As Joseph Fiennes is cast as Michael Jackson – yes, really – here are 5 other casting controversies

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Joseph Fiennes to be cast King of Pop

Actor Joseph Fiennes is unlikely to win any Michael Jackson lookalike competitions – but he has been cast to play the King of Pop in a new TV special.

This surprising news comes with the announcement of a Sky Arts programme, telling the unlikely tale of a post-9/11 road trip where Michael, Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) piled into a hire car and drove from New York to Ohio in an attempt to get home to California.

Liz Taylor & Michael Jackson
Liz Taylor & Michael Jackson

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Heath Ledger as The Joker
Heath Ledger as The Joker

Heath had big shoes to fill when he played the iconic comic book character: Jack Nicholson had previously been The Joker.

And plenty of people thought he just couldn’t do it – that he couldn’t play such a psychopathic character.
Suffice it to say: Heath proved them wrong.

David Bowie as Nikola Tesla

David Bowie as Nikola Tesla
David Bowie as Nikola Tesla

People didn’t really know what to make of David Bowie as an actor: some of his films became classics, while others – such as his 1978 film Just a Gigolo with Marlene Dietrich – were critically panned.

One of his last roles was as scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla in The Prestige, where he was almost unrecognisable behind a moustache, and brought out his serious side.

Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger

Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger

When the casting was announced for Harry Potter stage play The Cursed Child, the internet erupted. Some were surprised to see a black actress, Noma Dumezweni, cast in the role of Hermione Granger – played by Emma Watson in the film series. Others couldn’t see what the fuss was about.

Both Emma and JK Rowling tweeted their support, with the Harry Potter author writing: “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.”

Ben Affleck as Batman

When Ben Affleck was cast as superhero Batman, not all comic book movie fans were impressed. Some were convinced he did not have the ability to portray the Dark Knight. The reaction got so bad that the studio warned Ben to stay off the internet for a while.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, he declared his confidence in his own ability to brush it off, saying: ““I handle s**t!”

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