Our most famous characters from movies and shows are inextricably tied to the people who played them. We all know Christopher Reeves was Superman and James Earl Jones was Darth Vader and unfortunately some of us know that David Spade was Joe Dirt. Buy the ticket, take the ride - as Johnny Depp as Hunter Thompson told us. And it's impossible to separate the performance from the character. But casting changes all the time. Studio back alley deal and machinations are the stuff of legend and when you really boil it down - the convoluted process run by world-class yo-yos produces a situation where at the end of the day it's basically fairly random chance that gives us the characters played by actors we learn to know so well.

Here's a look at some casting choices that almost became reality, and how the characters would have looked with the actors who narrowly missed playing them.

NICOLAS CAGE ALMOST PLAYED ARAGORN. CRAGh Cage was offered the role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but turned it down claiming family obligations,

PAMELA ANDERSON COULD HAVE BEEN AGENT SCULLY. GRAGh R Gillian Anderson revealed in an interview that Pamela Anderson (no relation) was the producers'

TIM BURTON WANTED JOHN LITHGOW TO BE HIS JOKER. cRAGh Kit Burton approached Lithgow for the role of the Joker in his 1989 Batman. Lithgow admits that

MARILYN MONROE COULD HAVE STARRED IN BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. CRAA Truman Capote's novel had a more tragic tone than the Paramount production, and the

SANDRA BULLOCK TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF NEO. CRAG SS HR The producers of The Matrix approached a number of actors in their long search to find Neo. One

HEATH LEDGER PASSED ON THE ROLE OF SPIDER-MAN. CRAth According to his agent, Ledger was offered the role of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, bu

JAMES CAMERON ORIGINALLY BASED THE TERMINATOR ON LANCE HENRIKSEN. CRAGH Cameron had a fever dream about a robotic assassin rising from a fire, and tha

LUCILLE BALL TRIED OUT FOR SCARLETT IN GONE WITH THE WIND. Before her groundbreaking years in I Love Lucy, a relatively unknown Ball auditioned for Sc

TIM ROTH WAS THE FIRST CHOICE FOR SEVERUS SNAPE. CRAN It's hard to picture anyone but Alan Rickman portraying Snape, but he wasn't the original choice

ABC WANTED CONNIE BRITTON TO PLAY THE LEAD IN SCANDAL. cracn When the show got the green light, ABC recommended Connie Britton for the role of Olivia

18 Roles That Were Almost Played By Waay Different Actors

SETH ROGEN AUDITIONED FOR DWIGHT ON THE OFFICE. CRAGh sletter S N A bonus feature on the box set for Season 9 of The Office revealed the previously un

ARMIE HAMMER, D.J. COTRONA, AND COMMON WERE ALMOST IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. CRAGh George Miller (of Mad Max fame) almost got to make his own version of

STEPHENIE MEYER REALLY WANTED HENRY CAVILL TO PLAY EDWARD CULLEN. CRAGH The Twilight author had been championing Cavill for years, describing him as h

NATASHA LYONNE PASSED ON BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. CRAGh During her Slums of Beverly Hills breakthrough years, Lyonne was offered many roles that didn

THE DROOGS IN A ICLOCKWORK ORANGE WERE NEARLY THE ROLLING STONES. CRath Not only did Mick Jagger campaign to be the main ultra-violent thug in Stanley

DAVID SCHWIMMER WAS NEARLY AGENTJ IN MEN IN BLACK. CRACKED.COM While playing Ross on Friends, Schwimmer was offered the role of Agent J before it was

RICK MORANIS WAS ALMOST ACE VENTURA. crac VENTURA ACE DETECTIVE PET Jim Carrey's breakout role nearly went to SCTVI Ghostbusters I Honey I Shrunk The
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