Casting a Miscast

With the one-two punch of the reactions over Ben Affleck as the new Batman, combined with the uproar fans are causing over the 50 Shades of Grey leads, a blog prompt came my way. The subject? Miscasting. For the casting of the first onscreen pairing of Superman and Batman, they picked Affleck? What? How? Why? I....I just don't understand. Affleck's new thing is that he's a pretty fabulous director! And now he wants to take on (and possibly dare I say ruin) one of the most iconic roles there is? Stick with what you're really good at Ben! It's just too soon. It was a mere YEAR ago the world had OUR Batman. Couldn't you have thrown enough money for him to return?? And really? Affleck is the best you could get? I mean as of late he has been decent, but after his first superhero outing as Daredevil...he's got a lot to prove, and Christian Bale set the bar REALLY high.  The pick definitely is a gamble. I firmly believe that there are a few choices that would have put the people more at ease right from the get go (Michael Fassbender anyone?)

As for the 50 Shades of Grey casting? I admit I could not care an iota about this...but find it quite amusing nonetheless. Charlie Hunnam is a dashing enough guy...but when I saw who the fans wanted??? Well....I can't say I blame them. Laurie described him as "the perfect male specimen." Indeed. (Do yourself a favor and IMDB Matt Bomer.) Unhappiness over Dakota Johnson I can see more. I've never realllly gotten her appeal, but you never know, maybe she'll channel more of her Grandma (Tippi Hedren) than her mom (Melanie Griffiths.) And maybe their chemistry will be just electric and exactly what is required. I won't know or care because I will probably never see it...but the point is...sometimes weird casting choices work. And sometimes they fail miserably (but so do ones that seemingly made sense too.) With that, I've decided to present a list of 5 surprising choices that worked, and 5 of the biggest blunders. Enjoy!


DANIEL CRAIG IN CASINO ROYALE - I remember hearing that this guy was gonna be the next James Bond? Him? But....he's...gasp. BLONDE. And from what I thought then (which I know is blasphemy now...) he didn't seem all that attractive or James Bondy. I mean...where's the tall, dark and handsome in Daniel Craig? But when I actually saw the movie? What a Bond! Perhaps even my favorite... But the man definitely brought something new to the role and played it smoothly. Now I can't even picture anyone else in the role...for the time being at least!

JIM CARREY IN THE TRUMAN SHOW AND ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND- Who knew the goofball actor would be able to do anything else beyond Jerry Lewis style comedy? The Truman Show was so unlike anything he'd ever done. The man was just down to earth and an everyday fellow. There was a real person there...not just a caricature. Then he managed to do the same thing again in Eternal Sunshine, but somehow even rawer. These two performances were completely unexpected and probably remain the highlight of his career.

HEATH LEDGER IN THE DARK KNIGHT - This one is the most obvious of all...because it was the most shockingly good of them all! When I heard they picked HEATH LEDGER as the joker. I was absolutely flabbergasted. Everyone was! This former teen heartthrob whose last role was playing a gay cowboy (with a ridiculous accent) is somehow gonna be transformed into Batman's greatest nemesis? I didn't see it...AT ALL. And magically....he did just that and turned in one of the most chillingly villainous performances in cinematic history, earning him a posthumous Academy Award. His joker was an instant classic, ranking up with the likes of Hannibal Lecter, Darth Vader, and Norman Bates.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY IN PRIDE & PREJUDICE - Keira Knightley was one of the most sought after actresses following her introduction to the world in the first  Pirates of the Caribbean. But after the flop of King Arthur, it kind of remained to be seen how great of acting chops the girl actually had. Then you go and cast her in one of the most iconic literary female roles of all time? Plus...Keira Knightley is breathtakingly beautiful...Elizabeth Bennet is supposed to have the beauty to be sure, but she's not the one to first be noticed in her family! Could they play down her beauty enough? Did she have the fierceness to handle the role anyway? I was definitely skeptical. While her performance might not have one over the people still obsessed with the 6-hour snorefest (haha sorry guys I'm saying it..) I think she did a fabulous job capturing the essence of one of my favorite characters...AND the Academy thought so too. (Special mention, her counterpart Matthew Macfadyen could have been added on here as well because in the previews I was DEFINITELY not sold on him...though no I can't imagine anyone else.)

ANNE HATHAWAY IN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES AND LES MISERABLES - For some reason, Anne Hathaway seems to be one of the most hated actresses working today. Whether it's her public persona alone or the fact that she doesn't pull it off with people in her roles...she just doesn't have people loving her. When it was announced she won both of these roles, people seemed to be in an uproar....especially since her latest was the awful One Day in which she sports a HORRIBLE British accent. How is she gonna pull off Catwoman or Fantine?? But she proved the haters wrong and made an excellent Catwoman, and then received both raves from the critics Oscar gold for her powerhouse portrayal of Fantine.



GEORGE CLOONEY IN BATMAN AND ROBIN - Maybe this made sense to someone. He definitely comes off as a playboy bachelor in his personal life so why can't he make a convincing Bruce Wayne...or his alter ego? Was the directing to blame? The over-focus on Robin? The cartoony villains? That bat suit... Well, all of it combined to make a pretty spectacularly BAD movie. But George Clooney definitely had something to do with it. He just...wasnot Batman. I don't know that I can express why in words. But...he just wasn't. That I think is what people fear in Affleck's casting, but we'll have to wait and see if he follows in Clooney's footsteps.

JAKE LLOYD IN STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE - No I'm not gonna mention his successor in the role, haters can take care of that for me even if I'd rather they didn't. Let's just focus on young Anakin. I've seen the screentests, and they were SOOO close to picking the kid that could have nailed it. Even in the audition you could see how wooden Lloyd was. It was purely the look of him that won him the role. But there's more to casting than just looks I'm afraid.

KATIE HOLMES/MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL IN BATMAN BEGINS AND THE DARK KNIGHT - I make it no secret of my disdain for this character regardless of who is playing her. But somehow, both of these actresses were so unbelievably miscast! Katie Holmes made a believable love interest...but a believable DA? Not in this life. Then they decided to overcorrect and find a believable DA...but this time forgot about the love interest part. Sure this isn't the most important role in the world...and I honestly could have come up with far more serious offenses than these. But...these casting choices REALLY bug me. Much like the one below.

KATE BOSWORTH IN SUPERMAN RETURNS - When will the big screen take a few cues from the small screen in how to get the character of Lois Lane right!? I almost even considered adding Amy Adams along side Bosworth, but resisted since she at least attempted to act spunky. I suppose it wasn't her fault they didn't give her a believable romantic arc with Superman...or tried to make her actually physically resemble the character, so we'll go back to the problems with Bosworth. The girl does not make a believable Pulitzer Prize winning journalist firstly. And secondly can you get any more blah? Lois is fiery, fierce and fun. Bosworth's Lois was just there. If only Parker Posey had gotten her role instead.

MICKEY ROONEY IN BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - If there was ever once a miscast that came close to ruining an entire film, it was this one. This casting is wrong in every single way possible. Why is Mickey Rooney playing an Asian? The look and the voice were....pretty horrible. By today's standards of course everyone rips it apart, and well it's hard not to justify that. Luckily the movie has much more going for it than this awful performance, so it's best to try not to remember it exists and still love the movie anyway.


Oh and one more honorable mention is found HERE. Which I must admit really cracked me up. Now I know I most definitely scratched the surface and there are far worse miscasts in the history of film, but these were some of my least favorites. You're welcome to share your thoughts on mine, and some of yours in the comments below.


Johanna said...

I was talking about this just the other day with my friend. We were saying how some actresses or actors really grow chops. We were referring to the miscasting of the now great actress, Mia Farrow in "The Great Gatsby."

But I really do wonder at Ben Affleck stepping into this part at this stage of his career and life. He's 41, not the normal age to be playing a superhero. And when you've become a celebrated director you usually hold out for acting parts that are going to carry a lot of weight...think Clint Eastwood or Robert Redford. After winning acclaim as directors they didn't ever go back and act what some would consider fluff or parts simple crowd pleasing. None of it makes sense.

Sarah said...

Good list...a lot of food for thought. I need to think about this so I can add my thoughts of great surprises and horrible miscasting.

I always find it interesting when you have seen a role with an actor/actress who was PERFECT for the part and afterwards, you find out who else was considered in the role and you think, "What!? How could they ever have been considered?"

I totally agree that Parker Posey would have made a great Lois Lane. She kind of looks like Margot Kidder and has a lot of spunk/fire. I HATED the wig that Kate Bosworth wore in Superman. I mean, look at that hair line! So fake!

Steven Hamilton said...

What's worse:
Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia or Russell Crowe in Les Miserables?

Emily said...

Good question Steven. I think it's a question of :worse quality (Pierce) vs. quantity (Russell) I pick Pierce by far.

Steven Hamilton said...

Good point.

Lin Looser said...

Hi Emily,
I would agree with you, it's gotta be Pierce, I love Pierce but he was awful in mama mia mostly with the singing. It was just so bad when him and meryl would sing together. Also, Ben Affleck has changed over the years I think, Daredevil was not all his fault your right about that, but he has grown as an actor, plus with the right script he could be very good. Just to let you know I am a Die Hard movie fanatic like you, not a whole lot of people are not like us. It's nice to know that there is another movie fanatic like me, you sound really cool.

Lin Looser said...

Sorry about my writing on my post, I meant there is not a whole lot of movie fanatics like us. I get nervous sometimes when I write or talk on the phone.

Movie Fanatic said...

The parts of singing between Pierce and Meryl were so bad, there was no chemistry. I think Ben has gotten a lot better over the years acting wise, lets hope they give him a good script.