Due to the nature of casting, there will always be an actor who narrowly missed out on a role that went to someone else; but some of the people who almost played iconic Hollywood parts might surprise you. They certainly would have drastically changed the movies. Take "Captain America," for example. Before the part went to Chris Evans, it almost went to...
It's hard to believe, but the comedic frontman of "Guardians of the Galaxy" almost starred in a very different Marvel universe; one centered around a super-soldier from World War II. Imagine how different a Captain America Pratt would have made!
Actress Zosia Mamet is such a perfect fit for Shoshanna Shapiro, the bubbly, naive NYU student she plays on "Girls," that's it's almost unthinkable the part could've gone to anyone else. That being said, there's another highly recognizable face that was almost Shoshanna.
Amy Schumer actually read for the part of Shoshanna on "Girls." In fact, she reportedly wore an ironic t-shirt that she slept in to the audition. Imagine what a "Trainwreck" that would have been!
Harrison Ford's Han Solo is easily one of the most beloved characters of all time; so much so that it's nearly impossible to picture another actor sitting in the pilot seat next to Chewbacca. The part was actually offered to someone else first, though...
Al Pacino has admitted publicly that he was offered the role of Han Solo in the first "Star Wars," but turned it down because he found the script too confusing.
"I remember not understanding it when I read it," Pacino told MTV at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014. "It was at that time in my career where I was offered everything. I was in 'The Godfather.' They didn't care if I was right or wrong for the role, if I could act or not act."
Being cast as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" catapulted Jennifer Lawrence to Hollywood "It Girl" status. It was as if she had entered a real-life arena and won. So, imagine if someone else had been cast to represent District 12 in the Games...
"American Horror Story" alum Emma Roberts was on the short list for Katniss, before the role was given to Lawrence. To be fair, she does have a fair bit of experience surviving scary situations on screen, but Katniss Everdeen is hardly a "Scream Queen."
The popular CW show, "Gossip Girl," centered around the often tumultuous friendship between Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. The wealthy New York prep school girls were played by Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, but the CW initially had other plans for the casting.
Rumer Willis & Ashley Olsen
"I think the network initially pitched us Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis for Blair and Serena," CW Casting Director David Rapaport told BuzzFeed in an October 2015 interview. "I love Rumer. She's grown into quite an amazing actress and person, but that, to me, was based on protecting the investment of a television show where creatively, these lesser-known girls really captured the essence of the show and carried it for six years."
When it came time to cast "Indiana Jones," George Lucas -- who cowrote the script to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" -- reportedly told Steven Spielberg that he didn't want Harrison Ford to become to him, what Robert DeNiro was to Martin Scorsese, by starring in yet another one of his films. So, they did a screen test with someone else...
After Tom Selleck's screen test, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were so impressed that they offered him the role. Unfortunately for Selleck, though, he had already filmed a pilot for "Magnum P.I.," and CBS wouldn't let him out of his contract.
"Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory."
It's difficult to imagine anyone other than Kate Winslet telling Leo she'd never let go in "Titanic," but another famous actress almost snagged the part of Rose.
In a January 2015 interview with radio shock jock Howard Stern, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that she was one of the final two actresses considered for the role of Rose in "Titanic."
In retrospect, that's likely a pretty painful ship to have sailed.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams were such a perfect fit as Noah and Allie in "The Notebook" that they continued the romance offscreen when filming ended. But you won't believe who almost played opposite Gosling as Allie...
Britney Spears got so far along in the "Notebook" casting process that she actually screen-tested with Ryan Gosling.
"I hadn't seen her really since she was about 12," Gosling told ET in 2013 of his "Mickey Mouse Club" costar. "So she's grown up, but she was really good actually... She did an excellent job."
"The Amazing Spider-Man"
Andrew Garfield took over the webs from Tobey Maguire in 2012, when he starred in "The Amazing Spider-Man," following his success in "The Social Network." However, the iconic role of Spidey almost went to another actor we've come to know and love...
"Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson nearly nabbed the role of Spider-Man in director Marc Webb's reboot. In fact, an elaborate screen test leaked online back in 2010, revealing just what Josh Hutcherson's Peter Parker might have looked like.
Interestingly enough, Sony Pictures initially intended to make a Spider-Man movie back in the 1990s, based on a screenplay written by "Titanic" director James Cameron. When it looked like the film was going to happen, Sony reportedly had their eyes on Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role.
Litigation surrounding the script's ties to another production company, called Carolco Pictures, stalled the film, however, leaving the iconic superhero role open for Tobey Maguire and Columbia Pictures years later.
Back in 1989 when they were casting Tim Burton's "Batman," Michael Keaton wasn't the only hot ticket Hollywood actor considered for the role.
In 1989, fresh off "Wall Street" and "Young Guns," Charlie Sheen was considered one of Hollywood's brightest rising stars. As such, it almost plays to reason that he was seriously considered for the role of the Caped Crusader. In light of all the tiger blood and "winning" that occurred years later, though, it's probably for the best that studio execs never gifted Sheen all the weapons in Bruce Wayne's arsenal.
Much like Spider-Man, Batman has had many iterations in film. Thus, there have been famous actors who narrowly missed out on the role with each iteration. When Michael Keaton scored the role, Charlie Sheen narrowly missed out. And when Christian Bale scored the role, Jake Gyllenhaal narrowly missed out.
Fun fact: Poor Jake Gyllenhaal actually has the distinction of narrowly missing out on the roles of both Batman and Spider-Man. Nothing super about that.