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15 Of The Most Controversial Casting Decisions In Film

Career, Lifestyle
15 Of The Most Controversial Casting Decisions In Film

Casting roles in film can be a hard task. It typically takes a whole separate team to choose the person for the perfect part. Casting choices, for the most part, aren’t just picked off the street, and the actors auditioning for the roles generally undergo several auditions before they get the part.

Even with all of the procedures taken to choose someone for a role, people still complain when their favourite character is played by so and so. The fans’ complaints mainly stem from two things: the actor doesn’t match what they had pictured in their head, or the fan knows of another actor who would’ve made a better choice. While these are fair complaints to have most of the time, some of the time, the actors chosen work out for the better.

Rarely is there a role that is doomed from the start, but some casting choices make you wonder if they even had a casting team for the film. These decisions usually leave a bad taste in people’s mouth, and generally the film flunks at the box office. Most times, these films deserve the flunking. If they can’t get the main actor right, generally the rest of the film falls apart.

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15. Heath Ledger (Joker)

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The Joker is a tricky position to fill. So far there’s only been a few great Joker adaptations on the big screen, Heath Ledger being one of them. However, when it was announced that Heath would be playing the Joker, fans were outraged. Heath Ledger didn’t have the best track record with comic book films since he never made one. He was a heart throb, and starred mostly in chick flicks.

A weird casting choice on Christopher Nolan’s part, but he obviously saw something in Heath that fans didn’t. To this day, Heath Ledger’s adaptation of the Joker character is held as the greatest performance of the character on the big screen. Heath Ledger won an Oscar for the performance, which is unheard of for comic book films.

14. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)

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Casting Wonder Woman would’ve been a hard task for anyone. How do you get someone who resembles an Amazon warrior? When it was announced that Gal Gadot would be playing Wonder Woman, fans were less than pleased. She first showed up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and after her appearance, fans were split fifty-fifty.

It wasn’t until she starred in her own standalone film that fans realized how perfect she was for the role. She had the cluelessness and humor of a woman who was raised on an island full of women down to a tee. She embraced the role, and made it her own. It’d be hard to picture another actor playing Wonder Woman now that Gal Gadot has stole everyone’s nerdy hearts.

13. Daniel Craig (James Bond)

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A role as great as James Bond is like trying to find someone to play the next Batman (don’t worry, we’ll get there). There have been many James Bonds over the years, some great, and others lacking. When Daniel Craig was announced to play the modernized James Bond, fans were upset. If you really think about it, there would likely be no actor that was announced that James Bond fans would’ve been happy with. That’s how important the character is to some people.

When Casino Royale hit theaters, Daniel Craig impressed audiences around the world. Fans rejoiced as they realized that they get to stay with this James Bond for several films into the future. Daniel Craig did such a good job as Bond, he starred in 3 other films after Casino Royale as everyone’s favorite secret service agent.

12. Johnny Depp (Willy Wonka)

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Johnny Depp has taken on weird roles in the past. It’s what he does. However, when he took on the role as Willy Wonka in the remake of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory fans were confused to say the least. His appearance more than anything threw fans off, as he was portrayed as a discount actor in A Clockwork Orange.

Unlike most actors on this list, Johnny Depp gave a so-so performance that just came off as creepy more than anything. The role of Willy Wonka had to be charming, and Depp’s adaptation was anything but. Gene Wilder’s performance in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory captured the character so well that anyone who stepped up to the plate was sure not to live up to his adaptation.

11. Ben Affleck (Batman)

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Batman fans are ruthless when it comes to casting choices. This was very evident when the newest Batman was casted in the form of superstar Ben Affleck. Many people cringed at the sight of Ben Affleck and Batman in the same sentence. Affleck’s approach to the character took on an older, bulkier Batman. This change kept Affleck afloat in he first appeared in Batman v Superman.

Many people still don’t like the casting choice, and apparently Affleck doesn’t either. In recent statements Affleck explained his tiredness of the character, and how he’ll be abandoning the character after the next few films take place. This outraged fans, and especially the fans who never wanted him as the caped crusader in the first place. Ben should’ve probably just stuck to his “dram-coms”.

10. Nat Wolff (Light in Death Note)

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The role of Light Yagami in the Netflix adaptation of the popular anime “Death Note” was important to fans that they got it right. Upon the release of the trailer, fans cringed as the white washing of the film. Not to mention Nat Wolff looked lost in most of the trailers. Fans were not hopeful.

Upon the release of the Netflix original, it was clear the casting wasn’t the only issue. The movie might as well have fallen apart when they casted Nat Wolff, because it changed the tone of the film. Instead of taking place in Japan, it now took place in America. While this enraged some fans, it left others hopeful for a breath of fresh air in the series. Apparently, it wasn’t enough because the film fell flat. It didn’t pull enough from the source material, and made a mockery of the characters and compelling story.

9. All Woman Cast (Ghostbusters)

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Changing the genders of one character is a risky move, but to do it to the whole cast is even riskier. When the Ghostbusters remake was announced, fans were enraged. Sexism hit the forums and social media as nerds who grew up with the original Ghostbusters took to their keyboards. This sparked controversy as to whether the film would be good at all.

It turns out the casting of this film couldn’t save the horrible writing. The actors did the best they could with the material they were given. Several corny lines and jokes that just didn’t fit in the Ghostbusters universe made this adaptation cringey more than anything. People of course went straight to blaming the actors, and casting choices, and failed to realize the other aspects that make up a film. What a mess!

8. Michael Keaton (Batman)

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Again… Batman fans. The ’80s were more of an accepting time for casting roles however. Michael Keaton was a strange choice for the Batman, mainly because Keaton was mainly a TV actor before then. The casting was strange, and fans were left worried.

When the film released, Keaton showed how great a Batman he made, and showed what an even better Bruce Wayne he made. A Batman role is more than just taking on Batman, it’s also capturing the essence of Bruce Wayne, the man behind the mask. Keaton’s snobby comedy rolled out to make for a great rich pompous man that perfectly encapsulated Wayne. This role stuck with Keaton, and showed how well he did in comic book films. He now piggy backs off the great performance of Batman, and plays villains, most recently playing the main villain in the newest Spider-Man film, where you can tell he’s borrowed techniques from when he played the Bat.

7. Anne Hathaway (Catwoman)

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Catwoman never got the correct treatment she deserved on the big screen, and Anne Hathaway failed at changing that. Fans were confused when they saw Anne Hathaway pick up the whip, and put on the mask. Hathaway has always been more of girly girl, and that shows here more than ever. While Catwoman isn’t a tom boy by any means, she certainly isn’t what Hathaway portrayed.

Her adaptation of Catwoman came off as too girly, but the biggest failure was the importance she had in the film. It seemed like Christopher Nolan wanted to fit as many Batman characters into the film as possible, before his trilogy ended. She had minimal screen time, and when she did her acting fell flat. She made for a forgettable Catwoman, and that goes to show just how hard Catwoman is to portray.

6. Topher Grace (Venom)

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Venom is one of Spider-Man’s best enemies. A villain completely driven by his hate for Spider-Man, it was strange to see Topher Grace take on the role. Venom was always portrayed as a giant man, with huge muscles, and standing very tall. Obviously this would be difficult to portray on the big screen, but no one thought of Topher Grace when they thought of Venom.

Much like with Catwoman, Venom’s appearance felt shoe horned in at the last second, to add another villain to the checklist. Topher Grace did nothing to give the character life, and it added to the feeling of Venom being a second thought in the film. At times he seemed bored with the character, and other times, he seemed to be overacting. Trying to portray the character Venom can be a feat in and of itself, so maybe he’s better left to the comics.

5. Idris Elba (Heimdall)

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This entry angered a lot of comic book nerds. The fact that they’d cast Idris Elba as a God is historically incorrect, most people thought at the time. This entry stems from a lot of racial issues, and many people just saw the color of Idris’ skin, instead of his acting ability. It divided the comic book scene, and many people were also on Elba’s side. Despite the promising acting he’d shown in the past, it wasn’t enough to convince fans of the Thor comics that they should look past their bigotry.

It turned out Idris makes for a great God figure, and the controversy blew over upon the film’s release. It goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover, or the color of its cover.

4. Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)

via: independent.co.uk

Robert Downey Jr. was to portray a younger more witty Sherlock Holmes, and fans were more than confused by the casting choice, most notably because he is an American actor and not British. Anybody but Robert Downey Jr. could carry the role, people thought. Many people were scared of the film’s release, however the film came out and people were shocked.

Robert Downey Jr. paired with Jude Law made for a great re-imagining of the Sherlock Holmes franchise. It did so well that the film got a sequel a few years later, and it’s respected by many to be an accurate portrayal of the books. This role also shows how talented Robert Downey Jr. is when tasked with a risky role such as this.

3. Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch)

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Another race issue. Man, comic book fans are ruthless. Who knew? The Human Torch has always been white in the comic books. When it was announced that Michael B. Jordan would be playing the Human Torch, fans were furious.

No matter that fury, it couldn’t save something that was so bad, it didn’t deserve the controversy in the first place. Fantastic Four goes down as one of the worst superhero movies in history. Michael B. Jordan, or anyone else for that matter, couldn’t save this disaster of a project. The story, filming, editing, everything with this film was wrong. You can’t make a good film without hitting all of these marks. If you take a look at most people’s reviews and reactions, they’ll say Michael B. Jordan was in fact the best part of this train wreck.

2. Justin Chatwin (Goku)

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Yikes. A Dragonball movie on paper doesn’t even sound like a good idea, but Hollywood gave it the green light, and here we are. Another white washing situation, similar to Death Note, we got Justin Chitin playing everyone’s favorite Saiyan Goku. If you just take a look at Chatwin’s face, you can already tell that he is completely wrong to play Goku. The first issue with Chatwin’s performance and the writing was that they took Goku way too seriously, when in the source material, he was a goof.

Unsurprisingly when it came out, it bombed. The movie had no character, and the writing fell flat. No actor could’ve saved this film, but at least other actors would’ve tried.

1. Toby Maguire (Spider-Man)

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Toby Maguire as Spider-Man seemed like a weird choice, just based off of Toby Maguire’s age at the time. For this to be the first real adaptation of the web slinger on the big screen, you’d think they’d go after someone who looks a bit younger to play a high school student. Besides completely deviating from the source material, Toby Maguire seemed like a promising fit. That is once you got pas the fact that a 30-year-old man was in high school.

Toby brought a certain charm to the character of Peter Parker, one that hasn’t been seen since. Maybe for the better. However, Maguire worked for audiences, and he starred in two more films as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And with each iteration, he looked less and less like he was the young adult he was supposed to play.

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