Cal picks some casting blunders from the cinematic archives and offers his own solutions to these performance nightmares.
Disagree with any of my choices or suggestions? Please strike back below.
13. Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates in Psycho (1998)
Vaughn is a comedic actor, pure and simple. I don’t know how anyone could have looked at his 90s performances and deemed him suitable to play this iconic role. It’s a very superficial performance and you just don’t believe him in the way that you believed Anthony Perkins.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: I think Jeffrey Combs could’ve done a decent job. Nobody could’ve replaced Perkins, but Combs would have been more believable than Vaughn.
12. Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great in Alexander (2004)
Farrell is a good, even great actor, but he’s all wrong as Alexander the Great. It doesn’t help that the movie itself is poor, but Farrell is just a terrible anchor.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Heath Ledger, who was actually considered for the role early in pre-production. Interestingly, at the time when the movie was being prepped, Mel Gibson was slated to direct and produce a miniseries about Alexander the Great… If only we lived in a world where Lord Mel helmed an Alexander the Great movie starring Heath Ledger. Whoa.
11. Halle Berry as Catwoman in Catwoman (2004)
Nobody will ever accuse Berry of being unattractive. She’s very aesthetically-pleasing, and she’s a pretty good actress to boot… But heavens me, she was awful as Catwoman. Berry even knew that her performance stank, because she attended the Razzies and picked up her statuette. Yeah.
Who Should’ve Played Her?: I think Tilda Swinton would’ve been an ace choice. In 2003, she would have been an ideal age for the role, and she possesses the acting elegance and good looks to be believable in the role. An intense training regiment, and Swinton would have owned the character.
10. Terrence Howard as Jim Rhoes in Iron Man (2008)
When Iron Man first came out, I was one of the few people who found Howard completely flat in the role of Rhodey. Looking back, I was right, because he got fired after this movie anyway. With Don Cheadle absolutely killing it in the second and third movies, it’s almost difficult to watch this first entry and suffer through Howard’s boring performance. I don’t know why he was cast.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Well, Don Cheadle, who did wind up playing him. Justice was served in the long run.
9. Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern in Green Lantern (2011)
This movie is a complete catastrophe from top to bottom. I hate it. And Reynolds is pretty damn terrible in the lead role here. In theory he’s a pretty good choice, but it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Nathan Fillion, the fan favourite who has voiced the Green Lantern character – and absolutely killed it – in several DC animated movies. Fillion is getting on in years, but a few months at the gym and a bit of make-up, and he would’ve been awesome to see here. Big shame it didn’t happen.
8. Sung Kang as Taylor Kwan in Bullet to the Head (2012)
I love Bullet to the Head. It’s a great action movie and Sylvester Stallone kills it in the leading role, embracing his anti-hero side with a nudge from the incredible director Walter Hill. But Sung Kang as Sly’s co-star… that’s a big problem. He has zero presence and he’s incredibly forgettable alongside Sly’s badass performance. Kang was cast because Joel Silver insisted on an interracial performer for more box office dollars. The irony, of course, is that the movie bombed anyway.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Fucking Thomas Jane, the original choice. Jane was the one who got Hill to join the project, but Silver sacked his ass in favour of Sung Kang, a decision that really hurt the movie. It could’ve been a 10/10 action classic, but instead it’s a badass 7/10 movie that could’ve been more. It’s really frustrating.
7. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane in Superman Returns (2006)
Bosworth was like twenty-two when this movie was shot. Lois Lane should not be freaking twenty-two, especially since this is meant to be set a short time after the Christopher Reeve movies with Margot Kidder, who looked far more mature. I don’t think anybody can defend the choice of Bosworth as Lois. She’s pretty, yeah, but that’s about it.
Who Should’ve Played Her?: I actually think that Amy Adams would have been a great choice at this point in time. She proved to be a fantastic Lois in Man of Steel, but she would’ve been an ideal age when Superman Returns was being prepped.
6. Denise Richards as Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough (1999)
LOL, Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist? Yeah, that makes about as much sense as a nun at a rock concert. Richards has big tits and a face you could fap over, but that’s about it. Bond girls need to be much more than that. She was nominated for a Razzie, for crying out loud.
Who Should’ve Played Her?: I actually think that Julianne Moore would’ve been a good pick. She was very good-looking in The Lost World and looked believable as someone smart. I’d buy her as a nuclear physicist.
5. Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Yeah, everyone hates Reeves in this movie. His awful, false British accent is just horrid, and the movie is held back from brilliance because of his dismal work. Even Francis Ford Coppola regrets putting Reeves in the role. I mean, at this time, Reeves was best known for the Bill & Ted movies. That showed he had what it takes to play this character? Far out.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Johnny Depp. Depp turned down the role, which is a shame. I think it would’ve been amazing to see him as Jonathan Harker. Coppola cast Reeves because he’d appeal to the female demographic; Depp would’ve done that! I mean, yes, he’s American, but his Brit accent couldn’t have been much worse than Reeves’.
4. George Clooney as Batman in Batman & Robin (1997)
Yeah, so everybody knows that Clooney was an awful Batman. Even Clooney knows it. He was literally chosen for the role because Joel Schumacher saw a poster for a Clooney movie and drew the Batman cowl over his face, and thought it was a good fit. I mean, really? A culturally significant role like Batman should necessitate extensive screen tests and auditions to see if they’re up to scratch.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Literally fucking anyone else. Val Kilmer could’ve done it better. I would have loved to have seen Michael Keaton back in the role. But maybe Daniel Day-Lewis, who was in the running for the role back in the 90s. He would’ve done a better job.
3. Kevin Costner as Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
First of all, I LOVE Kevin Costner. He’s an ace actor and he deserves to be in more movies. But really, he was a bad choice to play Robin Hood. Yeah, Costner was in shape and looked believable enough in the costume, but his American accent is a distraction. They needed to cast an actual Brit in the role.
Who Should’ve Played Him?: Someone like Colin Firth or Kenneth Branagh could have pulled it off, but I think Liam Neeson would’ve been the best choice. He was pushing forty when this movie was being prepped, and he’s only a few years older than Costner, so he could’ve done it. Neeson showed off his sublime acting chops – and skills as a man of action – in Sam Raimi’s Darkman in 1990. Yeah, he’s Irish, but a slight British twang to his natural accent was all it would’ve taken. He’d have been a much better choice than Costner.
2. Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
This will wind up being an unpopular opinion because it’s the “in” thing to suck Chris Nolan’s cock, but Hardy was a fucking awful choice to be Bane, and I don’t care what anyone says. In the comics, Bane was the physical pinnacle of Batman’s opponents; a huge, buff dude who could overpower Batman in a fight. Seeing a short, flabby English midget fighting the muscular Christian Bale and seeing said midget winning… it’s not believable at all. Just look at the scene with Hardy’s shirt off… he just looks pudgy, especially by Hollywood standards. Fuck, there are henchmen in the other Batman movies in better shape than Hardy is here. That’s a problem!
And Hardy sounds like a gay Sean Connery. WTF is up with his voice, seriously?
Who Should’ve Played Him? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, hands down. I know, people are going to flame this choice because he’s a wrestler with not much acting ability, but Johnson is actually a decent actor, and isn’t Nolan known for making odd casting choices and making them work? Besides, Johnson could have been dubbed if Nolan really wanted, cause he wears a fucking mask. If I saw The Rock versing Christian Bale, it’d be a case of abandon all ye who enter here – The Rock’s amazingly buff physique would make the battle look impossible, which is the fucking point of Bane. TDKR had many problems, but a proper Bane would have made the finished product more interesting than it is.
1. Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Christensen truly stank as Anakin. He really, truly, genuinely fucking sucked, with a wooden performance that absolutely torpedoed the latter two Star Wars prequels. Yeah, the prequels would have been pretty terrible regardless, but a really good Anakin might have redeemed them to some extent.
Who Should’ve Played Him? Honestly, I think Leonardo DiCaprio would have owned the part. He can be a pretty intense actor, he’s charming, he’d bring gravitas to the part, and he has action chops. DiCaprio played a teenager in Catch Me If You Can in 2002 after all, so he would’ve been believable as young Anakin. Also working in DiCaprio’s favour is that he can sell romantic dialogue, as evidenced in Titanic. I’m trying to imagine an alternate universe where Leo played Anakin Skywalker, and I’m liking it tremendously.