20 Actors Who Turned Down Major Movie Roles

A mix of opportunities missed and lucky escapes.


It's quite tough to picture anyone else in a role once a you've seen a film, but that doesn't mean that the person you're watching was the first choice for the character. Sometimes, great performances come about because other actors aren't willing to do them. Some don't understand the scripts, some are too busy, and some don't want to be typecast.

Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek, Oscar winning dramas, classic comedies and much more, no franchise, series or genre is left untouched by the brief possibility that the actor we love wasn't considered for the role right away. Still, some of the following actors would have been fun to watch and well-suited to the film. Others, not so much.

Be them roles everyone knows and universally loves, or actors who wouldn't come to mind when considering the character in question, the following list will have a look at 20 actors who turned down some pretty major roles... and some pretty hefty paychecks. If you've got a strong imagination, then some of these could-have-been's might traumatise you, so be warned.

Also, some minor spoilers follow.

In this post: 
Tom Hanks
Posted On: 

WhatCulture contributor, aspiring author and lover of all things Buffy, zombie, TV and movie. Usually found re-watching the same films and TV shows on repeat.