When you look back on Peter Jackson's unforgettable The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you can't help but see some truly magnificent casting choices. I can't picture a better Samwise Gamgee than Sean Astin, and Hugo Weaving's stern scowl made for an impeccable Elrond, but some casting decisions were almost slightly different...
Orlando Bloom - Faramir
That's right, just before Bloom finished drama school, he decided to try out for the Gondorian ranger. Luckily, those in charge of casting saw that he would make one remarkable elf!
Sean Connery - Gandalf
The name's Grey, Gandalf the Grey. Connery was actually offered the role for the wandering wizard, but he turned it down because he "didn't understand the story."
Patrick Stewart - Gandalf
If not Magneto, why not Professor X? Stewart was actually, like Connery, offered the role, but he turned it down because he "didn't like the script". Thank goodness though, it's hard to imagine Patrick Stewart with long hair and a long beard.
Dominic Monaghan - Frodo
After auditioning for the head hobbit, Dominic ended up settling up for Merry. I can't help but wonder though, if someone else was Merry, would they still have that kind of bond with Pippin? And would Sean Astin have connected with him the way he did with Elijah Wood? I'm a major fan of Monaghan's, but I think that him as Merry was the right call.
Jake Gyllenhaal - Frodo
Okay, he only auditioned for the lead Hobbit, but how strange would that have been?
Uma Therman - Arwen
Pregnancy halted her progress for the character after she read for the role, but I'm pretty sure Liv Tyler was one of the best decisions for the daughter of Elrond.
Liam Neeson - Boromir
Not a lot of detail was given about why, but he was offered the role and ended up turning it down. Perhaps it was for the best. I have a hard time picturing him saying "one does not simply walk into Mordor".
Russell Crowe - Aragorn
Crowe was actually one of Peter Jackson's first choices for Strider. Crowe was actually born in New Zealand, where the movie was filmed, and he was really excited about working on the project, but scheduling conflicts stepped in the way of him commiting to the role. I actually think he could have done justice to the ranger from the north.
Vin Diesel - Aragorn
He only auditioned, but I can't imagine what it would be like with him speaking Elvish to Arwen, Elrond, and Legolas.
Daniel Day Lewis - Aragorn
You almost have to feel bad for Viggo Mortensen after you see how many people almost got it before he got a shot at it, but Daniel Day Lewis does have that Strider look to him.
Nicolas Cage - Aragorn
Yes, he was offered the role, (he turned it down due to family obligations) but no. Just no.