It’s hard to imagine anyone but Jack Nicholson starring as the psychotic protagonist of The Shining. And where would The Godfather trilogy be without the somber, low-key performance of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone? While we’re at it, can we even begin to conceive of Ghostbusters working as a coherent movie without Bill Murray’s hilarious performance holding it all together? Well, it turns out these roles were almost filled by some noteworthy actors. Here are 15 of your favorite stars and the iconic roles that got away.
Newcomer Emily Browning is the youngest thespian on this list to have already turned down a hugely iconic role. The actress was Twilight author Stephanie Meyer’s preferred choice to play franchise protagonist Bella Swan, but turned down a sure-thing audition citing exhaustion. Browning later said that, given the high level of media scrutiny given to the cast of Twilight, she was glad to have passed on the project.