11 Actors Who Were Cast In TV And Movie Adaptations After Fans Wanted Them Vs. 11 Times Casting Went With Another Option

11 Actors Who Were Cast In TV And Movie Adaptations After Fans Wanted Them Vs. 11 Times Casting Went With Another Option

1.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage

From the beginning of the casting process, Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin only saw Peter Dinklage playing Tyrion in an adaptation of his beloved book series. "If Peter had turned us down, we would have been screwed," George revealed in the Game of Thrones oral history book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. According to the book, many people saw Peter as a popular casting choice for the role, especially after his work in The Station Agent, Elf, and Living in Oblivion; however, he initially had no interest since he had just played a similar fantasy role in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian in 2008.

Tristan Fewings / Getty Images, Helen Sloan / HBO

2.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Jessica Chastain as Celia St. James in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Jessica Chastain

Who should be cast in the upcoming Netflix film adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has been a conversation among book readers for years, with one of the most popular casting wishes being Jessica Chastain as Celia St. James. In the book, Celia is an Oscar-winning actor who is described as having long, strawberry-red hair and blue eyes. The fan-casting has become so popular that Jessica was recently asked about it on an episode of Watch What Happens Live, where she confirmed she is aware of the online campaign to get her cast, and she added, "Sure, send me a script."

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Atria Books

3.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian and Ahsoka

Rosario Dawson

For years, fans hoped that Rosario Dawson would play a live-action version of Ahsoka Tano from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Well, those fans literally led to Rosario getting cast when the time was right. "Someone tweeted me and fan-cast me. I retweeted back, and I was like, 'Absolutely, yes please' and '#AhsokaLives,'" Rosario recalled to Vanity Fair. "Apparently, that got the attention of someone who has been doing the Star Wars press for years. She forwarded it to Dave Filoni [an executive producer on The Mandalorian]. That kind of started a whole thing."

Rich Fury / Getty Images, Lucasfilm / Disney+

4.DIDN'T HAPPEN: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as young James Potter in a Harry Potter prequel series

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

The 2009 film Nowhere Boy is arguably one of the biggest reasons why Aaron Taylor-Johnson will always be thought of as a young James Potter by Harry Potter fans. His scenes from the film, where he played a young John Lennon, have been edited into videos, used for fan fiction, and more as evidence that young Aaron should've played Hogwarts-era James in a Marauders prequel movie or series. Sadly, this beloved fan-cast never came true, and Aaron has likely aged out of the possible role; however, I will always love all the fan edits.

Jun Sato / WireImage / Getty Images, Weinstein Company / Everett Collection

5.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Samuel L. Jackson

Way back in 2002, six years before Samuel L. Jackson would first appear as Nick Fury in Iron Man, comic book writer Mark Millar modeled the character after his favorite movie star: Samuel L. Jackson. Soon after his comic debut, fans became obsessed with Nick Fury looking exactly like Samuel. However, what Mark didn't know at the time is that Samuel is a huge comic book fan. So, Samuel saw his face in the Avengers comics, and his agents got in touch with Marvel over the use of his likeness. Marvel then pledged to cast him if there should ever be a live-action adaptation of Nick Fury, and the rest is history.

Anthony Harvey / Getty Images, Jay Maidment / Columbia Pictures / Sony / Everett Collection

6.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Idris Elba as James Bond in the Bond films

Idris Elba

For years, Idris Elba has been the internet's dream casting choice for the next James Bond following Daniel Craig's run as the iconic spy. Idris has, of course, heard about people wanting him to play Bond and has addressed the casting, saying, "I don't think that playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals. It will definitely satisfy the will of a nation, I'm not going to lie. Every corner of the world I go...they always go, 'Bond.' And I feel it is beyond me at this juncture." While it sounds like Idris has decided he doesn't want to play Bond in the future, until another actor is cast, fans can still keep hoping.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, MGM / Everett Collection

7.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Hawkeye and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Hailee Steinfeld

Another Marvel role that felt tailor-made for an actor, Hailee Steinfeld was the ideal casting choice for a live-action version of Kate Bishop for years. Hailee said before she was even offered the role, she had seen "a bunch of chatter online" about her being people's dream casting choice, which was "wild." Eventually, Kevin Feige brought Hailee in to meet with Marvel and the Hawkeye team, and he offered her the role after only one meeting. "We had an ideal casting, which was Hailee Steinfeld," Kevin recalled.

Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Apple TV+, Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel / Disney+

8.DIDN'T HAPPEN: Kaitlyn Dever as Ellie in The Last of Us

Kaitlyn Dever

Since The Last of Us video game first debuted in 2013, fans have been eager for a movie or TV adaptation. For a long time, Kaitlyn Dever was at the top of most fan-casting lists for the role of Ellie. In fact, prior to the show's HBO series adaptation, it was almost a film, and Kaitlyn even auditioned to play Ellie. However, the show ended up coming around years later, so a younger actor was needed. Game of Thrones star Bella Ramsey was ultimately cast alongside Pedro Pascal as Joel.

Jeff Spicer / Getty Images, HBO

9.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Bill Hader as Richie Tozier in It Chapter Two

Bill Hader

Following the success of It in 2017, fans knew another movie had to be in the works, and it would feature adult versions of the Losers. People immediately began to hope that Bill Hader would be cast to play adult Richie, especially after Finn Wolfhard, who played the younger version, kept mentioning Bill as his dream choice. Finn constantly talking about Bill and the fan love for the casting choice led to Bill's agents, director Andy Muschietti, and Bill himself to take notice. "Finn got me the job," Bill joked.

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images, Warner Bros / Everett Collection

10.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Logan Lerman as Poseidon in the Percy Jackson TV series

Closeup of Logan Lerman

Rick Riordan's beloved Percy Jackson book series is finally getting a do-over with an upcoming Disney+ TV adaptation. While the 2010 movie adaptation is largely criticized by people, everyone agrees that Logan Lerman as Percy was great and he deserves to be involved in the new show. Namely, fans have rallied behind getting Logan cast as Poseidon, especially after a picture of his flowy, gray hair went viral in 2020. Literally, a tweet about Logan playing Poseidon goes viral every few months. While Logan has denied his involvement in the Percy Jackson TV series so far, I am living in a state of denial and will only believe it when it doesn't happen.

Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images, Mirimax Books / Puffin Books / Disney-Hyperion

11.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ryan Reynolds

The only actor most people can see playing Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds, so this is truly one of the best dream castings to actually happen. After the fan-cast became a reality when Ryan played Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan was notably pushing for a Deadpool-centered movie years before it became a reality. Back in 2014, before Deadpool was officially confirmed, leaked concept footage from director Tim Miller showed a CGI Deadpool being voiced and motion-captured by Ryan. Fans went wild over how perfect he was. Then, a few months later, Ryan was officially cast as Deadpool. He's set to reprise his role in the upcoming Deadpool 3.

NBCU / Getty Images, 20th Century Fox / Everett Collection

12.DIDN'T HAPPEN: Liam Neeson as Jamie Fraser in Outlander

Liam Neeson

Diana Gabaldon's first Outlander book was published back in 1991, so the ideal casting for her beloved characters had changed quite a bit before Outlander was finally adapted into a TV show in 2014. Speaking about the early dream casting for Jamie Fraser, Diana revealed that she always thought of young Liam Neeson or even a young Sean Connery. "Now, this was years ago when my early books were optioned for a feature film. People kept asking me who I would cast, and they were the first two who sprang to mind," Diana began. "I was just thinking in general terms of large Celtic-looking men who could pull it off, and both Liam and Sean were built that way and looked great in a kilt."

Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images, Starz / Everett Collection

13.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: John Krasinski as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

John Krasinski

This might be one of the biggest fan-cast-to-reality examples in recent memory. After years of fans campaigning for John Krasinski to play Reed Richards in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, it became a reality when he played a version of Reed in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022. In fact, John was cast because of the fan demand. In the commentary for the movie, director Sam Raimi explained, "It's so funny that Kevin [Feige] cast John because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be," he began. "And because this is an alternate universe, I think Kevin said, 'Let's make that dream come true.' I've always really enjoyed all of his performances."

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images, Marvel / Disney

14.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Emily Blunt as Sue Storm in Fantastic Four and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Emily Blunt

Alongside her husband John Krasinski, Emily Blunt has been people's dream casting choice for Sue Storm in any Marvel Cinematic Universe project. Once the upcoming Fantastic Four film was announced, fans only began to rally harder around the actor. Sadly, for years, Emily has shut down casting rumors, saying, "I don't know if superhero movies are for me." The questions surrounding her playing a version of Sue also grew once John played Reed Richards, Sue's husband, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Until another actor is officially cast as Sue, I'm gonna cling to this beloved fan-cast.

Vera Anderson / WireImage / Getty Images, Marvel Studios

15.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Idina Menzel as Shelby Corcoran in Glee

Idina Menzel

When Glee premiered in 2009, people were quick to point out the resemblance between Lea Michele and Idina Menzel. So much so that they started to lobby for Idina to appear on the series as Rachel Berry's biological mother. Well, later in Season 1, Idina was cast as Shelby Corcoran, the coach of McKinley's rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline. When she was first cast, it was kept under wraps that she was also playing Rachel's biological mom, but of course, this fan-casting ended up being written into the series.

Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images, Fox / Everett Collection

16.DIDN'T HAPPEN: Harry Styles as Billy Dunne in Daisy Jones & the Six

Harry Styles onstage

This is another Taylor Jenkins Reid book that has been popular amongst the book fan-casting world. For years, people were dream casting the band members of Daisy Jones & the Six, especially Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne, the two lead singers. Harry Styles was a popular dream casting choice for Billy among a lot of fans, considering he's described as the lead of this rock band that has garnered hoards of passionate female fans. While the Harry fan-casting didn't come true, Sam Claflin will be playing Billy in the upcoming TV series adaptation on Prime Video.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Coachella, Lacey Terrell / Prime Video

17.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher

Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill being cast as Geralt of Rivia was a great combination of people pushing for it and Henry himself wanting it more than anything. Henry revealed that he was a big fan of The Witcher video games, and while the Netflix series is based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, he still knew he needed to play Geralt. Henry had his agents get in touch with Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who created the TV show, and even after auditioning 206 other actors, Henry was still the top choice. In fact, Lauren ended up writing the role with him in mind. This whole casting story makes the fact that Henry has stepped down from The Witcher and is being replaced by Liam Hemsworth even more heartbreaking for fans (and for Henry).

Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Images, Netflix / Everett Collection

18.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Erin Kellyman as Merida in a live-action version of Brave

Erin Kellyman

While a live-action version of Brave has never been announced, it hasn't stopped people from thinking about who they'd cast should an adaptation happen, and Erin Kellyman is at the top of the list. Erin has appeared in the Star Wars universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe already, so why not just add the Disney/Pixar universe to the list. In fact, while promoting her new series Willow, Erin was asked about starring as Merida in a live-action version of Brave. After hilariously making sure Merida doesn't sing, she said, "Yeah, listen, that's good. If we could get that happening."

Dave J Hogan / Getty Images, Disney / Pixar / Everett Collection

19.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Ben Barnes as the Darkling in Shadow and Bone

Ben Barnes

Ben Barnes is probably the poster boy for fan-casting on Tumblr. Photos, videos, and gifs of Ben in various projects have been used for a Marauders-era Sirius Black, but he was also a beloved dream casting choice for The Darkling among the Shadow and Bone fandom long before it became a reality. In fact, when Ben's name came up as a choice for the Darkling in the Netflix adaptation, author Leigh Bardugo recalled a popular fan edit from years prior. "I had this old Tumblr post where somebody had done an edit of Ben with this fantastic quote, as the Darkling," Leigh said. "And I sent it to Eric [Heisserer, who developed the show], and I was like, 'Thumbs up for me.'"

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for ReedPop, Netflix / Everett Collection

20.DIDN'T HAPPEN: Michael Cimino as Alex Claremont-Diaz in Red, White & Royal Blue

Michael Simino

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a recent novel that sparked a lot of fan-casting when it was released in 2019. The book follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, the first son of the US president, as he begins a relationship with Prince Henry, a British prince. Love, Victor star Michael Cimino was a fan-favorite dream cast for Alex with a lot of fans on Tumblr using photos from Michael's Instagram when discussing the character. This didn't become a reality and The Kissing Booth 2 star Taylor Zakhar Perez was cast in the upcoming movie adaptation.

Paul Archuleta / Getty Images, Phillip Faraone / Getty Images for GQ

21.ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga

Robert Pattinson

Dream casting Twilight was huge when the beloved Stephenie Meyer book was first published back in 2005. It became a hot topic of discussion, so much so that Stephenie notably posted to her personal website a list of actors she would love to cast, as well as fan suggestions. While she personally always wanted Henry Cavill to play Edward Cullen, her website did reveal that the second most popular Edward suggestion was Robert Pattinson. As we all know, the rest is history, and Robert ended up starring as Edward in all five of The Twilight Saga films from 2008 to 2012.

Don Arnold / WireImage / Getty Images, Summit Entertainment

22.HASN'T HAPPENED (YET): Florence Pugh as Rapunzel in a live-action version of Tangled

Florence Pugh

While a live-action Tangled has never been formally announced by Disney, it's another property that has led to a lot of live-action fan-casting, namely for Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. On the Rapunzel side, Florence Pugh is constantly being suggested by people. Whether it's comparing photos of Flo's long, blonde hair or her more recent short brown hair cut with Rapunzel, it's hard to deny the similarities. There's even a pic of baby Florence that looks exactly like little Rapunzel in Tangled. Plus, Flo can SING! I'm just saying, make it happen, Mr. Disney.

Stefania D'alessandro / WireImage / Getty Images, Disney / Everett Collection

We can't fit everyone on one list, so what other TV or movie adaptations got the casting right? Or, what fan-casting do you hope comes true in the future? Tell us in the comments below!