there was another key switch-up: Love interest Rachel Dawes was played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins but replaced with Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Dark Knight.

    Box-office tally for each film (all grosses domestic): Batman, $251 million; Batman Returns, $162 million; Batman Forever, $184 million; Batman & Robin, $107 million; Batman Begins, $206 million; The Dark Knight, $534 million; The Dark Knight Rises, $447 million

    Robot reboot! Overhauled Transformers 4 set to storm theaters in 2014

    Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal: Jodie Foster originated the role of FBI Academy student Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. But, after nabbing an Oscar for her performance, Foster later turned down a reported $20 million paycheck to star with Anthony Hopkins in a sequel, Hannibal. Julianne Moore later was cast in the role.

    Box-office tallies: Silence of the Lambs, $130 million; Hannibal, $165 million

    Josh Duhamel not coming back for Transformers 4—is anyone?!

    The Bourne Franchise, Jeremy Renner, Matt Damon Universal Pictures

    Bourne Legacy: The Bourne franchise's filmmakers made waves when they not only revamped the action film series but replaced its main man altogether for the fourth outing. After playing the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon bowed out and was replaced with Jeremy Renner, who took on the role of new character Aaron Cross.

    Box-office tallies: Bourne Identity, $121 million; Bourne Supremacy, $176 million; Bourne Ultimatum, $227 million; Bourne Legacy, $113 million

    Michael Bay slams Hugo Weaving for calling Transformers "meaningless"

    Eric Bana, Ed Norton, Mark Ruffalo, Hulks Marvel/Universal Pictures

    The Incredible Hulk: Pretty appropriate that a saga about a morphing green guy underwent some morphing of its own. Eric Bana first played the role of Dr. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk in 1998 flick Hulk. But, when a remake of the flick returned in 2003, it was Edward Norton who was pounding his fists in The Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo took on the character in 2011, but it was in The Avengers, in which he also played The Incredible Hulk.

    Box-office tallies: Hulk, $132 million; The Incredible Hulk, $134 million

    Shia LaBeouf says it's a "blessing" Megan Fox isn't in Transformers: Dark of the Moon

    Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, James Bond MGM/Columbia Pictures

    James Bond In perhaps the biggest leading-man switcheroo in history, the James Bond franchise has seen no fewer than six actors step into the British superspy's tux. The series most iconic leading man, Sean Connery, starred in six flicks, beginning with 1962's Dr. No. George Lazenby stepped in for his sole Bond outing, 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Roger Moore had a record seven go-rounds, from 1973's Live and Let Die to 1985's A View to a Kill. Timothy Dalton had a twofer: The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Pierce Brosnan took on the mantle beginning with 1995's Goldeneye until 2002's Die Another Day. And the latest Bond, Daniel Craig, spectacularly revived the franchise with three flicks: 2006's Casino Royale, 2008's Quantum of Solace and the latest Skyfall.

    Box-office tallies by actor: Sean Connery, $242 million; George Lazenby, $22 million; Roger Moore, $346 million; Timothy Dalton, $85 million; Pierce Brosnan, $519 million; Daniel Craig, $437 million (and counting!)

    (Originally published Nov. 13, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. PT)

    Take a look back at pics from Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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