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Here Are 15 Times Actors Rejected Parts Written Specifically For Them — Was Their Replacement Better Or Worse?

Imagine a world in which Marilyn Monroe is the star of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

It's a pretty common thing in Hollywood for a writer to pen a part inspired by a famous person, only for that individual to decline the role or not be available to do the movie.

CBC

Sometimes the project moves on anyway and someone else gets cast, but here's a thought... In the case of these 15 examples, do you prefer the original choice of actor, or the person who ended up with the role?

Writer-director Cameron Crowe imagined the leading role in his 1996 movie Jerry Maguire for Tom Hanks, but he ended up passing on it. Did his replacement, Tom Cruise, nail the role, or do you think Hanks could've done a better job?

Steve Granitz / WireImage, Sony Pictures Releasing / Via Getty Images
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Truman Capote had Marilyn Monroe in mind when he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's, but she declined to play the main role of Holly Golightly. Do you think she would have been better than Audrey Hepburn, who played Holly in the 1961 film?

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The part of Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop was written especially for Sylvester Stallone, but he backed out at the last minute and Eddie Murphy took over. Was it for the best, or do you think Stallone would've made a more memorable Axel?

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Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters initially wanted Jennifer Connelly for the lead in his iconic high school black comedy, but Winona Ryder fought tooth and nail for the part. Was she the perfect Veronica, or would Connelly have been better?

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Moulin Rouge creator Baz Luhrmann wanted to reunite with his Romeo + Juliet collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio for the jukebox musical, but sadly he couldn't sing a lick. Say DiCaprio *could* sing, would you have preferred him over Ewan McGregor?

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Director Luc Besson had only one person in mind for DJ Ruby Rhod when he co-wrote The Fifth Element, but Prince was unavailable. Do you think Chris Tucker filled his shoes, or would Prince have been a more impactful option?

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The eponymous main character of Amelie was originally written for English actor Emily Watson, but she was unavailable and didn't have a strong grasp of French! Did Audrey Tautou steal the show, or should Watson have mastered the lingo and strapped on an apron?

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John Lithgow turned down the part of Dr Frasier Crane even though it was written specifically for him because he didn't want to do a TV series. The part eventually went to Kelsey Grammer, but would Lithgow have made a better psychiatrist–cum–radio host?

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Father-son writing team Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón initially wanted to poach Robert Downey Jr and Angelina Jolie for their 2013 film Gravity, but it wasn't meant to be. Which acting combination would you have preferred to see floating around in space?

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Famously, Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino wrote the enigmatic role of Bill for Warren Beatty, but things didn't pan out. He re-wrote the part when David Carradine stepped in, but was it all for the better?

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If you can believe it, the writers of Friends conceived Monica as a darker, edgier character inspired by comic Janeane Garofalo. She passed on the role and Courteney Cox sort of fell into it. Was she the best Monica, or would Garofalo have brought a little something to the character?

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Cameron Crowe really wanted Brad Pitt for guitar-slinging lead Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, and workshopped the role with him until he dropped out. Would you have loved to see Pitt in the movie, or was Crudup all the Russell you needed and more?

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The Wachowskis went straight to Will Smith when they were casting for Neo in the first instalment of The Matrix, but they all weren't on the same page regarding the film. Would you have rather seen Smith as "the one", or did Keanu Reeves float your boat?

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George Clooney was initially going to be the lead in the 1998 movie Jack Frost (which is why the puppet kind of looks like him) until Michael Keaton took over. Did Keaton do a stellar job, or would Clooney have made the film even more special?

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And lastly, Stephenie Meyer HERSELF thought there was no one better to play immortal vampire stud Edward than Mr Henry Cavill. Was she right, or did Robert Pattinson make your blood boil as Mr Cullen?