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The Real Reason These Actors Were Cut From A Sequel

Where would Hollywood be without sequels? A galaxy far, far away wouldn't have become a cultural staple. We might have only gotten one offer we couldn't refuse. And John and Sarah Conner would never have faced a Judgment Day. Then again, we probably all could have done without "Caddyshack II" and lived perfectly happy cinephile lives. Nonetheless, when a film franchise decides on a subsequent installment, viewers generally expect to see many of the same faces that brought them to the theater the first time around. 

Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Whether it's a conflict about money, personalities, or creative differences, there are plenty of instances in which actors from an original film aren't included in a sequel. Here are just a few examples of actors who didn't make the cut. Sometimes, it really isn't as good as the first time ... if the first time was ever that good at all.

Bill Murray - Charlie's Angels 2

Way back at the turn of the century, McG (who at that time was best known for directing music videos) got his first turn at directing a feature film. The result was a new millennium reboot of the wildly popular '70s action drama "Charlie's Angels," starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu. While most moviegoers came for the three leads, one of the highlights of the film was comedy veteran Bill Murray in the role of Bosley, the Angels' desk-bound handler.

But when the band got back together in 2003 for "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," Murray was noticeably absent. Instead, comedian Bernie Mac stepped into the role with the explanation that he was the adopted brother of the previous Bosley. Off-screen, however, it was more complicated than just wanting to make the sequel a family affair.

Rumors swirled that Murray clashed with co-star Lucy Liu, leading Murray to decide that he no longer wanted to work with the actress. However, in the years since the film, both Murray and Liu have thrown cold water on that story, with the former saying it was an on-set argument that was blown out of proportion. The story that seems to have more legs is that Murray and director McG butted heads — literally. Murray denies that the two had a physical altercation but did say that McG "deserves to die" and "should be pierced with a lance." It would appear there was a lack of angels on set.

Terrence Howard - Iron Man 2

It's one thing to miss out on a sequel that flops and inevitably goes nowhere. It's another thing to sit out a follow-up that opens the door to one of the largest, most ambitious franchises in movie history and eventually becomes a worldwide phenomenon. Alas, that is the premise of The Ballad of Terrence Howard. When Robert Downey, Jr. first put on his Iron Man suit in 2008, Howard was by his side as James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Tony Stark's close friend and future War Machine.

Yet two years later, when Stark was called on once again to save the world, Rhodey looked a lot less like Terrence Howard and a lot more like Don Cheadle. In the end, Cheadle would go on to play Rhodey/War Machine throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, right up through the 2023 Disney+ series "Secret Invasion."

While Howard has a reputation for being difficult to work with, the actor said in interviews that his disappearance from the MCU had nothing to do with his attitude. Instead, he blamed his co-star, saying Downey "took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out." Howard elaborated further on the "Sway in the Morning" radio show, explaining that instead of paying him the $8 million he was originally offered for "Iron Man 2," Marvel instead arranged to pay him just one million. Perhaps War Machines cost less than we've been led to believe.

Edward Norton - The Incredible Hulk

Way back in the infancy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio released "The Incredible Hulk," starring Oscar nominee Edward Norton. The movie wasn't quite the smash hit that many of its MCU successors would be, but it was received markedly better than Ang Lee's "Hulk." Nevertheless, when it came time to integrate the big green guy into the rest of the MCU in "The Avengers," it was Mark Ruffalo in the role of Bruce Banner.

While plenty of disputes over actors returning to sequels involve money, this conflict seems decidedly tilted toward creative differences. Norton was an uncredited writer on the project and (along with director Louis Leterrier) pushed for a cut of the movie that was around 135 minutes. The studio was more interested in a leaner cut, and won out with a 112-minute version. That may have been one of the reasons Norton refused to do much promotion for the film, though the actor claims he prefers to let his movies "speak for themselves."

In the end, it was more than the execs at Marvel Studios were willing to put up with. In explaining why the studio moved on from Norton, Kevin Feige cited "the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members." There's no "I" in team ... and apparently no Norton, either.

Alec Baldwin - Patriot Games

Alec Baldwin already had a number of television and movie credits on his resume before signing on to star in "The Hunt for Red October" in 1990. But it was the role of Jack Ryan that helped propel him to a new level of stardom. With Tom Clancy writing so prolifically about the CIA analyst-turned-field agent, one would have thought that Baldwin was primed to reprise the role in any number of sequels.

But when "Patriot Games" premiered in 1992, it was Harrison Ford, not Alec Baldwin, in the role of Jack Ryan. Ford would play Ryan again two years later in "Clear and Present Danger" before ceding the role to Ben Affleck in "The Sum of All Fears." If Baldwin is to be believed, he was run off as a way for the movie studio to clear a debt.

In 2011, Baldwin wrote that the reason he never appeared in "Patriot Games" is that Paramount Studios owed money to "a very famous movie star" who had a deal on a previous movie fall apart. So in order to fulfill this financial obligation, Baldwin was pushed aside. While the "famous movie star" is never named, some have connected the dots to Harrison Ford. For his part, David Kirkpatrick (the executive Baldwin accused of engineering the move) chalked it up to "an issue of script approval."

Rachelle Lefevre - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Sometimes actors choose not to return for a sequel. Sometimes actors know why they aren't being asked back for a follow-up. Still others seem completely caught by surprise when they don't get invited back. Such was the case with Rachelle Lefevre, who was on the outside looking in when the cast for "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" was announced.

Lefevre played the role of Victoria in the first two films of the series, a role that had been relatively minor. It was expected that the character would have a larger part in the story for the third film, but Bryce Dallas Howard wound up taking Lefevre's place. The move left Lefevre "stunned," according to a statement. The actress says that the decision was made over a scheduling conflict due to her taking a role in another movie that overlapped with the shooting schedule for "Eclipse" by 10 days. Lefevre said that she was "totally committed" to the role of Victoria and didn't believe that the minor overlap should have caused a problem.

The studio didn't take kindly to Lefevre's portrayal of what happened and released a statement of its own, accusing the actress of "a lack of cooperative spirit." Whatever the full story was, it certainly meant twilight time on Lefevre's run in a huge movie franchise.

Judith Hoag - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze

Were it not for the intrepid reporting of April O'Neil, the world might have never learned of the existence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — at least, if you believe comic book lore. But it might be a bit surprising to realize that three different actresses have taken on the role over the course of the franchise's live-action big screen life, most recently Megan Fox in 2014 and 2016.

The original April O'Neil was played by Judith Hoag in the 1990 debut. At the time, Hoag was a 22-year-old actor working alongside Robin Williams in "Cadillac Man" and looking for her big break. Despite not knowing what "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was about, she took the role and worked a dual schedule to finish both movies. When it came time to cast "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze," Hoag wasn't invited back. Her schedule likely had something to do with it ... but not in the way one might think.

Hoag complained to the producers about the long six-day shooting schedule, as well as the film's heavy violence: "I think they thought I was too demanding, and moved on." In her place, Paige Turco took over the role. Hoag was considered for the third film in the series, but producers thought it might be too confusing for young viewers. Definitely not radical, dude.

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig - The Girl in the Spider's Web

Steig Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" of books featuring the exploits of Swedish hacker Lisbeth Salander were an international phenomenon. In their native country, the books were adapted into a well-received movie trilogy with Noomi Rapace in the lead role. An American remake was inevitable, and Rooney Mara was cast alongside Daniel Craig in director David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

The movie earned overall positive reviews, pulled in over $230 million worldwide at the box office, and earned Mara an Oscar nomination. However, Fincher did not return to helm the eventual 2018 sequel, "The Girl in the Spider's Web," with Fede Alvarez taking over instead. Nonetheless, many expected Mara and Craig to both return in their respective roles.

Instead, Alvarez decided to go in a different direction with both of the main characters. He cast Claire Foy and Sverrir Gudnason in the lead roles, telling EW.com (via Screenrant), "I just didn't like the idea of taking someone else's cast." In the end, the movie didn't resonate with either critics or audiences. What a tangled web we weave when films we choose to re-conceive.

Olivia Munn - Dark Phoenix

Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the crown jewel of superhero films, there was the "X-Men" series. While this franchise of super-powered team-ups hasn't had quite the level of box office clout as the MCU in recent years, it still did have quite a bit of appeal. That appeal (at least for fans of the comic books) bubbled over when Olivia Munn was cast to play Psylocke in "X-Men: Apocalypse."

Plenty of fans expected that Munn would be back for the final installment of the 20th Century Fox X-series, although that likely had something to do with Munn herself proclaiming ahead of time that "Dark Phoenix" would be a "two-parter" and her character would definitely be making an appearance. The studio didn't take too kindly to the admission and sent a note to let her know as much.

Nonetheless, the slip of the tongue wasn't actually the reason Munn didn't return for "Dark Phoenix." Instead, the issue was much simpler: scheduling conflicts. When the X-Men saddled up for their final ride at Fox, Munn was busy filming "The Predator" and was unavailable. Doing both at the same time would have taken a superhuman effort.

Bill Duke - X-Men: Days of Future Past

It can be a beautiful thing when filmmakers are allowed to take creative license with characters and story. Often, it can lead to great on-screen moments that enhance an individual movie or an entire franchise. Sometimes, it leads to weird continuity issues that leave audiences wondering what happened.

The latter could be the case with Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past." When the movie was released in 2014, Peter Dinklage was cast in the role of Bolivar Trask, head of Trask Industries and developer of the mutant-hunting Sentinels. That might not be such a big deal until one remembers that Bill Duke played the same role in 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand." While the latter movie didn't feature Trask in a huge role, the recasting was still a decision that left some fans scratching their heads.

Singer did acknowledge the dissonance, saying, "Some of these things I hope the audience will forget about but for the bulk of it I pay attention to the universe." What was the reason for making the change in the role? It was simply a case of the director being a fan of the actor. "I'm a huge fan of Peter's and 'Game of Thrones.' He was my first choice and I was really happy," Singer told IGN. Perhaps only in days of future past could one completely re-write a character's history.

Billy Dee Williams - Batman Forever

When director Tim Burton brought "Batman" to the big screen in 1989, audiences flocked to theaters to see Michael Keaton's Dark Knight battle Jack Nicholson's Joker through the gritty streets of Gotham City. Veteran actor Billy Dee Williams appeared on-screen as Gotham district attorney Harvey Dent, giving fans reason to assume that he would become the villain Two-Face in Burton's subsequent films.

Unfortunately, that never happened ... at least not with Williams in the role. When Burton's "Batman Returns" arrived in 1992, Harvey Dent was nowhere to be found. Instead, Batman battled the Penguin (Danny DeVito), with Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) thrown into the mix. By 1995, Burton was no longer involved in the franchise and Joel Schumacher, who was tapped to direct "Batman Forever," decided to go a different direction, recruiting Tommy Lee Jones to don the makeup for Two-Face.

While Williams never got the chance to play the role in live-action, the story does have a fairly happy ending. In 2017's "The Lego Batman Movie," Williams was cast as the voice of Two-Face. All's well that ends well, perhaps.

Elizabeth Spriggs - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Over the course of the "Harry Potter" series, many characters were recast for various reasons. Most notably, Ralph Fiennes took over for Richard Bremmer when Voldemort evolved from a disembodied face to a full-bodied Dark Lord, and Michael Gambon replaced the deceased Richard Harris as Dumbledore.

One of the less-discussed changes was with the "Fat Lady" who guarded the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. In "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," Elizabeth Spriggs played the role. It was a bit of a surprising choice for a character that was beloved by readers of the book series for being brassy and vivacious — Spriggs was more known for supporting matriarchal roles in dramas like "Sense and Sensibility." Perhaps that was part of the reason director Alfonso Cuaron decided to cast boisterous British comedian Dawn French in the role when he took over to make "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Crispin Glover - Back to the Future Part II

Michael J. Fox may have been the star of "Back to the Future," but as George McFly, Crispin Glover gave a career-defining performance. That made it all the more surprising when Glover didn't return for either of the movie's two sequels.

For any moviegoers asking why the elder McFly was portrayed by a different actor in "Back to the Future Part II" and "Part III" (journeyman actor Jeffrey Weissman took on the role), the reason is likely because Glover himself was asking too many questions. According to Glover, he had a problem with the ending of the original film, saying it sent the message that "money equals happiness," a contention that supposedly angered director Robert Zemeckis.

Nevertheless, Glover claims he still was interested in being in the sequels, but the paycheck was much less than what he considered to be fair. Apparently, playing George McFly was not going to be his destiny.

Julia Sawalha - Chicken Run 2

In 2000, U.K.-based Aardman Animation, best known for its Academy Award-winning stop-motion animation shorts featuring Wallace and Gromit, branched out into feature films with "Chicken Run." Led by a hen named Ginger and a circus performer rooster named Rocky, the story's slated-for-slaughter chickens stage a plan to literally fly the coop to their freedom. "Chicken Run" was a massive hit — it earned $227 million at the worldwide box office, making it the top-grossing stop-motion animated movie of all time.

English actress Julia Sawalha, probably best known for her role as Saffy on the cult favorite Britcom "Absolutely Fabulous," voiced Ginger in the original "Chicken Run," but was not asked to return when the long-awaited sequel went into production. The reason, according to Sawalha, was ageism. 

"Last week I was informed out of the blue, via email, through my agent that I would not be cast as Ginger in the 'Chicken Run' sequel," Sawalha wrote in an open letter posted to Twitter. "The reason they gave is that my voice now sounds 'too old' and they want a younger actress to reprise the role." Sawalha further noted that she wasn't even given the opportunity to provide a voice test to determine if her voice had indeed changed too much, so she did one herself, and sent it to producers ... who still opted to get someone else to portray Ginger in the 2021 sequel.

Mel Gibson - Mad Max: Fury Road

Mel Gibson's big break in the film industry was his star-making role as Max Rockatansky in George Miller's 1979 cult classic "Mad Max." The film was a success, and the sequel, "The Road Warrior," became an international sensation that spawned a wave of copycats and imitators. Gibson reprised his lead role for that film and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," but was ousted and replaced by Tom Hardy when it came time decades later to make the follow-up, "Mad Max: Fury Road."

At one point, Gibson was set to play Max again in "Fury Road" but, many years and many scandals later, the plans for the film changed drastically. Miller first had the idea for "Fury Road" around the turn of the century and nearly went into production in 2001 with Gibson in the lead role until 9/11 happened and torpedoed the film's chances of getting made. 

Over a decade would pass before Miller got back around to making "Fury Road." By the time he was ready to re-mount the production, Gibson had both aged out of the role and had gone through all of the personal scandals that had ravaged his viability as a leading man. Gibson and Miller had a mutual understanding about the replacement and there was no bad blood between them. Gibson even attended the premiere of "Fury Road" and posed for photos with Miller and Hardy.

Matt Damon - Ocean's 8

When director Steven Soderbergh decided to remake the 1960 Rat Pack heist movie "Ocean's 11," he modernized the plot for the 2000s, packed it full of Hollywood's biggest stars of the time, and expanded it into a full film franchise. In "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve," and "Ocean's Thirteen," Matt Damon filled the role of Linus Caldwell, with the final film hitting theaters in 2007.

When the franchise received a spinoff 11 years later in the form of "Ocean's Eight," Damon was meant to reprise his role as Linus in a brief appearance alongside the new all-female cast. Damon shot his cameo, but it didn't make it into the film's final cut. Carl Reiner also shot a cameo appearance reprising his role as Saul Bloom but was left on the cutting room floor as well. Director Gary Ross said that the removal of their cameos came about after reshoots and an extended editing process to make the story flow as smoothly as possible. 

The official reason for cutting Damon is innocuous enough, but some have posited that his removal may have been to avoid any backlash related to his public comments defending Harvey Weinstein, which led to an official petition to have him removed from the film ahead of its release. Ross denied that Damon's personal scandal influenced the decision to cut him from the film.

Hugo Weaving - The Matrix Resurrections

Released in 2021, "The Matrix Resurrections" was the long-delayed fourth entry in the "Matrix" series, which had previously concluded with "The Matrix Revolutions" back in 2003. In the nearly two decades between the third and fourth movies, the core cast of the franchise changed significantly, but the reasons behind those changes are perhaps a bit questionable. Stars like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss returned, but other prominent characters were recast, including the major roles of Agent Smith, originally played by Hugo Weaving, and Morpheus, portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy.

Weaving was initially supposed to reprise the Agent Smith role, but ended up getting replaced by Jonathan Groff. The official reason for Weaving's absence was scheduling conflicts owing to his commitments to the National Theater. Weaving was willing to do both projects as long as his scenes could be shot a bit later. That nearly ended up happening, but director Lana Wachowski was unwilling to accommodate Weaving's busy schedule and opted to recast his role instead.

Weaving had been open about having some issues with the screenplay for "The Matrix Resurrections" and concerns that the movie might not have been getting made for the right reasons, which may have factored into the decision to replace him. Fishburne, on the other hand, wasn't invited to reprise the Morpheus role for reasons that were never made clear to him, with the role instead being recast with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Aldis Hodge - Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Aldis Hodge took on the role of Carter Hall, aka Hawkman, for the first time in the 2022 DC movie "Black Adam," opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the title role. Hodge was supposed to play Hawkman for the second time the following year, but that didn't come to be.

Hodge's second appearance as Hawkman was meant to be in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," a direct sequel to the first "Shazam!" from 2019 and part of the broader DC Extended Universe. Hawkman was supposed to recruit Shazam for the Justice Society in the post-credits scene. With all of the seismic changes at DC recently, following the James Gunn takeover and radical restructuring of future plotlines and characters, it would be natural to assume that Hawkman's appearance in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" was nixed as part of the same shakeup. The truth is that the change had nothing to do with any of that. Instead, the scene was cut at The Rock's behest.

The news was confirmed by "Shazam!" star Zachary Levi, who called out The Rock for blocking the Hawkman cameo as well as blocking the Shazam character from a cameo appearance in "Black Adam." Levi even appeared to blame The Rock for the box office failure of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," although he later denied doing so.

Clive Owen - Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is both a prequel and sequel to the original "Sin City," released nine years prior. This belated follow-up to the original anthology features a new cast of characters alongside many familiar faces. Two characters who returned but were now played by different actors were the brutish Manute and the suave Dwight.

Recasting Manute with Dennis Haysbert was an unfortunate necessity after the sad passing of original actor Michael Clarke Duncan. The recasting of Dwight, however, was a bit more of a head-scratcher. Originally played by Clive Owen, the role was instead taken over by Josh Brolin, with his change in appearance justified by the character undergoing facial reconstruction surgery to look completely different. But the problem is that Dwight receives the surgery partway through "A Dame to Kill For," with Brolin donning distracting prosthetics to make him look more like Owen.

It seems like the perfect setup to have Owen finish the last stretch of the movie, and that was actually the original plan, but director Robert Rodriguez liked what Brolin did with the character and decided to use Brolin for the whole film. It certainly helped that it was cheaper and easier to just use one actor instead of two. Shortly ahead of shooting, Owen said he had never been asked about reprising his role as Dwight. He told IndieWire, "We never really talked about it."

Katherine Langford - Avengers Endgame

With a gargantuan three-hour runtime and the lore and buildup from nearly two dozen prior movies in the MCU ahead of it, "Avengers: Endgame" was positively bursting at the seams with Marvel characters and the resolution of ongoing plot lines. It makes sense that in such an overstuffed undertaking, there was bound to be some material left on the cutting room floor.

One actor who was cut out of the movie altogether was Katherine Langford in the role of Morgan Stark, Tony Stark's daughter, now all grown up. The character appeared in a vision to Tony in the latter stages of the film. The deleted scene eventually popped up on Disney+, accompanied by a commentary track from directors Anthony and Joe Russo. Joe Russo explained that the scene was cut for the sake of pacing and redundancy, saying (via Polygon), "We felt it ground the movie to a halt ... What can happen in a film this big is you can have ending after ending after ending and it starts to feel like the movie's never going to end."

Harrison Ford - The Sum of All Fears

Just as Harrison Ford had taken over the Jack Ryan role from Alec Baldwin after "The Hunt for Red October," Ben Affleck eventually took the role over from Ford for "The Sum of All Fears." The role has since become something like James Bond, where changing actors every so often is expected. The character was subsequently played by Chris Pine in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and John Krasinski in the "Jack Ryan" Amazon Prime series. The latter has helmed the character for the longest, with four seasons of television under his belt, though his time in the role is also now drawing to a close.

Ford played Jack Ryan in two movies based on Tom Clancy books, "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger." At one point, Ford was signed to star as Jack Ryan again in "The Sum of All Fears," but Ford had issues with the script and, when he tried to work them out with director Phillip Noyce, they got nowhere. Ford broke off his commitment to the film, and Affleck stepped in to replace him, presumably having no problem shooting the script as it was.

Christopher Lee - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

As part of the ensemble cast of the original "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Christopher Lee left a huge impression as the villainous Saruman. After playing a significant role in the plots of "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers," Saruman was entirely absent from the trilogy capper, "The Return of the King," which may have come as a surprise to fans of the series and most definitely came as a surprise to Lee himself.

Lee shot multiple scenes for "The Return of the King," only for his character's presence in the film to be excised completely. The reason for Saruman's removal was because the character's storyline had been pretty much wrapped up by the end of "The Two Towers." Director Peter Jackson planned to feature the character near the beginning of the third movie to provide him with more conclusive closure, but this ended up feeling unnecessary and harming the pacing of the film once it was all edited together. 

Saruman's scenes were later included in the extended edition of "The Return of the King," but Lee was quite upset to be edited out of the theatrical versions. For a time, he held a grudge against Jackson, but they were able to smooth things over by the time the "Hobbit" trilogy was made, as Lee reprised the Saruman role in both the first and third movies.

Evan Peters - Kick-Ass 2

Evan Peters played the supporting role of Todd, one of the high school buddies of the titular super hero, in the first "Kick-Ass." When it came time to make the sequel three years later, Peters was no longer involved. Todd was still a part of the plot, and in fact the character had even more to do the second time around, but the role was recast with Augustus Prew, who was best known for his role on "The Borgias."

"Kick-Ass 2" had a litany of other eyebrow-raising concerns outside of Peters' recasting, so the actor swap flew further under the radar than it probably would have otherwise. The movie was met with a far harsher reception across the board than the well-liked original, and the situation wasn't aided by the fact that Jim Carrey, who played one of the lead roles in the sequel, went around denouncing the movie publicly ahead of its release. Peters' absence from the sequel was chalked up to scheduling conflicts with the second season of "American Horror Story."

Strangely, Peters has juggled another role in a superhero property. He played Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver, in 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse," while Aaron Taylor-Johnson also portrayed the character in the 2015 MCU entry "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Peters reprised the role — sort of — when he popped up again as a version of Pietro in 2021's "WandaVision."

Brendan Fraser - Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

2008 was a huge year for Brendan Fraser. He starred in not one but two blockbusters: "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." Sadly, this busy year also marked the start of Fraser's decline as a Hollywood leading man: The plug was pulled on the "Mummy" franchise after "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," and Fraser's starring role was recast for the sequel to "Journey to the Center of the World."

Released four years later, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" featured Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a new character, with Fraser out of the picture entirely. Fraser was supposed to stick around for the sequel, but after Warner Brothers decided to replace Eric Brevig, the first film's director, with Brad Peyton in the hopes of getting the sequel into theaters faster. As a result, Fraser quit in solidarity with Brevig. The studio replaced both the original movie's director and star rather than give in to either of them.

Peyton missed the studio's desired 2011 release date, and the movie hit theaters at the same time it would have anyway if Brevig was at the helm. Brevig gave up directing after 2010's "Yogi Bear" and has stuck to VFX and second unit work ever since, while Peyton has continued directing Johnson in movies like "Rampage," "San Andreas," and the upcoming "San Andreas 2." Fraser experienced a career resurgence last year with his Oscar-winning work in "The Whale."

Jodie Foster - Hannibal

"The Silence of the Lambs" is one of the most highly-acclaimed horror films ever made. A rarity for such dark material, the film took home five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Jonathan Demme also won the Best Director Oscar, and Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins both won Oscars for their performances. However, when it came time to adapt the next book in Thomas Harris's series, Hopkins was the only one who returned.

Clarice Starling remained the main protagonist of "Hannibal" opposite the titular Hannibal Lecter, but she was now played by Julianne Moore instead of Foster. Taking over for Demme in the director's chair was Ridley Scott. Ted Tally, who won an Oscar for writing the adapted screenplay of "The Silence of the Lambs," was also replaced. The reason why so much of the core creative team chose not to return for the sequel largely came down to the source material, with Harris's follow-up novel being of a drastically different caliber than his "Red Dragon" and "The Silence of the Lambs" books. 

At the time, Foster chalked up her refusal to simple scheduling conflicts, but she later revealed that she felt the plot of "Hannibal" disrespected the Clarice character. She told Total Film, "The official reason I didn't do 'Hannibal' is I was doing another movie... but Clarice meant so much to Jonathan [Demme] and I, she really did, and I know it sounds kind of strange to say but there was no way that either of us could really trample on her."

Dwayne Johnson - F9: The Fast Saga

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joined the cast of the "Fast and Furious" series with the fifth movie in 2011, "Fast Five," which essentially ushered in the second phase of the franchise. He stuck around for the sixth, seventh, and eighth movies in the series, plus the "Hobbs and Shaw" spinoff, but was unexpectedly absent from the ninth movie, "F9: The Fast Saga."

But a highly-publicized feud between Johnson and Vin Diesel while making "The Fate of the Furious" eventually boiled over and led to Johnson exiting the franchise altogether, much to Diesel's chagrin. Even before his departure, "The Fate of the Furious" had been made with Diesel and Johnson's characters never sharing a single scene together, and Johnson's "Hobbs and Shaw" spinoff was made entirely without Diesel's participation.

Both in private and in public, Diesel attempted to get Johnson back on board the franchise. Diesel even posted an impassioned social media post practically begging Johnson to return, which Johnson wrote off as a prime example of the type of manipulation that drove him away from working with Diesel in the first place. Despite this major rift between them, it seems they were able to come to some sort of arrangement when Johnson made a surprise, uncredited appearance in "Fast X" after sitting the ninth movie out. Johnson will now reprise his character, Luke Hobbs, in his own spinoff movie, which will lead directly into the events of "Fast 11."

Tom Hiddleston - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tom Hiddleston is a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Loki. He first began playing the role in 2011's "Thor" and has stuck with the character throughout seven MCU movies and two TV shows. That's a pretty hefty collection of movies, but the total was actually supposed to be eight movies.

In 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Loki originally popped up for a brief appearance, but was left on the cutting room floor. The character showed up in a Thor dream sequence but never arrived in the flesh. The reason for cutting Hiddleston only became apparent after a cut of "Age of Ultron" was fully assembled with Hiddleston's appearance intact and shown to test audiences. His cameo caused confusion among the initial test audiences who made the wrong logical leaps about Loki's involvement in the plot, with some erroneously taking his scene to be a reveal that Loki was controlling Ultron all along. In response, Loki was cut out of the movie altogether to avoid the confusion.