Ben Affleck prove to be an exception, given the ass-kicking awesomeness of Christian Bale in “Batman Begins” or the portrayal of Hannibal Lecter by British actor Anthony Hopkins so terrifying that it still leaves grown adults grappling with therapy bills, sometimes the choice to re-cast isn’t always a bad idea.
Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter in "Manhunter" (replaced by Anthony Hopkins in “The Silence of the Lambs”) A prime example of movie actors who were replaced for the sequel, Brian Cox played the charmingly demented, liver eating doctor Hannibal Lecter in the 1986 film “Manhunter.” When it came time for producing a sequel to Tomas Harris’s bloody nightmare of a novel, producers snubbed the future “X-Men 2” villain in favor of British actor Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins’s version of Lecter proved to be one of the most disturbing, soiled-pants-inducing psychopaths ever to grace the screen in a straightjacket and facemask. Hopkins would have Cox further doubting his abilities as an actor when he signed on to play Cox’s original Lecter role when “Manhunter” was remade into “Red Dragon” in 2002.
Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in "Clear and Present Danger" (replaced by Ben Affleck in “The Sum of All Fears”) After taking over the mantel of Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin for the 1992 film “Patriot Games,” Harrison Ford proceeded to kick the ass of IRA agents and even an entire Columbian drug cartel. Cut to 2002, a time when the world shared an inexplicable, unhealthy obsession for actor Ben Affleck, whose panicked, over-the-top portrayal of the badass CIA analyst was (surprise, surprise) not well received by critics or fans. Affleck supporters would get what they deserved a year later when “Gigli” was released in 2003.
George Clooney as Bruce Wayne/Batman in "Batman and Robin" (replaced by Christian Bale in “Batman Begins”) After foolishly choosing to trust a director as talentless as Joel Schumacher, George Clooney put on a bat suit complete with nipples for “Batman & Robin” in 1997 and effectively made a campy wimp out of one of the darkest, most frightening comic book heroes ever created, deservedly earning his place as the best example of movie actors who were replaced for the sequel. Thankfully for everyone involved, the cape and cowl were picked up by a hulking 200 lb. mass of muscle named Christian Bale for Christopher Nolan’s gritty 2005 thrill ride, “Batman Begins,” which breathed new life into the franchise. While Clooney would walk away from the train wreck that was “Batman & Robin” virtually unscathed, he would quickly disown the film, referring to it as “a waste of money.”
Crispin Glover as George McFly in "Back to the Future" (replaced by Jeffrey Weissman in “Back to the Future Part II”) After the insane success of the 1985 time traveling comedy in which '80s teenager Marty McFly travels back to the 50s and narrowly escapes a Freudian nightmare with his hot young mother, it was only natural that Universal Pictures produce a few sequels and axe a couple of actors in the process. The first film made actor Crispin Glover such a hot commodity in his own mind, that he wanted the same salary as his co-star, '80s superstar Michael J. Fox. After having a good laugh, Universal replaced Glover with the actor who portrayed him on Universal’s “Back to the Future” theme park ride, Jeffrey Weissman, forcing Glover to sue Universal Pictures for using a replacement actor along with his re-edited scenes from the first movie. Surprisingly, he actually won the suit and has been waiting ever since for his film career to take off.