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One of the great pastimes of any bored movie nerd is in speculating on how a movie might’ve turned out if somebody else had been cast in a role of a now iconic character. Would it have been better? More successful? Would it have flopped instantly? How might everything have changed with the casting of a completely different lead actor?

In some cases, as with Indiana Jones (originally the character was set to be played by Tom Selleck, who dropped out and was replaced by Harrison Ford), we’d probably all agree that the right decision was made in the end, though we can certainly understand where the producers were coming from with their first choice. Same goes for Sean Connery’s near casting as Gandalf the Grey in Lord of the Rings, or Liam Neeson as James Bond.

And yet there are some cases of near casting that we can’t take seriously. Cases where we truly fail to understand what the producers or directors associated with the given movies were thinking. Like, at all. Take a look at the 10 actors we’ve assembled here, all of whom we were absolutely bewildered to discover came close to taking on some of cinema’s most iconic movie roles…

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This article was first posted on April 2, 2013