We love it when we hear of the actors and actresses who were in line to play certain roles in big movies, before turning them down and the casting moving on to someone else. In some of the cases the original casting choices sound like they would have improved the project, although more often than not we can't actually imagine those stars putting in as good a performances as the eventually casting choice.
Shaun of the Dead was a fantastic movie with a great cast but it seems that the cast almost had two of the biggest stars in Hollywood involved, which could have gone either way. Director Edgar Wright has been talking about Shaun of the Dead and the cast of the movie, revealing that they tried to get Helen Mirren on board to play Barbara, while Kate Winslet was almost signed on to play Liz.
Wright shared, "Some people just didn't get [the script]. I'm not embarrassing her by saying this, because she says the same thing – Penelope Wilton initially passed. Helen Mirren was offered Barbara. She said, 'I would only do the movie if I got to play Ed'. Kate Winslet was briefly interested in playing Liz."
As Edgar Wright mentioned, Penelope Wilton had a change of heart and eventually agreed to take on the role of Barbara, while the role of Liz went to Kate Ashfield. There is no denying that the Shaun of the Dead cast was brilliant and the movie was a huge success, but do you think it would have been better or worse if they had got Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet on board?