Thanks to the advent of the Internet, fan outrage surrounding Hollywood casting decisions can help make or break a role before films even enter theaters. We’ve seen several instances of this kind of outcry, which we explore past the break, but the latest big-screen casting fans are questioning relates to Emile Hirsch playing John Belushi in Steve Conrad’s biopic about the outrageous comedian. Read about other casting controversies, below.
50 Shades of Grey
Fans can be fickle — and then fans can be downright ridiculous, as in the case of the casting controversy surrounding the Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation. The media trotted out a short list of names that included Garrett Hedlund, Christian Cooke, Elizabeth Olsen, and Shailene Woodley, but the roles of naive college student Anastasia Steele and kinky billionaire Christian Grey ultimately went to Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson. “I felt really intrigued and excited about it so I went and read the first book to get a clearer idea of who this character was, and I felt even more excited at the prospect of bringing him to life,” Hunnam said of the part. “As soon as we got in the room and I started reading with Dakota I knew that I definitely wanted to do it. There’s just like a tangible chemistry between us. It felt exciting and fun and weird and compelling.” Despite enthusiasm from author E. L. James, fans fiercely rebelled, insisting they knew better and that the actors were “unknown.” Petitions were signed (87,000 strong) and death threats were issued to producer Dana Brunetti. Following the scrutiny, Hunnam dropped out of the project, citing scheduling conflicts. Irish actor Jamie Dornan, a former model, replaced him — and celebrity support for the decision (from Lena Dunham and Crystal Hefner) seemed to satisfy fans.