Despite an actor's preferences for which projects they want to take on, the contracts they sign can lock them into certain movies or prevent them from taking other roles. If they break those contracts, they could face legal action from the studio.
Here are 15 actors who were contractually obligated to do movies they hated:
1.Keanu Reeves alleged that a friend forged his signature on the contract that locked him into The Watcher, but, unable to prove his claims, he decided to do the movie instead of pursuing legal action.
2.Ryan Reynolds was attached to the Deadpool movie before the script was written, so when X-Men: Origins went into production, the studio basically told him, "Play Deadpool in this movie, or we’ll get someone else to."
3.Faced with a $20 million lawsuit for going back on a verbal pact she made to star in Theodore Rex, Whoopi Goldberg took on the role of Katie Coltrane.
4.After a months-long legal battle with Universal over the failed movie Dieter, Mike Myers reached a settlement and agreed to do another movie with the studio — The Cat in the Hat.
5.Natalie Portman lobbied for Patty Jenkins to direct Thor: The Dark World, but after Jenkins left the project over fear the bad script would be blamed on her, Portman was still contractually obligated to reprise her role as Jane Foster.
6.Emily Blunt wanted to accept the role of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, but she had to drop out because she was already contracted to do Gulliver's Travels.
7.Bill Murray signed on to voice the iconic orange cat in Garfield: The Movie because he misread the director's name as Jeff Coen (Burn After Reading and Fargo), when it was actually Jeff Cohen (Cheaper By The Dozen and Daddy Day Camp).
8.After director Steven Spielberg turned down Jaws 2, Roy Scheider also wanted to bail, but Universal forced him to reprise the role of Martin Brody because of a contract dispute.
9.Channing Tatum said that, as part of their three-picture deal, Paramount didn't give him an option to pass on G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, so he was "pushed" to take on the role of Duke.
10.Jennifer Garner hated playing the titular character in Elektra, but because she originated the role in Daredevil, the spinoff was part of her contract.
11.Val Kilmer purposefully botched his audition for Top Gun, but due to contractual obligations, he had to take the role of Iceman anyway.
12.In order to avoid being sued by Paramount Pictures, Edward Norton took on the role of Steve in The Italian Job.
13.Paul Bettany only agreed to be in Dogville because Stellan Skarsgård lied that it would be "fantastic" and "like a party all the time," but in truth, Skarsgård "couldn't face doing it without [Bettany]."
14.Matt Damon said that the script for The Bourne Ultimatum — the third Jason Bourne film he starred in — was "unreadable," a "career-ender," and "embarrassing."
15.And finally, during the height of his professional rivalry with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger read the terrible script for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot then spread a rumor about having "tremendous interest" in it, which he knew would prompt Stallone to accept the lead role.
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