Iconic Movie Roles That Were Almost Played by Other Actors

How Nick Nolte almost became our Han Solo, and other stories from the casting couch

Lucasfilm

The big movie of the moment, as you well know, is The Hunger Games, while DVD and Blu-ray players have been firing up Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo since its release last week. The two films have a lot in common: powerful female protagonists, adaptations of bestsellers, probable franchise kick-offs. As such, they were also each objects of carefully considered casting. It's become part of the pre-production process, the bandying about of potential name actors for high-profile roles. Fincher reportedly talked to Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart, and Scarlett Johansson before settling on Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, while Hunger Games director Gary Ross's alternate Katnisses included Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Chloe Moretz, and Saoirse Ronan.

Contemplating proxy casting choices is a fun parlor game for movie fans (perhaps second only to considering movies that never came to pass at all). Below, we'll take a look at a dozen iconic movie roles, and the actors who almost, almost filled them.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Jason Bailey is the film editor at Flavorwire. He is the author of The Ultimate Woody Allen Film Companion.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Entertainment

Just In