Second Best – When Hollywood’s original casting choices get changed… for the better

State of Play - Russell Crowe replaced Brad Pitt in the role of investigative reporter Cal McAffrey

Russell Crowe is superb as the old-school journo at the heart of new political thriller State of Play – so good, indeed, that you can’t imagine anyone else in the role of Cal McAffrey*. In fact, as has been widely reported, he was actually the second choice for the part and was only cast after Brad Pitt, the movie’s original Cal, pulled out of proceedings at the last minute.

Hollywood’s first casting choices aren’t always the wisest ones, as I think you’ll agree from this collection of classic movies that almost turned out very differently. Here are ten stars in parts they made famous – alongside the actors who very nearly got their roles.

Hold your cursor over the images below to discover the names of the films – and the identities of the actors.

* Yes, I admit, John Simm pretty much aced the role in the six-part BBC TV series on which the film was based, but Crowe definitely makes the US-version of the character his own.

State of Play opens on 24th April

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