Terrible Casting Decisions That Ruined Movies

Some actors just seem destined to play certain parts. We can think of examples like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Marlon Brando in The Godfather, or Hugh Jackman in the X-Men and Wolverine movies. These actors were in the perfect place at the perfect time, chosen just right for the role that had been written. Unfortunately, sometimes, the exact opposite thing seems to happen.

Suicide Squad publicity still, Jared Leto as The Joker
Suicide Squad publicity still, Jared Leto as The Joker. Source: MoviestillsDB.com, Copyrights: Warner Home Video

There are many examples throughout Hollywood history of the wrong actors being chosen for certain roles. Maybe they’re too young, too old, too inexperienced, or just not the right fit for the character, but in any case, they leave us scratching our heads and wondering what on Earth the casting department was doing when they made the decision to hire them. Read on to learn about some absolutely awful casting fails that had a truly negative effect on the films involved.

Chloë Grace Moretz As Carrie

Carrie is a classic Stephen King story about a troubled young girl who develops supernatural powers and takes revenge on her zealous mother and cruel classmates. The story has been adapted into several movie adaptations, but the 2013 version with Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role is widely considered to be the worst, thanks in part to Moretz’s performance.

Carrie 2013, Julianne Moore as Margaret White, Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie White
Carrie 2013, Julianne Moore as Margaret White, Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie White. Source: MoviestillsDB.com. Copyrights: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Moretz is a talented young actress who has excelled in other movies like Kick-Ass, but she failed to capture the character of Carrie in any meaningful way. Carrie is supposed to be clumsy, awkward, and unsure of herself. Still, Moretz played the young girl more confidently and seemed far too conventionally attractive to really pull off the role.

Halle Berry As Catwoman

These days, superhero movies are all the rage, and film series like Avengers have made more money for Hollywood than any other franchise in history. Still, not all comic book characters have been successfully adapted to the big screen, and Catwoman is one of them. 2004’s Catwoman, with Halle Berry in the starring role, was a real stinker and is rated as one of the worst-reviewed movies of all time.

Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004)
Catwoman – 2004, Halle Berry. Photo By Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

Berry had already played Storm rather unsuccessfully in the X-Men movies and made the switch to the world of DC for this one. It’s not her fault that the writing was awful, and the direction was terrible, but she also didn’t do her best acting work in the film either. Luckily, she redeemed her career later on.

Hayden Christen As Anakin Skywalker

Star Wars fans all have their opinions and views on the best film in the series and which actors did the best jobs of embodying their various characters. Still, most of them are in agreement that Hayden Christensen was terribly miscast in the role on Anakin Skywalker for the prequel movies, Episode II and Episode III.

Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Star Wars Episode II – Attack Of The Clones – 2002, Hayden Christensen. Photo By Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Countless actors auditioned for the role, but it was decided that Christensen was the man to play the young version of Darth Vader as he slowly lost his hope and turned to the dark side. As with other actors on this list, Christensen wasn’t at fault for the bad direction and writing in many parts of the films, but his performance as a moody, broody teenage version of one of the world’s most intimidating fictional villains really frustrated fans of the series.

Jared Leto As The Joker

There are a lot of things that angered comic book fans about 2016’s Suicide Squad. Many were annoyed with the plot, the pacing, and how certain characters seemed to differ so greatly on-screen when compared to their comic book counterparts, and most of the fans’ ire was directed towards Jared Leto in the role of The Joker.

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016)
Suicide Squad publicity still, Jared Leto as The Joker. Source: MoviestillsDB.com, Copyrights: Warner Home Video

Leto is an amazing method actor who really gets into his roles and didn’t act badly in Suicide Squad. Still, he seemed way too focused on making the character appear overly psychotic and unpredictable, rather than bringing any kind of nuance or humor to his performance. When compared to other Jokers, like those portrayed by Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and Joaquin Phoenix, he just couldn’t cut it.

Scarlet Johansson As Major

Scarlet Johansson is a talented actress who has shown off her skills in everything from big-budget blockbusters like the Avengers series to romantic dramas like Her. Still, she drew a lot of criticism after being announced in the role of Major in the 2017 live-action adaptation of classic Japanese manga and anime series: Ghost in the Shell.

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Ghost in the Shell – 2017, Scarlett Johansson. Source: Shutterstock

Many fans were frustrated at the concept of a white American actress being cast in the role, accusing Johansson and the movie’s producers of whitewashing. They argued that the role needed to go to an Asian actress, and their anger intensified when it was revealed that many leading Asian actresses had auditioned for the role but had been rejected in favor of Johansson.