Ed Skrein’s departure from “Hellboy” was not the only time a big actor has taken a high-profile role only to bow out. Click through to see more stars who got cold feet.
(photo: “V for Vendetta,” “Predator,” “The Wizard of Oz”)
Ed Skrein quit the upcoming “Hellboy” reboot (release date TBD)
After criticism erupted when the Skrein was cast as the Japanese-American comic-book character, Skrein released a powerful statement about the importance of multicultural representation, and left the role because of the whitewashing.
Ryan Gosling quit “The Lovely Bones” (2009)
Although he gained 60 pounds to play Jack Salmon, Gosling dropped out a month before filming because he thought the age difference between himself and the character would be too distracting. “The age of the character versus my real age was always a concern of mine. [Director] Peter [Jackson] and I tried to make it work and ultimately it just didn’t. I think the film is much better off with Mark Walhberg in that role. Peter Jackson is an incredible filmmaker and I’m here to tell you that he has things up his sleeve that are going to blow peoples’ minds. I’m going to be the first person in line to buy tickets,” he said of the decision.
Kel O’Neill quit “There Will Be Blood” (2007)
Although the role of Daniel Day-Lewis’ foil Eli Sunday eventually went to Paul Dano, Kel O’Neill was the first person cast in the part. But The New York Times implied in a feature that he left because he was intimidated by Day-Lewis’ intense method acting to become Daniel Plainview.
James Purefoy quit “V for Vendetta” (2005)
Purefoy was cast as the masked V, but left the film after six weeks of production because of what he cited as “creative differences.” The role then went to Hugo Weaving.
Dougray Scott quit “X-Men” (2000)
Scott was originally cast as Wolverine, but a conflict with shooting “Mission: Impossible 2,” which he had committed to and was wrapping, reportedly caused him to have to drop out of the project. The role then went to Hugh Jackman, turning the unknown actor into a household name.
Harvey Keitel quit “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999)
Keitel was origianlly cast as Victor Ziegler, but was replaced by Sydney Pollack after the shooting schedule for the film became bloated and left him unable to participate.
Jean-Claude Van Damme quit “Predator” (1987)
Though this casting was inspired, JCVD was worried about injuring himself in the first version of the costume, given some of the big stunts required in heavy makeup.
Mickey Rouke quit “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)
Rouke was the first choice to play Axel Foley, and was on board to play, but left to do another movie when preproduction and script revisions took too long.
Frank Sinatra quit “Dirty Harry” (1971)
Even though Clint Eastwood made the role legendary, Sinatra was set to play the part first. He was signed on to do the film, but after six months he dropped out, allegedly due to a wrist injury that prevented him from properly holding the iconic pistol.
Buddy Ebsen quit “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
The original Tin Man had to leave the project as he was allergic to the makeup. He was replaced by Jack Haley, in what would become one of the most famous film roles of all time.
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