Wed
Jan 30 2013 9:03am

Worst Casting in Book-to-Screen Adaptation Ever?

Rumors are afoot that Alex Pettyfer has been cast as Four in the film version of Veronica Roth's Divergent series.

There are several Roth fans at H&H HQ, and at least one of them is actively horrified that Pettyfer might play the role.

Which makes us ask—what was the worst piece of casting based on a book-to-screen you've ever seen?

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Individual - You will receive an alert for each comment added to this post.
Digest - You will receive an end-of-day alert for all comments added to this post.
22 comments
Lynne Connolly
1. Lynne Connolly
Oh, I think Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher is up there. Six feet five, built like a brick outhouse, scar down one side of his face, hard to miss in a crowd - hmmm. No amount of good acting can cover that up.
On the other hand, Sean Bean is nothing like the Sharpe of the books, but Bernard Cornwell loved his casting so much that he wrote the future books with Bean in mind!
Tammye
2. Tammye
Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum and the guy that played Morelli in "One for the Money"
Kaye Dacus
3. kndacus
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky in Anna Karenina. Rupert Penry-Jones as Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion (2007). Keira Knightley as Lizzie Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (2005). Anyone other than Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in every adaptation of Great Expectations ever made. ;-)

Oh, and Robert De Niro as Frankenstein's creature in the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Frankenstein.
Tammye
4. Kate R
I'm just in the middle of watching One for the Money (I'm doing it in half-hour treadmill chunks). It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur looks too young and attractive.

They're making Austenland into a movie? Fun! That's one of the few austen-based books that I don't have an allergic response to.

And speaking of nothing to do with the subject: leaving posts on this site is getting harder and harder.
Tammye
5. Marq
Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward in the Twilight films. Even though I liked the books, the casting turned me off. I knew I wouldn't watch the movies. I eventually caved and watched Twilight and it was as terrible as I thought it would be. Haven't seen the rest. Nor do I want to.
Tammye
6. SLC
The ENTIRE CAST of Queen of the Damned. And as much as I like Harrison Ford and enjoyed the movies, he was always too much of an action hero to really be Jack Ryan.

I would also argue in favor of DeNiro's interpretation of the monster in Frankenstein, though much of the rest of the film was miscast.
Chelsea Mueller
7. ChelseaMueller
@Marq - It's so funny you say that. I hated the idea of Robert Pattinson as Edward. He didn't look a damn thing like I expected and his affect wasn't right for me. However, I felt like his chemistry with Kristen Stewart worked. It was strong enough to make me accept him as Edward, even if I felt like things were lost in translation.
Tammye
8. Fae
Sirius Black in the HP movies. No, no, no, no. Siruis is *gorgeous*. Hair to his elbows. Tortured by his time in Azkaban but his beauty remains. I love Gary as an actor. But he's no Sirius and his casting will forever be the 'dark mark' on that film series. That and the annoyance that they couldn't bother to give Harry his mother's eyes. Because it's not like they were a huge plot point or anything. /bitter!stan
Sofia Altaf
9. Salt
Tom cruise in both Lestast from an Interview with the Vampire and again as Jack Reacher! total miscasting there...Also in Gone Baby Gone, they totally miscast the role of Angie and the actress who played her was so soppy and insipid that they might have not bothered.
Jena Briars
10. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
@Tammye - I totally agree. Heigl was NOT a good Stephanie Plum and the Morelli actor didn't portray the hot-headed Italian attitude very well. I almost wish there could be a "Two for the Dough" with another cast.
Elizabeth Halliday
11. Ibbitts
I disagree with @SLC on one point: I thought "Interview with the Vampire" was a great movie overall and "Queen of the Damned" ... wasn't, but I liked Stuart Townsend better as Lestat than Tom Cruise (even though I'm a big Cruise fan!)
Back to the original question: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. When I first saw this movie, I was appalled by the set decoration, and most particularly the script adaptation and direction. I didn't know any of the actors except for Billy Burke and Gil Birmingham, so I didn't have any preconceived ideas about them personally. I thought everybody did a reasonably good job with the bilge they had to work with, except Peter Facinelli and Kristin Stewart, who, in my opinion, just aren't very good actors.
Aside: [I have, since, seen Robert Pattinson in "Water for Elephants" (not a very good movie, but Pattinson was good in it) and "Remember Me", which I think is his best work to date. The movie was very well made, and Pattinson was extraordinary.]
With each subsequent offering in the Twilight movie series, there seems to be improvement. The screen adaptations got better in that they more closely followed the original works and there was a new director in each case, which helped a great deal, and by the time "Eclipse" rolled out, I think they finally on the road to figuring it out.
I have gotten used to and accept Robert Pattinson, (and I agree with Chelsea about the screen chemistry -- although that might not be acting) but I can't forget my reaction when I saw him walk into the school cafeteria the first time: That guy is really pretty, but he's not Edward Cullen!
Kiersten Hallie Krum
12. Kiersten
I'm 100% with the no Heigel as Plum camp and Jason O'Mara (blonde Irishman) as Morelli (dark Italian) was so epically bad casting (and I say this as a huge fan of O'Mara since his days as Fergal on Monarch of the Glena and Stiles on The Agency) there's no way the movie could have recovered from that. Add Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur and no. In my book, if you have to dye the actor's hair to get them to match the role's physical description (the case with both these actors) its doomed to fail from the get go. Too many other great (often better) actors out there who already match the physical type to choose from. But One for the Money was packaged first as a vehicle for Heigel and second as a desire to make a movie from great book.

Don't even get this Jersey Girl started on substituting (filming in) Pittsburg for Trenton. Please.
Heather Waters (redline_)
13. redline_
@Kate R -- Sorry to hear about the issues leaving comments; please feel free to email us at info[at]heroesandheartbreakers.com and we'll do our best to get that solved for you.

Captcha can be a pain, we know, and we apologize for that, but unfortunately we don't know of a better way to keep out spam. I should mention, though, that if you log into the site, you don't have to do the Captcha before commenting.
Lege Artis
14. LegeArtis
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher- Worst. Ever.
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker- close second.
John Wayne's Genghis Khan- this was almost funny...
Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great.
And how can I forget Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet- I hated when I heard that she's playing cult heroine, I hated it more when I saw the movie.
Lina G
15. lechealpina
Ooooohhh *flexes fingers*

I read someone mentioning Harry Potter's movies. My 2 cents: Fleur Delacour!!!! She is supposed to be part Veela and glide and stuff. The actress, Clemence Poesy though very pretty and everything was just not the Fleur I read!!!

Les Miserables - whose idea was to cast Russell Crowe as Javert?? And the singing... Ohhh it was just painful :(

I read some Twilight comments before and I agree with most adding: Nikki Reed as Rosalie Cullen. She is pretty, but not to the crowdstopper description in the book, and her blond hair looked so fake throughout the series.

In TV, the series Bones: Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan. Dr. Brennan is a mature woman, less whiny or childish, a parent, divorced, not that socially awkward personna that is portrayed in this Kathy Reich's adaptation. And she has short blondish hair!!!
Tammye
16. J-me
Oh boy, can of worms opened and they're all over my keyboard!!

Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace in the Mortal Instruments
(that should have been Alex Pettyfer - he seems naturally arrogant enough to pull it off plus he's nice to look at at least!)
Lily Collins as Clary in Mortal Instruments.
John Rhys Meyers as Valentine in Mortal Instruments - he's too young to pull off being an evil mastermind with a teenage daughter. It's going to be him doing 'Blue Steel' to the camera- okay the casting for the entire movie is crud. Very disappointed!! - Jason Lewis would have been better (my opinion).

The Host - Jake Abel as Ian O'Shea - no ways!
Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great.. more like Alexander the flop
Orlando Bloom in anything that doesn't have him in a blond wig in Middle Earth
One for the Money was definitely missing something and the casting didn't help, neither did Heigl's bad wig.
Emilie De Ravin as Belle in 'Once Upon a Time' I cringe whenever she is on, its just so bad!

You just wait until they cast 50 Shades of Grey then the poop will hit the fan!!
*crosses fingers* Chris Hemsworth or Stephen Amell as Christian Grey!!
Leanne Segersin
17. LMS430
@Fae, Daniel Radcliffe wore contacts in the first film, but apparently bothered his eyes so much he didn't wear them for the rest. Although, really it seems like they could have changed the color in post-production, they do it to enhance actor's eyes a lot.
Jasmine Ray
18. JassyBaby
I agree with @SLC that the entire cast of Queen of the Damned was wrong! In fact, the entire movie...wrong, though the soundtrack was awesome!

And I have to disagree about Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. I thought he was great as Lestat, and had his likeness and personality perfectly. Sure they could have found a more handsome actor, but Cruise acted the crap (good) out of that role! And Brad Pitt was great as Louie, my Louie~

Speaking of Interview with the Vampire, casting Antonio Banderas as Armand was a huge NO for me!!! Armand is one of my faves in the Vampire Chronicles. He's a Russian, and was made into a vampire at 17 years of age, though he looked younger (about 12 or 13-ish). Here's his description in the book: "His outward appearance is that of a beautiful adolescent boy, small, with reddish-brown locks, soft brown eyes and slender fingers. His features are at times compared figuratively to Cupid or a Botticelli angel." Now that doesn't sound anything like the tall, dark, very masculine Banderas.
And in QOTD, casting Vincent Perez as Marius was by FAR the worst in the movie, in my opinion. And I'm not biased because Marius is my favorite in the series! Marius is a Roman with pale skin, long white-blond hair and cobalt blue eyes. Again, how they got the casting wrong is beyond me...

And yes, Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great, no. I was soooo hoping for a better, more handsome actor who'd have sizzling chemistry with Jared Leto (playing Hephaistion). *sigh*
Tammye
19. Lucy D
I agree with lechealpina about Russell Crowe as Javert. WTF? Same with Amanda Seyfried. Acting=great. Singing=not so much. As long as there was not signing---oh, wait, it's a musical. They couldn't find anyone else in hollywood who could act and sing?

The Host. I hate the whole cast. I might be singing a new tune myself once it comes out, but there is not one person who fit my casting for this book.
Pamela Atkins
20. PamsaRN
I didn't read the book "Four" but, watched the movie and thought it was a great Sci-Fi Film which doesn't happen that often. Alex Pettfer (also 2nd in lead of Magic Mike) did a pretty good job of growing into a being with powers he didn't realize he possessed. The first paranomal romance I read was Twilight. It seemed everytime I went into the book store Twlight and its sequels were being advertised. I admit that I enjoyed the first 3 but, I still haven't finished the last book. I think part of the reason is because I could only picture Kristen Stewart as Bella. Kristen Stewart made the character whiny, petulant, and unhappy regardless of the situation and I just couldn't read anymore of it or go to the movies to watch her never crack so much as a half a smile. I agree that who ever gets the part of Christian or "fifty" as we know him... better rock womens socks off or the sequels just won't sell. My 2 cents for the day!
Tammye
21. Sasha N.
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong.
Karin Anderson
22. AquarianDancer
Pretty much the entire cast of Legend of the Seeker. The only one that came even close was Kahlan...and that was only slightly. Not that I don't like the actors/actresses, but not for those roles.
Post a comment