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Narnia "Almost" Casting  

NarniaWeb Junkie

I'm not sure if we've ever had a discussion topic about this before on NarniaWeb, but one thing I always find fascinating is the "near misses" of the Hollywood casting process - the actors who were almost cast in a certain role but lost out at the final hurdle. 

It's a topic I might research in a bit more detail to see how many I can find for Narnia, but for now there are 3 "almost" Prince Caspian's that I know of, all of whom auditioned for the role and/or made it through to the final selection:


Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman)


Nicholas Hoult (X-Men First Class)


Diego Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate)


I think these stories always evoke interesting "what if" scenarios, and it's fascinating to think how things would have played out, both for the franchise and the actors, if things had gone slightly differently.

Has anyone else come across any other near-miss "almost" castings for Narnia? 

Posted : May 10, 2021 3:07 pm
Member Moderator

Interesting topic, icarus. I've found the history of certain famous movies to be interesting for who was considered for playing whom in them but did not for one reason or another.

I think for the most part the producers and directors get it right but can ponder what might have been. Idea  

Looking forward to some future comments here. Smile  


There is definitely no "a" in definite.
The Mind earns by doing; the Heart earns by trying.

Posted : May 10, 2021 3:19 pm
NarniaWeb Nut

Andrew Garfield would have been an interesting choice for Peter or Caspian. 

Posted : May 10, 2021 6:39 pm
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

I can tell you that Jaxin Hall, a New Zealander, was the last competition for William Moseley for the role of Peter in LWW.

Jaxin was an early member of NarniaWeb, and I used to be in touch with him. He was flown over to London for the last screen tests, which must have been pretty exciting - but very disappointing not to get the role.

He was given a small role of a soldier at the railway station; it was written for Peter and the soldier to look at each other, and wish they could change places. Unfortunately most of the scene was cut, and the soldier appears like a featured extra (don't blink or you miss him and the message!)

Jaxin played a few more roles in New Zealand, and is now a family man, with music and a clothing label among his talents.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.

"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

Posted : May 11, 2021 1:58 am
NarniaWeb Junkie

That's really cool @coracle. I had heard the story about why he was cast as the Soldier but didn't realise he was also a NarniaWebber.

Another "Almost" Peter was Ed Speelers who went on to find fame with the movie Eragon (2006), and more recently with the TV series Downton Abbey (2012 - 2014).



Posted : May 11, 2021 12:35 pm
Member Admin

The one that immediately comes to mind for me is Brian Cox was actually cast to play Aslan, but for reasons I don't recall right now, he ended up being replaced with Liam Neeson.

Posted : May 11, 2021 2:12 pm
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @fantasia

The one that immediately comes to mind for me is Brian Cox was actually cast to play Aslan, but for reasons I don't recall right now, he ended up being replaced with Liam Neeson.

Good memory @fantasia! That feels like an absolute lifetime ago!

At the time it was reported that he left because he lost some weight and his voice changed, though that excuse never really tracked with me since Brian Cox has always looked and sounded just the same in all the movies I've ever seen him in.

Looking back now at the original news story, Brian Cox's publicist debunked the whole "weight loss" story right there and then. Apparently it was a simple scheduling issue which makes a lot more sense:

The story also reported a list of names for people who auditioned as his replacement:

  • Jason Isaacs
  • Timothy Dalton
  • Sean Bean
  • Gerard Butler
  • Ian McKellen
  • Ralph Fiennes

The name that always stands out from that list in terms of a pure "animalistic" quality is Gerard Butler. He's got such a deep roaring voice. Perhaps he wouldn't have been so good at the gentler parts of Aslan's character, but he's definitely got the most Lion-like voice of those names.

Posted : May 12, 2021 2:37 am