10 A-List Actors Who Rejected Iconic Roles

There are no excuses for turning down these masterpieces.

Sought-after actors (probably) have entire rooms dedicated towards their to-read script stacks, so it's understandable that they might accidentally overlook a few major hits because of sheer exhaustion. But there are no excuses for passing over the greatest films and TV shows of all-time, like these accident-prone A-listers...

Will Smith: Neo (The Matrix Trilogy)

Year: 1999

Instead starred in: Wild Wild West 

Replaced by: Keanu Reeves


Hugh Jackman: James Bond (Casino Royale)

Year: 2006

Instead starred in: The Prestige

Replaced by: Daniel Craig

Jack Nicholson: Michael Corleone (The Godfather)

Year: 1972

Instead starred in: The King of Marvin Gardens

Replaced by: Al Pacino

Tom Cruise: Ren McCormack (Footloose)

Year: 1984

Instead starred in: Legend

Replaced by: Kevin Bacon

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John Travolta: Forrest (Forrest Gump)

Year: 1994

Instead starred in: Pulp Fiction

Replaced by: Tom Hanks

Matthew Broderick: Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Year: 2008

Instead starred in: Diminished Capacity

Replaced by: Bryan Cranston

Johnny Depp: Ferris (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Year: 1986

Instead starred in: Platoon

Replaced by: Matthew Broderick


Jim Carrey: Edward (Edward Scissorhands)

Year: 1990

Instead starred in: High Strung

Replaced by: Johnny Depp

Pamela Anderson: Scully (X-Files)

Year: 1998

Instead starred in: V.I.P.

Replaced by: Gillian Anderson

Harrison Ford: Oskar Schindler (Schindler's List)

Year: 1993

Instead starred in: The Fugitive

Replaced by: Liam Neeson

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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