Emily Blunt

  1. Vera Famiga, The Departed, 2006.  Testosterone ruled the roost (as per usual in a Martin Scorsese movie) but Vera held her own as Madolyn – a composite of two women in the original Hong Kong thriller, Internal Affairs, 2001. Scorsese had also thought about the double Oscar-winner Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet for the police shrink before preferring a lesser known (cheaper?) actress.

  2. Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Dark Knight, 2007.

  3. Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic, 2008.    For once, the prerequisite outsider won as Disney chose an unknown (cheaper, sure, but hilarious) after seeing everyone from the Jessicas (Alba and Biel) to Lindsay Lohan (!) and  Reese Witherspoon, who rightly felt Rebecca Bloomwood was too close to her Elle Woods creation in the two Legally Blonde films. Also in the mix: Blunt and  Kirsten Dunst
  4. Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2, 2009.   Scarlett proved her commitment to becoming Natalie Rushman aka Natalie Romanoff aka Black Widow – by dying her blonde tresses… scarlett. Those who did not included two Jessicas (Alba and Biel), plus Gemma Arterton, Emily Blunt, Eliza Dushku.  Plus Angelina Jolie, who led Marvel’s The Eternals, 2019, after  Natalie Portman won Jane Foster in the Thor franchise. Blunt later co-starred with Thor, himself (Chris Hemsworth) in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, 2015.
  5. Rose Byrne, Get Him To The Greek, 2009.      Emily had to quit being  Jackie Q in the second film about Russell Brand’s rocker Aldous Snow – a rock re-hash of My Favourite Year, 1981. “Someone else originally had the role, and dropped out over scheduling,” said the Australian star of Damages, TV,  2007-09.  “I just went in and auditioned, got a call back., went in again, and – yeah, got the role. It’s a very small part, a bit at the beginning and a bit at the end. But it’s a real departure, something  I’ve never done before. And it’s so much fun –  the way they work, sort of improvising. Russell Brand, Jonah Hill – they’re  pretty funny guys.”
  6. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.  Well, Robin was an Aussie, too – Russell Crowe. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic)  from several candidates:   Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan. Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began… among Blanchett, Rachel Weisz and Kate Winslet.  Director Ridley Scott said the only Sherwood movie he thought was any good was… Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights, 1993.
  7. Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air, 2009.     Auteur Jason Reitman wrote Natalie  for Anna after admiring her in Rocket Science, 2007 – but still considered  his Juno star – and Emily.
  8. Amy Adams, The Fighter. 2009.     Turned down the role of the barmaid catching the eye of Boston pugilist, Irish Mickey Ward. Well, this was Mark Wahlberg’s dream project about boxing – and he and Christian Bale had the best material.
  9.  Ellen Page, Inception, 2009.     After Evan Rachel Woods turned him down, UK director Christopher Nolan considered Blunt, Rachel McAdams, Carey Mulligan, Emma Roberts, Jessy Schram and  Taylor Swift  before settling upon a fifth   Oscar nominee for his thriller in…  the architecture of the mind.   
  10. Scarlett Johansson, Iron  Man 2, 2009.    Gulliver’s Travelsprevented Blunt  becoming Black Widow, alias Natasha Romanhof alias (as per the comics) Natalie Rushman. Johansson  was so keen to join the Marvelverse, she had her hair  dyed… scarlett!  “It wasn’t the right time, ” Blunt told ScreenRant. “But Scarlett has done such a phenomenal job – she’s it!”In eight more movies leading to her standaloner – Black Widow, 2019.

  11. Hayley Atwell, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010.    At one  time  it looked as if Emily and lover John Krasinski would be Cap Am and his girl,  SHIELD agent Peggy (ex-Sharon) Carter. Except Marvel was offering a nine-movie deal. “I’m not someone who likes to plan too much ahead.” Nor, apparently, did Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Alice Eve, Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike.
  12. Jessica Alba, The Killer Inside Me, 2010.     As directors changed from Andrew Dominik and Marc Rocco to Michael Winterbottom, so did the favourites to play the much beaten hooker Joyce Lakeland. From Emily to Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried and, finally,  Jessica.
  13. Abbie Cornish, The Girl, 2011.    Schedules clashed  like  cymbals  again and she had to quit being the young Texas mom smuggling Mexicans across the border.
  14. Scarlett Johansson, The Avengers, 2011.   Suddenly Scarlett is an action star – leading to more Avengers films, the French Lucy and her own Black Widow solo.  And all because Fox enforced an option and insisted that Blunt make  Gulliver’s Travels.  A. Total. Flop. 
  15. Rooney Mara, Side Effects, 2012.   “My last film,” said Steven Soderbergh. Hardly surprising when he wasn’t allowed to select his own leading lady! Despite his track record, his producers refused his Blake Lively choice – like Lindsay Lohan before her. He searched on through Emily, Alice Eve, Imogen Poots, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde and Michelle Williams before the suits agreed on Rooney. She quit Zero Dark Thirty, 2011, to take over as Emily. Happily, Soderbergh returned to directing for the cinema with Logan Lucky, 2017.
  16. Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco, 2012.      Also in the mix to play Grace Kelly were: Amy Adams, Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, January Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosamund Pike, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon. But not Christina Applegate, the young Grace on TV in 1983 when Cheryl Ladd was the older. None of them resembled Her Serene Highness, but then nor did Tim Roth look like Prince Rainier.
  17. Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables, 2012.   On the short-list for Fantine. So were Amy Adams, Jessica Biel (also up for Eponine), the genuinely French Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall, Kate Winslet – until Hathaway’s audition had everyone in tears.
  18. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl, 2013.    Abbie Cornish, Julianne  Hough, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon were also discussed for Amy, who goes missing on her wedding anniversary. A great Briton won…
  19. Rebecca Hall, Transcendence, 2013.  Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer Wally Pfister  was spoilt for choice of (eager) stars for his directing debut. Blunt and Kate Winslet were keen on Evelyn. Plus both girls with the dragon tattoo: the American Rooney Mara and Swedish Noomi Rapace. 
  20. Alicia Vikander, The Man From UNCLE, 2013.    For Gaby Teller, the rose betwixt the thorns of the  two heroes  (the mismatched Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer) the Warner suits looked over Blunt, Gemma Arterton, Emilia Clarke, Alice Eve, Sarah Gadon, Felicity Jones and Mia Wasikowska.  Blunt was all but in just as director  Steven Soderbergh quit in a budget flurry fury.

  21. Emilia Clarke, Terminator: Genisys, 2014.   “Come with me if you want to live… ”  Picking up the line from the guys in the Terminator franchise, the Game of Thrones find beat off Blunt, Margot Robbie and future Oscar-wnner Brie Larson to Linda Hamilton’s iconic role of Sarah Connor. Ironically, Emilia’s GOT co-star, Lena Headey, had been Sarah in the 2008 series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Small world.
  22. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers, 2016.  First developed for  Keanu Reeves (and Blunt) at his and Stephen Hamel’s Company Films, the interstellar love story nearly took off at the Weinstein Company (yeah, that long ago) with McAdams or Reese Witherspoon as Reeves’ co-star. Columbia signed Lawrence (for $20m) and Chris Pratt ($12m). They were hot – yes,  but in separate films. Together, they were glacial. Allowing Michael Sheen to steal the proceedings as a robotic barkeep (“a cross between a puppy and a toaster”) in a copy-Shining bar.  On the Starship Avalon. And  the bartbot was called… Arthur.  

  23. Alicia Vikander, Tomb Raider, 2017.    Lara Croft is the girls’ James Bond.  Many tried to succeed Angelina Jolie from her 2000 version – she’d won it from 20 candidates. Two dozen lost to the Swedish Vikander, on a roll with her 2016 Danish Girl Oscar and Ex Machinarobot…The Franchise Brigade was represented by two from the Percy Jackson flicks (Alexandra Daddario, Rosario Dawson), two Terminators (Emilia Clarke, Summer Glau), two Underworlders (Kate Beckinsale, Rhona Mitra) and three Twilighters (Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed and Kristen Stewart – who simply refused). Plus 007’s Gemma Arterton, Harry Potter’s Emma Watson,  Marvel’s Wanda Maximioff (Elizabeth Olsen), Star Wars’Daisy Ridley, Transformers’ Megan Fox, TRON’s Olivia Wilde, X Men’s Jennifer Lawrence,  Other also-rans were: Jessica Biel (as perfect as Dawson), Emily Blunt, Emily Browning, Cara Delevingne (Vikander’s co-star in Tulip Fever,2017), Nina Dobrev, Anne Hathaway, Sienna Miller (too mild, surely), Saoirse Ronan and Moon’s Kaya Scodelario.

  24. Brie Larson, Captain Marvel, 2018.   It was a long wait but Marvel’s 21st feature was a Black Panther-style triumph since opening on International Women’s Day, 2019.  LA legends insist that Carol Danvers was nearly played by Emily Blunt, Natalie Dormer, Rebecca Ferguson, Bryce Dallas Howard, wrestler Ronda Rousey, Katee Sackoff, the Handmaids Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski, Charlize Theron (when Angelina Jolie was invited to direct), Olivia Wilde or The Vikings’Katheryn Winnick. Then, Brie Larson made a 2015 film called Roomand won an award called Oscar.  That settled it for the Marvel chief called Kevin Feige. He lovesOscar winners, booking 18 for Marvel roles so far, such as Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman  – and Tilda Swinton,  who’s part of The Avengers: Endgame  with the Marvelous Brie.










 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  24