by Zach Johnson | Tue., Oct. 15, 2013 12:29 PM
One actor's loss is another actor's gain. Now that Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, producers are scrambling to find the perfect person to play the role of Christian Grey. The 33-year-old star is hardly the first person to pass on a part, however. Here, E! News looks at some of the most memorable recastings in Hollywood history.
Before George Clooney was cast in director Alfonso Cuarón's space thriller, Robert Downey Jr. was attached to play the male lead. (Sandra Bullock, meanwhile, replaced the filmmaker's first pick, Angelina Jolie.) "It was very clear that the technology we were going to use, it was not the most compatible thing for what Robert is the best at," Cuarón told The Huffington Post. "That is, he takes one scene and he just starts riffing. And because of the technology that we use, it's pretty much limited. We have to preprogram the film before shooting."
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Director Steven Spielberg's action adventure series originally had Tom Selleck playing the role of Indiana Jones. The actor was forced to turn down the role due to his commitments to the TV series Magnum, P.I., giving Harrison Ford the opportunity to play the risk-taking archaeology professor.
Knocked Up (2007)
Anne Hathaway was originally tapped to play fictional E! reporter Alison Scott. Before production began, however, she bowed out and was replaced by Katherine Heigl. "I think Anne found the film a little too radical, especially with the shot at the end!" the blond star told The Telegraph. "Seeing a baby's head poking through [a vagina] was a little strong, but the reaction of the audience at that point was so extreme. They just screamed—especially the men!"
Universal; Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Back to the Future (1985)
Five weeks after Eric Stoltz began shooting scenes as Marty McFly, he was replaced by director Robert Zemeckis' original choice, Family Ties star Michael J. Fox. The moviemaker later said that Stoltz was "a magnificent actor, but his comedy sensibilities were very different. And he and I were never able to make that work."
Director Bryan Singer settled on actor Dougray Scott to play Wolverine after failing to negotiate a deal with Russell Crowe. Scott was forced to quit the project due to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible II. Hugh Jackman was cast three weeks into production. The character was later given his own franchise.
Spring Breakers (2013)
Emma Roberts was originally attached to star in the controversial film alongside Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. She dropped out due to "creative reasons" and was replaced by Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson. Auteur Harmony Korine understood Roberts' reservations, saying, "I make a specific type of film, and it goes hard. It's not always for everyone."
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said the role of police officer Axel Foley was first offered to Mickey Rourke, who signed a $400,000 holding contract to do the film. Script revisions took longer than expected, and the actor withdrew his involvement once the contract expired. Sylvester Stallone was then cast in the flick, but he backed out two weeks before production began. "He had a different vision for the movie," producer Bruckheimer has said. "He made a movie right after it where it took a lot of the stuff that he developed with us called Cobra." Eddie Murphy was then cast in Beverly Hills Cop, which was again rewritten to suit his comedic talents.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Director and producer Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece was plagued with problems from the beginning—and original star Harvey Keitel was one of many casualties. "I had a suspicion he wanted to replace Keitel, but didn't know until I got [to L.A.] and read the new script," recalled Martin Sheen, who would indeed succeed him. "He'd made a lot of adjustments. I went back to Rome for final shooting. It was holy week there and, by the Friday after Easter, I was in Manila starting work. They were six or eight weeks into the shooting and already had their first big sequence in the can."
Batman Returns (1992)
It's hard to imagine, but Michelle Pfeiffer was also not director Tim Burton's first choice to play Catwoman. Annette Bening had been cast before having to quit to focus on her pregnancy. "When she fell out of it, I was just leaving the country and got a call to say Tim wanted to meet me," Pfeiffer later recalled. "I went and he gave me the script and I got halfway through and said yes. But you know, honestly, I would have done it anyway, even without reading the script."
The Lord of the Rings (2011)
Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn, but he was fired after four days of shooting because director Peter Jackson decided that an older actor was needed. Viggo Mortensen, who has said he checked in with his son before taking the job, was quickly hired.
The Lovely Bones (2009)
Ryan Gosling was originally slated to play grieving father Jack Salmon in Peter Jackson's film adaptation. "I was 150 pounds when he hired me, and I showed up on set 210 pounds. We had a different idea of how the character should look….I was melting Haagen Dazs and drinking it when I was thirsty," Gosling has said. He blames their lack of communication during the pre-production process for his dismissal. "I just showed up on set, and I had gotten it wrong. I really believed in it. I was excited about it. I showed up, and they said, 'You look terrible.' And I said, 'I know! Isn't it great?' 'No, it's not. Go hit the treadmill.' Then I was fat and unemployed." He was replaced by Mark Wahlberg.
The Paperboy (2012)
TV's highest-paid actress Sofia Vergara was originally slated to play Charlotte Bless in Lee Daniels' thriller, based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter. Citing nerves, she bailed on the movie and Nicole Kidman was cast in her place. Vergara was particularly nervous about a scene in which Charlotte urinates on Zac Efron's character to soothe a jellyfish sting. "I was so glad that I didn't have to pee in anyone's face," she said. "I was glad it was not me. For [Nicole], that's nothing. For me, it would have been three weeks of stress. 'How am I going to pee in there?'"
Life of Pi (2012)
Tobey Maguire had already completed filming his role as the journalist when director Ang Lee decided to recast him with Rafe Spall. "To be consistent with the other casting choices made for the film, I decided to go with an entirely international cast," the filmmaker said. "I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future." There were no hard feelings on Maguire's part, either. "I fully support Ang's decision to go a different direction for this role in Life of Pi," he said. "Ang shared a lot of the film with me, and what I saw was absolutely beautiful."
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Al Pacino was slated to voice the villain, Eduardo. A month before the film premiered, he quit the project. Co-director Chris Renaud said they didn't want "an unhappy actor." Despite their best efforts, they couldn't see "eye to eye" with Pacino, so they recast him with Benjamin Bratt.
Only time will tell who'll replace Hunnam in Fifty Shades of Grey. In the meantime, some frontrunners have emerged—we can only hope that whomever is cast, he'll be as successful as Clooney, Murphy and others before him.
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