From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

No Objectivity: Top Ten Miscastings in Fantasy Movies

Casting makes a movie. Sometimes, casting makes a movie fall apart. Whether the producers owed a college friend a favor, the actor lost the bet, or ill-fated stars aligned, a lot of movies end up with an albatross of an actor who ruined the whole party for everyone. Below are ten of the worst, wildest, and weirdest miscastings in recent fantasy history, ranked by level of damage done.



10. Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige

The Prestige was a dark, twisting story of revenge. Christopher Nolan beautifully adapted the air of dark and gritty magic from the novel. Unfortunately, he must have been busy on script revisions when Scarlett Johansson was cast as Olivia Wenscombe, the fetching assistant who becomes the key link between Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale’s warring magicians. While she’s not as offensive here as she has been in…almost everything else she’s done, it’s hard to convince us you’re the apex of a love triangle if you look like the only thing you’re assisting is the laudanum trade.

Suggested replacement: Christina Hendricks. She’s got the turn-of-the-century hourglass that looks good on a corset, and could have brought a welcome intelligence to the role.



9. Vincent Perez, The Crow 2: City of Angels

It was a questionable sequel to begin with; could a franchise be built on a series of heroes whose only goal was to die? On the other hand, weirder things have happened, so they hired Mia Kirshner as a grown-up Sarah to tie the Crows together – and then hired Swiss historical-drama veteran Vincent Perez as the reincarnation of everyone’s favorite Gothic ass-kicker. No one seems to understand why, Perez least of all; his classy, befuddled stare haunts you long after the movie is over.

Suggested replacement: Trent Reznor. He can do a baleful stare as well as anyone living, and we know the guy’s not afraid of a little melodrama



8. Every Woman in Sin City (except Carla Gugino)

Besides the “you-know-better” factor of signing up for a movie that requires little more than leather chaps, Wonderbras, and wooden dialogue, almost every actress who appeared in the Sin City movie managed to suck eggs. (Carla Gugino squeaks past quality censors in her cameo appearance.) The rest of the cast – Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy, the chick from Gilmore Girls, and a collection of various models-turned-“actresses” – are in the movie as a warning to those who favor style over substance; all the black-and-white pulp glory in the world can’t save a flat, crappy acting job (or six).

Suggested replacement: Doesn’t matter. They’re just women; they’re all interchangeable. Right, Frank?



7. Jeremy Irons, The Time Machine

Jeremy Irons, who used to be an actor, shows up in this H. G. Wells adaptation as the meanest Cardassian of them all. Did he lose a bet?

Suggested Replacement: None. That’s what happens when you lose a bet, Jeremy.



6. Claire Danes, Stardust

Because nothing presents the magnetism and radiance of a fallen star like…Angela Chase? Wait, what? Was every actress in England busy when they cast this part? Oh, well, no use pointing fingers; in committing Danes’s lethargic, where-exactly-are-you-from performance to film, the moviemakers have probably been punished enough.

Suggested Replacement: If you needed a North American headliner who could actually act, you could have hit up Rachel McAdams

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