It is sort of poetic justice that lady killer Idris Elba has landed a juicy film role intended for another long-established matinee idol, Tom Cruise. Elba played the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi tentpole Pacific Rim, a part that had been offered to Mission Impossible franchise star Cruise.
Elba had been earmarked by the studios to play the lead in the rebooted Alex Cross franchise but was unceremoniously tossed aside for Tyler Perry, but the movie tanked at the box office. Elba, however, nabbed someone else’s high-profile leftovers, according to Deadline. Last year, Angelina Jolie took over another role Cruise had been attached to with Salt; it’s good to know that when Cruise eventually passes on a film, casting directors are willing to get a little more adventurous.
It brings the mind the many iconic characters and blockbuster film roles that turned hand-me-down actors into overnight superstars, transcendent icons, immensely rich and, in some cases, Academy Award winners.
Take a look at the all-time popular film roles that you cannot imagine anyone else portraying, and then find out who was originally going to play them.