7 Movie Stars Who Turned DOWN Memorable Roles!

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When we talk about movies, almost the first thing that comes into mind are the actors and their memorable performances. It is with those iconic roles that we often credit the success of a movie to – along with other things of course. Casting is a skill that each director works on as they make sure they cast the absolute perfect person for the role. Howev e r , for some famous movie roles, the first choice didn’t always push through. Some iconic roles that we have been accustomed to may have been completely different if these actors didn ’t turn them down. Things have a way of working out for themselves however, but we can ’t help but look back and think “What if this guy was in this movie instead of this guy ” ? Would his career have changed for the better? Would it have made a difference at all? Guess we ’ll never know but for today ’s video we ’re going to talk about the TOP 7 MOVIE STARS WHO TURNED DOWN MEMORABLE ROLES.


Will Smith started out in the hip-hop duo of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. They won the first ever Grammy Award in the Rap category back in 1988. He struggled financially for 2 years before starring in the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of BelAir” which became a huge success. He went on to star in “Independence Day”, “Men in Black” and established himself as one of Hollywood’s rising stars in the process. What most people don’t know is, that he was offered the role of Neo in “The Matrix”. Can you imagine The Matrix starring Will Smith? Would have been a different movie experience altogether although Smith does not have any regrets. As he has stated that Keanu Reeves “was brilliant as Neo” and he does not regret turning down the role. He was initially also supposed to decline the offer in “Men In Black” but his wife convinced him otherwise. I guess we all have his wife to thank for when it comes to that.


A blockbuster career as an actor and an award-winning director, Mel Gibson is a Movie Icon. He starred in the iconic “Mad Max” and the “Lethal Weapon” series. As a director, he won an Academy Award for Braveheart in which he also starred in. Those previously mentioned alone, makes up a prestigious and historic career and we haven’t even talked about his involvement in other film productions. However, in 1984 he was initially offered the role of “The Terminator” which he turned down and famously went to another legendary movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It all worked out just fine, as Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered an iconic performance and is considered his best movie role after all these years. It’s safe to say that Mel Gibson turning down the role is just what the world needed, as we would have been deprived of a legend like Schwarzenegger. But you can’t help but think if what if the man who played Mad Max suited up for the role of the PostApocalyptic Cyborg?


Unless you live under a rock, you would know that Al Pacino rose to fame after portraying Michael Corleone in the one of the greatest movies of all time, The Godfather. He also starred in legendary roles in Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico. He continued to round up his career with leading roles in Scarface, Scent of a Woman, and Donnie Brasco. In between that time however, he was supposed offered the role of a smuggler in a particular space opera epic in 1977? Ring any bells? Yup you guessed it, he was originally offered the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. The iconic bad boy played by Harrison Ford which ended up launching his career to stardom, was originally supposed to be Pacino. To add to that, he was also supposed to star in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” but also declined and the role went to Richard Dreyfus respectively. It doesn’t stop there with Al Pacino, as he declined roles in “Cowboy”, “Marathon Man”, and “Kramer vs Kramer” which all went to Dustin Hoffman. But when it comes to Al Pacino, he certainly knows best. As his famous character once said “It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business.”


Sean Connery has had a very long career in movies. Due to the longevity of his tenure, it’s inevitable that he’ll make good and bad decisions as it pertains to his career. He has of course the James Bond Films, which were a massive success and rose him to international stardom. He also won and Academy Award for his role in The Untouchables. With great movies to add to his resume such as Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and The Hunt for Red October. It hasn’t all went well for Sean Connery though, as he declined to continue his role as James Bond in Live and Let Die, which went to Roger Moore and brought him huge success. He also turned down the role of Morpheus in the Matrix, which went to Laurence Fishburne, and Gandalf in Lord of the Rings which went to Ian McKellen. He admits that he regrets turning down these two roles, and judging by what we know now, he’s in the right mind to regret it. Oh, what could have been.


After her debut in the film Lucas, Winona Ryder caught the eye of the public with her role in Beetlejuice. She got even more popular when she starred in Heathers, Mermaids and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But she was supposed to have starred in a major role during that time. She was cast as Mary Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part III. During filming and traveling to Rome, she had to withdraw due to nervous exhaustion. The director had to recast the role, and eventually gave it to his daughter, Sofia Coppola. The Godfather Part 111 ended up having mixed reviews and is considered by many an inferior film compared to its predecessors, and largely due to the fact that Coppola casted his daughter, a rookie at the time. One can only imagine how the movie would have turned out if Ryder completed the role. Her career suffered little to no setback after eventually starring in Coppola’s adaptation of the Bram Stoker horror story and eventually starring in successful films such as Age of Innocence, and Reality bites.


A respected actor, playwright, producer, and film director. Laurence Fishburne has many notorious roles including, Jason Furious Styles in Boyz n The Hood, Ike Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It – for which he was nominated for an Academy Award – The Bowery King in the John Wick film series, and of course as Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy. Iconic roles that will be remembered and will stand the test of time, however Fishburne famously missed out on what he could have added to the list, and it might have been the best one he could have done. He was originally offered the role of Jules Winfield in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction but he opted to decline. The role eventually went to Samuel L. Jackson and it launched him to great fame and success. It ended up becoming a double whammy for Fishburne as he lost the part to star opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 and the producers of the film ended up casting, yes you guessed it, Samuel L. Jackson because of his performance in Pulp Fiction. What on earth was Fishburne thinking, passing on Pulp Fiction? It could have possibly brought him to even greater heights but life has a funny way of turning out.


Her time with us was tragically cut short, but in her short career Marilyn Monroe starred in numerous successful movies. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, and The Seven Year Itch. All breathtaking in its own right and established Marilyn Monroe as a pop culture icon. It wasn’t all glitz and glamour on her part as she also blew a chance at a memorable role. She passed the chance to work as the lead in Goodbye Charlie, and the role instead went to Debbie Reynolds. She also refused to star in Western Heller in Pink Tights as she believed the role was weak, Sophia Loren took her part and the rest is history. Regardless of that, Marilyn Monroe’s legacy is definitely set, but as we have been talking about maybe things would have been different if she accepted those two popular roles.

And that concludes our video on 7 MOVIE STARS WHO TURNED DOWN MEMORABLE ROLES. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to watch our video, it is much appreciated by our channel.

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