Casting Catastrophes: The 13 Worst Movie Casting Choices

While many casting decisions have led to iconic performances and box office success, there have also been instances when they got it all wrong. Someone in a popular online forum asked, “Who was the single worst casting choice in Hollywood film history? Here are the 13 top responses.

1 – Julia Roberts as Kitty Kiernan

julia roberts
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One person pointed out, “Julia Roberts in Michael Collins was super jarring. Her Irish accent was willy-nilly and when it was on, it was still pretty terrible. Plus she just looked out of place, like they dropped a supermodel into the middle of the Irish Civil War.”

They added, “Not that there weren't good-looking people in Ireland at the time, but you shove a big name and face like hers into a historical period piece like that, you're just asking for trouble. They should have cast an Irish actress.”

2 – Mark Wahlberg as Peter Joshua

mark wahlberg
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

One movie fans shared, “Mark Wahlberg in the Cary Grant role in the remake of Charade (The Truth About Charlie).”

They explained, “The whole thing was a train wreck, and a disgrace to everyone involved, save maybe Thandiwe Newton. But none of it was worse than Marky Mark in the male lead.”

3 – Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

People were not happy with Tom Cruise's casting. “More like Jack can't reacher the top shelf!” one movie fan said. Another added, “Why? It's not like Reacher is a 6'5″ blonde giant of a man, lol.”

One person commented, “I think I read somewhere that he wasn't offered the role but bought the rights with the idea that he'd play Reacher.”

4 – Justin Chatwin as Goku

 Justin Chatwin as Goku
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

One commenter said Justin Chatwin “trashed the character of Goku. Just awful.” Another called Dragonball Evolution “hands down the worst anime adaptation of all time.”

A third movie fan noted, “You should have seen the justification for whitewashing when that movie came out. ‘It's not real. It's an imaginary world … so the characters could be white with black hair,' etc.”

5 – Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Fans were not happy with Eisenberg's casting as Lex Luthor. “Can somebody dig into this and see what casting director picked Eisenberg as Lex Luthor?” one asked. Another said, “They cast the wrong berg. It should have been Heisenberg.”

A third joked, “I said Heisenberg, not Eisenberg! — The director, probably. I think Bryan Cranston would have owned that role.”

6 – Topher Grace as Venom

Topher Grace as Venom
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

One film fan asked, “Who cast Topher Grace as Venom? Seriously the kid is from That 70s Show. He's not scary at all. Especially when he was screaming in agony, I thought, this is bad!”

Another person said, “Eddie Brock is built like a brick outhouse in the comic characters. He is the opposite of Parker in most ways, besides being a photographer. He would have made a better carnage than Venom.” 

7 – James Corden in Anything

James Corden
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A top reply was James Corden. “The only good thing he's ever done for the world was starring in this Ricky Gervais joke: The world got to see James Corden as a fat kitty. He was also in the movie Cats,” one person noted.

Another added, “I would say the casting was the least of the issues with that movie. Except for James Cordon. The guy was thrust way too hard into fame he didn't deserve or earn.” 

8 – Anyone in Cats

Anyone in Cats
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Someone commented, “Rebel Wilson in Cats. Taylor Swift in Cats. Idris Elba in Cats.” Another said, “Cats is not a bad musical — they just turned it into a horrible, wretched shell of itself and slapped some CGI on comedians (and a few legit singers). And called it a day.”

9 – Joel Grey as Chiun

Joel Grey as Chiun
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

One movie fan said, “Joel Grey was cast as a Korean martial arts instructor in the film Remo Williams in 1985.” Another commented, “It is hard to put all this into words.” 

Someone replied, “The producers couldn't find the Asian actor they wanted, so they went with Grey at the time. It was, even then, an extremely controversial decision.”

10 – Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi

Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Many people called out a popular case of getting it wrong. “Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's as Mr. Yunioshi is pretty infamous!” one movie fan said.

Another replied, “Yunioshi played a much more prominent role in the novella, so there was something of a point to the character. The trouble was the depiction of the character in the original text was racist. Then when you add in Rooney's gosh-awful performance, it's just vile.”

11 – Jared Leto as Morbius

Jared Leto as Morbius
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

One person shared, “I like to think that they went, ‘This script is awful, but we have to churn the movie out anyway, let's hire someone who doesn't give a hoot…'”

Another responded, “I think the issue was he cares too much. The guy thinks he's a next-level method actor. I heard he used the crutches 100% of the time, needing help to go the bathroom.”

12 – Maria Bello in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Maria Bello in The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Fans were disappointed with this one. “Maria Bello in The Mummy 3, replacing Rachel Weisz. It would've been better to say Evelyn died than to use Maria Bello.”

Another movie buff added, “I concur. She completely lacked the charm that Rachel Weisz brought to the screen and lacked chemistry with Brendan Fraser.”

13 – John Wayne as Ghengis Khan

John Wayne as Genghis Khan
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

One movie lover said, “I have to give this one to John Wayne as Ghenghis Khan.”

Another added, “Whole movie was a fatal disaster. A lot of actors got cancer.” A third stated, “The movie was filmed downwind of nuclear test sites in Utah and dirt from the site was shipped back to Hollywood for use in the sets. So about 40% of the crew got cancer in their lifetime.”

Source: Reddit