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8 Roles Johnny Depp Almost Played

Johnny Depp
Kristy Puchko

Mixing blockbusters with more quirky fare, Johnny Depp has had quite the unique career. While audiences love his offbeat characters in movies like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the upcoming ‘The Lone Ranger,’ there was a time when he wasn’t exactly box office gold.

Back in the ’90s and early ’00s, there were several high-profile roles that Depp was up for but lost to other actors. Meanwhile, there are many projects that Depp passed on that we can’t help but imagine him lending his unique talents to. Join us for a look at some roles that Johnny Depp almost played with reimagined movie posters created by Kristy Puchko.


Kristy Puchko

Depp was among the many actors who turned down the role of Jack Traven in ‘Speed.’ (Stephen Baldwin felt the part was too similar to ‘Die Hard’s’ John McClane.) Director Jan de Bont went with Keanu Reeves after seeing his performance in ‘Point Break.’

‘The Matrix’

Kristy Puchko

Depp was the Wachowskis’ first choice for Neo, but the studio wanted more of a box-office draw like Brad Pitt or Val Kilmer. (Remember the days when Val Kilmer was more of a box-office draw than Johnny Depp?) The success of ‘Speed,’ which Depp ironically passed on, helped Keanu Reeves score his now iconic role.

‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

Ferris Buellers Day Off
Kristy Puchko

Then a Hollywood up-and-comer, Depp was considered for the role of Ferris Bueller, along with young whipper snappers Jim Carrey and Tom Cruise. Ultimately Matthew Broderick, whom John Hughes claims to have had in mind when he wrote the part, won the role that made him a superstar.

‘Interview With the Vampire’

Interview With The Vampire
Kristy Puchko

Johnny Depp was offered the role of Lestat, but the part went to Tom Cruise who was considered more marketable at the time. Thus, fan-fiction writers the world over were denied the chance of penning Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt slash fiction.

‘Ghost Rider’

Ghost Rider
Kristy Puchko

Johnny Depp expressed interest in the role of Johnny Blaze, but apparently Nicolas Cage expressed more interest, so he got the part.


Hulk 2003
Kristy Puchko

Depp turned down the part of Bruce Banner in the 2003 ‘Hulk’ film which ultimately went to Eric Bana. One of them is currently starring in summer blockbusters. Looks like Depp made the right call there.

‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’

Mr Mrs Smith
Kristy Puchko

Depp was originally cast as John Smith in ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith,’ but had to turn down the part because he was overworked from all his other projects. You can blame Johnny for all the “Jennifer Aniston hates Angelina Jolie” articles Us Weekly will run until the end of time.

‘Pulp Fiction’

Pulp Fiction
Kristy Puchko

Depp was considered for the part of Pumpkin in ‘Pulp Fiction,’ but the role ended up going to Tim Roth. Now we can’t stop thinking about Samuel L. Jackson calling Johnny Depp “Ringo.”

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