The right casting can make a movie – even shit movies can be redeemed a little by casting at least one role perfectly well.
By the same logic, however, a film can be totally ruined by the simple decision of who plays who, as these next five examples will prove.
In a game where franchises stand or fall on the strength of box office results, getting the right guy or girl has never been more important.
And it’s safe to say that these five definitely didn’t get it right…
Hayden Christensen – Anakin Skywalker
There have been some poorly miscast roles in movie history, but whiny and petulant Hayden Christensen playing the most badass dude in the galaxy before his transformation into metal clad despot, Darth Vader is probably the worst of them.
Sure, it’s a lot of pressure having a franchise resting on your shoulders, but c’mon – Christensen is so wooden he makes Keanu Reeves look like Daniel Day Lewis.
This guy was never right for that part.
Colin Farrell – Alexander The Great
Right, this is probably the weirdest one of all time – not only is the normally irascible and natural Farrell wrongly cast as the highly educated, yet ruthless, and most charismatic military leader of all time, but they decided to give him a weird blonde barnet.
Seriously, he looks like a Swedish tennis pro from the Seventies.
And, not only is Farrell miscast, but director Oliver Stone then goes and tries to facilitate his star by having everyone else in the film speak with an Irish accent – despite the fact that it takes place in ancient Macedonia, which last time I checked, didn’t even have an Irish pub.
Elijah Wood – Green Street
Elijah Wood seems like he’s a nice guy.
His big smile and soft blue eyes make him look like the bullied kid in school, the kind who other kids routinely spit on but he still never fights back.
So casting him as a football hooligan hard-nut is one of the worst decisions in casting history. A giggling toddler playing peekaboo has more menace.
Kevin Costner – Robin Hood
This is another of those casting decisions that makes you ask ‘what were they thinking?’
Instead of just casting any one of the innumerable, qualified British actors to play the English folk hero, Robin Hood, they instead recruited one of the most folksy and homespun looking American actors ever to walk out of the prairie, Kevin Costner.
Which would be fine but he makes absolutely no attempt to do that accent. None.
Watch that film back, even at some points, Christian Slater as Will Scarlet tries to speak with some kind of accent, but Costner doesn’t even bother, he’s got this.
The only saving grace of that film was Morgan Freeman as the Moorish warrior, Azeem, and obviously Alan Rickman’s wicked turn as the beautifully cuntish Sheriff Of Nottingham.
John Wayne – Genghis Khan
Sticking with the Hollywood tradition of casting white people to play ethnic minorities, literal American icon and legend John Wayne once weirdly played marauding Mongol warlord Genghis Khan
Yep, you read that right.
Widely panned as one of the worst films of all time, The Conqueror is also quaintly racist in a 1950s “we didn’t know no better” kind of way.
The guy in the white hat from all those westerns where he helped with the genocide of a nation is doing the same thing again, only slightly browned up and wearing Ming The Merciless’ goatee.
It basically killed the film icon’s career, it was so bad.