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15 Times Movies Literally Made A Character Vanish Into Thin Air Or Had A Totally New Actor Take Over The Role

1 month ago 29

Denis Villeneuve said one of the hardest things when making Dune: Part Two was having to make the decision to cut Thufir Hawat's scenes. So, he simply just disappears after Dune.

There are obviously spoilers ahead for several movies.

1. First, after starring as Michael Moscovitz in The Princess Diaries, Robert Schwartzman didn't appear in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, despite Michael being Mia's main love interest in the first movie and the books. The sequel briefly explained that Michael was out on tour with his band, hence his absence.

Anne Hathaway, wearing a tiara and formal dress, smiles at Robert Schwartzman in a scene from a movie, with both characters dressed in formal attire


In real life, Robert was actually on tour with his band, Rooney, when filming began on The Princess Diaries sequel, which is why he was unavailable. In 2022, he opened up about the possibility of returning for a third film, telling Variety, "People have asked me, like, 'Would you do another one if they brought it back? Or they brought that story back?' Of course, if the producers and the studio felt that that story is going to live on with the same actors."

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement saw the introduction of Nicholas Deveraux, played by Chris Pine, as Mia's enemies-to-lovers love interest. 

2. In Dune, Stephen McKinley Henderson stars as Thufir Hawat, the Mentat for House Atreides. The character plays an important role in the first movie, as well as the book by Frank Herbert. However, Thufir is absent from Dune: Part Two and isn't mentioned. Director and writer Denis Villeneuve said cutting Thufir from the sequel was "one of the most painful choices" he had to make.

Timothée Chalamet and Stephen McKinley Henderson in military-style attire in scenes from "Dune."

Warner Bros

Stephen actually filmed scenes for Dune: Part Two; however, they were ultimately cut from the final film. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stephen explained, "I shot stuff for them and had a great time with Denis and Austin Butler,” Henderson tells EW. “I got to have a nice lunch with Christopher Walken. It was a great thing to be a part of, and I understand it comes with the territory. Denis had to do the film that he had to do. So, I just love being a part of it. No regrets."

In Herbert's book, Thufir survives the massacre of House Atreides by House Harkonnen. 

3. After starring as Evelyn Carnahan in the first two movies in The Mummy franchise, Rachel Weisz was replaced by Maria Bello for the final movie, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. At the time, Digital Spy alleged that director Rob Cohen said, "I got a very angry phone call from her agent, saying she'll never play the mother of a 21-year-old. I said, 'OK, good, fine, bye.'"

 Actor in a cream-colored gown with beaded details, indoors

Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

After Rachel officially dropped out of the movie, rumors online continued to spread about why she decided to leave the franchise. CinemaBlend claimed another reason was because there were "severe problems with the script," which Universal reportedly refuted to the outlet at the time. There were also rumors that Rachel didn't want to be away from her then-2-year-old child while the movie filmed in China for an extended period of time.

4. Emma Fuhrmann played a teenage version of Cassie Lang, Scott's daughter, in Avengers: Endgame. However, when Cassie returned in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Emma was replaced by Kathryn Newton.

 A woman emotionally holds a man's face. Bottom image: A woman in a futuristic outfit looks serious

Marvel / Disney

On X, formerly Twitter, Emma tweeted about all the support she was receiving from fans, who hoped she would continue in the role of Cassie. She wrote, "Just wanted to come on here & say that I see all your kind messages. Thank you for all your support. It has meant the world to me. I was as sad as you all were to hear the news Thursday. I can only hope that this means there is something else for me in the future of the MCU."

She continued, adding, "I will always be grateful to have been a part of the MCU & the biggest movie of all time. Being an actress is still my #1 passion & I look forward to what the future holds."

5. After starring as James "Rhodey" Rhodes in Iron Man, Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle, starting with Iron Man 2. Don went on to portray the character in all subsequent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. At the time, there were reports that Terrence was difficult to work with on set, and producers were reportedly "unhappy" with his performance.

Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle are depicted as the character James "Rhodey" Rhodes in different scenes from the Iron Man movie series

Marvel / Disney

Alongside reports of poor on-set behavior, Entertainment Weekly also claimed salary played a factor in Terrence's decision to depart the MCU before Iron Man 2. Reportedly, Terrence was the highest-paid actor; however, when the sequel began to take shape, Marvel allegedly went to Terrence's team with a new salary, which was more in line with the other supporting cast members. 

Per Entertainment Weekly, "The agents, according to sources, were so taken aback by this new figure — estimated at somewhere between a 50 and 80 percent pay cut — that they questioned it."

6. In 1994, Keanu Reeves starred as Jack Traven in Speed alongside Sandra Bullock as Annie Porter. It was a commercial success and won two Academy Awards; however, when it came time for Speed 2: Cruise Control, Keanu didn't return. The sequel explains Jack's absence by saying Jack and Annie broke up.

20th Century Fox / Everett Collection / Via youtube.com

Speaking about why he didn't return for the sequel, Keanu told The Graham Norton Show, "At the time, I didn't respond to the script. I really wanted to work with Sandra Bullock. I loved playing Jack Traven, and I loved Speed, but an ocean liner? I had nothing against the artists involved, but at that time, I had the feeling it just wasn't right."

Jason Patric starred in Speed 2: Cruise Control as Alex Shaw, Annie's new love interest.

7. Angela Bassett starred in Mission: Impossible – Fallout as Erika Sloane, the CIA director who has her suspicions about Ethan Hunt and the IMF. While her character plays a huge role in this movie, Angela is absent from the following film, Dead Reckoning.

Paramount Pictures

In 2021, Angela told Collider why she could no longer star in Dead Reckoning, hinting that filming taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic played a role. She said, "COVID took me out, literally. Or kept me out, how about that? So that’s all I know about that, but maybe I’ll be able to tease 8 when that comes along."

Director and writer Christopher McQuarrie teased where Erika would've appeared in Dead Reckoning, telling Variety, "It's interesting, she was going to be the head of the CIA, she was going to be in that room with all the other heads of the intelligence community that you meet." He also added, "And we're not done with Angela Bassett."

8. Similarly, Jeremy Renner starred as William Brandt in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation; however, his character was absent in the following films. Recently, Jeremy explained he stepped away from the franchise in order to focus on his family.

Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin, both in suits, appear serious in a courtroom scene from a TV show or movie

Paramount Pictures

In a 2024 interview with Collider, Jeremy said, "I had to leave that. I was supposed to do more with them. I love those guys. I love Tom [Cruise] so much. We had so much fun, and I love that character a lot. It requires a lot of time away. It’s all in London. I had to go be a dad. It just wasn't gonna work out then."

He added, "Maybe now that my daughter is older, that could happen. I'd always jump into a Mission: Impossible anytime and back into Brandt. It’s great."

9. Rachelle Lefevre starred as Victoria Sutherland in the first two Twilight movies in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Then, for the third installment, Rachelle was recast and Bryce Dallas Howard took over the role. At the time, Rachelle said she was "stunned" by the decision to recast her.

Bryce Dallas Howard in two different scenes from "The Twilight Saga." The top image shows her smiling outdoors, and the bottom image shows her in a snowy forest, serious

Summit Entertainment

In a statement from Rachelle's reps to Entertainment Weekly, she said, "I was fully committed to the Twilight saga and to the portrayal of Victoria. I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules."

Rachelle was reportedly replaced due to a scheduling conflict when she signed on to the movie Barney's Version. However, Rachelle claimed that it would only prevent her from filming for 10 days. She added, "Given the length of filming for Eclipse, never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10-day overlap."

Bryce said she and Rachelle messaged each other and went out for lunch and there are no hard feelings between them.

10. After starring as Ali Mills in The Karate Kid, Elisabeth Shue didn't appear in the sequel, The Karate Kid Part II, or the subsequent films. Ralph Macchio explained how he now regrets how he handled Elisabeth not being part of the sequel. He said, "I didn't even realize it until I was writing that chapter [in his book] — I would've handled it totally differently now. When that character was written off, I would've picked up the phone."

Scenes from "The Karate Kid" show Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) at school, smiling and talking

Columbia Pictures / Via youtube.com

He continued, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I was on the movie Teachers at that time with Nick Nolte, and the world was going fast. I never looked at it from her perspective. It was always from my perspective."

Ralph said having Elisabeth appear in Cobra Kai allowed him to feel a sense of closure on Daniel and Ali's storyline and he was able to reconnect with Elisabeth. He added, "It was quite meaningful. The beauty of Cobra Kai is that it gives me all those do-overs."

11. In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Vince Vaughn starred as Nick Van Owen, a documentarian who accompanies Malcolm on an expedition to Isla Sorna. But, during the movie, he simply disappears after they escape the island, and he never appears in another Jurassic Park movie.

 Jurassic Park."

Universal Pictures

Many fans criticized Vince's character, notably how his actions led to, well, a bunch of people getting eaten by a T-Rex. In an interview with The Lost World premiere, Vince said he took the role because he wanted to work with director Steven Spielberg. He said, "What attracted me was working with Steven, of course. I grew up on his movies."

Vince's work as Nick marked one of his earliest roles, too.

12. In 2005, Katie Holmes notably starred as Rachel Dawes in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. But then, Katie stepped away from the role and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight. Before taking over the role, Maggie contacted Katie to make sure she "had her blessing."

 Maggie Gyllenhaal facing the Joker while wearing a formal dress

Warner Bros

"I wanted to be sure, first of all, that I had her blessing," Maggie reportetdly told The New York Post per ABC News. "And I was assured that I did. I'm a big fan of hers. I think she was really great."

13. After starring as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, a role that won her an Academy Award, Jodie Foster declined to return for the sequel, Hannibal, in 2001. Instead, Julianne Moore replaced Jodie and appeared alongside Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

 Julianne Moore points a gun with focus

Orion Pictures / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Via youtube.com

According to Entertainment Weekly, back in 1997, Jodie and Anthony were slated to star in the sequel. Then, per BBC News, Jodie reportedly passed because of scheduling conflicts, namely with her film Flora Plum.

Speaking about Julianne taking over the role from Jodie, The Silence of the Lambs screenwriter Ted Tally, who also turned down Hannibal, told Entertainment Weekly, "I know a lot of actresses turned down the part for fear of filling Jodie's shoes. I wouldn't want to be compared to that performance -- and c'mon, did anyone really want to see a different Scarlett O'Hara?"

14. Laurence Fishburne notably starred as Morpheus in three of The Matrix movies; however, when the series came back for the long-awaited film The Matrix Resurrections in 2021, Laurence was absent. Instead, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II played an AI based on Morpheus in the fourth movie.

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in "The Matrix" in a black suit and green tie (top) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus in "The Matrix Resurrections" in a blue suit (bottom)

Warner Bros

Laurence was the only original cast member not to return for The Matrix Resurrections, with both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. 

After seeing the new film, Laurence told Variety, "It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. But I thought Carrie-Anne and Keanu really did their thing. Yeah, that’s what I thought."

He also added that he didn't feel like he missed out on returning to the franchise.

15. And finally, Rachel Covey starred as the adorable Morgan, Robert's daughter, in Enchanted. However, when the movie finally received a long-awaited spinoff in 2022, Gabriella Baldacchino played Morgan, who was now 16 years old.

Young girl in a salon with a butterfly shirt; woman in a period costume with a white blouse and dark bodice, outdoors


Rachel and Disney never publicly explained why they recast the role of Morgan for Disenchanted

However, Rachel does have a cameo in the sequel. She can be spotted speaking to Giselle during a scene in town.

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