There are a lot of characters that stay with us for a long time and we end up associating the actor with the character on more than one occasion. We cannot imagine anyone other than Julia Roberts as Vivian in Pretty Woman and Alan Rickman will always be Professor Severus Snape for us. There was a possibility that many of these iconic roles could have been played by someone else entirely. The actors who rejected these roles did it for a variety of reasons varying from having problems with dates to issues with the script. Although the stars who rejected these movies went to achieve popularity and they did not actually lose out on a path-breaking opportunity. But your favorite characters could have gone a lot differently and here's how:
Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Character: Andy Dufresne
Played by: Tim Robbins
Could have been played by: Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks chose to work with Forrest Gump rather than take this project up. That decision won him an Oscar but had he tried to do both movies, Shawshank Redemption could have gone a little differently. Although Tim Robbins, who had done only a few small roles till then, did a commendable job.
Movie: Pretty Woman
Character: Vivian Ward
Played by: Julia Roberts
Could have been played by: Molly Ringwald
With movies like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club to her credit, Pretty Woman would have made an excellent addition to Molly Ringwald's filmography. Her mother, who found the role not to her liking, chose to reject the movie and it was passed on to Julia Roberts. Julia Roberts did get a boost from this and went on to do movies like Erin Brockovich but that career graph could have easily been Molly Ringwald's.
Movie: The Dark Knight
Character: Harvey Dent
Played by: Aaron Eckheart
Could have been played by: Matt Damon
The character has been played by Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever. The Nolan series had a lot of favorites like Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Gary Oldman. Another one that could have been added to the list was Matt Damon. He turned down the role due to a scheduling conflict and the role was then passed to Aaron who was the Harvey Dent we deserved.
Movie: The Matrix
Played by: Keanu Reeves
Could have been played by: Will Smith
The Matrix Series is synonymous with Keanu Reeves as the MIB series is with Will Smith. Had Will Smith not rejected to be a part of Matrix he would have two successful franchises to his credit. He passed this role to star in Wild Wild West, which might make this a wrong decision but did not affect his popularity and gave some necessary boost to Keanu Reeves' career.
Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Character: Indiana Jones
Played by: Harrison Ford
Could have been played by: Tom Selleck
George Lucas who produced the Indiana Jones series was reluctant to cast Harrison Ford in another one of his projects but relented when his chosen one Tom Selleck declined due to contractual obligations towards Magnum P. I. Incidentally, Harrison Ford was not the first choice for Han Solo as well. The role was earlier offered to Al Pacino. Wonder how that would have turned out.
Played by: Hugh Jackman
Could have been played by: Dougray Scott
There never will be another Wolverine for us other than Hugh Jackman but had Dougray Scott played the role, things would have gone a lot differently. Dougray Scott had to drop out of the movie because of his commitment to play the villain in Mission Impossible: II. We are not complaining.
Movie: Lord of the Rings
Played by: Sir Ian McKellen
Could have been played by: Sean Connery
Before his retirement, Sean Connery was offered the role to play Gandalf but he politely rejected because he couldn't understand the script. Trying to not repeat this error, he agreed to work for the next script he didn't understand and that movie turned out to be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Can you imagine the difference it would have made if these actors had been a part of these movies? Tell us in the comments below and don't forget to share.