While the newest version of “Spider-Man” has impressed plenty, the original film version was still well-regarded, with “Spider-Man 2” an early example of what superhero movies could achieve when given a chance. However, “Spider-Man 3” couldn’t keep the success going and made an especially strange casting choice with Topher Grace, the lead from “That ’70s Show,” as the villain Venom. Venom is supposed to be a huge, hulking character with the physical skills able to take on Venom and the menacing appearance of a true monster.
Tom Hardy is a little closer (despite that movie’s quality), Topher Grace is far from the mark, and the movie suffered.
Everyone in Fifty Shades of Grey
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star as the...lovers...of this steamy "romance" film, which attempted to capitalize on the fame of the novel of the same name. Yet the movie couldn't even reach the low bar of the book; since the two primary actors had so little chemistry, the relationship came off as creepy and predatory rather than...whatever it was supposed to be in the book.
It had none of the passionate tension or interesting power dynamic of the literary version we're, uh, told. In fact, Johnson and Dornan are reported to have hated each other. That makes a romantic film tough, probably.
George Clooney as Batman in Batman & Robin
Hey, look, it's that movie we made fun of a few entries back. Batman has been one of the more popular film superheroes, but the movies have still been hit or miss. This is the one with the Bat-nipples, and a mediocre-at-best acting job by Clooney, Uma Thurman as a cringe-worthy Poison Ivy, and the first and last Batgirl to appear on the big screen, Alicia Silverstone.
Alongside this poor supporting cast, Clooney's lack of Wayne charm and Batman power was even more noticeable, turning this movie into a clunker. But don't worry: "Batman Begins" was just around the corner.
John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror
This one's a big blunder, guys and gals. John Wayne was born in Iowa, and Mr. Khan was born in Asia. Mongolia, specifically. Maybe you can see what we're getting at here. After a lifetime of killing it in the west, Wayne wanted something different. When producer Howard Hughes delivered a big pallet of cash for this role, Wayne signed up, but both the movie and the casting choice ended up being terrible.
It's often seen as one of the worst movies of all time, thanks in part to Wayne's casting as this famous conqueror.
Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian
Nobody can decry Johansson's acting chops, but this was another misstep in casting white actors in Asian roles. "Ghost in the Shell" is a classic piece of anime history, and it was a great opportunity to give a big role to a smaller name. But the producers went with the hot hand, and Johansson starred instead.
Plenty of people wanted the role recast, and thanks to this bad press – and, we have to assume, being not a very good movie – the film became both a commercial and critical flop.