These Casting Choices Really Came Out Of Nowhere And Shocked The Fans

In pursuit of the ‘next big thing’ sometimes producers and directors make casting decisions that have us shaking our heads in confusion. It’s not always a failed attempt and sometimes the risk pays off and you end up with Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Here are some of the most shocking casting decisions that Hollywood has come up with that have left loyal franchise fans curious about what’s going to go down on the big screen. This list just proves life is too short not to take a chance.

The Stunning Halle Bailey As Ariel In The Little Mermaid

halle from chloexhalle selfie
Photo Credit: @chloexhalle / Instagram
Photo Credit: @chloexhalle / Instagram

Singer and songwriter and half of the duo Chole x Halle, Halle Bailey is slotted to play the iconic mermaid in the 2020 live-action musical remake of The Little Mermaid.

A few fans were surprised a redhead wasn’t chosen for the lead, but it’s pretty safe to say that Halle will be a perfect fit for the role. Director Rob Marshall says Halle possesses ‘spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.’ We’re all ready to dive right into this one.

Vince Vaughan As A Blasé Bates In Psycho

psycho movie 1998 vince vaughn as norman bates
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Universal Pictures

Who would have thought the rom-com and dodgeball king would’ve been chosen to play the disturbed mama’s boy Norman Bates in Gus Van Sant’s 1998 version of Psycho. Apparently, nobody thought that and fans were shocked, to say the least, at the announcement.

Cameron J in a review said that ‘whoever thought to cast Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates as Norman Bates must be a psycho.’ However loud the protests, Vaughn’s actual performance wasn’t half bad. Some even called his portrayal of the nervous Norman as entertaining. It just shows you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Fans Thought Daniel Craig Didn’t Fit The Bond Mold

daniel craig as james bond playing poker or something
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Sony Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Sony Pictures

This is a case where you have to ignore the cries of the fanboys and girls who think they know best. Craig had big shoes to fill as the debonair daredevil known as 007 following the performances of Connery, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan.

At the casting decision, fans were dismayed since Craig doesn’t fit the Bond mold as the dark-haired lady killer, but were they ever wrong. Craig brought angst and a melancholy not previously expressed in the boring ladies-man character. This Bond is one to remember.

They Wanted A Betty Rubble With A Little Grit

Betty and Barney Flintstones with kid smiling love action rosie o donnel
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / MCA Universal Home Movie
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / MCA Universal Home Movie

Rosie O’Donnell’s role as Betty Rubble in Brian Levant’s 1994 live action The Flintstones was a hot topic when it was announced. O’Donnell’s outspoken nature made some fans hesitant when she was called on to play the soft-spoken secondary character Betty.

Though she caught a lot of flack for the role, O’Donnell brought energy to the normally boring character. Thanks to her, Betty was more than just a soundboard for Wilma like she is in the cartoon. The decision helped make the Rubbles seem like their own unique couple rather than just the Flintstone’s sidekicks.

People Thought Depp Was Too Dark To Play Wonka

willy wonka charlie and the chocolate factory at the end
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros. Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros. Pictures

A common theme with these controversial castings is the actor stepping in to play a role already perfected by somebody else. In this case, it was Johnny Depp filling the role as Willy after the late great Gene Wilder. Fans were not amused by director Tim Burton’s decision.

Fans were hesitant about the childish-character fit since Depp normally plays dark and gritty roles. They had nothing to worry about though. Depp as Wonka took us on a roller coaster of emotions and fit right into the weird and wonderful world.

Heath Ledger Was Too Pretty To Be The Joker

heath ledger dark knight joker sitting down looking moody
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros.

Before his Academy Award-winning performance introduced a whole new take to the normally giddy and put-together character of the Joker, Heath Ledger played a romantic interest in 10 Things I Hate About You. Fans were appalled to hear the famous pretty boy would be stepping into Nolan’s Dark Knight.

This Joker would go and prove them all wrong. The talented Heath Ledger was a huge win for the character and the franchise and completely beats any Joker that’s come before or after the fan-favorite.

People Thought This Casting Decision Was Tone Deaf

ghost in shell scarlett johhanssen
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Dreamworks
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Dreamworks

Sometimes a risky casting decision doesn’t always pay off. When Scarlett Johansson was cast as Major in the live action version of Ghost In The Shell, fans of the original and iconic anime were quick to point out she’s not of Asian descent. This decision was an odd one considering the Japanese setting and source material.

Director Rupert Sanders chose to ignore the critics and go ahead with the project. The film made a mere $40,533,014 in the box office and scored a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. The controversy definitely haunted this ghostly project.

Mos Def Was Perfect As Ford Prefect

the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy still mos def just chilling
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Buena Vista
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Buena Vista

When rapper Mos Def was cast as Ford Prefect for Gath Jenning’s 2005 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, some outspoken fans were upset. They said that since Ford Prefect is from Guildford, England in the well-loved book series, he should be white. Well, Ford Prefect is also an alien so…

Mos Def’s performance is heralded as one of the brightest spots in the unique film. So take that, fans who are quick to speak up without watching the film first. We had no doubts this Prefect would be perfect.

Haters Said Gal Gadot Was Too ‘Skinny’ For Wonder Woman

wonder woman gal gadot looking fierce walking towards camera
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Brothers
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Brothers

When she was initially cast for Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns’ 2017 Wonder Woman, haters immediately started saying that Gal Gadot was too ‘skinny’ and not muscular enough to play the iconic superhero.

Gadot ignored those salty comments and delivered an incredible performance as the lasso-wielding alien. Her witty and serious performance was a breath of fresh air to the franchise, and the film largely succeeded because of it. It doesn’t hurt that it featured the amazing Chris Pine and Robin Wright alongside her either.

Charlize Theron As The Murderess Aileen Wuornos In Monster

Charlize Theron monster aileen wuornos in court scene staring down the camera
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Newmarket Film Group
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Newmarket Film Group

Fans didn’t expect the gorgeous actress known for her steamy J’adore Dior commercials and her wholesome girl-next-door role in Mighty Joe Young to play a murderer and prostitute in Patty Jenkins’ 2004 Monster. There weren’t even any gorillas on the cast list for her to tame.

Theron is unrecognizable in the role and prepped extensively to get into Aileen Wuronos’ character. Thankfully she did, because she won an Oscar for best actress for her performance. This situation just shows that sometimes a risky decision pays off.

The Human Torch Cannot Be Captain America

chris evans captain america looking off into the distance
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Paramount Pictures

For diehard Marvel Universe sticklers, you can’t be anything you want to be. Especially if that includes being the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and Captain America. Nitpickers were up in arms the moment Chris Evans was cast in Joe Johnston’s 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger.

Luckily, most people have no quibbles about people having two jobs or playing two roles. Most people also forgot about the film flop The Fantastic Four. Luckily, Evans didn’t listen to critics and went on to deliver a great performance as the super soldier.

Fans Wanted Gone With The Wind’s Scarlett Gone

gone with the wind rhett kisses scarlett on the cheek
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Loew’s Inc.
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Loew’s Inc.

In what’s now revered as one of the best classic movie romances of all time, the decision to cast the British Vivien Leigh as the American icon Scarlett O’Hara was met with criticism.

Director Victor Flaming decided to risk it and cast the British Actress. Good thing he did, because this turned out to be one of the most beloved films of all time. Though nowadays, critics are more apt to talk about the film’s historical inaccuracy than its casting decisions.

JLo Erased The Flaws Of Selena Despite What Critics Initially Said

jennifer lopez as selena singing at concert
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Home Video
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Home Video

Tejano musician and Grammy-award winning artist Selena Quintanilla’s incredible voice and talent were cut short when she was murdered by the president of her fan club. When fans heard that Jennifer Lopez was slotted to play the beloved figure they were shocked at the casting decision.

JLo laid all their worries to rest with her stellar performance. Despite the film’s struggling narrative and other difficulties, Lopez did an incredible job as the singer. This proves yet again that Jennifer Lopez can literally do anything.

They Said Anne Hathaway Was Too ‘Girl Next Door’

anne hathaway catwoman opening a safe
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros Pictures

For Christopher Nolan’s 2012 box-office hit The Dark Knight Rises there was one casting decision that fans weren’t too sure about. Some thought that Anne Hathaway had too much of a good girl image to play the criminal mastermind Cat Woman.

Hathaway proved that she could dig deep for the role and tap into an edgier side of herself to play the iconic character. There was nothing ‘good girl’ about Hathaway when she was in prison waiting to get out. She proved here she was a cat that could definitely land on her own two feet.

Nobody Was Team Edward When This Was Announced

robert pattinson as edward cullen twilight looking moody
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Summit Entertainment
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Summit Entertainment

A good way to incite super-fan outrage is to literally choose anyone with a heart beat to play their favorite character. That’s all it takes. When little known British actor Robert Pattinson was chosen to play vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen for the 2008 Twilight movie, fans were up in arms.

That anger lasted for maybe about 30 seconds into the film. Fans immediately bought every fan item known to man with Edward’s face plastered all over it. I’m sure Jacob even owned a ‘Team Edward’ shirt at some point.

Fifty Shades Fans Wanted Something Different

50 shades of grey dakota johnson anastasia steele
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Focus Features
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Focus Features

When it was announced that the little-known actress Dakota Johnson would be playing the fan-favorite shy-girl Anastasia Steele in the 2015 film rendition of Fifty Shades of Grey, everyone had an opinion. Whether they knew her work or not, fans called for the Gilmore Girls actress Alexis Bledel to play the role.

Johnson proved that she could play the soft-spoken willing-to-try-literally-anything Steele and her critics were immediately proven wrong. You go girl, show those nay-sayers that you can uphold a contract both in a movie and in real life.

Critics Were Quick To Take Aim At The Choice For Archer Katniss Everdeen

jennifer lawrence katniss everdeen hunger games crouching in the game
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Lionsgate Entertainment
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Lionsgate Entertainment

When Jennifer Lawrence was cast as the legendary fierce-lady Katniss Everdeen for the hit young adult The Hunger Games series, lots of dedicated trolls were quick to quip about the casting. They criticized everything from Lawrence’s age, appearance, weight, and even toughness.

Since the movie inspired 3 sequels and was nominated for 51 awards, I think it’s safe to say Lawrence’s performance proved these negative voices wrong and left fans hungry for more. She definitely shot an arrow right into the hearts of everyone who told her ‘no.’

Charlie Hunnam Backed Out Of Fifty Shades Of Grey And These Were The Reactions

charlie hunnam sons of anarchy
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / FX
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / FX

For those of you who don’t remember, Charlie Hunnam was initially slotted to play the part of Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey films instead of Jamie Dorian. The original SAMCROW tough guy had to back out because of scheduling conflicts, but the fan reactions were pretty memorable.

This is kind of a reverse-casting outrage – people were reportedly ‘pretty bummed they didn’t get to see him naked’ as one E-news reporter puts it. These wild reactions must have made Hunnam pretty uncomfortable.

People Thought Tom Cruise Was A Weird Choice For Lestat

tom cruise lestat interview with the vampire he looks moody standing beside a candelabra in a dark room
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Warner Bros

When Anne Rice’s immensely popular novel Interview With The Vampire was adapted for the big screen, fans were quick to voice their confusion at the choice of Tom Cruise for Lestat. Even creator Anne Rice stated that she, ‘didn’t know how that was going to work.’

Like many other naysayers, after she saw the movie, Rice admitted she enjoyed Cruise’s performance. This just goes to show you that what you think is a poor casting decision may, in fact, be an awesome vampire.

They Were Afraid Topher Grace Would Be A Boring Venom

spiderman 3 topher grace looking moody
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Sony Pictures
Photo Credit: Movie Stills DB / Sony Pictures

When Sam Raimi’s 2007 Spiderman-3 was announced and Topher Grace was cast as the lead villain Venom, people were less than thrilled. I guess nobody’s spidey-senses were tingling at this choice.

People were hesitant that this comedic actor known for his role as Eric in That 70’s Show would be able to do the role justice. Whether they were right or not doesn’t really matter, Tobey Maguire always steals the show regardless. That’s your friendly neighborhood superstar for you.