Movies [and TV] that would be greatly improved by recasting the lead

I finally caught up with Fun with Dick and Jane, and while I enjoyed the ride, Jim Carrey bugged the hell out of me.
Now, I like Jim Carrey. I think The Mask is one of the best comedies of the 90’s and a great hommage to Tex Avery. And while Carrey is the #1 suspect of chewing the scenery, at times it works to his advantage. He’s also an OK dramatic actor.
But all through Dick and Jane, I kept seeing how much more fun it would’ve been with someone underplaying Dick, someone like… Charles Grodin.

And that’s what prompted this thread.

Carrey produced Dick and Jane (With the help of Madhair Grazer), so it’s totally his own creation. Carrey would never let Grodin play the part, because Carrey’s ego is the size of a small continent.
I also think this is the problem with many miscastings, i.e. there’s a big name attached to the production and rather than letting the right actor play the part, the studios, producers and agents let the Big Name do it.

Anyone else have another example to share?

CSI Miami might be worth watching if the David Caruso character was killed off.

A current release: The Last Legion. Colin Firth is just not made to play the commander of a Roman legion.

Gerard Butler, Russell Crowe, Clive Owen, Daniel Craig… There are TONS of actors better suited to the role than Firth.

Superman Returns needed both leads recast. Lois should have been played by someone who was (a) actually brunette, (b) looked like she had passed puberty, and © could plausibly seem to have actually read a book in her life. I’m thinking Lauren Graham.

As for Superman/Clark–well, that’s harder.

There are probably hundreds of examples: The guys who played Anakin Skywalker (miscast); Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great (miscast!); every lead in “Bonfire of the Vanities” was miscast. But the one that came immediately to my mind is a Golden Oldie of Miscasts: “South Pacific”, the 1958 film. It starred Mitzi Gaynor in the role Doris Day was born to play.

Note - I think Dustin Hoffman was horribly miscast as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”, but I know there are sensible folks who actually prefer his version to the classic Lee J. Cobb. To each their own, I guess.

I loved The Postman,but I think it would have been better received had Costner not been the star.

Maybe with John Ratzenberger? :stuck_out_tongue:

I always wished John Cusack had played Neo in The Matrix instead of Keanu Reeves (and just wipe the sequels out of existence completely).

Speaking of Keanu Reeves, he was horridly miscast in Constantine, the horror-noir film based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer. John Constantine should be a cynical, working-class BRITISH con man, ideally someone who looks like Sting after decades of living hard and confronting the greatest evils the world has to offer. A short list of actors who would have kicked ass in the title role: Daniel Craig, James Marsters, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Kiefer Sutherland. The movie isn’t bad, but it could have been a million times better with any of those guys.

Colin Farrell would have made the very good *Gangs of New York * damn near flawless if he replaced Leonardo DiCaprio. “Let’s see… we need a young, streetwise Irish-American brawler who looks like he can hold his own against Daniel Day-Lewis’ brilliant and violent psychopath.” “How about Colin Farrell? He’d be perfect!” “Naw, let’s get DiCaprio. Girls think he’s so cute after Titanic!”

I agree. Even though Farrell as an actor certainly isn’t perfect, he would’ve been ideal in the role. In fact, I remember reading somewhere (I wish I remember the source) that he was Scorsese’s first choice for the role but Farrell couldn’t do it because he’d already committed to do The Recruit with Al Pacino. As a result, they cast DiCaprio who’s about as menacing as a member of high school swing choir.

Have to agree with Superman Returns…it’s the one I came into the thread to mention.

Most people seem to agree that Scott Bakula was the wrong choice for Enterprise, but that would just be the tip of the iceberg for how I would have done a pre-TOS spinoff differently.

Now, come on - who else could possibly replace David Caruso for sunglass maneuvers, talking with his head on sideways, and awkward gravitas?

(And no saying “Your average chimpanzee?” :smiley: )

“The Fantastic Four” has any number of things wrong with it, but Jessica Alba as Sue Storm is one of the big ones. It doesn’t help that not only does she not have chemistry with Ioan Gruffud, but they’re actually creepy together. I guess they blew all their budget on the special effects, and had about $19.95 left for her blonde wigs, too.

I haven’t seen either FF movie, and I’m a comic book fan (though admittedly, not a big FF fan). I always thought Gretchen Mol, from Rounders, The 13th Floor, and The Notorious Bettie Page, would be the perfect Sue Storm. I also thought Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans looked way too similar in age and generally alike (handsome, yet completely nondescript) to play Reed and Johnny.

…or because Grodin is a 60 year old man.

Apart from having a kindergarten brat, there’s nothing in the part that contradicts Dick being 60. In fact, it’d work even better, since a former 60 year old VP would indeed have a hard time finding a job.
And if Harrison Ford can play Indy and Willis McClane and get away with it, Grodin could very well play Dick Harper.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Tom Waits would have done better as Jonathan Harker.

As a matter of fact, Winona Ryder in drag would have made a better Jonathan.

Or possibly the mangey old aluminum armature Willis O’Brien used for King Kong, that he kept in his garage for sixty years. It had about the same range of facial expression, too.

As for Anakin Skywalker…y’know, I think he actually got the look of the part down well enough that you could salvage the performance just by dubbing him over. I’m thinking Crispin Freeman.

…actually, come to think of it, you could probably have cast Freeman in the live action roll and made it work. He’s even a little taller.

There’s an interesting little 1987 cop movie called Fatal Beauty. I figure there are about ten actresses (with Kathleen Turner topping the list) I’d rather have seen in the lead than Whoopi Goldberg.

Or George Segal?

Let’s see, we’ve all been bitching about the new Flash Gordon series. Recasting some of the interchangeable brunette women, the guy playing Ming the Middle Manager and Flash would probably help.

Michael Crawford was so miscasted n the musical “Dance of The Vampire.” They should have gone with Steve Barton.

Arthur Miller reportedly liked Hoffman in the role, saying that he was the sort of actor he’d had in mind from the beginning for the part of Willy Loman (even though Lee J. Cobb, having originated the role, has become iconic)

Tom Waits was an excellent Renfield, but he’s too old for Harker. And truthfully- I don’t think Keanu was that bad. He stumbles awkwardly into a weird surreal world. He’s stunned senseless by the horror that is revealed around him. And finally he comes back a PTSD survivor trying to recover & then becoming obsessed with killing Dracula. So I could justify his Keanu-esque qualities as being realistic for Harker.
Besides- Uncle Forry wouldn’t hand over the armature.