Seemingly every major casting decision lately is at least a little bit contentious, with actors like Michael B. Jordan and Ben Affleck kicking up dust over their comic book movies. Internet denizens weren’t happy and they took to social media to express their wrath in 140 characters. But it’s not just superhero films that provide fodder for casting arguments: since the '30s, there have been fan backlashes about the actors picked to portray beloved characters from fiction. With this list we’ve picked some of the most controversial casting choices ever.
When it comes to casting a major studio film, we don’t know the ins and outs of the system, but we do know that probably shouldn’t go out of your way to anger loyalists on the Internet, which is exactly what all the decisions on this list did. Of course, plenty of these actors ended up creating the definitive takes on their characters after all the hubbub.
Check out the list of the most controversial casting decisions of all time, if you think you can handle all the venom.
One of the ultimate examples of an actor completely confounding expectations and proving his detractors wrong, Heath Ledger’s mesmerizing performance as Clown Prince of Crime not only earned him worldwide adoration from the comic book community and beyond, but also garnered him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. When he was cast, however, it was a different story. Batman fans almost unanimously cried foul, loudly condemning Christopher Nolan and declaring that “the guy from 10 Things I Hate About You” didn’t have the gravitas to make such a showy, edgy role his own.
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J. Law took her criticism for her casting as rugged, resourceful Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen in stride. "I'm a fan too. I get it," she said in response to fans who thought she was too old, too pretty, and not tough enough for the character. Some people went as far to say that Lawrence was "too big." Thanks to her now acclaimed performances as the Mockingjay, Oscar-winner Lawrence is the biggest action heroine around.
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Kenneth Branagh’s choice to cast Idris Elba as the Norse God Heimdall in Thor brought the race issue to the forefront for Marvel. Whether there are a lot of racist nerds or they just fear change (or maybe a mix of the two), the fans flipped out. The criticism was proved wrong when Elba turned in one of the best performances of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. see more on Heimdall
When Jennifer Lopez was tapped to play beloved singer Selena Quintanilla in the biopic about the singer's tragically short life, critics did a lot of SMHing and a few even protested but were proven wrong in the end when Selena became one of Lopez's standout performances.see more on Selena