Maybe you’re not aware of this, but movie casting is not always easy. You have to throw auditions to find the best match, watch the actor in action and hope they’ll have good chemistry with the other members of the team. While some producers know from the beginning what star they want to cast, others take a leap of faith and hope everything will turn out great in the end. Here are 10 casting choices that didn’t look good on paper. But they turned out great on screen.
10. MICHAEL KEATON IN BATMAN
Up to 1989, Michael Keaton was best known as a comedy actor who had little to do with drama or thrillers. So you can imagine fans were confused, then upset and then angry when they heard Tim Burton had cast Michael Keaton as Batman for the upcoming movie with the same title. As a consequence, the disappointed fans flooded the mailboxes of Warner Bros, voicing their concerns. Keaton ended up playing Batman and after the movie’s premiere fans and critics alike were silenced.
9. HEATH LEDGER IN THE DARK KNIGHT
Nowadays it’s hard not to think about Heath Ledger when someone brings up the Dark Knight. But this wasn’t always so. When Christopher Nolan made his choice public, fans went berserk once again. Apparently, it was difficult to see the “10 Things I Hate About You” actor playing the Joker. Once more, the producers’ decision was right, and the fans fears’ were subdued when they saw Heath Ledger’s performance.
8. BRUCE WILLIS IN DIE HARD
But he’s perfect in that role, I can hear you shouting. Yes, nowadays, that’s all we think when we see Bruce Willis on the screen. But back when “Die Hard” came out in 1980, the viewers in the movie theaters started laughing when they saw Willis wielding a gun and sporting a tight tank top. They were used with seeing him in sitcoms, not in action movies. I guess the situation would now be reversed if he’d be cast in a sitcom.
7. JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT IN LOOPER
What was wrong with this one? It appears that “Looper” previews presented a Joseph Gordon Levitt smothered in make up and even wearing a prosthetic so he could resemble young Bruce Willis better. This put off the fans who feared the entire movie would be a disaster, so they didn’t welcome Levitt with arms wide open. But they calmed down when they saw the finite product which was a great sci fi action movie.
6. SACHA BARON COHEN IN HUGO
After laughing so hard at “Borat” and “Da Ali G Show”, viewers just couldn’t imagine Sacha Baron Cohen in “Hugo”. He came from a completely different universe, how could he rise up to the occasion and do well in a serious movie? Still, he was cast as the Station Inspector in Scorsese’s film and proved everyone wrong.
5. CHARLIZE THERON IN MONSTER
Theron used to be the pretty girl with a perfect manicure who appeared in big budget movies on stilettos. Or at least that’s how her audience perceived her before she played in “Monster”. No one understood the film makers’ decision at first, but Charlize made up for their fears by completely committing herself to her role. The physical transformation she underwent was amazing and spoke volumes about her ability to invest in a role.
4. JOHN TRAVOLTA IN PULP FICTION
John Travolta wasn’t doing so great before the release of “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. So it’s understandable why quite a few eyebrows were raised when he was cast as Vincent Vega. The fans were not disappointed in the end. Travolta reentered the limelight and his acting career got to enjoy a reboot.
3. UMA THURMAN IN KILL BILL
Thurman didn’t spend too much time on the sets of high quality movies. That is, before Tarantino decided she’d play the bride in “Kill Bill: Vol. 1”. After her performance, not even skeptics could still deny her acting skills. She slowly won the confidence of her audience, who gradually learned not to doubt her again.
2. CHER IN MOONSTRUCK
Not many people stood by Cher when she was cast in “Moonstruck”. She had had some minor roles, but nothing predicted her stunning performance in the 1987 movie. And her efforts to win the public didn’t go unnoticed. She won an Oscar for her performance as a book keeper from Brooklyn.
1. JIM CARREY IN THE TRUMAN SHOW
After “Ace Ventura”, “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber”, we can’t blame the fans for doubting Jim Carrey when he was cast as Truman in “The Truman Show”. He didn’t fail to rise up to the occasion and delivered one of his most brilliant performances in his career.