Movie List

15 Famous Actors Who Got Fired From a Movie

June 17, 2017
9 min read

It is tough for an actor to lose out on a role. It hurts even more if the movie goes onto to become a huge hit. There are several instances when an actor has been fired from a movie either by the director or the studio. Sometimes it works for the movie and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the actor seems right at the start and then suddenly, things change. Here is the list of the actors who were fired from movies:

15. Sylvester Stallone, Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

The character of Detroit police officer Axel Foley is a wisecrack. He is a man of one liners and deals with humour. And we all have loved Eddie Murphy in that role. But initially the role was offered to Sylvester Stallone. Now Stallone loved the idea of the movie except the humour lined in his dialogues. So he started re writing them which made the director Martin Brest agitated. Then Stallone started making changes to the script of the movie which didn’t go down well with the director or the studio. Hence, Stallone had to leave. It was a good decision because Stallone was never fit for the kind of role the movie offered.

14. Frank Sinatra, Dirty Harry (1971)

Originally, the script of the movie was written keeping Frank Sinatra in mind. But Frank could not even properly hold the signature gun after his accident in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’. Hence, he never looked the character or had the domineering presence. Therefore, Sinatra parted ways with the movie and Clint Eastwood got the role. Though the thought of Sinatra as Inspector Harry Callahan still seems as a very interesting prospect.

13. Harvey Keitel, Apocalypse Now (1979)

Harvey was supposed to play the role of Benjamin L. Willard. As soon as the shooting began, Francis Coppola(director) realised that Harvey wasn’t fit for the role. He gave him a few tasks to see if he could still make it. But the character needed passivity. An actor who would not dominate a scene and yet would make his presence felt. Hence, Harvey was replaced by Martin Sheen. Harvey doesn’t hold any grudges because he feels that he would not have been able to go through the turmoil Martin Sheen faced during the movie.

12. Anthony Michael Hall, Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Anthony Hall lost on a role that could have made him a serious actor in Hollywood. But it is said that he kept negotiating the clauses of his contract with the studio which irked Stanley Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick decided to go ahead and make the movie with Matthew Modine. Since, Anthony never got a big meaty role that could have made his career. After losing on ‘Full Metal Jacket’, he only got roles that portrayed him as nerdy or a loser. Also, they weren’t any path breaking roles. Well I guess, opportunity certainly doesn’t knock twice.

11. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Predator (1987)

Van Damme was offered the role of the alien in the movie ‘Predator’ and he grabbed it with both hands. But then during the filming, he started complaining about the alien suit. Also, he wasn’t comfortable with the fact that his face wouldn’t be seen. Initially the director John McTiernan tried to brush of his apprehensions but then gave up. Hence, he was replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. But this separation didn’t harm anyone. The movie made big money and Van Damme still made it big with his martial art sequences.

10. Anne Hathaway, Knocked Up (2007)

Anne Hathaway has never had any problems with nudity or too graphic images. But during the filming of ‘Knocked Up’ she became very apprehensive of the labour scene. She thought it was a little disturbing and quite graphic. She hadn’t been a mother till then and wasn’t sure of the whole scene. The director Judd Apatow tried to convince Hathaway but she didn’t bulge. Hence, Hathaway went out and Katherine Heigl took her place. Though both of them disapproved the movie’s sequence, the only difference was Hathaway did it before the movie and Heigl did it after it released.

9. Richard Gere, The Lords of Flatbush (1974)

The movie initially had Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone as the lead pair. But Stallone couldn’t stand Richard and his habits. There weren’t any clashes as such but there had been a few instances where Richard got on the nerves of Stallone. Hence, Stallone went to the studio people and asked to choose between him and Richard. Richard was replaced by Perry King and the movie finally had a smooth filming. Till date, Richard says he hasn’t forgiven Stallone. But we don’t see Stallone running behind him for forgiveness either!

8. Lori Petty, Demolition Man (1993)

Lori Petty was the first choice for the role of Lieutenant Lenina Huxley. But barely three days into the filming she started complaining about her character and her screen time. The director Marco Brambilla wouldn’t have any of her complains and got rid of her. Sandra Bullock replaced her and the character became her breakout role. This role got her the push her career was desperately looking for.

7. Edward Norton, The Avengers (2012)

Edward Norton was very excited to reprise his character “The Hulk” for the movie ‘The Avengers’. But Josh Whedon was slightly sceptical. The rumour has it they had a sitting too. After the sitting happened, Whedon was onboard with the idea of Norton as The Hulk. But then three weeks later he announced that Mark Ruffalo would be The  Hulk in his upcoming movie ‘The Avengers’. Supposedly, Whedon was told by a lot of studio people that Norton was a difficult actor to work with. Hence, he chose Mark Ruffalo over him.

6. Terrance Howard, Iron Man 2 (2010)

Terrence Howard had a three movie contract with Marvel, with ‘Iron Man’ as the first project. Also, he was promised an increased pay if the movie Iron Man became a success and was turned into a franchisee. The money deal offered to him was actually way more than what Marvel had offered to Robert Downey Jr. But once the movie made a killing at the Box Office, Howard received only a fraction of what was promised. Hence, Terrence decided to walk away from the project and all the money went to Robert Downey Jr’s pocket. The world of Superhero is literally a Fistful of Dollars.

5. Megan Fox, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Megan Fox is supposedly, a difficult co-actor to work with. It is said that she doesn’t have a good reputation in the industry. Yet she bagged the role of Mikaela Banes in the ‘Transformers’ on Micheal Bay’s recommendation. The studio was against the choice of Megan Fox but Michael Bay was all in her favour. Hence, she became a part of the ‘Transformers’ and an integral part of the franchisee. But then there came a time after the second Transformers movie released, when Fox went rogue. She started saying unsavoury things about Michael Bay in interviews and articles and that ultimately got her fired from the Franchisee. Hence, she has been banned from a lot of studios and doesn’t get a lot of scripts.

4. Ryan Gosling, The Lovely Bones (2009)

Ryan Gosling was the original choice for the character of Jack Salmon in the movie ‘The Lovely Bones’. Initially, Peter Jackson thought that Gosling was the right fit for the character. But then they started to have creative differences. Peter Jackson finally lost it, when Gosling put on 60 pounds for the role. He also grew a beard to create the authenticity of a grieving father. Jackson felt challenged. Hence, he asked the studio to choose between him and Gosling. And Peter Jackson won as Gosling was replaced by Mark Wahlberg. In hindsight, it was Jackson who lost, for nobody connected with Mark’s character in the movie and the movie didn’t make any money.

3. Samantha Morton, ’Her’ (2013)

Samantha Morton was never fired from the movie. She did the entire film and it was only during the post production that the director Spike Jonze realised that her voice was just not right. Hence, she was replaced by Scarlett Johansson. We cannot imagine what it would have been like to have Morton as the voice in the movie ‘Her’. But when you see the movie you get the idea what Jonze expected out of the voice. And it works for the movie.

2. James Purefoy, ‘V for Vendetta’ (2005)

James Purefoy could have been a perfect suit for the role of V in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’. He always has had the voice to command the brilliant rebellious characters. But he demanded something that was an integral part of the movie’s lifeline. He demanded that he portrayed V without the mask. He felt that wearing the mask throughout the movie was a very demanding task. But the director was totally against his view. Hence, James Purefoy lost on this character. But it was a good move to not loose the mask, for it is the mask that keeps the notion of the movie alive.

1. Eric Stoltz, Back to the Future (1985)

Eric Stoltz has had a few hits to his name but he never found something like ‘Back to the future’. The crew of the film had almost shot more than half of the script. But when the producers including Steven Spielberg saw the early brushes of the movie, they felt that Eric wasn’t funny enough. They thought he didn’t seem the right fit for the character. Hence, Eric was fired and Micheal J. Fox replaced him. The crew then had to reshoot the movie from scratch. The producers should be glad that the movie became such a huge hit or else it would have been a huge task, recovering their money.

Read More: Best Acting Performances of the 21st Century

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