Did You Know? 15 Big Movie Roles That Were Originally Offered To Other Actors

November 12, 2012  |  
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In the acting world, many actors and actresses are open to taking any movie role that they are offered. However, sometimes celebs simply can’t say yes and end up turning down an acting position that they were offered. Here are 15 movie parts that were originally meant for others.


Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett could have played the role of Storm in the movie X-Men but she declined. The movie role went to Halle Berry.


Halle Berry

Halle Berry said no to play the role of the bus driver, Annie Porter, in the movie Speed, which was eventually played by Sandra Bullock. It’s no secret that Speed made Bullock a star.


Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington said no to playing Detective David Mills in the movie Se7en, though he later regretted his choice, and the role was played by Brad Pitt.



Will Smith

Will Smith was offered the role as Neo in The Matrix but declined due to the immensely hard script. The role was played by Keanu Reeves.


Bette Midler

Bette Midler declined the chance to play the main role in Sister Act, which was notably played by Whoopi Goldberg.


Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle was offered the chance to play “Bubba” in the movie Forrest Gump, but he passed and instead the role was played by Mykelti Williamson.


Jennifer Love Hewitt

Jennifer Love Hewitt was given the opportunity to play in The Wedding Planner but instead the role was snatched up by Jennifer Lopez.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman was offered the play the role of Lorenzo Council in Freedomland but declined the opportunity. Samuel L. Jackson gladly took on the role.


Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke had the chance to play Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop but instead the part was played by Eddie Murphy.


Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah’s busy schedule caused her drop out of the movie Monster’s Ball, and her role was played by Halle Berry.



P. Diddy

P. Diddy was offered the chance to play the role of Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday, but the role was given to Jamie Foxx.


Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy turned down a role as Eddie Valiant in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which was played by Bob Hoskins.



Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. could have played the lead role of a slave named Cinque in the movie Amistad, but declined. The part was played by Djimon Hounsou.


Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg was offered a role in the movie Splash but the part was instead played by Darryl Hannah.


Tina Turner

Tina Turner had the chance to play the role of Shug in The Color Purple, but she declined and the role was given to Margaret Avery.

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  • Jimmie

    I’ve always thought that Angela Bassett should have played Storm in the X men movie, if you really are a X man fan you know that storm is a beautiful dark skin woman with a strong powerful voice. Not saying that Halle didn’t do a good job, but Angela was the perfect cast call for the role of Storm, I wish she would have taken the role.

    • PJ

      She sure should have, Berry is nothing like storm and Angela should have played. Berry turned storm into someone week.

  • Actually, Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in the Matrix so he could do Wild Wild West. Bet he regrets that one.

  • Lara

    Eddie Murphy turned down voicing Roger Rabbit, not the role of Eddie Valiant…

  • dbatt001

    Latifa in monsters ball? …um uhhh

  • Check me out on youtube ”Denny Kuttz”


    Tupac was fired from Meance to Society and the role went to Larenz “fine a$$” Tate and Tupac as suppose to play Tyreese role in ‘Baby Boy” the role wasnt written for him but he was killed before the movie got made

  • YesImHere

    First time of all the damn clicking I’ve done… This article was the best! Tina would’ve been excellent for Shug’s position BUT … MARGARET DID HER THING!

    Queen Latifah in Monster Ball? Wait… What?

    Denzel in Se7en?

    Great actors but some movies aren’t meant for you! =) Great article! Which u guys would get rid of the clicks but I know you won’t because people get paid crazy money for a darn click!

  • christmas808

    Im glad sandra played in speed but i would have perfered denzel in seven hell i want denzel to play in every movie

  • Queen Latifah in Monsters ball…but … nevermind…

  • Patty Cakes

    I would have loved Tina Turner as Shug Avery

  • Jinsu

    Chris Tucker was offered “Ray” and declined… It went to Jamie. Now all his roles go to Jamie. Lol

    • Windows2thesoul

      they made the right choice choosing jamie fox. i don’t think anyone else could’ve played that role better then jamie.

      • YesImHere

        And Jamie freakishly looks JUST LIKE THAT MAN! He made it do what it do!

  • Tonya

    Whoopi Goldberg in Splash, I don’t believe it. As far as Will Smith in The Matrix, he turned down the role because he was filming Wild Wild West at the time, which bombed. And Angela Basset and Vanessa Williams were offered the role in Monster’s Ball, and both turned it down. Angela Basset said she didn’t like how the movie portrayed black woman and said she wasn’t going to prostitute herself on film.

    Other notable roles you forgot are:
    Michelle Pfeiffer – Silence of the Lambs
    Mel Gibson – Gladiator
    Molly Ringwald – Ghost, Scream & Pretty Woman
    Jack Nicholson – The Godfather
    Tom Hanks – Jerry Maguire
    John Travolta – Forrest Gump
    Sarah Michelle Gellar – Clueless
    Tom Cruise – Footloose
    Julia Roberts – Basic Instinct, Shakespeare in Love, Sleepless in Seattle & The Blind Side
    Johnny Depp – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Alec Baldwin – The Fugitive
    Denzel Washington – I Robot, Ray & Dreamgirls

    • YesImHere

      John Travolta as Forrest Gump!? No freaking WAY!!

  • sassybuttclassy

    Darn it!!!
    With all that clicking, loading and advertisement dodging, I forgot the comments I planned to make… :o(
    But yea, basically (from what I can remember) I’m glad the majority of these didn’t work out.

  • Wait, Whoopi was supposed to play the mermaid in Splash? I don’t believe that one!

  • HoneyDipp

    Ugh… Cuba Gooding Jr. as Cinque would have been utterly TRAGIC!

    • Na Na

      I came to the comments section to make this exact statement!

  • The ONLY one i can see working out is Tina as Shug… the rest im glad didnt work out as planned.