Actor Ben Affleck no doubt disappointed many fans when he confirmed his decision from last year not to return to the role of Batman, whom he played in three movies. Robert Pattinson will now star in the titular role in “The Batman.” Affleck told The New York Times that his struggles with alcohol were largely to blame for the decision.
The actor is not the first to walk away from a major role. In fact, many A-listers turn down roles in what eventually become blockbuster films, missing massive opportunities and in turn altering the course of pop culture forever by causing the roles to go those stars we associate them with today.
The idea of someone other than Tom Hanks playing Forrest Gump or someone other than Matthew Broderick playing Ferris Bueller seems preposterous. These characters are iconic, and filmgoers’ perceptions of them are inseparable from the actors who play them.
Yet these roles — along with many others — are among those that came surprisingly close to being played by others. In each case, the part was offered to a different actor before it was offered to the one who ultimately played it, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars, potential Academy Awards, and critical praise for the performer who was originally considered.
24/7 Tempo has identified 30 actors who turned down roles in movies that would go on to become box office blockbusters — including some of the top grossing movies of all time.
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