Last time I did a post like this, I talked about famous television roles that were almost played by another actor (Matthew Broderick as Walter White on "Breaking Bad," for example). This time, let's look at which beloved movie roles were almost played by someone else.
#1 Charlize Theron as Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde"
You probably know Charlize Theron from films like "Prometheus," "Monster" and "Snow White & the Huntsman." In truth, I know her best from her role in "Might Joe Young" — but she was almost the adorably perky, Harvard Law student Elle Woods. Theron was offered the part but turned down the role, giving Reese Witherspoon what's arguably the most memorable role of her career. (Interestingly, there is a rumor Theron also later turned down a lead in "Sweet Home Alabama," which also went to Witherspoon, so props to Theron for single-handedly providing Witherspoon with a career.)
#2 O.J. Simpson as The Terminator
When it came time to cast an actor to play the lead in "The Terminator," the studio suggested O.J. Simpson. Then, Simpson was known only for his prowess on the football field. But as it turns out, James Cameron did not feel that Simpson would be believable as a killer. So... that's awkward.
#3 Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones
As the lead actor in "Magnum, P.I.," Tom Selleck was one of the most recognizable actors of the 1980s. It's hardly a wonder that the mustachioed actor was considered for the part of iconic Indiana Jones. But apparently the producers of "Magnum, P.I." were unwilling to let Selleck star in the film; Harrison Ford starred instead.
#4 Will Smith as Django Freeman
Quentin Tarantino, who wrote and directed the film, actually considered both Michael K. Williams and Will Smith for the role of Django in the 2012 film. But Will Smith's decision to say no to the film turned heads. At first, people thought it was because Smith was uncomfortable with the films violence — however, Smith later revealed he didn't take the part because the character wasn't the film's lead role. Will Smith did, however, say yes to the cinematic masterpiece "After Earth."
#5 Britney Spears as Allie Hamilton in "The Notebook"
If you've never seen Britney Spears in "Crossroads," then... well, you probably have good taste in movies. I do not. I've seen "Crossroads" a bunch of times, in fact, and I can tell you, for certain, that Britney Spears would not have been great in the role of Allie Hamilton in "The Notebook." That's because I've also seen "The Notebook" a bunch of times and I know for a fact that there is no one else suitable for Noah/Allie than Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams, former real-life couple. #ItStillIsntOver
#6 Bill Murray as Batman
Bill Murray has been in some pretty iconic films, including "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day." But in another universe, he could've added "Batman" to that list. Before Michael Keaton was tapped to play Bruce Wayne in the 1989 "Batman" films directed by Tim Burton, Bill Murray was up for the part. Tim Burton was actually pressured to consider a slew of then-A-list actors for the role, including Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Charlie Sheen, Pierce Brosnan, and Tom Selleck.
#7 Sarah Michelle Gellar as Cher Horowitz in "Clueless"
"Clueless" helped make Silverstone an actual, legit actress, and you'd be hard-pressed to think of another Alicia Silverstone film — that is because, as far as I am concerned, she actually is Cher Horowitz. So it's weird to imagine Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the role, especially when it was actually Alicia Silverstone's genuine mispronunciation of the word "Haitians" as "Hay-tee-ins" that made it into the film.
#8 Tom Cruise as Iron Man
Tom Cruise as Tony Stark? Almost, maybe. While "Iron Man" was still in the very early stages of development, Cruise expressed interest not only in starring as Iron Man, but in producing the Marvel film. Nicolas Cage also expressed interest. Neither actor was pursued seriously, as the film still had more than a decade to go before it started to resemble the "Iron Man" films we know today.
#9 David Schwimmer as Agent J in "Men In Black"
Of all the casting choices on this list so far, this is the one I have the hardest time wrapping my head around. I joke that no one else could play Allie Hamilton except for Rachel McAdams, but I know full well that's a lie. That is not the case here. I'm sorry, but in NO universe could whiny, greasy-haired Ross Gellar play Agent J in "Men in Black." Before you say anything, I understand Ross Gellar and David Schwimmer are two different people — but are they, really? The weirdest part to me? David Schwimmer WAS OFFERED the role and TURNED IT DOWN. However, these days I am sure he is very busy with his roles in "Madagascar."
#10 Molly Ringwald as Vivian Ward in "Pretty Woman"
When "Pretty Woman" was in development, Molly Ringwald was still considered America's Sweetheart. She was fresh off of her successes in films like "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club"; however, Ringwald expressed hesitation with playing a prostitute and ultimately turned the role down. Several other actresses said no to the part as well, leaving it up to Julia Roberts who, at the time, was relatively unknown except for her part in "Steel Magnolias."