5 Book To Movie Adaptations And Their Close Casting Calls

 

We all know, or I hope we know, that normally the first choice for a role is not the choice that gets used in movies. Between scheduling conflicts, or “creative differences” actors and actresses quit and move on. This is often a very good thing, such as Jack Nicholson not getting the role of the dad in A Christmas Story, or Kellan Lutz not getting the role of Edward in Twilight. These things happen for a reason. So here are the top 5 book to movie adaptations that had close casting calls.

The Matrix

This was the movie phenomenon of 1999. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, or who don’t immediately associate it with Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne. But surprisingly, this iconic, gravity defying film was almost less iconic. Both Will Smith and Nicolas Cage (thank goodness) turned the role of Neo down.

Will Smith turned it down to make Wild Wild West, which yes is a great movie, but definitely does not compare to the first Matrix film.

Nicolas Cage had also turned it down because of “family obligations”. I don’t care what those obligations were I’m just happy they existed. I don’t think I could have sat through the whole movie with him making that one facial expression.

Thankfully, Keanu took the role and made it his bitch. But wait! Morpheus was almost not a strong black man?

That’s right, the role of Morpheus almost went to Sean Connery. Yeah, I said Sean Connery. We could have a white Scottish man who slurred his words too much. I think he made the right choice to turn the role down. And the producers made the right choice to offer the role to Lawrence Fishburne who now I am pretty sure owns that role.

The movie is loosely based on several different sci-fi novels, philosophy novels, and a graphic novel.

The Godfather

This straight up gangster crime film hit us like a train in 1972. With the amazing set of stars, impressive storyline and intense moments, it was an instant classic. However, it could have quickly become a flop without the right actors. The studio originally wanted Robert Redford or Ryan O’Neal to play Michael Corleone.  Thankfully though, Francis Ford Coppola wanted an unknown who looked like an Italian-American, whom he found in Al Pacino. Pacino was not well known at the time and the studio felt they needed someone with a “name” (and also they claimed his height was an issue).

Coppola eventually threatened to quit the project if Pacino wasn’t hired. Pacino was promptly hired and the world got to see the film.

The movie is based on the book of the same name written by Mario Puzo.

Men In Black

Definitely one of my favorite movies out there. It has everything! Aliens, high-jinx, a love interest, Vincent D’Onofrio… so I can’t imagine the roles of J and K being played by ANYONE else. Am I right?

Well this movie could have gone a completely different way. The role of K was originally offered to Clint Eastwood who turned it down. Which was a blessing in disguise because fans were awarded Tommy Lee Jones as K in the film (although he almost turned it down but because of his respect for Spielberg, stayed on.) I am sure Clint would not have gathered the same humorless hilarity that Jones related.

But even worse, J was offered to both Chris O’Donnell and David Schwimmer. Chris reportedly turned it down because he felt like the role was too similar to his roles in the Batman movies and seriously he missed the boat with this film. I am glad David turned down the role because he probably would have just gone all Ross and Rachel on the audience (ok that’s a joke, he is a fine actor… really!).

There couldn’t have been a better pair than Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and the world is better for it.

The film was based on The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham.

Batman Begins

This one needs to be said. The new Batman films have been impressive and pretty badass. Christian Bale is a great Batman (even if his voice gets a little…. Gravely sometimes). Besides sounding like a man with laryngitis, he does a great job embodying the character.

But it was almost given to an unlikely actor… Jake Gyllenhall. The masked crusader’s signature cowl was instead given to Bale because of his ability to play both personalities of his character well. It was stated that other actors who were considered tended to play the dark or light side of Bruce Wayne/Batman rather than portray both sides differently.

Whether that was the case with Jake or not is unknown, but we do know that it’s a great thing he didn’t get chosen or the second movie, The Dark Knight would have been a little more than creepy.

The film is based on the popular comic book and character Batman.

Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner

Twilight

I am going to ahead and say this: I haven’t seen this movie, or read the book but this casting close call has to be on here.

I (and I’m sure everyone in the world) associate Twilight with Kristen Stewart’s bored looks of teenager angst and Robert Pattinson’s sparkly (and sometimes borderline creepy) vampire gazes.

But the role of Bella almost went elsewhere. Specifically into the arms of Michelle Trachtenberg. Michelle is no stranger to well strange roles. She played Buffy’s sister in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She said this about her consideration for the role, “There was definitely interest here and there because there’s only so few pale girls in Hollywood,” which is true.

Why it didn’t work out? She says it had to due with scheduling conflicts and she is probably not bitter about that right? She added, “I already have Buffy,” she added. “I’ve already done the vampire thing.” … Yeah… I’m sure you’re not bitter.

So Twihards can delight in the fact that the uninterested and jaded eyes of Kristen Stewart will always be Bella starring right back with Robert Pattinson at her side.

The film series is based on the book series written by Stephanie Meyer.

Leave a Reply