8 actors cast in a project but replaced due to backlash

Sometimes Hollywood really cares about what we think.

Hollywood is certainly not new to poor casting choices and the public reaction that comes with it. Most of the time, they don’t care and move on with their choices. Many other times, after a movie is released, the poor casting choices become iconic roles…

…but not this eight times. In the following examples, Hollywood decided to listen to the backlash and make changes.


Scarlett Johansson had to resign Carpet and tugboat due to backlash from the LGBTQ+ community.

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In 2018, Scarlett Johansson was cast to play the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man. While casting a cis straight woman to play the role of a trans man was nothing new to Hollywood, fans expected more from Scar Jo.

After trans rights activists and LGBTQ+ fans protested the decision, Scar Jo withdrew from the project. She said in a statement to Out: “I understand why many feel that Dante ‘Tex’ Gill should be portrayed by a transgender.”


Will Ferrell was cast to play an old version of Ronald Reagan in the upcoming movie reagan, but left due to public reactions – including from the former president’s daughter.

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A few days after the announcement to cast Will Ferrell in the film came in 2016, the actor’s spokesperson released an announcement stating that Ferrell would not be part of the film. The announcement was made after public reactions, including from the former president’s daughter, Patti Davis.

In an open letter addressed to Ferrell, she wrote: “I saw fear invade my father’s eyes – this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, ‘I don’t know where I am. am,” Davis wrote in an open letter. “There was laughter in those years,” she continued, “but there was never humor.”

“The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts submitted to Will Ferrell that he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy,’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not continuing this project,” Ferrell’s spokesperson clarified with Page six.

The role is now played by Dennis Quaid.


Zendaya left Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B due to the film’s production values ​​and was replaced by Alexandra Shipp.

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In 2014, Zendaya retired as a lead actor in Aaliyah: The princess of R&B, because the family of the deceased singer was not enthusiastic about the biopic. “I tried my best to contact the family on my own, and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so; therefore, I did not feel morally right to proceed with the project explains Zendaya.

The role was later played by Alexander Shipp.


Sacha Baron Cohen quits Bohemian Rhapsody partly due to opposition from existing members of Queen.

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Initially, when the film was announced in 2010, Sacha Baron Cohen was roped in to play the role of Freddie Mercury in the late Queen singer’s biopic. In 2013, the movie got a big hit when Cohen dropped out of the film.

According to the Borat actor, the existing members of the band wanted a cleaner version of the script. “One member of the band – I won’t say who – said, ‘This is such a great movie because something amazing happens in the middle of the movie.’ I go, ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes, ‘Freddie dies’ […] We see how the bond is getting stronger.’ And I said, ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the main character dies of AIDS and then you go on to see [what happens to the band]Cohen explained, stating the reason behind his departure from the project.

Sacha Baron Cohen was replaced by Rami Malek for the role, for which he won an Oscar.


Leonardo Dicaprio left Mel Gibson’s Berserker after his infamous racist rant was leaked online.

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In 2010, Leo DiCaprio would star in Mel Gibson’s Viking epic, Berserker. Leo left the project after Gibson’s infamous career-ending racist diatribe was leaked online.

There is no update on the project yet.


Ed Skrein had to withdraw from the hellboy reboot due to whitewashing allegations.

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Hollywood is certainly notorious for whitewashing Asian characters and promoting harmful stereotypes. It was nothing new when Ed Skrein was roped in to play the part of a Japanese character, Benjamin Daimio in the hellboy Restart. Since the film was based on a Japanese comic, fans of the original comics didn’t want to accept the bad cast and had to put Skrein down.

He shared a statement on Twitter in 2017 which read: “The representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me because I have a family with mixed heritage. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give a voice to inclusiveness. one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help to achieve equal representation in the arts.”


Johnny Depp was taken out of the Fantastic Beasts franchise after Amber Heard’s allegation of domestic violence.

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Johnny Depp made a cameo in the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and was all set to play a major role in the sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This was around the time Amber Heard was given a restraining order against Depp after she claimed the actor physically and verbally abused her during their marriage.

Depp was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Grindelwald.


Gina Carano was fired from The Mandalorian (and in fact the entire Star Wars universe) after posting hateful comments online.

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After being part of Deadpool and the Mandalorian, Gina Carano grabbed everyone’s attention for all the wrong reasons. In February 2021, she took to the internet to make problematic statements comparing American politics to the Holocaust. She has also made public anti-trans statements.

After making these statements, a LucasFilm spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that “Gina Carano is not currently employed by LucasFilm and there are no plans for her to become one in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts that people denigrating them on the basis of their cultural and religious identity are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

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