ByTrevor Norkey, writer at
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

Eddie Redmayne is without a doubt the star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with a couple of other A-list actors like Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman and Ezra Miller sprinkled in as well. While this star-studded cast seems practically perfect, the film almost included one other A-lister: Michael Cera.

The 28 year-old actor is known for his gentle and awkward acting style, which, depending on the film, can be comedy gold. He's had his fair share of film experience, having starred in dramas like Juno, comedies like Superbad, and action movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

J.K. Rowling, David Yates and company tried to get Michael Cera to join the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. But what role was he offered?

Michael Cera Was Almost Jacob Kowalski

Image: Dimension Films, Warner Bros. Pictures
Image: Dimension Films, Warner Bros. Pictures

Yes, the hilarious no-maj / muggle who joins Newt Scamander on his journey was almost played by Michael Cera. One could imagine that Cera's version of the character would have been drastically different from Dan Fogler's.

I can imagine how Cera could have pulled off the role, considering that Kowalski is thrown into a situation completely different from his normal life. A lot of Cera's characters have come up against similar circumstances, and he would have most likely added a bit more comedy to the film. Perhaps his awkward character archetype could have gone hand in hand with Newt's.

The reason why Michael Cera turned down the film, however, was not because he didn't want to do the movie, but because shooting interfered with the LEGO Batman movie, which he wanted to do more.

Cera co-stars in the film as Robin. While Fantastic Beasts would have most likely been a more exciting role of Cera to star in, the voice role of Robin probably paid the same amount of money. From a financial perspective, it would have made a lot more sense for Cera to choose a few weeks of voice acting over several months of being on a tediously long film shoot which pays the same amount.

Josh Gad in 'Pixels' (Image: Columbia Pictures)
Josh Gad in 'Pixels' (Image: Columbia Pictures)

Michael Cera and Dan Fogler were not the only options for Kowalski. Josh Gad, best known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, was also considered for the role. Gad has been showing up increasingly more and more in live action movies lately, such as in Pixels and Beauty and the Beast.

While I'm not sure how well Gad would have fared against Fogler, who I personally believe nailed the role, I'm sure Gad, like Cera, could have added his own twist to the character as well. Honestly, I would be curious to see a cut giving both Michael Cera and Josh Gad a shot at the part.

Image: Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures
Image: Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures

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While Dan Fogler's performance was as brilliant and charming as the rest of the film, I'm sure Cera could have done a fantastic job as well. The addition of Michael Cera could have completely changed the mood of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But the question is, would Cera have improved the film, or is it perfect the way it is?

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!


Would casting Michael Cera as Kowalski have improved 'Fantastic Beasts?'


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