Your favorite Disney Channel original movie almost looked very different!
Most actors dream of an offer from Walt Disney Studios: They're just about guaranteed hits that can skyrocket a career. After all, Disney did launch stars like Miley Cyrus, Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake into the spotlight.
But a number of Hollywood stars made the tricky choice to turn down Disney's advances, rejecting huge sums of money and now-iconic, beloved roles. And while some regret their choice, others seem pretty confident they made the right call -- they've gone on to win Oscars and Emmys even without the Disney name!
Stars Who Turned Down Disney Roles
Stars Who Turned Down Disney Roles
Reese Witherspoon had agreed to voice Merida in Disney's "Brave" -- but there was one key issue. According to Reese herself, she had trouble mastering the character's Scottish accent: "I tried to do a Scottish accent once. It was bad. I had to quit the movie."
Before agreeing to play Belle in "Beauty and the Beast," Emma Watson turned down the opportunity to play Cinderella in the live-action remake: "When they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did," she said.
Is your favorite Disney Channel film "Hocus Pocus"? Well, the classic DCOM almost looked much more handsome: Leo was approached to play the role of Max, offering him "more money than I ever dreamed of," but he walked away. "I don't know where I got the nerve," he later said.
"Hannah Montana" without Miley Cyrus? It almost happened! Singer JoJo was offered the lead role by Disney executives, but she turned it down, later revealing she had "no regrets at all" about rejecting the opportunity.
Warren Beatty was offered the part of Iago, villain Jafar's saucy parrot sidekick in "Aladdin." After he turned it down, Gilbert Gottfried landed the role -- although he first had to beat out Joe Pesci and Danny DeVito, he revealed.
Annnd sometimes you kick yourself later. Billy Crystal has said that turning down a role in "Toy Story" during its early development stage is "one of the only regrets I have in the business of something I passed on." He later took the lead role of Mike Wazowski in "Monsters, Inc."
In 2015, Variety officially announced that Moretz would play Ariel in Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid." However, a year later, Moretz announced that she had pulled the plug not only on that film, but also on all others she was committed to. "I want to reassess who I am and find myself within my roles again," she explained.
Elle Fanning also turned down Disney's offer to star in "The Little Mermaid." She did, however, agree to play Aurora in "Malficent."
Michael Shannon was reportedly approached to do a major Disney blockbuster, but he wasn't interested at all. Although he wouldn't confirm the film, he gave this cryptic explanation: "They called me recently about some iteration -- I won't say -- but some version of a movie that's been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of money, but I was like, nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it's an interesting story. If I don't, I can't do it."
The director of "Monsters, Inc," Pete Docter, was dying to slate Bill Murray as monster Sulley alongside Billy Crystal. But after doing a screen read for the part, Murray refused to answer the phone when the director repeatedly called. "We took that to mean no," Docter said.
No thanks! Although she hit it big on Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place," Gomez declined the leading role in its hit movie-musical "Camp Rock." She also turned down a part in "High School Musical 3: Senior Year."