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    7 Controversial Casting Choices in Movies VS 7 Brilliantly Surprising Choices

    A while back, we wrote a post where people stated which actors they felt were poorly cast in movies. In the comments, more readers shared “bad” casting choices that nearly ruined movies — and some of the unexpected casting choices that turned out to be surprisingly “good.” Here’s what they had to say:
    BAD CASTING: Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins in The Human Stain (2003)..
    Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins smiling in a car
    Anthony Hopkins portrays a chic and fashion-forward light-skinned Black man who strategically passes as Jewish. Nicole Kidman embodies the essence of style as she portrays a glamorously unconventional cleaning woman, capturing the heart of Hopkins’ character. This adaptation, based on one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, showcases the seamless blend of fashion-forward storytelling and captivating performances.
    GOOD CASTING: Matt Damon in the Bourne series.
    Close-up of Matt in a jacket amid a rugged outdoor scene
    Matt Damon appeared as a surprising yet fitting choice for the iconic character of Jason Bourne. Despite not being considered an action hero initially, Damon’s performance exceeded expectations. He flawlessly executed the intense action sequences while effectively portraying Bourne’s psychological turmoil of identity crisis and the possibility of being a villain. The unexpectedness of his violent outbursts only added to the gripping nature of his portrayal.
    Close-up of Matt
    Bad Casting: Chris Pratt in The Tomorrow War (2021) is a prime example of a missed opportunity. Despite his previous success in action films, Pratt’s performance falls flat in this futuristic thriller. His portrayal of a military veteran turned time traveler lacks depth and fails to connect with the audience. The character requires a certain level of intensity and gravitas, which Pratt fails to deliver. It’s clear that the role was miscast, and another actor could have brought more authenticity to the role. Overall, Pratt’s casting in The Tomorrow War is a disappointment and detracts from the overall quality of the film.
    Chris and other people holding weapons
    He should definitely stick to comedy roles. What’s funny is that I actually DID like him as the science teacher before he was drafted. Just not a gritty, angsty tough guy.
    Close-up of Chris in a suit at a media event
    Good Casting: Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    Jim in a bookstore with Kate WInslet
    He was a full-blown kooky comedian who seamlessly transitioned into a fashion-forward and chic role, portraying a character in a gut-wrenching drama. He absolutely crushed it, showcasing his incredible versatility and talent.
    Close-up of Jim smiling at a media event
    BAD CASTING: Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly (1996)..
    Close-up of Julia in a housekeeper uniform
    Julia Roberts was miscast as a plain-looking English housemaid. However, her chic and fashion-forward style made her stand out. Despite being criticized for being ‘old’ and too tall for the role, Roberts brought a unique charm to the character.
    Close-up of Julia at a media event
    GOOD CASTING: Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008).
    Close-up of Heath as the Joker
    Heath Ledger‘s portrayal of the Joker was nothing short of exceptional. It was so powerful and impactful that it set a new standard for the character. However, his performance was so influential that it has somewhat overshadowed other interpretations of the Joker. Many subsequent Joker stories have tried to match or surpass Ledger’s level of edginess, sometimes resulting in excessive and forced attempts to be shocking. The constant need to push boundaries can sometimes come across as rather awkward and even embarrassing. One such example is the Joker’s choice to cut off his own face and then reattach it, seemingly for the sake of being edgy. While Ledger’s performance was groundbreaking, it’s important for future iterations of the Joker to find their own unique path without relying solely on shock value.
    Close-up of Heath in a bow tie at a media event
    BAD CASTING: Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)..
    Kevin as Robin Hood standing by a horse
    Kevin Costner was a terrible choice as Robin Hood. His lack of a British accent was disappointing and took away from the authenticity of the character. However, his rugged and charismatic portrayal did bring a certain chic and fashion-forward appeal to the role.
    Close-up of Kevin at a media event
    GOOD CASTING: Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon (2008)..
    Frank as Nixon waving
    He looks nothing like Richard Nixon, but he 100% nails the mannerisms and gives a fantastic performance.
    Close-up of Frank in a suit at a media event
    BAD CASTING: Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings series.
    Close-up of Elijah as Frodo
    My forever eternal disappointment and fury for the casting of Elijah Wood as Frodo. It made me want to scream and cry when I saw it in the theaters. If it had been a book, I’d have thrown it across the room — much as he apparently did to the source material after he got the script. To me, it felt like he never even read LOTR. He was nauseatingly terrible. Shudder.
    Close-up of Elijah smiling in a suit at a media event
    GOOD CASTING: Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)..
    Jim as Count Olaf
    The movie was pretty meh, but Carrey’s performance as Count Olaf actually adds elements that I can now recognize are in the books but are hard to notice without a visual. Olaf being a truly vile person is clearly portrayed, but his actions are so evil that you might miss something else: He’s also kind of silly. He has a theatrical pettiness about him that I feel Carrey captured somewhat better than Neil Patrick Harris did in the series.
    Bad Casting: Hugh Jackman in Real Steel (2011) – A Review

    In the world of cinema, casting plays a crucial role in the success or failure of a film. It is the responsibility of the filmmakers to choose the right actors who can portray their characters convincingly and bring them to life on the screen. Unfortunately, there are times when casting choices can go terribly wrong, and the audience is left questioning the decision-making process behind it.

    One such example is the casting of Hugh Jackman in the film Real Steel (2011). While Jackman is undoubtedly a talented actor known for his iconic role as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, his portrayal of a struggling former boxer in Real Steel felt out of place and disconnected.

    Real Steel is set in a futuristic world where robot boxing has become a popular sport. The story revolves around Charlie Kenton (played by Hugh Jackman), a former boxer who now controls robot boxers. Jackman, known for his ripped physique, is no stranger to action-packed roles. However, in Real Steel, his physicality overshadowed his acting abilities, making it difficult for the audience to empathize with his character’s journey.

    Furthermore, Jackman’s natural charm and charisma, which he effortlessly brings to his other roles, seemed forced in Real Steel. His character lacked the depth and complexity needed to make the audience emotionally invested in his success. Instead, he came across as a one-dimensional action hero, relying on his physicality rather than his acting skills.

    While it is not entirely Jackman’s fault, as the casting directors and filmmakers ultimately made the decision to cast him in the role, it is still worth mentioning that his presence did a disservice to the film. Real Steel had the potential to be a thought-provoking exploration of humanity’s relationship with technology and the consequences of our obsession with entertainment. However, Jackman’s casting choice hindered the film from reaching its full potential.

    In conclusion, the casting of Hugh Jackman in Real Steel (2011) was a misstep that resulted in a lackluster performance. The film could have benefited from a more suitable actor who could bring the necessary depth and complexity to the character. It serves as a reminder that casting choices should always be carefully considered, as they can make or break a film.
    Hugh as Charlie in the movie with Dakota Goyo as Max
    I felt Hugh Jackman had the wrong energy for the washed-up, down-on-his-luck ex-boxer in Real Steel. He looked like neither.
    Close-up of Hugh smiling in a suit at a media event
    GOOD CASTING: Hugh Jackman in X-Men.
    Hugh as Wolverine
    Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was a weird one. A guy best known for his musical theater work would end up helping to turn one of the biggest badasses in comics into one of the most iconic and popular superhero film roles of all time.
    BAD CASTING: Tom Cruise in Interview With the Vampire (1994)..
    Tom as Lestat
    I really despised Tom Cruise as the vampire Lestat. He felt so…American. I craved for Lestat to exude France from every inch of his being, but Cruise lacked that essence.
    Close-up of Tom smiling at a media event
    And finally….
    GOOD CASTING: Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman movies.
    Close-up of Michael in a bow tie
    Historically, Michael Keaton was regarded as an unconventional choice for Tim Burton’s Batman. However, his exceptional portrayal not only won over skeptics but also influenced future adaptations.
    Close-up of Michael waving in a suit and bow tie at a media event
    Do you agree with these opinions? What are some other ‘bad’ casting choices in movies and TV shows that you’ve seen? What are some of the best that took you by surprise? Let us know in the comments below!

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