Are Some Recasts Movie Mistakes?

Are Some Recasts Movie Mistakes?
Despite what some might think about sequels, we all get a twinge of excitement when we hear about the chance of our favorite actor / actress reprising their infamous character on the big screen for the second (or, in some cases, third or fourth) time. But then it happens! All anticipation is dashed when we learn about the dreaded recast. For whatever reason, the person who might have played the original character in a movie, is being replaced by someone else. Sometimes recasting a fan favorite character has been well received and sometimes even goes unnoticeable. Other times, the recasting has missed the mark completely. Let’s take a look at some of the movie recasts in recent years. Were some of these movie mistakes?

The Harry Potter Movies
In the first two movies of the Harry Potter franchise, Albus Dumbledore was played by actor Richard Harris. But when Harris died in October 2002 from Hodgkins Disease, there was an immediate search to recast the role. While such notables as Peter O’Toole, Christopher Lee and Ian McKellan were considered for the role, it was Michael Gambon who won the part of the Headmaster of Hogwarts and played him for the remaining six films. While some fans loved the new Dumbledore, others still preferred Richard Harris’ portrayal.

There were a few other recasts during the Harry Potter series which might have gone unnoticed. In "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone", Griphook was portrayed by actor Verne Troyer. But, when Griphook appeared in the final two films, it was actor Warwick Davis under the make-up. Davis also played Professor Flitwick in the films. Also in the Sorcerer’s Stone, it was the late actress Elizabeth Spriggs who portrayed Gryffindor’s Fat Lady portrait. But, in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" the role was played by Dawn French.

Speed 2 – Cruise Control

“Speed” starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves about a bus that had to stay above fifty miles per hour to keep it from exploding was an instant hit. But when it came time to film the sequel, “Speed 2 – Cruise Control”, Keanu Reeves bowed out. While such actors like Matthew McConaughey, Christian Slater and Jon Bon Jovi were considered for the role, it was Jason Patric who eventually co-starred in the film. The movie was ultimately trashed by fans and critics.

The Mummy – Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

"The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" were worldwide blockbusters starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah. But, when Weisz decided not to return for the third installment, it was Maria Bello who stepped into the role as Evelyn. While some fans accepted the change, others didn’t think Bello captured the essence of the character the way Weisz did.

Home Alone 3

"Home Alone" and its sequel, “Home Alone 2 – Lost In New York” were monster hits featuring child star Macaulay Culkin. But, five years later, Culkin had lost interest in reprising the role and the new character of Alex Pruitt (played by Alex Linz) was created for “Home Alone 3”.


"Silence of the Lambs" was a critical and box office success, winning acting and best pictures awards at the Oscars. Anthony Hopkins was more than willing to once again play the role of the title character in 2001’s “Hannibal” but Jodie Foster was reluctant to reprise the character of Clarice Starling. After a number of Hollywood actresses expressed interest, it was Julianne Moore who garnered the coveted role.

Back To The Future – Part II

Some fans of “Back to the Future” starring Michael J. Fox might have noticed that it was Crispin Glover who originated the part of George McFly, Marty’s father. But when negotiations broke down for the sequel, it was actor Jeffrey Weissman who stepped in to the role for the second film. Another replacement between the first and second films was that of Jennifer, Marty’s girlfriend. In the first film, actress Claudia Wells played the role. But, in the sequel, it was Elisabeth Shue.

Super Hero Movies

The popularity of the Marvel movie universe doesn’t mean that a character is safe from being recast. In 2008’s "Iron Man", Terrence Howard played the part of Tony Stark’s friend, Rhodey. Howard was actually paid more than the film’s star, Robert Downey Jr. But, in subsequent sequels, it’s been actor Don Cheadle who’s played the role of Rhodey aka War Machine.

Also in the Marvel Universe, actor Zachary Levi was tapped to play Thor’s friend, Fandral, in 2011’s "Thor". But, when he had to bow out due to other commitments, it was Josh Dallas who took on the role. Unfortunately, Dallas wasn’t available to film the sequel, "Thor - The Dark World", but Levi was, playing Fandral in this and in "Thor – Ragnarok".

Of course, everyone knows that Edward Norton played Bruce Banner in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk”. But after Norton and the studio parted ways, it was Mark Ruffalo who took over the role just in time to play Banner in The Avengers.

Actress Katie Holmes originally played the role of Rachel Dawes in "Batman Begins". The cast returned for the second installment, "The Dark Knight", except for Holmes, who opted out and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Speaking of Batman, it’s well known that Michael Keaton played the Caped Crusader in the first two installments 1989’s "Batman" and in the sequel "Batman Returns". But when director Tim Burton decided not to work on the third film, Keaton left the project as well, leaving Val Kilmer to step into the role of the superhero in "Batman Forever". Ultimately, Kilmer decided not to return for 1997’s "Batman & Robin" and actor George Clooney was chosen to star in the title role.

The Twilight Saga

Rachelle LeFevre first portrayed Bella’s nemesis, Victoria, in 2009’s "New Moon". But, when she had a conflict with filming schedules, the studio had no choice but to replace her. That’s when Bryce Dallas Howard accepted the role as Victoria for "Eclipse".

Star Trek III – The Search For Spock

Kirstie Alley originated the role of the popular character of Saavik “Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan”. Alley was all set to reprise the role, but when negotiations fell through, the studio recast the role of Saavik and it was actress Robin Curtis who ended up playing her in “Star Trek III – The Search for Spock”.

The Bond Films

Sean Connery started out playing the super spy in 1962’s "Dr. No". But after five films, turned in his license to kill when it came time to make 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The part of 007 fell to George Lazenby for this one. Although the film made money at the box office, it wasn’t well received by fans and Lazenby, who had a multi picture deal to play Bond, was ousted and Connery was brought back. After filming 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever”, Connery once again left and Roger Moore was hired for the next installment, “Live and Let Die”. Seven films as Bond was enough for Moore and Timothy Dalton stepped into the role for 1987’s "The Living Daylights". Dalton played Bond in two movies but left before 1995’s "GoldenEye" which starred Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan went on to play Bond in four films, but when producers decided to take the franchise in a different direction for 2006’s Casino Royale, Brosnan was out and Daniel Craig landed the role as 007.

So what do you think? Were some of these recasting decisions movie mistakes? Were some a good decision? Let us know in the Movie Mistakes Forum!

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