IRON MAN – Now it seems unthinkable, but before the film’s release in 2008 there had been a lot of discontent over the choice of the controversial actor as Tony Stark: too many personal problems, including alcohol abuse, drugs and prison. Jon Favreau, however, has balked and the rest is history (of the MCU).
THE GODFATHER PART III – There were many actresses vying for the part of Maria in the final installment of the trilogy, but Francis Ford Coppola chose his daughter, Sofia Coppola. Fans have never forgiven her seemingly nepotistic choice and still today her performance is not remembered at all in a benevolent way.
THE DANISH GIRL – Today it would already be unthinkable, for the logic of the “politically correct”, but already in 2015 the casting of Eddie Redmayne was considered offensive and controversial because it could really have gone to a trans person. In 2021 the actor himself said he regretted having accepted.
THE LONE RANGER – In 2013, many critics and audiences contested the choice of Johnny Depp as the Indian Tonto. Cultural appropriation, moreover for a not exactly flattering role towards Native Americans. Needless to say, the film was a resounding flop.
ALOHA – Another case in which the person concerned regretted having accepted the part: it happened to Emma Stone for the film in which she played a character a quarter Chinese and a quarter Hawaiian. Whitewashing, it was called, and even director Cameron Crowe apologized for not casting a more suitable actress.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE – The choice of Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt in the film was directly criticized by the author of the book and even the screenwriter of the film, Anne Rice: she did not consider him suitable at all and suggested several other names for the part . In this case, however, the actor managed to make the author and a large part of the public change his mind with an excellent performance.
THE CONQUEROR – One of the most controversial castings ever comes from an era in which criticism for this type of choice was not even on the agenda. Despite this “permissiveness”, not even John Wayne has been immune from controversy for having played… Genghis Khan! A horrible performance, perhaps the worst by the great American actor – not cut out for the part at all.
NINA – The biopic about the legendary singer Nina Simone has been harshly criticized since the announcement of the casting of Zoe Saldaña: the decision to have an Afro-Latina play a popular black American icon was disliked. It didn’t help either that the Guardians of the Galaxy actress darkened her skin to do it.
PRINCE OF PERSIA – Sometimes the Hollywood industry likes to complicate its own life: how else can you explain the choice of Jake Gyllenhaal as the star of a film that has the name Persia directly in the title? The casting of him was accused of whitewashing and in addition to being a flop prompted the actor to regret accepting the part.
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S – We close with another sensational case of highly controversial whitewashing: despite being a timeless classic, it is difficult to understand what led to the choice of Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi, one of the most grotesque and stereotyped racist caricatures in the history of cinema . The film with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard continues to be loved, but even Rooney and director Blake Edwards realized they were wrong big time.