Hollywood Stars That Missed Out On Major, Career-Defining Roles


Missed opportunities - we all have them, but these stars missed out on the roles that could have completely redefined their careers. Each of them will look back at their decisions to turn down these parts and wonder what on earth they were thinking. So will you when you see what they missed out on.

James Bond - Hugh Jackman


Source: Mirror

Hugh Jackman elected to churn out another Wolverine movie rather than pick up the mantle of Bond. Daniel Craig's career thanks him for that.

Gandalf - Sean Connery


Source: W

Apparently, $450 million wasn't enough money to get Sean Connery to become less confused about playing a wizard in Lord of the Rings. His loss was Ian McKellen's gain.

Walter White - Matthew Broderick


Source: wetpaint

A huge miss for Matthew Broderick's fading star was the chance to play Walter White in Breaking Bad. Brian Cranston took it on and made the role his own.

Indiana Jones - Tom Selleck


Source: Geeks

Harrison Ford's done well in his career on roles that other people turned down. Indian Jones was intended to be played by Tom Selleck. His career could certainly have used the boost.

Neo - Will Smith


Source: MoviePilot

Keanu Reeves will be glad that the superstar Will Smith walked away from the idea of playing Neo in The Matrix. Will explained later he just didn't get the script.

Patrick Bateman - Leonardo DiCaprio


Source: Screen Crush

Christian Bale grabbed the Oscar thanks to DiCaprio bowing out of this one. It took a long time before DiCaprio picked up his Oscar for The Revenant.

Michael Corleone - Jack Nicholson


Source: Business Insider

No stranger to great movies, Jack Nicholson still said no to appearing The Godfather because he thought the role should go to an Italian. It did in the form of Al Pacino.

Edward Scissorhands - Jim Carrey


Source: Pinterest

Jim Carrey had first refusal for the movie that made Johnny Depp's career, Edward Scissorhands. It goes without saying that he passed on it.

Carrie Bradshaw - Dana Delaney


Source: E!

Sex in the City and Sarah Jessica Parker are inextricably linked in everyone's minds, but the role nearly went to Dana Delaney, whose career really could have used something this big.

Ren McCormack - Tom Cruise


Source: Purple Clover

Footloose was a huge hit and while it didn't hurt Tom Cruise's career to turn it down, it sure helped Kevin Bacon's that he did.

Jerry Maguire - Tom Hanks


Source: Business Insider

Tom Cruise ended up taking Tom Hanks' leftovers when he starred in Jerry Maguire in the lead role. Nobody knows why Hanks turned the part down.

Jack Twist - Marky Mark


Source: Uproxx

Marky Mark has a track record of turning down good parts, and he said that he was creeped out by the script of Brokeback Mountain and refused to play Jack Twist.

Tiffany Maxwell - Anne Hathaway


Source: The Frisky

Jennifer Lawrence was stand-out fantastic in the role of Tiffany Maxwell, but she almost wasn't there at all as it took Anne Hathaway to say no before she got the part.

Jake Sully - Matt Damon


Source: Betty

Matt Damon may regret walking away on the part of Jake Sully in Avatar. It was the biggest movie in cinema history, after all. He also passed on Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight.

Vivian Ward - Molly Ringwald


Source: E!

Where would she be if Julia Roberts hadn't played Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman? With lasting memories of Molly Ringwald instead? Thankfully, she said no so we don't have to find out.

Piper Chapman - Katie Holmes


Source: NY Post

One of the best-known Internet TV offerings of all time, Orange is the New Black, almost had Katie Holmes in the lead role, but she said no and Taylor Schilling shot to fame instead.

Bella Swan - Emily Browning


Source: The Huffington Post

The lead role in Twilight was Emily Browning's for the taking, but her turning it down gave Kristen Stewart the opportunity to become one of the biggest names in showbusiness.

Stripper - Lindsay Lohan


Source: Business Insider

The Hangover was a surprise hit comedy, but Lindsay Lohan talked her way out of the movie. Heather Graham picked up the role of The Stripper instead.

Ferris Bueller - Johnny Depp


Source: Hollywood

Ferris Bueller's Day Off was the smash hit comedy of the 1980s, but Johnny Depp had to say no because of a scheduling clash. Matthew Broderick stepped in instead.

Randall McMurphy - James Caan


Source: DC Techno

Anyone who has seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will tell you it's Jack Nicholson's finest performance. But he only got there because James Caan said no four times to the part!

Andy Dufresne - Kevin Costner


Source: Cinemaholic

The Shawshank Redemption's screen adaptation is often thought of as one of the all-time greats. Would it have worked if Kevin Costner had taken the role of Andy Dufresne? Tim Robbins' work with Morgan Freeman was spectacular.

Han Solo - Burt Reynolds


Source: The FW

Burt Reynolds is a true A-list star, but he really missed the boat when he turned down the chance to play Han Solo in Star Wars. Relative unknown Harrison Ford was propelled to superstardom by the role.

Cher Horowitz - Sarah Michelle Gellar


Source: E!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer's star Sarah Michelle Gellar allowed Alicia Silverstone to grab the part of Cher Horowitz in Clueless! It made Alicia famous.

James Bond - Cary Grant


Source: NYDN

Cary Grant gave the role of James Bond a pass because he thought he was too old to take it on. He's in good company. Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson have turned it down too.

Forrest Gump - John Travolta


Source: Warped Factor

Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of Forrest Gump. John Travolta made the worst move of all time in Battlefield Earth. It's not hard to see who got the better deal.