Sci-fi is a hard one to crack. For every Star Wars and Star Trek, there are a host of other concepts that fall by the wayside. Thus, it can be hard for actors and actresses to know which roles to take. That means that sometimes they can be way off the mark and turn down exceptional opportunities. Below, we discuss three actresses that turned down major sci-fi roles.
Jodie Foster – Star Wars
Star Wars is such an iconic franchise that it is hard to imagine its characters as anything but the actors and actresses we have known for so long. As they get immortalized in everything from action figures to video games, their likeness goes beyond the celluloid they started on. However, many of these characters could have turned out quite differently.
Harrison Ford, for example, was not the first pick to play Han Solo. PIA reported that the character was offered to Al Pacino, though he didn’t feel he fit the part. They also note that Kurt Russel also auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker. Arguably, the biggest surprise comes from the part of Princess Leia Organa. Now known as the role played to perfection by Carrie Fisher, it was initially offered to Jodie Foster, but she turned it down. It is said that this was due to conflicts with scheduling, as she was recording Taxi Driver at the time.
Madonna – Batman Returns
Madonna was the pop princess of the eighties who defined the MTV era. Yet she is also an accomplished actress and has played parts in various movies, from family-friendly favorites to more adult dramas. At the height of her fame, Tim Burton had just revitalized the Batman franchise and was onto his second outing with the character. It was rumored that Madonna was lined up to play Catwoman, though it never came to fruition.
Instead, Michelle Pfeiffer took the role and became the most iconic version of Selina Kyle to date. It was not until a 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon that Madonna was asked about the role and admitted her regrets about turning it down, as covered by Heroic Hollywood. At the same time, she was also offered the lead role in the movie Showgirls, which she also added she did not regret as much.
Amanda Seyfried – Guardians of the Galaxy
Amanda Seyfried is most well-known for her Mamma Mia and Mean Girls parts. Yet she was allowed to branch out and join the Marvel Comics Universe as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. She turned it down though her reasoning was sound.
On a podcast in 2020, she said that she thought the movie would bomb. It featured a talking raccoon, a far cry from Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor. Thus, she decided she wouldn’t be a part of it, and the movie turned out to be a huge success.
There are many more, and it is refreshing to know that even actors and actresses can’t spot the blockbusters. How different history could have been if these roles had been taken?