The entire weight of a movie lies on the shoulders of the actors and hiring them for roles can be a difficult task. Whether it is because of hectic schedules, backstage politics or even drained performances, Hollywood has seen making considerable decisions of recasting actors. Though most of them do not work out, the following are the 15 recasts better than the original:
15. Ian McDiarmid (Darth Sidious)
Making his first appearance as a hologram in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Sidious was ironically portrayed by a female actor Elaine Baker and voiced by Clive Revill.
Not so surprisingly, when the paled-face emperor of the Galactic Empire was required for a larger role in the sequel Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid was hired and gave a terrific performance.
In fact, the actor reprised the role again three times for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Due to being one of the best characters of the trilogy, director and creator of the franchise George Lucas digitally inserted the actor as Darth Sidious in the DVDs of The Empire Strikes Back.
14. Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
The 1992 comedy horror film Buffy the Vampire Slayer starred Kristy Swanson as Buffy Summers, a cheerleaders who learns about her fate of being a vampire hunter. Receiving mixed to negative reviews, the movie was anything but good and writer Joss Whedon recreated the movie as a television show with a much darker theme.
Among the changes he made, Whedon dared to recast the lead role of Buffy which landed to Sarah Michelle Gellar. Running for seven seasons, the show was met with critical acclaim and made Gellar a household name.
13. Daniel Craig (James Bond)
Portrayed by seven different actors, James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in Hollywood and it has never been an easy task to find the right man for the job. With Die Another Day receiving insanely terrible reviews, Pierce Brosnan had no choice but to step down as Agent 007.
Aiming to find someone who could fill Bond’s shoes, Daniel Craig was hired and the fans expressed their negativity with great backlash. On the contrary, Craig made everyone eat their words as he not only become a better casting choice but also the highest paid actor to portray James Bond and reprised the role three more times.
12. Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk)
Edward Norton is one of the most revered actors today and his casting as Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Hulk was thought to be one of the wisest casting decisions by Marvel Studios. However, when The Avengers was on the verge of being released, Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo.
Constantly insisting to rewrite scripts of The Incredible Hulk, the studio was forced to remove their leading star. No doubt that Norton is a much better actor and his intensity is amazing when it comes to dramatic roles, but the role of the Hulk did not suit him at all. Amazingly enough, Ruffalo surpassed Norton as the Hulk and a vital component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
11. Val Kilmer (Batman)
Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader were met with positive response but were criticized for their dark portrayal of the franchise.
When Joel Schumacher was called to make the sequel with a lighter tone, Keaton left the project and Val Kilmer was hired to fill the void. While the actor portrayed Batman as good as Keaton, he certainly portrayed a better Bruce Wayne than.
10. Hunico (Sin Cara)
Professional Wrestling is a lot like action movies. Both involve a hero, villain, storylines and of course fight scenes. Furthermore, wrestling has its fair share of recasts as well. One in particular is Hunico as the high-flying WWE superstar Sin Cara.
Originally portrayed by Mexican wrestler Místico, the character was the hottest induction of WWE but proved to be a major mistake because of continuously botching during his matches. After eventually being fired, WWE stuck with the character and gave Hunico the chance that Místico never successfully capitalized.
Handling the character with great responsibility and athleticism, Hunico’s Sin Cara continues to wrestle in WWE to this day as a part of the high-flying team Lucha Dragons.
9. Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes)
For the sequel, Rhodey was recasted as Don Cheadle being a comic book fan accepted the role within hours despite not even knowing what the character would do.
8. Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth)
Sabretooth is an arch-nemesis of the X-Men and it was terrible to see the character as Magneto’s hired muscle in X2: X-Men United. In fact, the comic book villain was portrayed by a mere stuntman named Tyler Mane.
Though the movie was met with mixed to negative reviews, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was able to do a few things right and casting Schreiber as Sabretooth was one of them.