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20 Miscast Movie Roles That Completely Ruined Movies

14 December 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by Michael Ryan

miscast movie roles

Film casting must be the most underrated job in the industry. As a matter of fact, most of the time, there won’t be any problems with the casting. People just take it for granted that Heath Ledger is born to play The Joker and Marlon Brando is built to make the Godfather his role. However, sometimes the casting decisions did go wrong. It’s not the actors’ fault, they just appeared in the wrong movies. Here are 20 bad casting decisions in the history of Hollywood.


20. Angelina Jolie as Margaret Russell

Angelina Jolie as Margaret Russell

The Movie: The Good Shepherd

The Miscasting: Angelina Jolie is just too sexy to play the domestic wife. Can you imagine her staying at home while Damon’s character traveling around Europe? Not a chance!


19. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Movie: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Miscasting: McGregor is great in both Shallow Grave and Trainspotting as a sneaky young man. but he’s not right for a Jedi master, maybe Alec Guinness is just too good that anyone who plays the young version seems wrong.


18. Keanu Reeves as John Constantine

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine

The Movie: Constantine

The Miscasting: Comic book Constantine is a wry Liverpudlian with a Thatcher’s Britain attitude to making enemies and amoral decisions. Reeves is a blank plank of American vacancy battling demons but not looking that bothered about it.


17. Halle Berry as Catwoman

Halle Berry as Catwoman

The Movie: Catwoman

The Miscasting: The biggest mistake here is to cast an Oscar-winning actress and gave her a script with nothing substantial on it.


16. Colin Farrell as Alexander The Great

Colin Farrell as Alexander The Great

The Movie: Alexander

The Miscasting: Playboy Farrell plays one of the greatest kings in the history of human kind? With that Irish accent? This couldn’t go more wrong.


15. Ralph Fiennes as Christopher Marshall

Ralph Fiennes as Christopher Marshall

The Movie: Maid in Manhattan

The Miscasting: Fiennes is a brilliant actor, there is no doubt about it. But he’s just not right for any Romance film. If you have watched Red Dragon, you would feel as he was going to bite J-Lo’s mouth off in those romantic scenes.


14. Christian Bale as John Connor

Christian Bale as John Connor

The Movie: Terminator Salvation

The Miscasting: Simply put, Christian Bale, one of the greatest actors working in Hollywood today, is too good for a lousy role like Connor in this terrible movie.


13. Ed Norton as Will Graham

Ed Norton as Will Graham

The Movie: Red Dragon

The Miscasting: It’s hard to imagine this miscast actually happens in a film where other characters are all brilliantly cast (as a matter of fact, the first three films in the franchise are all well-cast except this one), we want something like his role in Primal Fear here, but his agent is too weak to be a strong opponent of Dr. Hannibal.


12. Julia Roberts as Tess

Julia Roberts as Tess

The Movie: Ocean’s Twelve

The Miscasting: Julia Roberts pretends that she is Julia Roberts, sounds pretty good and normal, right? But it takes a really charming woman to shine in a male-dominant film like this, Roberts surely failed the task.


11. Brad Pitt as Achilles

Brad Pitt as Achilles

The Movie: Troy

The Miscasting: To cast Brad Pitt as the handsome warrior sounds like a good idea, but Pitt’s presence is too perfect for the role, he looks like nothing more than a blonde doll in the film.



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  • MattySucks

    What fanboy writes this s$%t? Simpson as catwoman? Bruce Campbell as batman, good thing you are not a casting agent. Keep writing garbage fanboy.

  • mrsatyre

    I’m always happy to see Alanis Morissette in anything at all. Her adorable face, killer smile and big boobs are a perfect combo.

    • Mikey O.

      In a way, Alanis Morissette IS God!

  • Van Chandler

    Please remove Christian Bale’s balls from your throat before writing another article. Sheesh.

  • Adam02

    Pathetic. The author jumps on the SW prequels hate bandwagon just to get views for this article (since we know there are thousands of them constantly looking for anti-prequels stuff on the internet to agree with). Hayden portrayed Anakin perfectly well. If you can’t see it you simply don’t understand the character. And complaining about Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan? Really? I mean REALLY? Oh, you have a problem with Bale as John Connor… come on. Who is this guy???

    • snaxmaster

      Hayden was a horrible, horrible, horrible actor in episode 2 and 3. Horrible. And that opinion has nothing to do with “knowing” the character and everything to do with his acting skills. Jar jar was more enjoyable to watch.

  • Adam02

    Pathetic. The author jumps on the SW prequels hate bandwagon just to get views for this article (since we know there are thousands of PT haters constantly looking for anti-prequels stuff on the internet to agree with and claim as facts). Hayden portrayed Anakin perfectly well. If you can’t see it you simply don’t understand the character. And complaining about Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan? Really? I mean REALLY? And you have a problem with Bale as John Connor… come on. Who wrote this crap???

    • Sue

      Hayden was a horrible, horrible, horrible actor in episode 2 and 3. Horrible. And that opinion has nothing to do with “knowing” the character and everything to do with his acting skills. Jar jar was more enjoyable to watch.

  • wat

    Wow, the author of this needs to get off Christian Bale’s dick.

  • John Erlandsson

    I thought Ewan was perfect as a young Obi-Wan!!!

  • david k

    This is the most arbitrary list you’v ever made with no rhyme or real reason why you’ve picked these characters actors or films. Some of these I agree are miscast others are fine. There are other movies with bad casting it seems silly picking on these.

  • Raivis Rakstiņš

    Hayden Christensen wasnt in the Phantom Menace.

    • eternalozzie

      Exactly … That was Attack Of The Clones … I would like to remind everyone if your script is crap your movie will be no matter who you cast.

  • César Lima

    whaaat the fuuuck!??!?!? stupid article

  • Pronk

    Most of the proper suggested actors would have been too young or were unknowns at the time the original movie came out

  • 277Volt

    Constantine should have absolutely been Guy Pierce!

  • Mo Reno

    Some spell-checking wouldn’t hurt.

  • Anthony Poirier

    I agree with almost every actor on this list, with a few exceptions, Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in Brothers Grimm. I thought they did a splendid job myself. I disagree vehemently with the view that Natalie Portman was horrible as Evey in V. She was incredible, and didn’t have to fake the british accent (right Keanu? You did know John Constantine was a British character too, right?)
    And, for as much as I think Ben Affleck is a lazy, mono-styled, best as an stand-in type actor. I was actually surprised by how well he portrayed Daredevil. For such an mediocre film, he was the lone stand out. Although I cringe about how badly he’s going to screw up the Batman franchise.

    • Dayakar Padayachee

      and you know this how. and don’t say because of his reputation. He hasn’t had much chance to do major blockbuster roles. Have you see Hollywood Land, Argo, Gone Girl, i would like you to watch those films before judging.

    • M.

      ‘You did know John Constantine was a British character too, right?’ – not in the Warner script. A script which went through so many ‘creative’ hands it’s a wonder the movie is coherent.

  • Patrick

    This article doesn’t make any sense. A lot of the Should Have Cast choices include actors that were undiscovered when the film was shot. Really lazy writing.

  • Guest

    Hey David Zou, you got a little Christian Bale spunk on your chin.

  • Stacey A. Ward

    You are suggesting George Clooney, who made a vile and reprehensible “joke” about Chuck Heston’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s after Heston’s 2002 announcement as the guy who should have played the Heston role in the remake? Give me a break! Alpha male? Clueless Clooney? Wahlberg may not have been great casting, but he did a serviceable job, and he’s a damned site more Alpha male than Clooney, who as I understand it, did not even apologize for his remarks about Heston after getting called-out for his bad-taste and poorer manners… I’m a liberal politically but you could not pay me to watch a Clooney movie after that real-life “performance” revealed just what a nothing he is… I have infinitely more respect for Chuck Heston as an actor, a humanitarian who headed-up aid missions to many of the same places Clooney is trumpeted for visiting, and certainly as much more of an epitome of both a gentleman and an Alpha male than Clooney could ever dream of being… And Mark Wahlberg treated Heston with respect. Kudos also to the new re-boot of Planet of the Apes for many respectful nods toward the original Taylor. And you all, respectfully, should seriously re-think that casting critique above.

    • snaxmaster

      The Wahlberg version is the only reboot of Planet of the Apes. The new ones are prequels to the Heston Originals.

      • S.A. Ward

        It re-booted interest in the series, and has been frequently called a re-boot in the Entertainment media. You are arguing semantics, as opposed to the substance of my criticism. Not the most cogent of replies.

        • snaxmaster

          It’s not semantics. Episode 1 “rebooted” interest in Star Wars but I would never call it a reboot. I was just correcting you, not bashing you. Either way, didn’t intend an argument over it.

          • snaxmaster

            Ok, so I’m wrong. You’re right. It’s a reboot. I looked it up.

          • S.A. Ward

            Thank you. That was gracious and I appreciate it. I took the initial correction as snark, something I should not have rushed to do. This issue aside, while I see your point about casting a more classically robust actor than Wahlberg, I hope you can also realize that for those of us who love Charlton Heston as a person and an actor, George Clooney will forever be an inappropriate individual to step into a remake of a Heston movie. Clooney took political disagreement to an ugly and unacceptable level, when he mocked Heston’s announcement of his diagnosis with what is still a horrible, ultimately fatal disease, one we now know from the latest findings announced in the Journal Neurology claims 500,000 lives a year and not the previously suspected 88,000. Heston did charitable works all of his professional life and left a legacy as a beloved figure across many continents, with a remarkable body of professional work, and a family who adored him. I strongly doubt Clooney will accomplish a tenth of that.

          • snaxmaster

            If you’re talking to me, I didn’t say anything about Heston.

          • S.A. Ward

            I know that. I was referring to the suggested casting of George Clooney instead of Mark Wahlberg as George Taylor in Planet of the Apes.

  • vincent

    of the movies ive seen, which is like maybe half on this list, i respectfully disagree with all your opinions

  • Matthew Mahoney

    This writer is terrible on so many levels that writing a response for him would be pointless since they are probably stuck in their ways. Its like a litte boys wet dream casting, yea jessica simpson in black cat suit is enough said.

    • snaxmaster

      I think, I HOPE, that was meant to compare her acting to the movie quality. Like bad movie deserves bad actor type of thing. At least I sincerely hope so.

  • sammy

    Ha Ha this is funny “Norton’s a smart cookie, but he’s all over the place here. Why the urine-blonde mop, Ed? Why the permanently crumpled fa- JESUS DID YOU BLEACH YOUR EYEBROWS?” —The author of this article doesn’t understand that actors don’t get to make wardrobe decisions in movies.. They are hired to act the part.

  • Drvobradi

    I agree that Kenneth Branagh would make a good Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I think Ewan McGregor did a fine job, considering the writing.

    Also, I really don’t think that your two ‘better’ castings make sense:
    – Alexander Skarsgard as Alexander the Great.
    Skarsgard is 1,94m (6.45 feet) tall, while Alexander the Great was considered short, even for that olden times!

    – Daniel Craig as Achilles.
    In Iliad, Achilles is said to be among the most BEAUTIFUL people in the world. I know that beauty is subjective, but Daniel Craig isn’t really an epitome of beauty.

  • Emma

    I love how some of their suggested actors would have been way too young for the role when it was made.

  • Robert DAgostino

    just more proof that you fools have no clue what you are writing about. atleast 4 or 5 should not be on this list. I hope you dont get paid for this crap.

  • xXGrizZ

    I thought Ewan McGregor was one of the best things about the prequel trilogy my self.

  • Iam_Spartacus

    Not everybody will agree with me on this, but I thought Decaprio was miscast in the Aviator. Josh Brolin would’ve been much better.

  • Tinderbox

    Get your goddamned Star Wars movies straight.

  • chaneldeschanel

    I usually like your list but this list is complete crap. Halle Berry doesn’t even include in this list cause that experience for her to be there and that whole movie was already stupid in the first place.

  • ladyofargonne

    None of these is exactly keeping me up at night.

  • Ivan Galić

    Expet Hayden and maybe Vaughn and Farell every other casting choice was ok.. The problem where the directors and scripts… There are few actors in the history of cinema that can perform great under shity directing and script. Jack Nicholson as an example. And as for Brothers Grimm… that movie was butchered by the studio… so really your list doesnt work… at all… And Ewan in Phantom Menace didnt have really a lot to say in the movie… Liam took the spotlight there… in other to he performed much better…

    • Mikey O.

      Speaking of Jack Nicholson, take a look at THE EVENING STAR. He seems bored to even reunite with Aurora. So there are exceptions. Even Meryl Streep did SHE-DEVIL in 1990 with Roseanne. We forgave her…

  • cristina willigs

    who made this list? brad pitt was greate in troy oh maybe a jelous man,

  • jacobo villalobos

    This post is stupid. I mean, is like: “this is a bad casting because i don´t like it”. Nothing more. “OMG, they look silly and their accent were bad…”

  • Kriss_Kringle

    Half of these roles weren’t that bad.They were not very inspired castings,but in no way completely ruined the films.This article sounds more like fanboy rage.

  • giallopudding

    How about twitchy, balding, post modern Michael Keaton as the Batman? Blech.

    • Mikey O.

      If you see BIRDMAN, you’ll regret that comment. It had to happen… 🙂

  • Adam Mathews

    Seriously? You’re going to criticize Alanis Morrisette for her role as god in a comedic movie? “too limited”…limited in what, exactly? Too limited to act silly while playing a mute god character? Would Morgan Freeman’s facial expressions have REALLY added so much more? Idiotic assessment of a comedic role.

  • james rodrigues

    Wow, the reasonings behind these choices are poor. A lot of them are essentially “he doesn’t look smart enough, he’s too pretty”. and only actors like Morgan Freeman can play God? Where is this unwritten law stated? What a poorly written article.

  • Ted Wolf

    Great article, though I actually enjoyed Pitt as Achilles and Clooney as Bruce Wayne. There was nothing that could have saved Burton’s misguided POTA,, that was one of the all-time worst ideas ever.

  • Daria Dykes

    I agree about everything except Alanis Morrisette as God. It’s not like any actor has a range that could include honestly pulling off a characterization of an almightly eternal being, so of course it’s a farce. And casting Alanis Morrisette makes it a *perfect* farce. I laugh all the way through, every time.

  • Izabela Dinu

    i think that hayden christensen did a good job in episode 2 portraying Anakin at the brinks of innocence and adulthood. However, he did not rise up to the depth required for episode 3, so this might not be the casting director’s fault, since a change of the main actor could have been a recipe for disaster. I also don’t agree with what you said about ewan mcgregor. He makes a hell of a jedi! As far as Constantine goes, i am not familiar with the comics, but i think that keanu’s interpretation was in sync with the movie. Perhaps the movie was merely inspired by the comics and intended for the story to be more realistic for our times. And i don’t think anyone had any complains about Natalie in V for Vendeta. Do you prefer a mediocre actress with a good accent? I for one am willing to move pass the accent, considering Natalie’s mind blowing performance.

  • Mikey O.

    I thought Vince Vaughn did his ultimate best as Norman. PSYCHO was an implausible remake that offered nothing new to chew (or choke) on. His task was a challenge because I could (at least) distinctly see him trying not to merely mimic Anthony Perkins’ (should have been Oscar-nominated) performance. A brave role to take. Let’s be frank, we’d be criticizing anybody who played the part if Vaughn had not. Let’s put some more effort into this with miscast roles such as Sylvester Stallone in RHINESTONE (not a great film but likeable), or Dick Van Dyke and his shaky cockney accent in (one of my faves) MARY POPPINS.

  • Mikey O.

    There was also James Caan in the otherwise amazing FOR THE BOYS, Bob Hoskins (R.I.P.) in MERMAIDS, Billy Zane in TITANIC, Gerard Butler in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and both Pierce Brosnan & Christine Baranski in MAMMA MIA! They should have cast Hugh Jackman & Cher instead…

  • TobogganMistra

    almost got all right except Natalie Portman as Eve – she was perfect for the role..honestly brad pitt as achilles wasnt too bad either…rest was dead on

  • Jackie Chan

    i rink, bradd pitt was super duper EXCELLENT american! in achilles

  • Enigmatic Polymath

    The biggest miscasting of all time wasn’t even mentioned. Matt Damon (great actor) was totally unbelievable as Jason Bourne. Matt Damon comes off as someone who couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. The fight scenes were unrealistic because of the angles needed to shoot Damon’s lack of skills.