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Actors Who Almost Got the Part in a DC Film

Updated April 3, 2020 12.5k votes 862 voters 37.3k views52 items

List RulesUpvote the DC Comics casting choices you wish you had seen on screen

Casting is truly an art form. Each and every cast member from starring, to supporting, to day-player, affects the entire tone of the film. What would Bruce Wayne be without Christian Bale, who was up against a number of actors on this list for the role? Casting is everything, and the actors on this list couldn't make the cut for the role of any number of DC heroes and villains.

These are all of the shadows of that ideal, the people who were ALMOST legends, who almost had action figures and multi-picture deals and10-year contracts. These are the people who, for one reason or another, didn't end up playing these great characters of the comic book world. 

Which actors almost became DC's film heroes and villains? Their films went on to be made, not ending up on the list of comic book movies we never saw, but the actors and actresses listed here weren't part of the fun. Which of these stars do you wish you had seen in DC hero and villain roles? Cast your votes below!
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  • Considered for: The Riddler

    Pursued by the studio (apparently) for the original Tim Burton films, Robin Williams himself then pursued it for the Chris Nolan iterations (Williams and Nolan worked together on Insomnia). Williams even said he'd be an extra in a Nolan Batman film. His Riddler could have been game-changing – sadly, it never came to pass.
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  • Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Actors Who Almost Got the Part in a DC Film
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Considered for: Lex Luthor

    Before he was ever Voldemort, J.J. Abrams and the studio reportedly wanted Ralph Fiennes to play Lex Luthor in Superman Flyby. It would have been perfect!
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  • Teresa Palmer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Actors Who Almost Got the Part in a DC Film
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    Cast as: Talia al Ghul

    Palmer was part of the cast of the failed George Miller (Mad Max)-directed Justice League movie. The movie was fully cast, sets were being constructed, and pre-production was winding down with production of the film about to start, when two things happened: 

    1) The movie costs ballooned to an enormous $300 million, and 
    2) it failed to procure its tax breaks.
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  • Adrianne Palicki is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Actors Who Almost Got the Part in a DC Film
    Photo: Filipão 28 / Flickr

    Cast as: Wonder Woman

    A Wonder Woman TV show actually happened, not long ago, in the same vein as "Smallville," "Arrow," and "Flash." However, budget issues, costume issues, and fan reactions kept it from ever airing even a single episode.
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