The biggest stars in Hollywood got their most famous roles because other stars turned them down.
Seriously, in most cases, the most famous roles in movie history were either turned down by other stars or recast after events forced the original actors from the project.
Here are some examples:
Will Smith was the original choice to play Neo in “The Matrix,” but turned down the offer.
Tom Selleck was the original Indiana Jones, but couldnâ€™t get time off from “Magnum P.I.” to shoot the movie.
Kevin Costner turned down the lead role in “The Shawshank Redemption”
Gene Hackman was the first choice for the role of Hannibal Lechter. He turned it down.
Producers wanted Ryan O’Neal and Better Midler to play the lead roles in “Rocky.” Midler refused the part of Adrian and Stallone refused a payoff to drop his role as Rocky Balboa.
Jon Bon Jovi was set to star in “Footloose” but couldn’t do the movie because of his tour schedule
Producers then reached a deal with Tom Cruise for “Footloose” but he had a scheduling conflict.
Molly Ringwald rejected “Ghost” and “Pretty Woman.”
The first choice for “Cabaret” was Barbra Streisand but she turned down the role.