Casting a movie is critically important. Putting the right actors in a role can make or break a film. However, casting is more of an art than a science. And, believe it or not, some of the most iconic roles in cinema history were almost played by other people. Can you imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones or Han Solo? How about someone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger playing The Terminator? Well, it almost happened, as these actors were not the first choice to play the signature roles that came to define their careers. Here are 10 of the most shocking original casting choices in Hollywood history.
10. O.J. Simpson as The Terminator
It may seem downright ludicrous now, but former football star and accused murderer O.J. Simpson was director James Cameron’s first choice to play the T-800, aka The Terminator, in his now classic movie of the same name. Back in 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger was still known mostly as a foreign body builder with a strange accent. And while he had appeared in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian, his movie career had yet to take off and he was far from a household name. O.J. Simpson was the more recognizable athlete and personality, and he had more acting experience than Schwarzenegger at the time, having starred in films such as The Towering Inferno and the landmark TV series Roots. It was only after O.J. Simpson turned down the part that James Cameron and his casting director looked at the physically intimidating Schwarzenegger for the role of the futuristic cyborg killing machine.