Elijah Wood as Kevin
The Casting Moment: Elijah Wood, whose star was on the rise after enjoying enormous success with the Lord Of the Rings trilogy, stepped up to play a mute, murdering cannibal in Sin City .
Why It's Crazy: On Wood’s part, it was a clear attempt to escape The Shire and play someone far removed from the hearty young hobbit Frodo. It worked too, with Kevin proving to be a terrifying addition to the Sin City roster. Still can’t quite imagine it’s the same person that usually has Samwise Gamgee in tow…
Robert De Niro as Josh
The Casting Moment: Tom Hanks almost had to back out of starring in Big thanks to a scheduling clash with Dragnet, prompting director Penny Marshall to offer the part to Robert De Niro instead. Thankfully, Bobby proved too expensive so the studio waited for Hanks to become available.
Why It's Crazy: It’s hard to imagine the film Big without Hanks’ boyish looks helping to sell the idea, but, while De Niro certainly has the acting chops to give a good take on the character, would we have ever really been able to believe that he was really a 12-year-old boy on the inside? Especially given his career had mostly consisted of violent movies up until this point.
Nicolas Cage as Superman
The Casting Moment: As Tim Burton prepared his ill-fated Superman movie he cast legendary over-actor Nicolas Cage in the lead role.
Why It's Crazy: It’s hard to know what Cage’s take on the most moral superhero in comic-book history would have been like, but with Burton calling the shots too, you can guarantee that it would have been unlike any other version we have ever seen. We’re still hoping that test footage of Cage in action will be uncovered one day.
Kiefer Sutherland as Dr Schreber
The Casting Moment: In Dark City , a gothic-looking sci-fi brainteaser of a film, mysterious Strangers with psychokinetic abilities are aided by a geeky, socially awkward scientist, as played by bad boy actor Kiefer Sutherland.
Why It's Crazy: Even before 24 , Sutherland had built a career playing hardened characters, often rebels or bullies, so having him play a timid, nerdy doctor was almost unthinkable.
Charlie Sheen as Mr President
The Casting Moment: Charlie Sheen – who hasn’t seen much big-screen action of late – is cast as the President of the United States in deliberate exploitation flick Machete Kills .
Why It's Crazy: It’s tongue-in-cheek stunt-casting. Sheen, after having a much-publicised battle with drugs as well as what seemed like a very public breakdown, is cast as the most powerful and respectable man in the world. We would say it was supposed to be a comment on moral corruption within the White House, but for now we’ll just say it’s kinda funny.
Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack
The Casting Moment: Leslie Nielsen was just one of many serious, dramatic actors cast in disaster film parody Airplane!
Why It's Crazy: It completely turned around his career. Up until now, Nielsen had been a respected actor playing roles in many dramas, but after Airplane! led to Police Squad and, of course the Naked Gun series, his career would never be the same again.
Jim Carrey as Dr Evil
The Casting Moment: When Mike Myers was developing his first Austin Powers movie, he sought out Jim Carrey for the role of Dr Evil, who had to turn it down thanks to a scheduling clash with Liar, Liar .
Why It's Crazy: Not so much for seeing Carrey as the retro antagonist – it actually seems like a good fit – but there’s a certain beauty of having Mike Myers play both hero and villain in this franchise that would have otherwise been lost.
Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt
The Casting Moment: The all-american hero of Top Gun , Cocktail and Days Of Thunder takes a left-turn career-wise to play flamboyant vampire Lestat, despicable mentor of new vamp Louis in Interview With A Vampire .
Why It's Crazy: It has always seemed like Tom Cruise has been at the top of the blockbuster game – the Hollywood A-lister with star charisma and a toothy grin. So having him turn to the dark side, portraying a playful, blood-sucking creature of the night was… a tad different.
Sean Connery as Henry Jones, Sr
The Casting Moment: Indiana Jones is given his greatest foil yet: his own stuffy, bumbling father, to be played by supposed action star Sean Connery.
Why It's Crazy: Sean Connery was still best known for playing James Bond, as well as many other more minor manly roles, so the thought of him being a bickering old dad to Indiana Jones’ dynamic archaeologist was certainly a departure. It worked though and the part remains one of his greatest roles.
Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands
The Casting Moment: Teen idol Johnny Depp is cast as Tim Burton’s mute grotesque misfit in a move that began Depp’s frequent flirtations with oddball characters.
Why It's Crazy: At the time, Depp was riding the success of 21 Jump Street and was fast becoming a young heartthrob for young viewers everywhere. In fact it was his own decision to try to escape that typecasting and try for something more unusual instead. Apparently a young man with scissors for hands is considered ‘unusual’.
Vince Vaughn as Donnie Darko
The Casting Moment: Before Jake Gyllenhaal made his name in the role, Vince Vaughn was offered the part of this dark and disturbed teenager.
Why It's Crazy: Forgetting that Vaughn may have struggled in another dramatic role when he’s clearly more comfortable doing comedy, he was actually in his early 30s at the time he was offered the role. He turned it down because he felt he was too old. He was right.
Tom Cruise as Les Grossman
The Casting Moment: In what was supposed to be a surprise cameo before the Internet ruined everything, Tom Cruise was tapped up by Ben Stiller to play the comically horrible Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder .
Why It's Crazy: Tom Cruise does lots of things very well: car chases, death-defying stunts, earnest sofa-jumping, etc. But going completely off-the-wall as an obnoxious, ridiculous big-shot producer, complete with fat-suit? Who knew he had it in him.
Channing Tatum as Jenko
The Casting Moment: Jonah Hill announces that he is working on a remake of classic 80s show 21 Jump Street and will be starring in the comedy film alongside… Channing Tatum. Star of Step Up .
Why It's Crazy: Tatum has made his name as the strong-jawed heartthrob of many a romantic drama, action film, dance movie, but comedy? Surely he can’t hold his own against the like of Jonah Hill and Rob Riggle in the improvised silliness stakes? Apparently yes, yes he can.
Britney Spears as Allie
The Casting Moment: Britney Spears nearly suffered the envy/wrath of all female Notebook devotees, after she auditioned to play the part that eventually went to Rachel McAdams.
Why It's Crazy: Firstly, it would have seemed like a Mickey Mouse Club reunion for Spears and Gosling, which kind of sets the film off on the wrong foot. Secondly, have you seen Crossroads ? The jury is very much still out on Spears’ acting capabilities. Thirdly, who could deny Gosling and McAdams’ real-life relationship when, to this day, everyone is still rooting for them to get back together.
Werner Herzog as Zec Chelovek
The Casting Moment: The best-selling Jack Reacher series of books gave us one film (so far) that was geared as a new Tom Cruise movie franchise vehicle, which obviously needed a fitting, larger-than-life villain. So the filmmakers plumped for… German film director Werner Herzog.
Why It's Crazy: Herzog may have a reputation for being an eccentric character but it’s still hard to believe that he was ever chosen to portray the bad guy in a major blockbuster movie, particularly considering that acting isn’t even his first vocation. He did the film justice though, lending the role a heavily-accented menace that just about came across as brilliant.
Robin Williams as Hagrid
The Casting Moment: Apparently it was J.K. Rowling who insisted that the Harry Potter films were cast with mostly British actors and actresses. Before then, Robin Williams was being considered for the role of hairy Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid.
Why It's Crazy: It’s impossible to think how Williams would have handled this role, but there’s always the chance that he would have gone wide-eyed and manic with it, given the fantasy nature of the source material. In fact, that would have been quite fun to see.
Kevin Costner as Mr Brooks
The Casting Moment: It seemed like something of a comeback for Costner at the time, as he raised eyebrows playing this eponymous schizophrenic serial killer.
Why It's Crazy: Costner rose to fame playing strong, wholesome heroes, whether it’s Robin Hood, Elliot Ness of Whitney Houston’s bodyguard. The thought of him brutally murdering a couple while they are in flagrante is practically inconceivable.
John Travolta as Edna Turnblad
The Casting Moment: Hairspray's portly mum role has always traditionally been played by a man, but even so it was a shock to see Travolta sign up.
Why It's Crazy: Up until this point, Travolta’s resurging career had mainly revolved around action movies – good or bad – so going for a comedy part that required him to dress up in drag was a bold move. It paid off though, with most thinking that his performance was the best thing in the whole film.
Sean Connery as Gandalf
The Casting Moment: Before Ian McKellen took the role, Sean Connery was offered the part of the grey-turned-white wizard in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He ultimately turned it down because he "didn't understand the script".
Why It's Crazy: imagine the following: "By foul craft, Sharuman has croshed Orcsh with goblin men. He'sh breeding an army in the cavernsh of Ishengard. An army that can move in shunlight and cover great dishtance at shpeed. Sharuman is coming for the Ring."
Patrick Swayze as Jim Cunningham
The Casting Moment: 80s/90s heartthrob Swayze is cast as the smarmy motivational speaker in Donnie Darko , a man who, it is revealed, is also hiding a stash of child pornography.
Why It's Crazy: For many, it's hard to equate this role with that of Dirty Dancing 's hunky Johnny Castle (we'll leave you to make your own jokes about "putting baby in the corner" though).
Chris Evans as Captain America
The Casting Moment: As Marvel began casting its Avengers, a popular choice in the running was actually The Office's John Krasinski. But then the role went to Johnny Storm instead.
Why It's Crazy: Forgetting the fact that Chris Evans had already been playing a different Marvel character, he was renowned for portraying cocky, smartass roles - how could this actor ever take charge over Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark? Luckily Evans proved to have the chips - and the extreme buffness - to pull it off.
Kurt Russell as Han Solo
The Casting Moment: Before Harrison Ford made the role his own, lots of other actors auditioned to play Han Solo in Star Wars , including Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken and Burt Reynolds. Even among these names, an early favourite for the part was Kurt Russell.
Why It's Crazy: It might be easier to imagine now but remember that this was a pre- Escape From New York Russell. At the time, he had been a child star, appearing in a number of Disney movies. Who knows if he would have been able to pull off the scoundrel that Solo needed to be.
Henry Fonda as Frank
The Casting Moment: Sergio Leone had a stroke of genius for his epic western Once Upon A Time In The West when he cast Henry Fonda as the film's villain.
Why It's Crazy: At this point in his career, Fonda was the all-round Hollywood good guy and here he was suddenly playing a child-murdering psycho. It's enough to make you rewatch 12 Angry Men with a conspiracy theory in mind.
O.J. Simpson as The Terminator
The Casting Moment: During preproduction on The Terminator , the studio told director James Cameron that they wanted Simpson to play the ruthless robot from the future.
Why It's Crazy: Cameron said at the time that he didn't think anyone would believe Simpson could be a killer, and we'd have to agree with him. At the time.
Robin Williams as Seymour Parrish
The Casting Moment: In a bid to escape his comedy typecasting, Williams broke into serious acting, with this creepy stalker role being the furthest departure possible from Mork.
Why It's Crazy: Robin Williams is the manic, frantic comedian telling a hundred jokes in a hundred seconds in a hundred funny voices. He is not the disconcertingly quiet, lonely and timid man that imbues One Hour Photo with a sense of alarming disquiet. At least he wasn't, until he proved everyone wrong here.
Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan
The Casting Moment: Unconventional biopic I'm Not There took six different actors to each portray legendary singer Bob Dylan throughout six different periods of his life. One of those actors is... Cate Blanchett.
Why It's Crazy: Do we really need to spell this one out?
Bill Murray as Batman
The Casting Moment: Before Warner Bros hired Tim Burton to turn in a gothic, comic-book Batman film, the plan was to make the movie in the campy style of the Adam West 60s show, and one Bill Murray was in the frame to star.
Why It's Crazy: While a Batman comedy starring Murray quite frankly sounds like the best thing ever, Burton's decidedly darker film went on to become a smash hit and influenced every superhero movie that has come after it. Besides, when it comes to campy Batman, the Adam West show can't be beat.
Rene Zellweger as Bridget Jones
The Casting Moment: The quintessential British, single everywoman is being portrayed by... a Texan waif.
Why It's Crazy: Fans of the book had found a kindred spirit in this socially awkward, pyjama-wearing heroine who struggled with her weight as much as her love life. Casting an attractive American A-lister seemed like a way to Hollywoodise what should be typical Brit gal.
Daniel Craig as James Bond
The Casting Moment: With Brosnan out and Bourne a big hit at the box office, it was time 007 had a new face and a gritty, down-to-earth origin story.
Why It's Crazy: He's blonde! And he's not as tall, or as suave, and he's a bit rough around the edges. Also, he's blonde! Looking back now, the fan outrage at the colour of 007's hair was all just a bit silly.
Heath Ledger as The Joker
The Casting Moment: One of the best-loved supervillains of all time is given a literal makeover for Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel The Dark Knight .
Why It's Crazy: Firstly, how can you top Jack Nicholson's brilliant performance in Tim Burton's original Batman ? Secondly, surely the only way to do it is to take the Joker back to his comic-book roots and have an actor play him who is cigarette-thin and pointy-featured? Sadly Heath Ledger, best known at the time for gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain , was nothing like this, prompting a huge fan backlash. At least until the film came out and everyone could see that Ledger turned in what might be the most iconic film performance of the past decade.