9 Iconic Roles That Almost Went to Someone Else

Johnny Depp as Ferris Bueller?

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2014 9:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – John Travolta as Forrest Gump? Difficult to envision, but it could have happened: Travolta turned down the role before Tom Hanks ended up with it, according to HLN's list of 18 iconic roles that almost went to different actors. More:

  • Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix, and Keanu Reeves got the part.
  • Ralph Macchio, aka the Karate Kid, turned down the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future, and Michael J. Fox ended up with it.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer was the first choice of director Jonathan Demme to play Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, but of course, Jodie Foster ended up with the role.
  • Tom Selleck couldn't get out of his Magnum PI contract, but if he could have, he might have played Indiana Jones instead of Harrison Ford.

  • Speaking of iconic Harrison Ford roles, Christopher Walken was the first actor offered the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down the role of Cher in Clueless, and Alicia Silverstone got it.
  • Sean Connery reportedly turned down the role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings because he didn't quite get the script. Ian McKellen got the part.
  • Johnny Depp had a scheduling conflict, otherwise he could have played Ferris Bueller instead of Matthew Broderick.
Click for the complete list, including a Brat Pack-er who could have had the lead role in Pretty Woman.

Johnny Depp attends a promotional event for his movie “Transcendence” in Beijing on March 31, 2014.
Johnny Depp attends a promotional event for his movie “Transcendence” in Beijing on March 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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