You have no idea how underrated casting is. No matter if the script is strong or the direction is superb, if the cast isn’t chosen properly the movie will surely be a dud. This can even happen to big name stars, especially when they’re cast for their stardom instead of their suitability for a part.
We rarely see a star getting fired from a high profile movie, but it does happen. There are a few potential reasons for this; they clash with the director, they argue over their salary or maybe their personal lives start affecting their work. Whenever this happens it isn’t pretty, as their departure often casts a cloud over the resulting movie.
Here are a few examples of name actors being cast for a role with great fanfare, only to suddenly bow out in the name of “creative differences.” (aka they were totally fired)
Jean-Claude Van Damme – Predator
No, this isn’t photoshop, it’s the actual photo of Jean-Claude Van Damme on the sets of predator. At this point of time Jean Claude Van Damme was a struggling actor and his martial arts skills were totally undiscovered. He thought he was being hired for his action skills and would be given a lot of screen time but instead it turned out that he was hired as a small stuntman. Moreover he had to wear a big weird predator costume which made him bump over things. As a result Jean-Claude constantly started complaining, which led to his firing from the set.
Megan Fox – Transformers: Dark of the moon
Megan Fox became the poster girl of Hollywood after the first two Transformer movies. But she was replaced in the third installment of the franchise. It all began when Megan Fox questioned the methods of director Michael Bay and even compared him to Hitler when he works on the sets. The interview spread like wildfire on the internet and Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay collectively decided to fire her from the franchise.
Later it was reported that Michael Bay and Megan Fox patched things up over a coffee and teamed up again in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Mel Gibson – The Hangover Part II
Mel Gibson’s career has been a roller coaster ride. The actor who delivered some breathtaking performances in Braveheart and The Patriot is now considered a troubled personality. He was offered a ray of hope in the form of The Hangover 2. The timing was perfect as he was going through a dark period at that point of time.But according to internal sources, as soon as Mel Gibson’s name was announced in the cast, there was a mutiny amongst the crew members and the cast. Apparently one unnamed actor was hell bent on not working with Gibson. As a result the producers had to fire Mel Gibson from the movie.
James Purefoy – V For Vendetta
The character of V is more challenging than it looks. Playing a revolutionary terrorist, who wears a mask during the entire movie, is not an easy task. Hugo Weaving pulled it off exceptionally well under the circumstances, managing to create a sympathetic anti-hero who can express himself without actually changing his expression.What we don’t know is that Hugo Weaving was not the first choice actor for the movie. James Purefoy was originally chosen to play V and even shot some scenes of the movie which were later dubbed by Weaving.The reason he was fired is unclear but it’s said that he had some differences with the director and hated wearing a mask. Moreover the producer claims his voice wasn’t menacing enough.
Ryan Gosling – The Lovely Bones
Ryan Gosling loves going method for his roles. So that’s what he did to play a grieving father in The Lovely Bones, gaining a full 60 pounds for it. Actor thought he has a baby face to play a father, so he gained a massive 60 pounds and even kept a beard to make the role more realistic. This decision costed him his job as Peter Jackson didn’t know he was trying all this and got completely shocked seeing a chubby and bearded Ryan Gosling. After some intense arguments between the two “creative disagreements” were evoked, and the actor found himself, as he puts it “Fat and unemployed”.
Stuart Townsend – The Lord Of The Rings
Peter Jackson strikes again. He originally cast Irish actor Stuart Townsend in the role of Aragorn for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, with the actor undergoing months of intensive sword and stunt training for the character. He’d done rehearsals and been costume fitted, so he was just as surprised as anyone when he was suddenly jobless.Townsend was only informed the day before shooting began that his services wouldn’t be required. The actor claims he didn’t really get along with the people in charge, so it was almost a relief to be let go. To add insult to injury though, New Line refused to pay him for all the time he’d spent training, as he hadn’t worked on the movie long enough.The official reason he was let go was that Jackson felt he was too young to play the character, which feels like an issue that could have been resolved by not hiring him in the first place. Viggo Mortensen replaced him, and the rest is history
Terrence Howard – Iron Man 2
War machine as we should call him, Terrance Howard played James Rhodes in Iron Man. We all loved his performance in the first movie and could not wait to see him in the second part in the Iron Man suit. But all of a sudden he was replaced by Don Cheadle.The reason was the wage of Terrance Howard, which was very high, given the small size of the role. Marvel wanted him to take a substantial pay cut for the sequel, which he refused to do
Bruce Willis – The Expendables 3
Bruce Wills was all set to return as Mr. Church in the third Expendables movie. The part had always been a well-paid cameo for him; where he turns up on set for a few days, hangs out with some old pals and gets well paid for his troubles.Not well enough as it turns out.As Stallone eloquently put it, Willis is “greedy and lazy”. When entering negotiations for the movie the company offered him $3 million for four days work. Willis didn’t like that, stating he wanted $4 million instead.The company refused, Stallone was furious and Harrison Ford came on within days to take his place. There’s even an in-joke about it in the movie, as Ford appears and tells Stallone that “Mr. Church is out of the picture.”
Guess he was expendable after all.
Eric Stoltz – Back To The Future
Back To The Future could have looked very different indeed, had the original choice for Marty McFly – actor Eric Stoltz – been used instead. The young star was to play the lead over original choice Michael J. Fox – who was busy on a sitcom at the time – and shot about five weeks worth of footage for it.He must have felt secure, as filming had been going on so long the crew had already been talking to each other about what they’d be doing next.Director Robert Zemeckis felt the movie wasn’t working the way he’d hoped, so he cut together all the footage he had and showed it to Steven Spielberg for advice. Spielberg confirmed his fears; Stoltz had been miscast. He was too serious and dark, which killed the humour of the movie.Stoltz was fired and replaced by the now available Fox, with most of the movie being reshot at great expense. The effort was clearly worth it, as Back To The Future is considered a true classic. Stoltz footage as Marty has never been released, and probably never will be while the actor has any say in it.