It was recently revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio was offered the role of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogies by George Lucas, before turning it down. Now, this was before everyone knew how terrible the prequels really were, so hearing that he turned down was could have been- and arguably still is- the role of a lifetime is crazy!
Apparently, Leo just "wasn't ready to take that dive" when Lucas offered him the role. Just coming off of Titantic, Leo's fame had skyrocketed, and he was the most-wanted man in Hollywood. Perhaps he just didn't feel he was worthy enough of heralding a franchise as large as Star Wars? Or maybe he was somehow in possession of a time machine, and looked into the future to see how the prequels would turn out. Whatever the case, Leo passed on the role, and it was instead given to Hayden Christensen.
But this isn't the first time an actor has turned down a famous or iconic role. Sometimes the actor just doesn't feel like they're right for the role, and sometimes the role just doesn't seem interesting—that is, until we actually see the role come to life and it turns out to be incredibly interesting!
Here are 6 other actors that probably regret turning down some pretty incredible roles!
1. John Travolta - Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)
This is a strange one. Forrest Gump is a very iconic role, one that tons of actors turned down. The role was offered to a lot of Hollywod A-listers, such as Chevy Chase and Bill Murray—before eventually being given to Tom Hanks.
But while funnymen like Chase and Murray being offered the role makes sense, one name you probably never expected to hear is John Travolta! It's true, John "Adele Dazeem" Travolta was offered the role of a lifetime- and he passed it down.
Really it's hard to imagine anyone passing up the chance to compare the random nature of life to a box of decorative chocolates, but Travolta and several others did. After the movie came out, and Tom Hanks nabbed himself an Oscar for his performance, Travolta admitted that passing on the role was a big mistake. No offense to him, but I just can't see John Travolta as Gump, so maybe it's not a bad thing that he turned the role down.
2. Johnny Depp - Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
It's really hard to imagine anyone else as Ferris Bueller, but believe it or not, Matthew Broderick wasn't the first pick for the role. In fact, several others were considered to play the slacker with the mind of an evil genius—and Johnny Depp was among them.
The brooding and suave actor might seem like the last person you'd expect to play Bueller, but you have to remember, this was 80's Depp. Not as brooding, but just as charming and suave, 80's Johnny Depp might have done a great job in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
He might not have brought the same geeky/cool charm that Broderick brought to the role, but he'd bring his own charm to it. Oh well, I guess we'll never know what it would be like to see Johnny Depp slacking off and dancing in huge parades. Unless he's already done it in real life, I'm positive that's something he'd actually do.
3. Christian Bale - James Bond (007)
How cool would this have been! Christian Bale, The Batman himself, as James Bond? Sign me up!
Every generation has a new James Bond, and while I love what Daniel Craig has brought to the character, I think Bale would have done such a good job! The British actor of Wales descent has already got the basic Bond requirements. He's suave, charming, and a cold-blooded killer! In movies at least...
He was already practically Bond when portraying Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy- just without the super spy assassin parts. So what was Bale's completely strong reasoning for turning down the role of a lifetime? Well, he felt that Bond represented every stereotype about England and British actors. As an American who really has no clue what is and isn't a British stereotype, I can't really argue with him there.
He also joked, saying that another reason he turned it down was because he'd "already played a serial killer".
He's of course referring to his role in American Psycho. But come on man, comparing James Bond to Patrick Bateman is insane. At least one of them is clean with the way he murders thousands of unnamed henchman.
4. Jim Carrey - Edward Scissorhands (Edward Scissorhands)
So...this is an odd one. Admittedly Edward Scissorhands is a strange movie, and Jim Carrey is a strange person to say the least, but I just don't think this would have worked out.
That's nothing to do with Carrey's acting ability, he's one of my favorite actors. And though he's brought life to a handful of iconic characters, such as Ace Ventura, The Mask and a Grinch cosplayer, I just can't see him as Edward Scissorhands.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt this way. The reason Jim Carrey didn't get the role was because he lacked dramatic experience as an actor during the time. His role as Edward Scissorhands would have been a lot more comedic than Johnny Depp's, and it could have ruined the film. So while Carrey is still a great actor with a ton of iconic roles on his belt, I'm actually glad that this one wasn't one of them.
5. Nicolas Cage - Green Goblin (Spider-Man)
WHY? WHY WASN'T THIS A THING? WHO DIDN'T MAKE THIS A THING?!
Nicolas Cage is Hollywood's wild animal! His roles border on insane, and often times demolish that border! From Castor Troy, to Ghost Rider, to "THE BEEEES"! Cage has made a number of films-some good, some bad- but no matter how the film is received, Cage's performance is ALWAYS insane and much-appreciated!
Willem Dafoe's version of the crazy Spider-Man villain the Green Goblin was good, and he was pretty insane in the movie. But nobody can reach Nicolas Cage-level insane like Nic Cage himself!
Just imagine how wild this movie would have been with him in the role. Remember the scene in Spider-Man where Norman Osborn first transforms into Green Goblin and destroys his own lab? Imagine that, but with NICOLAS CAGE! I'm getting psyched just thinking about it. Marvel, please hire Nicolas Cage as your new Green Goblin—the MCU needs some craziness in it!
6. Matthew Broderick - Walter White (Breaking Bad)
What's that? You thought John Travolta as Forrest Gump and Nic Cage turning down the ultimate crazy role was the weirdest thing you'd read today? How wrong you were!
Yes, you are reading that right, Matthew Broderick was offered the role of Walter White. Broderick, the most harmless looking guy ever, was almost cast as the math-making super criminal Walter White in Breaking Bad!
It's unknown why he was offered the role, or why he turned it down, but one thing's for sure: thank goodness he did! Bryan Cranston is the ONLY person who could have done that role justice, and as much as I love Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Broderick was not the correct choice for Walter White. Still, it's crazy to think that we live in a world where this was even a possibility.
There you have it, 6 actors who turned down huge iconic roles! It sucks that we'll never get to see Leo as Anakin, but maybe like these roles, it's for the best that someone else got them.
I mean just imagine what would happen if Leo did take the role. He would have gone down with the ship- and he's already done that once!