10 Actors Who Almost Starred In 2017's Biggest Movies

Opportunities missed and bullets dodged... that's Hollywood!

Tilda Swinton It
BBC Films/Warner Bros. Pictures

Given the time it takes to make a feature film, it isn't surprising that things change dramatically across the span of the production process. A movie can look one way in the beginning, only for it to end up as a completely different beast by the time it actually ships into theatres.

One reason for this comes down to casting, of course, as famous actors sign to play certain parts, only to exit and wind up being replaced for an incalculable number of reasons - scheduling conflicts, creative differences... you name it, it happens.

Sometimes actors um and ah over certain roles, too, generating huge levels of excitement from fans when their names are linked to the film in question, only for said actor to turn down the part unexpectedly and go elsewhere, transforming the movie in the process as it's shaped around the next viable actor on the list.

2017's biggest and most notable movies are no different, most of which started their journeys into the theatre with other actors either being considered or outright vying for the most important roles.

How would the cinematic year have shaped up had they agreed or been cast instead, then?

10. Javier Bardem - The Dark Tower

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Focus Features

The Dark Tower emerged as a big disappointment this year, though it did manage to rake in almost double its budget despite letting down the fans of Stephen King's book series. The adaptation starred Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as gunslinger Roland Deschain and Randall Flagg, respectively, and whilst fans deemed McConaughey as inspired casting, Elba was seen as a rather random pick.

In the end the film was so darn middle of the road that it didn't really matter who was cast, though. Still, there was - at one time - a version of The Dark Tower that would have seen Javier Bardem, announced as being "psychologically committed" to the project back in 2011, facing off against the Man in Black.

In the end, Bardem bailed when the production of the film stalled. Just before directorial duties shifted to Nikolaj Arcel, there was a brief window where Russell Crowe was rumoured to replace him, but nothing firm was ever reported.

Would It Have Been Any Good?

Bardem would have arguably have made a far better Roland than Elba as he better resembles the character of the source material. Still, given the state of the final film, it probably wouldn't have made any difference - a turkey is a turkey.

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Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.