Actors Who Turned Down Blockbuster Roles

Source: Rene Teichmann /

6. Tom Cruise
> Role: Ren
> Movie: Footloose (1984)
> Played by: Kevin Bacon

Tom Cruise was initially considered for the role of Ren in “Footloose” because of his socks-and-underwear-clad dance routine in “Risky Business.” Filming of “All the Right Moves” caused scheduling issues, however, and Cruise had to relinquish the role to Kevin Bacon. Cruise’s career has turned out well and he was one of the highest-grossing stars in 2018.


7. Matt Damon
> Role: Jake Sully
> Movie: Avatar (2009)
> Played by: Sam Worthington

Matt Damon was forced to pass on the role of Jake Sully in “Avatar” due to scheduling conflicts with “The Bourne Ultimatum.” The James Cameron film went on to become the highest grossing film worldwide of all time.

Source: gageskidmore / Flickr

8. Benicio Del Toro
> Role: Khan
> Movie: Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
> Played by: Benedict Cumberbatch

Benicio Del Toro was in talks with the filmmakers of “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” reportedly to play the role of the villainous Khan. The actor walked away though, due to disagreements over how much he would be paid.

Source: Tinseltown /

9. Johnny Depp
> Role: Ferris Bueller
> Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
> Played by: Matthew Broderick

Depp was offered to play the lead in John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The 1986 film would have been among Depp’s earliest movie roles had the actor not turned down the opportunity, making way for Matthew Broderick’s iconic performance.

Source: Tinseltown /

10. Leonardo DiCaprio
> Role: Ennis Del Mar
> Movie: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
> Played by: Heath Ledger

Leonardo DiCaprio declined a starring role in “Brokeback Mountain,” according to Gus Van Sant, who was originally on board as director before the movie was handed over to Ang Lee. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Ryan Phillippe were also considered, but each turned down the role that eventually went to Heath Ledger.

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