Casting Fails That Make You Wonder What The Studio Was Thinking

For critics and movie fans, it’s easy to spot a good or bad movie from a mile away. And one of the factors that make or break a film for those people is the actors. The talent is often the backbone of the entire movie, so if someone is improperly cast, the results can be devastating.

Critics weren’t too thrilled with Natalie Portman after seeing her seemingly uninterested portrayal of Jane Foster in Thor. And fans couldn’t have been more disappointed with Scarlett Johansson playing a Japanese manga character. In your opinion, what is the worst casting fail? Keep reading; it might be on this list.

Hayden Christensen In Star Wars

Hayden Christensen In Star Wars
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

While super fans of the Star Wars franchise have more than one thing to say about the prequel films, casting is on the top of the list of complaints, right below careless cinematography. With well over 1,500 actors pursuing the role of the infamous Jedi Anakin Skywalker, fans had to deal with a broody Hayden Christensen for two films.

Of course, a lot of the “casting fail” is chalked up to the corny script, too. But it didn’t help that Christensen was unable to encompass the darkness that should have come with his turn to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader.

Scarlett Johansson In Ghost In The Shell

Scarlett Johansson In Ghost In The Shell
Dreamworks Pictures
Dreamworks Pictures

Scarlett Johansson has a very good reputation in Hollywood, both for being a talented actress and for bringing success to a majority of her movies. Unfortunately, her reputation didn’t stop fans of the Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell, which the film is based on, from being upset with the casting choice.

People believed the role was clearly meant for an Asian actress. And when it became known that many prominent Asian actresses auditioned for the lead role of Major Motoko Kusanagi, angry fans even started a petition to re-cast Johansson. A lot of people believe that the casting choice was the reason for its failure at the box office.

Kate Bosworth In Superman Returns

Kate Bosworth In Superman Returns
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

When Superman Returns was released in 2006, critics praised the visual effects, musical score, and storyline, especially after the flop of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Even though the film garnered positive reviews, there were a few aspects critics weren’t keen on, including the casting decision of Kate Bosworth portraying Lois Lane.

The thing is, the criticism had nothing to do with her performance, but her age. In the film, superman returns after being away from Earth for five years. At 22, critics thought Bosworth to be too young to be portraying an older version of Lane.

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Even though she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in the end, critics were very confused by the casting directors’ choice of Jennifer Lawrence for the lead role of Joy Mangano in Joy. Considering Lawrence was awarded for her acting, her talent wasn’t what confused critics.

More so, it was that the actress was playing the role of a 30-year-old woman. Lawrence was 25 at the time of filming, and people thought that the part would have been better suited for someone the same age as the title character. Especially considering the film illustrates the life of Joy from 30 until her 40s, Lawrence was an odd choice.

Chloë Grace Moretz In Carrie

Chloë Grace Moretz In Carrie
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

In 2013, Chloë Grace Moretz portrayed the title character in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s thriller Carrie. And while critics have no issue with Moretz as an actress, the casting choice was a bit off in their eyes. The casting fail has nothing to do with the talent of Moretz, but rather the characterization of Carrie in the novel.

In King’s book, the character of Carrie is depicted as clumsy, timid, and a very awkward teenager. Mortez, on the other hand, could not be more different. She is a beautiful young woman who oozes confidence, even when she is portraying an outcast like Carrie.

Emma Stone In Aloha

Emma Stone In Aloha
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

When the romantic comedy Aloha was released in 2015, Emma Stone’s character received a lot of criticism. Of course, Stone is a very talented actress, so no one was bashing her skills. The critiques came from the knowledge that Stone comes from neither Pacific Islander or Chinese descent, as her character does.

So, when the actress played Captain Allison Ng, moviegoers and critics alike concluded that the casting choice was a bit misguided. Stone has since come out and apologized, saying that she has realized the misrepresentation of people is a common trend in Hollywood.

Keanu Reeves In Dracula

Keanu Reeves In Dracula
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Many in Hollywood can agree that Keanu Reeves is one of the nicest actors to work with, not to mention he is extremely talented. He’s been in multiple box office success, including the John Wick franchise. So, why do people hate on his 1992 portrayal of Dracula?

Well, it has something to do with the lack of authenticity in his British accent. Reeves tried so hard to nail the accent of the British-born Jonathan Harker that it overshadowed his acting abilities. As a result, even the director admitted Reeves’ performance “came off as stilted.”

Liv Tyler In The Lord of the Rings

Liv Tyler In The Lord of the Rings
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Hot take: Liv Tyler was wrongfully cast as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Considered as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made, it’s no surprise that the studio was able to land magnificent talents, such as Hugo Weaving and Viggo Mortensen.

So, when Tyler was cast alongside them to play the minor character, people were skeptical but weren’t going to say anything until they saw what she did with the character. It was clear during The Fellowship of the Ring that Tyler was a bit out of her element. We can’t really fault her since she did her best.

Halle Berry In Catwoman

Halle Berry In Catwoman
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

Horrible box office outcome and nonsense storyline aside, the casting choice for the 2004 solo Catwoman movie was a total disaster. After Michelle Pfeiffer effortlessly became Catwoman in Batman Returns, fans were confused as to why the studio wanted to cast a new actress to play the part of the feisty villainess.

Despite being an Academy Award-winning actress, Halley Berry was unable to showcase her acting talents for one of the “worst films of all time.” Even though Berry was able to redeem herself later in her career, people are fairly certain the Catwoman casting choice was just a ploy to get the actress in a bikini.

Topher Grace In Spider-Man 3

Topher Grace In Spider-Man 3
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

Even with all of the new Spidey films coming out, Spider-Man 3 is still the highest-grossing out of them all. But all of the film’s success didn’t do much to deter critics from scratching their heads at one of the casting choices — Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, aka Venom.

Unfortunately for Grace, it was his history as playing quirky Eric Foreman in The ’70s Show that had critics doubting his promise as the anti-villain Brock. And, honestly, they weren’t wrong. In the comics, Brock is depicted as being a bigger guy, like Tom Hardy, and not the attention-seeking journalist Grace portrays.

Colin Farrell In Alexander

Colin Farrell In Alexander
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

Based on Robin Lane Fox’s 1973 novel of the same title, Alexander is a historical epic revolving around the life of general and king, Alexander the Great. While the movie garnered positive reviews throughout Europe, the American audience wasn’t pleased with the outcome, namely the casting decision of Colin Farrell as the lead.

While Farrell is a talented actor, moviegoers couldn’t help but be annoyed by the overall appearance of the character. Everything from the hair and makeup to the costume was a bit too cheesy, not to mention Farrell having difficulty losing his Irish accent. He was even nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.

Angelina Jolie In Alexander

Angelina Jolie In Alexander
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

When it comes to Angelina Jolie, casting fails are few and far between. But that didn’t stop people from questioning the sanity of the studio when they chose her to portray Alexander’s mom Olympias in the historical epic Alexander.

Of course, Jolie is a very talented actress, but when it came to playing the mother of the king and war general, it was strange to watch. At the time of filming, Jolie was 29 where her on-screen son played by Colin Farrell, was 28. How on Earth did the director think that their relationship looked authentic? Were there no older actresses to choose from?

Jared Leto In Suicide Squad

Jared Leto In Suicide Squad
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

Many moviegoers and critics have a lot to say when it comes to the 2016 film The Suicide Squad. And one thing they tend to agree on is the casting decision to have Jared Leto portray the iconic role of the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker.

In the past, actors who played the infamous character were able to exude the underlying darkness within the Joker. For Leto, it seemed as though he was more focused on the character’s crazy and psychotic antics. Honestly, his take on the character would have been fine if his actions came off as a bit more authentic.

Kristen Stewart In Snow White And The Huntsman

Kristen Stewart In Snow White And The Huntsman
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

For many, Kristen Stewart just doesn’t cut it when it comes to acting. She possesses an odd “pained face” that doesn’t seem to go away, and it distracts a lot of people when the plot doesn’t call for that emotion. So, when she was cast as Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman, people were a bit bothered.

Scott Foundas from Variety said, “Stewart’s Snow White… pouts her lips, bats her bedroom eyes, and scarcely seems to have more on her mind than who might take her to the senior prom—let alone the destiny of an entire kingdom.”

Cara Delevingne In Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Cara Delevingne In Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
EuropaCorp Distribution
EuropaCorp Distribution

The film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was released to theaters in 2017 and was based on the French comic seriesValerian and Laureline. While the movie is praised for its striking visual effects, critics tore into the story and casting choices.

One casting choice people were very confused about was Cara Delevingne, who portrayed Valerian’s love interest. According to moviegoers and critics, there was zero chemistry between Delevingne and Valerian actor Dane Dehaan, making their onscreen romance a bit boring and forced.

Jesse Eisenberg In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Jesse Eisenberg In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

In the Superman comics, the villain Lex Luther is said to be one of the smartest men alive. He’s cool, confident, and very meticulous when it comes to planning and defeating Superman. Unfortunately, for Jesse Eisenberg in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, his portrayal of the character comes off more psychotic than anything.

No one is disputing the fact that Eisenberg is a great actor, it’s just that he tried way too hard to get Luther’s personality down that he didn’t realize he was over-acting. This is one of the classic cases where less would have totally been more.

Natalie Portman In Thor

Natalie Portman In Thor
Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment
Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Natalie Portman being cast as Thor’s love interest Jane Foster in Thor. Fans of the actress were used to seeing her in dramatic roles that were typically nominated for prestigious awards. According to critics, Portman gave a lackluster performance and, in some scenes, didn’t seem all that interested in what she was doing.

Some believe she didn’t give her all to her performance as the superhero/God’s love interest because the film wasn’t “Academy material.” Even so, the role was probably better off being offered to another actress.

Emilia Clarke In Terminator Genisys

Emilia Clarke In Terminator Genisys
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

When it was announced there was going to be a fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, fans were thrilled. Terminator Genisys played with time travel like the original film, but it wasn’t enough for critics and moviegoers to be happy. And on the top of the list of things they didn’t care for in the film was the casting choice of Emilia Clarke as a young Sarah Connor.

Although Game of Thrones fans can attest to the actress’s obvious talent, it wasn’t enough for the film. No matter how hard Clarke worked, she was never going to live up to the original Sarah Connor actress, Linda Hamilton.

Ashton Kutcher In Jobs

Ashton Kutcher In Jobs
Open Road Films
Open Road Films

While many actors can cross film genres, not all are blessed with the skill. Even though he has many successful films and television series under his belt, Ashton Kutcher is not one of those lucky actors. So, when he was cast as Steve Jobs in the biopic drama Jobs, people were more than a bit skeptical.

For Kutcher, many still view him as the loveable yet ditzy Michael Kelso from That 70s Show. So, when he was trying to portray serious Jobs, people found it to more comedic than dramatic. Best to stick with what you know, Kutcher!

Jack Black In King Kong

Jack Black In King Kong
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

At the time of its release, King Kong was the highest-grossing film for Universal Pictures. The movie even won three Academy Awards at the 2006 ceremony. Granted, none were for the acting of one Jack Black. The comedic actor was cast to play the role of failed and frustrated filmmaker Carl Denham.

The only issue is when most people hear the name Jack Back, their minds automatically go to the movies School of Rock and Shallow Hal. Dramatic work wasn’t exactly in Black’s resume, and it showed.

Cameron Diaz In Gangs of New York

Cameron Diaz In Gangs of New York
Miramax Films
Miramax Films

When Cameron Diaz was cast as Jenny Everdeane in Gangs of New York, there’s no doubt the studio thought she was going to be a major draw. Having her star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis didn’t hurt. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a solid casting decision turned into Diaz giving a lackluster performance.

While the actress is great in comedy and action flicks, she still has a way to go with dramas. It also didn’t help that her Irish accent wasn’t all there. Diaz wasn’t horrible, she’s just an easy target since she’s acting alongside two huge names.

Ryan Reynolds In Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds In Green Lantern
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

Aside from the fact that DC’s Green Lantern was a total flop, it didn’t help that they cast the wrong person as their lead superhero. If the DC universe wants to catch up with the popularity and success of Marvel, they’re going to have to do a better job casting appropriate actors.

Ryan Reynold’s was the opposite of what comic book fans wanted to see in Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern. They didn’t think his acting was convincing enough, and he also came off a bit flat, according to fans. Reynold’s as even voiced his opinion, saying he definitely wasn’t right for the part.

Tom Cruise In Jack Reacher

Tom Cruise In Jack Reacher
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Jack Reacher is based on a character from Lee Child’s novel One Shot. In the book, Reacher is described as being a huge man, at six feet five inches and weighing 250 pounds. So, when it was announced Tom Cruise would be playing the title character, people were a bit confused.

Although Cruise killed it in the action shots throughout the film, it looks like size really does matter to fans and critics. Childs came back and said, “Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way.” Even so, Child’s later admitted the casting choice to be strange.

Sofia Coppola In The Godfather: Part III

Sofia Coppola In The Godfather: Part III
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

It’s not uncommon to see a parent and their child work together on the same film or television series. And in the case of The Godfather: Part III, it was Sofia Coppola working alongside her famous director father, Francis Ford Coppola. Unfortunately, for fans of the first two Godfather films, the performance given by the daughter of the legendary filmmaker fell flat.

Moviegoers couldn’t help but think of Coppola’s acting as anything more than amateur, especially since the rest of the cast was full of high-profile actors. Needless to say, the nepotism didn’t pay off in the third installment of the movie.

Brad Pitt In Troy

Brad Pitt In Troy
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

At the time Troy was released, Brad Pitt was considered one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs. He had the smile, chiseled jaw, and the acting talent to back up his boy next door good looks. And while no one can fault Pitt for taking the role of Achilles, he surely didn’t do the part justice.

While Pitt’s physique was nice to look at, many thought he failed to encompass the strength and leadership of the famous warrior. Many critics even went as far as saying Pitt was the “Achilles-heel of the entire film.” Don’t worry, we rolled out eyes at that quote, too.

Denise Richards In The World Is Not Enough

Denise Richards In The World Is Not Enough
United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The 19th installment in the James Bond franchise, The World Is Not Enough, is known for its spectacular action sequences and its all-star cast of beautiful actors and actresses. In this movie, the “Bond Girl” is Denise Richards. And while the actress is beautiful and her character encompasses everything that a Bond Girl is: beauty and brains, she just didn’t sell the part.

Fans of the Bond films couldn’t get past Richard’s stereotypical movie character: a not so serious blonde girl next door. So, when she came on-screen playing the role of a smart but reserved nuclear physicist, people weren’t buying it.

Katie Holmes In Batman Begins

Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures
Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures
Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures

Unfortunately, for Katie Holmes, the reason for her fame, playing Joey in Dawson’s Creek, ended up being her downfall in Batman Begins. With a girl next door look and demeanor, it was hard to see her playing hard-hitting attorney Rachel Dawes in the rough city of Gotham.

It didn’t help that a lot of her scenes were forgettable to the audience. It almost seemed as though Holmes was merging the two characters together, a Joey-Rachel hybrid character if you will. It’s been rumored that her ability to rid herself of “Joey” is why she didn’t return as Rachel for the rest of the Dark Knight trilogy.

January Jones In X-Men: First Class

January Jones In X-Men: First Class
Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment

When it was announced that January Jones was going to be in the new X-Men movies, fans of the franchise and the hit show Madmen were very excited. She did such a great job in the show that they were interested to see what she was going to bring to the world of mutants.

As it turned out, she wasn’t ready to be a mutant. Fans were very disappointed in the casting once they saw Jones’ portrayal of Emma Frost. In the comics, Frost is illustrated as a morally questionable and confident woman. Jones, however, just looked disinterested in pretty much everything and everyone.

Jennifer Garner In Daredevil And Elektra

Jennifer Garner In Daredevil And Elektra
Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment

As CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the popular television show Alias, actress Jennifer Garner proved that she could kick some major bad guy butt. So, when she was cast as lethal assassin Elektra in the superhero films Daredevil and Elektra, no one really thought twice about it.

Now, people who’ve seen the films can’t help but think of her as a total casting fail. According to the comics, Elektra is a dark and cynical person who is driven by her need for revenge. Garner’s portrayal of the dagger-wielding lady was thought of as too safe and nice for such a strong character personality.

Vince Vaughn In Psycho

Vince Vaughn In Psycho
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

In 1998, Vince Vaughn took on the task of recreating the infamous character Norman Bates in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho. Unfortunately, the serial killing mama’s boy wasn’t exactly a great fit for Vaughn, who is known to be a comedic actor.

Even though he wasn’t exactly “famous” for his comedic roles, critics thought he was an odd choice for the mentally unstable character. This is just another case of “stick to what you know.” And for Vaughn, that means comedy films.