Choosing someone to take over a role from
another actor is never easy, especially when the original actor drew praise for their take
on a character. But recasting is often an unavoidable fact
of filmmaking, especially for sequels and remakes. Whether it’s creative disagreements, financial
setbacks, or simple timing issues at hand, actors often become unavailable to resume
their roles and must be replaced. Sometimes, the newcomer can blend right into
the blockbuster scene unnoticed. But in the case of these casting switcheroos,
the change was just too drastic for audiences to endure. Clarice Starling When Ridley Scott signed on to direct the
Silence of the Lambs sequel, he did so without his Clarice Starling in place. Anthony Hopkins had already negotiated a return
to the role of Hannibal Lecter, but Jodie Foster didn’t share his enthusiasm for the
second chapter in the serial killer’s story, despite winning an Oscar for the role in the
first film. She later told Total Film, “The official reason
I didn’t do Hannibal is I was doing another movie, Flora Plum. So I get to say, in a nice, dignified way,
that I wasn’t available when that movie was being shot. But Clarice meant so much to [Lambs director
Jonathan Demme] and I … there was no way that either of us could really trample on
her.” “Now that’s really interesting, Clarice. I’m really pressed for time.” Several big name actresses were considered
to take her place, and the part ultimately went to Julianne Moore. While both Scott and Hopkins were happy with
the choice, audiences weren’t as convinced. Moore was inevitably compared to Foster and
couldn’t measure up to her predecessor’s screen savvy nor rekindle the creepy connection Clarice
had shared with Hopkins in the first film. Jodie Foster offered her own diplomatic but
shady take on the film, saying, simply, “I saw Hannibal. I won’t comment.” Evelyn O’Connell The Mummy was a surprise smash for Universal,
posting global receipts of $415 million and landing on the top 10 highest-grossing films
of 1999. It launched Brendan Fraser’s career as a Hollywood
action hero and introduced the world to a stunning new leading lady in Rachel Weisz. The pair made a compelling onscreen couple
and reprised their roles in The Mummy Returns, which managed to bring in a nice haul from
the box office as well. But by the time the third film came around,
Weisz was suffering from some serious Mummy fatigue and stepped aside. Weisz was rumored to call the script for the
Mummy 3 “crap,” so the studio turned to Maria Bello to fill in for the role. “That should give us a good advantage.” Unfortunately for Bello, her turn in the role
was criticized for lacking the charm of the original and the film failed to recoup its
production costs in the domestic box office. “Hahhahaa, why am I laughing?” The Genie The ’90s marked a moment of resurgence for
Disney’s animated film collection, with films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King
offering a new generation of children some cartoon movies to sing along to. One of Disney’s most beloved films of the
era was Aladdin, an Oscar-winning take on the Arabic folk tale about the street thief
who shed his rags and won the heart of a princess. Aladdin was packed full of great musical numbers,
but the main reason it became such a smash was the input of the late Robin Williams as
the Genie. “It’s all part and parcel of the Genie gig. Phenomenal cosmic power …in an itty bitty living
space.” The actor confirmed that he wouldn’t be lending
his voice to the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar after an alleged row with
Disney over its marketing tactics, so the search for a new Genie began. Dan Castellaneta, the legendary voice of Homer
Simpson, was ultimately chosen to voice the big blue guy, but the Simpsons star just couldn’t
measure up to Williams’ frenetic performance. The quality of the animation didn’t help matters,
but Castellaneta lacked the unpredictability that Williams brought to the Genie, essentially
doing a watered-down impression of his predecessor. “D’oh!” Jack Ryan There are five films based on Tom Clancy’s
Jack Ryan books, but only one actor has played the protagonist twice. Eyebrows were raised when Alec Baldwin was
given the boot after he successfully debuted Ryan on-screen in The Hunt for the Red October. Baldwin later implied that the studio had
gone behind his back and entered into negotiations with Ford to take the role of Ryan. “Well that was a guess, but it seemed logical.” Even so, Ford’s performance in Patriot Games
and Clear and Present Danger became definitive for the character. Eight years later, another actor stepped in
to bring a much younger version of Jack Ryan to the big screen. This time, it was Ben Affleck who stepped
in for The Sum of All Fears. His performance in the role was met with disdain,
however, and the Jack Ryan franchise never really recovered after that, despite an attempt
to reboot it with Chris Pine in the lead more than a decade later. Sarah Connor Following in the footsteps of Linda Hamilton
as Sarah Connor in the Terminator franchise was never going to be easy for any actress. Hamilton gave a performance so layered and
compelling that even the most talented performers would have struggled to do the character justice. The first to give it a shot was Lena Headey,
who was cast in the role in the short-lived TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Fox cancelled the show after two seasons citing
its high cost as a reason, but Headey’s Game of Thrones colleague Emilia Clarke was willing
to give it another go on the silver screen for Terminator: Genisys. The film was a box office dud and was heavily
criticized for using the old time travel chestnut to rewrite the beginning of the Terminator
story to suit the filmmakers’ purposes. The main problem wasn’t the infuriatingly
muddled timeline, though. It was the casting. As much as TV lovers might dig Clarke’s portrayal
of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, the film crowd was decidedly not wowed by
her run as Sarah Connor, where her line deliveries packed a lot less punch than the original. “Come with me if you want to live.” Pass. Van Wilder National Lampoon’s Van Wilder isn’t going
to be preserved in the Library of Congress National Film Registry anytime soon. Yet for all its failings, fans of a certain
age remember this movie fondly. This was a time when frat humor was at its
peak, and sitting down to watch a comedy usually meant turning your brain off for 90 minutes. Van Wilder might not have been the most cerebral
comedy of all time, but Ryan Reynolds still delivered as the fast-talking cool guy who
threw the best parties and was a softie underneath all those crazy antics. After the Kal Penn-led sequel was destroyed
by critics, the producers decided their next move would be a prequel featuring a younger
version of Van Wilder. Reynolds refused to return to the role, so
they brought in Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett for Van Wilder: Freshman Year — which was
a terrible mistake. “I have never seen such a sorry display in
all my life.” The actor couldn’t come close to the charisma
of his predecessor and produced a feature-length failed impression effort as a result. Willie Mays Hayes Major League was a surprise grand slam for
Paramount Pictures and produced two increasingly terrible sequels. And while Charlie Sheen’s Wild Thing came
back for a second round at the mound in Major League II, there was another standout actor
from the first film who refused to run the bases of this franchise again. Wesley Snipes, whose charming swagger as the
speedy base thief was a homerun in the first movie, had no interest in returning to the
dugout for the second movie. At the time, he was well on his way to becoming
a Hollywood MVP in his own right, thanks to movies like White Men Can’t Jump and Demolition
Man, so he pretty much priced himself out of the second movie. With the Cleveland Indians down a man on the
roster, the filmmakers turned to relative newcomer Omar Epps to sub in as pinch runner
for the project. Unfortunately, Epps didn’t have a strong background
in comedy and his performance was the cinematic equivalent of a foul ball. “Read some of your reviews man. One guy said Willie Mays Hayes couldn’t play
dead.” Just a bit outside… Albus Dumbledore The Prisoner of Azkaban might still be a favorite
among some Harry Potter fans, thanks to the arrival of Sirius Black and that wild whomping
willow. But the fact remains that it’s the lowest
grossing movie in the franchise, and for many, the subdued enthusiasm seems to stem from
the unfortunate arrival of a new Hogwarts headmaster in the film. Richard Harris’ take on Albus Dumbledore in
the first two movies had become definitive for Potter fans. So when the actor died after a battle with
Hodgkin’s disease, the filmmakers had to turn to another actor to step into the beloved
professor’s cloak. Michael Gambon seemed like a fine choice to
conjure up for the franchise, but his performance in his first run as Dumbledore was stunted
by the fact that he never read the books. Rather than resuming Harris’ spellbindingly
calm and wise demeanor, Gambon delivered a much more stern and aggressive version of
the character for his first few outings. “Harry! Did you put your name in that Goblet of Fire?” “No sir!” “Did you ask one of the older students to
do it? “No sir.” “Are you absolutely sure? “Yes sir.” Gambon would later summon up some sort of
chill pill that saved the role from being ruined for children across the globe, but
these moments of mismatching between the beloved book character and the screen interpretation
still cost the movies many house points in the eyes of the true Potter fanatics. Catwoman Halle Berry taking over Michelle Pfeiffer’s
role in Catwoman is perhaps the most infamous example of recasting going terribly wrong. DC’s leather-clad heroine has appeared in
numerous Batman adaptations over the years, but Pfeiffer’s psychotically sexy performance
in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns remains the cat’s meow. “I don’t know about you Miss Kitty but I feel
so much yummier.” The actress initially intended to reprise
the role in the solo spinoff. But after years of development woes, her patience
reached its limit and she decided to concentrate on other commitments. After a rigorous recruiting process, Berry
was ultimately chosen to climb into the catsuit — and what a mess it all was. The film was a complete disaster, bombing
hard at the box office while cleaning up at the Razzies. Berry took her Worst Actress win in good humor
and even turned up to accept her award in person. Batman Another error of judgment from the Batman
universe occurred when Michael Keaton handed over the keys for Wayne Manor to Val Kilmer. Keaton had portrayed the role in 1989’s Batman
and its sequel Batman Returns, but he refused to reprise the role in a third film after
reading the screenplay. When pressed for details, Keaton later said
that the script he was shown “sucked” and that “it was just awful,” pointing the blame
for his departure squarely at the writers. Val Kilmer clearly didn’t share Keaton’s opinion. The Tombstone star accepted the role and went
into the film knowing he’d have to contend with a wide cast of wacky villains as well
as a new director. Joel Schumacher ultimately shouldered a lot
of the blame for the badness of Batman Forever, though his leading man didn’t escape criticism. “What am I?” “Please, you’re as blind as a bat.” He was quickly replaced with George Clooney
in Batman & Robin. The good news for Kilmer was that Clooney’s
turn as the The Dark Knight wasn’t any more loved than his own, and soon everyone forgot
about Kilmer’s turn in the batmobile. “Forget it, take it off” “It’s Val Kilmer!” “Oh. You’re an actor?” Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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