Have you ever wondered what would it be like if an actor took a role another is known for? There are actor replacements, but some movie roles were originally for certain actors. Disney has been through something like this and it would have changed the movie drastically. Live action roles are more noticeable than animated roles, so imagining a different actor as someone like Jack Sparrow would impact people’s opinions on the character.
But still, we cannot help but wonder how the films would fare if these actors had not rejected Disney live action roles. The casting was set in stone, but sometimes actors have other plans in mind for their film careers.
Here are fifteen actors who rejected roles in Disney live action movies!
15 Beyoncé as Plumette
Beyoncé is known to reject film roles given to her, including the voice of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. For a live action Disney movie, she was offered the role as the love interest of Lumiere, Plumette. She claimed that the role was beneath her. Despite that, she would become the voice of Nala in the live action version of The Lion King.
14 Shiloh Jolie-Pitt as Aurora
Before Angelina Jolie's daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, took the role as young Aurora, her son was offered the role. His mom wanted him to be young Aurora, but declined due to wanting to be a horned creature, not a princess. Who would not want to be a horned creature like Maleficent?
13 Margot Robbie as Cinderella
Many talented actresses were offered to become Cinderella, including the lovely Margot Robbie. According to Collider, she was tested for the role, but as we know, she was not the one to become the one to fit the slipper. Possibly due to filming other projects, she could not portray Cinderella.
12 Will Smith as Holt Farrier
Before becoming the Genie in the live action adaptation of Aladdin, Will Smith was originally going to play a role in the live action version of Dumbo as Holt Farrier. According to Deadline, Will rejected the role due to salary and scheduling. Instead, Colin Farrell would take on the role of Holt.
11 Harry Styles as Prince Eric
One Direction's Harry Styles would have been the perfect choice as Prince Eric in the live action The Little Mermaid. Rumors spread when it was confirmed that he would play the handsome prince. Many websites, including TheWrap, have him announce that he turned down the role. If that is not soul-crushing, we do not know what is.
10 Selena Gomez as Mitchie
Before her best friend, Demi Lovato would become Mitchie in the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock, Selena Gomez was planned to be the main character. Disney Channel president of entertainment Gary Marsh stated that Gomez turned down the lead role of Mitchie because "she wasn’t ready to explore that part of her talent yet."
9 JoJo as Hannah Montana
Technically this is more about the TV show rather than the movie, but since JoJo turned down the role of Hannah Montana, that'd later result in not being in the movie, either. From Alloy, JoJo explained that she wanted to focus on being an actual artist.
8 Ewan McGregor as Will Turner
The one and only Ewan McGregor could have been Will Turner instead of Orlando Bloom, but as we know it, it did not happen. Oh My Disney states that he, along with other actors like Christian Bale, were considered for Will Turner. Orlando eventually won the role due to his stardom in The Lord of the Rings franchise.
7 Hugh Jackman as Jack Sparrow
And then there is Captain Jack Sparrow, who we all know (and love) is portrayed by Johnny Depp. Before him, Hugh Jackman was written in mind to become the infamous captain in Pirates of the Caribbean. Even though he did not get the role, Hugh was a huge influence for the character.
6 Angela Lansbury as Mary Poppins
Before Julie Andrews would become the one and only Mary Poppins, Angela Lansbury was also considered for the role. Walt Disney himself had her in mind along with Mary Martin and Bette Davis. While she did not get the role, Angela has made an appearance in Mary Poppins Returns as the Balloon Lady.
5 Anne Hathaway as Alice
Honestly, Anne Hathaway would probably have made a better Alice than Mia Wasikowska, but she was offered the role before the unknown actress. From Looper, it is stated that due to already portraying a "pretty girl in a fairy dress," she decided to take on the role as the White Queen instead.
This benefited her as she earned a Teen Choice nomination and won a Scream Award.
4 Ryan Gosling as The Beast
This is one of the big ones. Ryan Gosling was originally planned to be the Beast in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. Instead, Ryan declined the offer in favor for the lead role in La La Land. The role would be taken over by Dan Stevens while Ryan would be in a film which won multiple awards.
3 Emma Watson as Cinderella
While it is interesting to point out that Emma Watson was originally going to be in La La Land (like Gosling), that's not a Disney film. Before becoming Belle in Beauty and the Beast, she was offered the role of Cinderella. She said to The Telegraph that she resonated more with Belle than she did with Cinderella.
2 Leonardo DiCaprio as Max
Leonardo DiCaprio in a Disney live action movie? Yes, please! That would have been very interesting to witness. Originally, he was set to play Max, but ultimately refused the role. This was a good thing for him because Leonardo would earn his first Oscar nomination for What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
1 Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
Surprised on this one? While Julie Andrews has played the iconic Mary Poppins, she was offered to return in Mary Poppins Returns. Her reason to turn down the role is one of kindness: to give Emily Blunt, who would play Mary Poppins, the spotlight. That is a beautiful way to pass the torch.