Some actors bring characters to life and are absolutely defined by the people they portray in their movies. Sometimes, though, it is fun to play what-if especially when it comes to these ten iconic roles that almost went to other actors.

10. The Bear Jew (Inglorious Basterds)

Played by Eli Roth

Role was offered to Adam Sandler

When Quentin Tarantino casts a movie he is often all over the place. In fact, when a Tarantino movie is set to come out there are so many casting rumors that it is hard to keep up with it all. Adam Sandler’s name came up pretty often when discussing Inglorious Basterds. In fact, Tarantino said he wrote the role for Sandler. However, Sandler had to turn it down because it conflicted with the filming of Funny People.

9. Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator)

Played By Russell Crowe

Role was offered to Mel Gibson

The role that earned Russell Crowe an Oscar and sparked a pretty solid working relationship with Ridley Scott was originally offered to Mel Gibson. Gibson felt he was too old and out of shape to properly portray the character. Also, Gibson was still finishing up filming of The Patriot, which may have played into his decision.

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  • xraccoonx


  • dave

    I like the content and learned some cool stuff, however:

    1. Plurals have no apostrophe; possessives do (“the actor’s role” / “the actors’ roles” / “the roles of the actors”)

    2. “Gandalf”, not “Gandolf” – read the books

    3. In the comment about the Matrix, “to the first chose” – should be a noun here (choice) or adverb/past-participle (chosen) rather than the past-simple

    4. Not “Quinton Tarantino”, but “Quentin Tarantino” – Wiki/Google it?

    This site is really cool, and the articles are great, but I have to admit that for articles published internet-wide, it would save some headaches if the editors and writers would pay a little more attention to spelling and grammar…


      Thanks for the heads up, Dave! All fixed… :)

    • derp

      stupid faggot grammar whore ? rofl its the internet im pretty sure u read what u read and understood it lmao and go ahead and critique me

    • emma-meii

      U must be fun at parties

    • Bill

      Your a fucking loser for this

      • Guest

        You’re :P

    • Sharon

      All of you are being harsh. Just because a well educated person fixed the errors doesn’t make him a bad person. Wouldn’t make him stupid, a bundle of sticks or a whore. The negative comments just make you look like ignorant assholes.

      • Guest

        WEEWOOWEEWOO can yall hear that? Its the Grammer Police!!! Dave and his trusty sidekick Sharon… to the rescue!!

      • lsutigers

        It”s the grammar police Dave and his trusty sidekick Sharon…

    • Dean Tripstar Rose

      Kind of ironic coming from a man who spells his name with a lower case letter dave ;)

    • josephjomanmancuso

      The only people getting mad are people who can’t spell. I find that amusing, as usual.

    • Catey Carmody

      Nobody likes grammar Nazi’s on places like Facebook but this is an article that was suppose to be written by a professional, so kudos to Dave for correcting the fool that wrote this, just don’t correct my grammar bc that would be over kill and make you a dick.

  • Narvish/FullMetalAnimest

    Wow. I’m so happy they were played by person who played them..

  • Elle

    Jim Carrey as Jack Sparrow??? UGH!

    • Serrah

      Yeah, I wish it happened too!

  • Alk

    Glad Reeves played Neo in The Matrix. No one else could have fit that role better.

  • Me

    Jim Carey would’ve done it brilliantly. You only have to look at Ace Ventura to know that. Will Smith would’ve made a bangin’ Neo!

  • Pingback: 10 Famous Roles That Actors Turned Down | Viva Technics()

  • vmac77

    Will smith was originally offered the role of Django in Django unchained. He turned it down as he didn’t see Django as the lead character. I think jamie foxx did a great job.

  • Velinda

    John Travolta did an awesome job as Vincent Vega!

  • Sumaiyah

    Apparently Russell Crowe was to originally play wolverine.. but he turned it down and told producers that he knew a guy that would be perfect for the role. That person being Hugh Jackman. :) I remember watching an interview with Russell Crowe when he was talking about this during the release of Les Miserables, where he worked alongside Hugh Jackman.

  • RLevinson

    In “Reservoir Dogs”, Madsen played Vic Vega, Vincent’s brother. Know your Tarantino.

  • Bigpoppa78

    Dave Chapelle turned down the role for Bubba in Forrest Gump, he thought the film would be a bust. He says this was his greatest mistake.

    • lsutigers

      yea so i guess running off to africa with all that money must be a close second> ,,what a douch bag..if he would have played in it it would have ruined the whole movie

  • that dude in B3

    Batman forever: the Riddler, played by Jim Carrey. originally offered to Michael Jackson

  • Abi

    I wouldn’t want anyone else in the world to play Gandalf.

  • Manon

    Charlie Sheen was originally offered the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Futur, it’s played by Micheal J. Fox.

  • Ess Far

    Shirley Temple was originally offered the role as Dorothy in wizard of oz.

    • lsutigers

      she should have taken it.

  • Hannah

    Jim Carey doesn’t have the kind of… panache to play Sparrow. I suppose it would’ve been an entirely different character and we wouldn’t know the difference… But I wouldn’t have loved the movies if he had got the part. And Will Smith would’ve made a badass Neo, It’s the same thing though, the character would have been entirely different and we wouldn’t know the difference.

  • Behind the Scenes Fan

    I’ve read that Billy Crystal turned down the voice-over role of ‘Buzz Lightyear’ in Toy Story! He said he very much regrets that decision now.
    One of those cases where you can’t imagine anyone but Tim Allen doing that part!

  • http://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MIAMIGARNER miamigarner

    I can’t imagine how those movies almost turned out,i don’t think they would have been as good

  • topaz

    Nick Nolte was also offered the role of Han Solo.

  • Catey Carmody

    I understand why they thought of Carrey to play Sparrow but he wouldn’t have been able to give the sex appeal that Depp does.