Star Wars Coulda Beens 10 Celebs Who Almost Acted in The Force

first_img Mattel Unveils Fashionable ‘Star Wars’ x Barbie Dolls‘Star Wars: Resistance’ Finale Sets Up ‘The Rise of Sk… Stay on target Finn (John Boyega)John Boyego is Finn (via Disney)Finn is the activist in all of us: Shocked by the First Order’s cruelty, stormtrooper FN-2187 turns against the military dictatorship to join the Resistance.Prior to John Boyega’s casting, the character was portrayed as Caucasian in many pieces of pre-production concept art. Thankfully, Abrams didn’t get caught up in ethnicity (or nationality), and let talent speak for itself. Impressed by his debut in Attack the Block, the director invited Boyega to audition for Finn. But the British up-and-comer wasn’t the only one:Michael B. JordanJordan lost the role to John Boyega (via recurring roles in The Wire, All My Children, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood, Michael B. Jordan didn’t get his big break until 2013, when he starred in indie darling Fruitvale Station. In the years since, he’s played Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, Adonis Johnson in Creed, and Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. He cannot, however, add First Order stormtrooper to his resume.The 30-year-old actor is said to have met with J.J. Abrams. But didn’t make the final casting cut.Ray FisherRay Fisher snagged a role in another franchise (via Warner Bros.)Unlike most of his Justice League co-stars, Ray Fisher (aka Cyborg) is not yet a household name. And while the rookie actor lost out on the Star Wars role of a lifetime, he is set to headline his own superhero film. So things are looking up. A long time ago (circa 2013) in a galaxy far, far away (Hollywood), writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams scoured Earth to find the perfect cast for his latest film—an epic space opera.Follow-up to 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Episode VII—The Force Awakens is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy (set to continue with next month’s The Last Jedi, from Rian Johnson).In scouting actors for a slew of new parts—including Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren—Abrams intentionally looked for unknown talent. And rightfully so: He wanted audiences to “meet these characters [in the film] and not feel like it’s him from that thing, or it’s her from that thing.”He stuck to that promise, casting British newbies Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in the lead roles of Rey and Finn. Thrust into the Star Wars spotlight, the pair have since snagged a number of other high-profile gigs (Ridley will co-star with Tom Holland in the big-screen adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking book trilogy; look for Boyega in the upcoming Watership Down TV mini-series).But their IMDb pages would look much more sparse if not for that big break in The Force Awakens. Scroll down to see who else could have landed a three-film contract, their own line of action figures, and Oscar Isaac’s phone number.Rey (Daisy Ridley)Daisy Ridley is Rey (via Disney)Scavenger and Force prodigy, Rey discovered her latent Force-sensitivity while on a journey to find Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and bring new hope to a galaxy on the brink of war.The lead character—described as “beautiful, smart, athletic”—was brought to life by relative unknown Daisy Ridley. She wasn’t a shoe-in for the role, though:Saoirse RonanIrish actress Saoirse (rhymes with “inertia”) Ronan auditioned for The Force Awakens—”like everyone else did.” But, like almost everyone else, she lost the gig.“I don’t have Star Wars. I don’t have the role,” the Atonement star told Indie Wire in 2013. “To pretend that you have a lightsaber in a scene is always very exciting. It would be great. But it’s something that everyone’s gone up for.”Elizabeth OlsenThe Scarlet Witch dashed Elizabeth Olsen’s hopes of being Rey (via Marvel)A self-proclaimed Star Wars superfan, Elizabeth Olsen reportedly turned down the chance to audition for J.J. Abrams—because she was already tied to another major film franchise.Under contract with Marvel Studios for the role of Scarlet Witch, Olsen’s Age of Ultron shooting schedule also clashed with the dates for The Force Awakens.Jennifer LawrenceYou don’t need big names to sell a Star Wars movie. So while J.Law may have been on Abrams’ shortlist of potential celebrities for the film, the young actress was eventually passed over for a fresh face. You can watch her likeness (played hilariously by Vanessa Bayer) audition for the part in a star-studded Saturday Night Live sketch.Shailene WoodleyShailene Woodley coulda been Rey (via Lionsgate)Shailene Woodley is another franchise favorite reportedly considered for Rey, though little is known about her audition or chances. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)Adam Driver is Kylo Ren (via Disney)Trained by his uncle as a Jedi, the son of Han and Leia is seduced to the dark side and aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader. Master of the Knights of Ren and a commander for the First Order, Ben Solo-cum-Kylo Ren is the embodiment of a new generation of dark-side warriors.And while Adam Driver’s deep voice and searing expression may have helped snag the nefarious role, the Girls actor wasn’t the only one considered for the villain:Eddie RedmayneEddie Redmayne has never been bad (via Warner Bros.)Eddie Redmayne has built an Oscar-winning career on playing the good guys (or girls)—from documentarian Colin Clark (My Week With Marilyn) and lovesick Marius (Les Misérables) to physicist Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything), pioneering Lili Elbe (The Danish Girl), and Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them). But aside from his over-the-top performance as Jupiter Ascending‘s Balem Abrasax, the Brit has never really shown his dark side.“It was [casting director] Nina Gold … and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of ‘koohh paaaah’ [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice,” Redmayne recalled on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “And after like 10 shots she’s like, ‘You got anything else?’ I was like, ‘No.’”Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender would have been the wrong choice for Kylo Ren (via 20th Century Fox)“We talked about a role,” Michael Fassbender revealed in an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “We had a conversation. I’m pretty sure I was busy doing something else in the summer he [Abrams] was kickstarting that.”Hugo WeavingThe man was born to play evil masterminds (via Warner Bros)On-screen chameleon Hugo Weaving is no stranger to film series or mischief-makers, having played half-elven lord Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the evil-minded Agent Smith in three Matrix movies; he even donned a mask for the title role in V for Vendetta. But the character actor lost the part of Kylo Ren to a fresh face 23 years his junior.General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)Domhnall Gleeson is General Hux (via Disney)As a general in the First Order, Armitage Hux is a leading advocate of the harsh training methods employed to foster obedience among the ranks. The illegitimate son of Imperial Academy Commandant Brendol Hux, Armitage grew up believing it was his destiny to rule the galaxy.After all, you can do anything you put your mind to. (Well, except play General Hux if you’re anyone but the prolific Domhnall Gleeson.)Jesse PlemonsPlemons has worked alongside Amy Adams, Liam Neeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hanks (via AMC)Following a taped audition that was reportedly well-received by casting directors, Jesse Plemons—of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad fame—flew from Austin to Los Angeles in 2014 for a second audition and face-to-face meeting with Abrams. Just as well he didn’t get the part: Plemons went on to star in the second season of Fargo, alongside Kirsten Dunst.last_img read more