The 29 Worst Movie Miscastings

Josh Harnett as Brian Allen

The Role: A young, shy Yorkshire hairdresser

The Miscasting: Racy name and northern setting – you don’t need to clock Simon Beaufoy’s credit to see this was billed as The Full Monty 2, with extra Hollywood star power. Only that star’s Yorkshire accent sounds like a debilitating speech disorder .

Should have cast: Andrew Garfield.

John Wayne as Genghis Khan

The Role: The great Mongolian warrior king.

The Miscasting: What? The most American of all Western heroes slips over to the Far East to do the ‘riding on horses and embracing women’ business only now with a whispy moustache and fake tan. It’s like a regular Western, playing dress up, and Wayne is awful.

Should have cast: Someone Mongolian? Or at least Oriental. Or, you know, Yul Brynner.

Brad Pitt as Achilles

The Role: Mythical hardman and handsome devil who fought for the Greeks against the Trojans.

The Miscasting: The idea isn’t a bad one – as close as we have to a classical star to headline this traditional sword and sandal epic. But even for the most handsome of Greece’s warriors, Pitt is too gleaming and perfect: stuttering pseudo-classical speech aside, he looks like a golden-haired doll.

Should have cast: Someone meaner, and better with daft dialogue. Jason Statham? No, wait, that’s insane. Daniel Craig.

Clint Eastwood as Pardner

The Role: The romantic prospecting partner of Lee Marvin’s drunken oafish gold hunter.

The Miscasting: This is after the Dollars trilogy, people. Clint Eastwood was the leanest, meanest man of the West. Seeing him sing love-bitten melodies and stroll through sun-lit woods is like seeing an Alsatian attack dog wearing lipstick and taking part in a princess parade.

Should have cast: Literally anyone else in the world.

Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond

The Role: Impressionable, timid but strong sidekick to the masked freedom fighter V.

The Miscasting: Portman is a nimble actress and her big-eyed portrayal of Evey shines in places – those places where she’s utterly silent. The big-vowelled pantomime accent smashes the rest of the performance like a fat-mouthed wrecking ball.

Should have cast: Carey Mulligan.

Nic Cage as Johnny Blaze

The Role: A daredevil stunt rider who sold his soul to save a loved one and now fights evil.

The Miscasting: Ten years ago Cage’s manic dazzle and knife-edge balance of danger and charm would’ve made it awesome. Instead he looks like a haunted, pale impersonation of himself, with glued-on hair and a mid-life crisis jacket.

Should have cast: Josh Brolin. Obviously .

Sean Connery as Robert MacDougal

The Role: Wealthy and dashing international art thief and playboy.

The Miscasting: The Bond factor was presumably at play here but Connery is too old and creaky to pull this off. The sex scenes with the much-younger Catherine Zeta Jones are obscene, like he’s writhing around consuming her life force.

Should have cast: Well, Brosnan would’ve been smart. Other than that – Mel Gibson.

Mark Wahlberg as Captain Leo Davidson

The Role: Alpha-male astronaut who survives a space craft accident and finds himself in the planet of the apes.

The Miscasting: Wahlberg spends most of the movie looking into the middle distance seemingly on the cusp of headbutting science – or simply thought – itself. He’s a likeable lead, but doesn’t have the humanity or brains required here.

Should have cast: Can we say Christian Bale for every one? No? George Clooney then, in a proper ’70s-style dystopic version.

Sophia Coppola as Mary Corleone

The Role: Complex young mob-boss-turned-legit’s daughter who’s attracted to the darker side of the family business.

The Miscasting: You know when you touch a snail on the antennae and sinks into the snail’s head? That’s Coppola’s performance – a shrinking parade of awkwardness. Even her dying cry of “Dad!” sounds confused, like she’s misplaced him in a dark room.

Should have cast: Madonna was auditioned, and would have given the role some smarts and sexual fizz.

Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones

The Role: Foxy genius nuclear scientist lady who runs around with Bond on a submarine.

The Miscasting: At no point does Richards transmit any suggestion that her character is a scientist of any kind, or in fact anything other than a lady-shaped balloon floating behind James Bond during the film’s chase sequences. Utterly mindless.

Should have cast: Brains and incredible looks? Cate Blanchett would’ve done the trick.