10+ Times That Directors Made Questionable Casting Choices, and Viewers Couldn’t Forgive Them
One of the most important elements of any movie or series is the cast. Sometimes it’s really hard to please both viewers and critics, especially when it comes to biopics or popular franchises. Let’s not forget that quite often, casting managers choose actors who are not necessarily the best for the role but who are really popular at the moment. And many viewers don’t like these choices.
We at CHEERY decided to look back the times when viewers thought that casting directors made the wrong call.
Lady Gaga as Patricia Gucci
House of Gucci got very mixed reviews. Many people criticized not only the movie itself but also the casting. For example, some people liked Lady Gaga and even compared her talent to Gina Lollobrigida’s. But others thought that Gaga ruined the entire movie.
The main complaint was that Gaga was overacting all the time and tried to do a fake Italian accent, which was ridiculous and distracting from the plot.
Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci
In Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, Jared Leto portrayed Paolo Gucci. But despite the amazing work by makeup artists that changed him beyond recognition, the viewers didn’t like the character anyway. Many people just couldn’t stop laughing because he was clearly overacting and made Paolo look like a Super Mario Brothers caricature. So, he played an American stereotype of an Italian.
Movie critics shared this opinion, so Jared got the Golden Raspberry Award.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
The 2013 screen adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was quite successful. The creators even won 2 Oscars. But some viewers thought that DiCaprio wasn’t the best choice for the role of Gatsby. He did a good job, but maybe it would have been much better if an unknown actor had been hired. The character is supposed to be mysterious, and when an incredibly popular actor is hired, all the mystery disappears.
It might have been better if Leonardo had portrayed Nick Carraway, who is the main character of the story.
Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor
Filming biographies is always a difficult task, because there will always be someone unhappy with the casting choice for the lead role. The creators don’t only need to make the actor look like a real historical person, but also depict that person’s temper and charisma correctly. Unfortunately, many viewers thought that Lindsay Lohan was a terrible choice to play Elizabeth Taylor.
Many people said that the star of teenage comedies just didn’t feel like Elizabeth Taylor, who was a legend and a Hollywood icon. Other fans of Taylor thought that Lohan just lacked the talent and skill to play the actress the way she deserves. This led to the movie getting very bad reviews.
Matt Smith as Milo
Unfortunately, the long-awaited adaptation of the Marvel story about Morbius had very bad reviews. Many people didn’t like the script, which they felt was too simple and stereotypical, and others were disappointed with the acting. Jared Leto’s work in the main role didn’t help much. But it was Matt Smith, who played the evil Milo, that got the most heat. Viewers said his villainous character was one-dimensional and unmemorable.
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot
In 2017, Kenneth Branagh decided to undertake a very ambitious project — he revived the legendary detective Hercule Poirot on the big screen, filming a new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express. Later in 2022, he continued his experiment and released Death on the Nile. Branagh himself played the main role in both films, and his Poirot is a lot different from the iconic characters created by David Suchet and Peter Ustinov.
Not all viewers liked the modern version. Many people thought that Poirot looked ridiculous and more like a clown. Others felt Branagh’s Poirot runs around too much, when the character is known for sitting still and letting his brain do the job.
Léa Seydoux as a Bond girl
There are roles when it doesn’t matter who plays them, the actor or actress will inevitably have to deal with a lot of criticism because of the comparisons. This is what happened to Léa Seydoux, who played a Bond girl in the latest Bond films. Not everyone thought that she was a good choice. Some viewers felt that there was no chemistry between her and Craig, so the entire romance looked forced and hard to believe.
Robert Pattinson as Batman
Many legendary actors have portrayed Batman, from Val Kilmer to George Clooney. And, of course, many fans were eager to watch the new film with Robert Pattinson. Unfortunately, not everyone was satisfied with his work. Some thought that he had no Bat-charisma at all, so his Batman looked sleepy. And others said he seemed like a really awkward and sad goth kid.
Meryl Streep and Lily James as Donna
In 2008, the musical movie Mamma Mia! was released, based on the songs of the famous Swedish band ABBA. The project was so successful that 10 years later, it got a sequel. The main character, Donna, was played in different periods of her life by 2 amazing actresses: Meryl Streep and Lily James.
But some viewers didn’t like this choice. 3-time Oscar winner Streep was already 59 at the time, and she was supposed to be a mother of a 20-year-old daughter. But the story goes that Donna had a child at a very early age, so she would have to be around 40-41. Because of this, some people felt that Streep was not right for the role. Besides, in the next film, the young Streep is portrayed by Lily James, so, just 20 years ago, Donna would have to look like this:
Other viewers said that the actresses don’t look like each other, so it was hard to believe that they were supposed to be the same person.
Dane DeHaan as Valerian
Many viewers thought that the casting for the main role in the film was questionable. Even though Dane DeHaan is talented, he wasn’t able to convincingly play the strong and cheeky Valerian. The viewers felt that producers hired a kid and made him act tough. Of course, we should mention that Dane was 31 years old at the time, but he looks way younger.
Also, fans thought that there was no chemistry whatsoever between Dane and his co-star Cara Delevingne. They looked as if they were siblings, not lovers.
Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great
The 2004 film Alexander confused a lot of viewers. The biggest problem was the actor in the lead role. Even though Colin Farrell is incredibly talented, he wasn’t able to portray the great king. The most attentive viewers noticed that he didn’t look strong or charismatic enough.
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya as Paul Atreides and Chani
The long-awaited screen adaptation of the iconic novel Dune split fans into 2 camps: some really liked Denis Villeneuve’s film, and others felt it was too long and boring. More than that, some viewers didn’t like the acting.
The viewers said that Zendaya’s acting was so flat the EKG wouldn’t register, and Timothee Chalamet’s acting was similarly flat and uninspiring: “For his Paul Atriedes, Spice is salt and very mild pepper.”
Can you remember a time when you felt that the casting of a project was really off?