- Kirsten Dunst, Jumanji, 1994. At age ten, Scarlett auditioned for Judy Shepherd, being attacked by birds, crocodiles, elephants, giant insects, lions, monkeys, mosquitoes, plants that strangle or eat things, rhinos, snakes, spiders, thunder, lightning and Robin Williams in a magical board game.
- Lindsay Lohan, The Parent Trap, 1998. Lindsay won the roles that Scarlett knew all about - twins. She has a three minute younger brother, Hunter.
- Bryce Dallas Howard, Spider-Man 2, 2003.
- Kelli Garner, Thumbsucker, 2004. She quit before filming began.,
- Kirsten Dunst, Elizabethtown, 2004. Auditioned as Claire for auteur Cameron Crowe. So did Jessica Biel, Evan Rachel Wood... and Dunst.
- Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four, 2005. Up for Marvel’s Susan Storm, aka Invisible Woman - alongside Elizabeth Banks, Kate Bosworth, Ali Larter, Rachel McAdams, Denise Richards, Meg Ryan, Julia Stiles, KaDee Strickland, Renee Zellweger At the time, Scarlett was Woody Allen’s latest muse in three bright films... before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Natahsa Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in Iron Man 2, 2011, and The Avengers franchise.
- Keri Russell, Mission: Impossible III, 2005. When Tom Cruise postponed everything to make Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, ScarJo jumped into two successive Woody Allen films, among other movies. The role of Lindsay Farris was then aimed at Jessica Alba, Elisha Cuthbert, Lindsay Lohan... and Katie Holmes, who won Cruise instead. (They wed in 2006). Finally, Russell was selected. Easily. She had headlined the new M:I auteur JJ Abram’s TV series, Felicity, 1998-2002.
- Natalie Portman, V for Vendetta, 2005. Portman was delighted to win Evey Hammond from Johansson, Bryce Dallas Howard and Keira Knightley because… she’d always wanted to shave her head!
- Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2006.
- Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2006.
- Claire Danes, Stardust, 2006. Scarlett, Jessica Alba, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Anne Hathway also rejected Yvaine in Neil Gaiman’s fantasy kingdom of Stormhold - inhabited by Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller, Michelle Pfeiffer.
- Bryce Dallas Howard, Spider-Man 3, 2006.
- Zooey Deschanel, Gospel According To Janis, 2008. The beauty from another rock saga, Almost Famous,, beat off Scarlett, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears to the tragic role of Janis Joplin.
- Kristen Bell, Astro Boy, 2009. Agreed to voice Cora. And then, not. Probably read the toon script. The Japanese didn’t like what happened to their manga hero created in 1952; the Chinese just adored it.
- Amber Heard, The Rum Diary, 2009. Sorry, but it has to be said... Amber made herself heard. The A List was being examined (Scarlett, Keira) when she wrote to the London director Bruce Robinson and his producers outlining why she’d be the best Chenault. “The part didn’t call for a famous person. It called for an actress who was right for the part.”
- Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic,. Scarlett had been among several Sherwood candidates: Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman and Saoirse Ronan. Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began...
- Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2010.
- Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn, 2010. Scarlett (wisely) rejected the idea of playing Monroe - during the making of The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier in London, 1956. “I’m not perfect,” she said on Saturday Night Live. “I’ve found there are a few simple ways for a young celebrity to keep a low profile. Like for starters, wear underwear.” She got over her break-up with Ryan Reynolds during a hectic casting season: The The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Great Gatsby, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and became Matt Damon’s wife in We Bought A Zoo and...
- Reese Witherspoon, Water For Elephants, 2010. Scarlett passed on the Marlena, the beautiful bareback rider, who made Robert Pattinson run off and join her circus. A wise decision as Christoph Waltz stole the entire movie as the circus owner.
- Holliday Grainger, The Borgias, TV, 2010. Irish director Neil Jordan’s 2006 choice for Lucrezia - opposite Colin Farrell as Cesare - in the place of Ewan McGregor and Christina Ricci in his 2002 version poisoned by budgetry problems... long before Jordan got his film off the ground. As a TV series.
- Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby, 2011. Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s hunt for Daisy in the third Gatsby movie matched all the season’s other major auditions. As if the only actresses left on planet earth were: Johansson, Jessica Alba, Abbie Cornish, Eva Green, Rebecca Hall, Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley, Blake Lively, Rachel McAdams, Natalie Portman, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Williams. And Mulligan... soon sobbing on a red carpet, after being handed a phone. “It was Baz: Hello Daisy!”
- Mia Wasikowska, Lawless, 2011. Part of the line-up (with Ryan Gosling and Michael Shannon) when the film was shuttered, only to born again with different actors. One of them - Shia LaBeouf - got so aggressive after getting too authentic by drinking real moonshine that Mia almost quit the production.
- Jessica Biel, Total Recall, 2011. ScarJo turned down onwe film for nine - when counting all the sequels and superhero summit movies she was booked for as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, at Disney/Marvel. The Avengers that year was but the first… and buried Total beyond recall. Although Colin Farrell succeeding Schwarzenegger was in excellent 007-testing mode.
- Samantha Barks, Les Misérables, 2012. Many were called - Scarlett, Lucy Hale, Lea Michele, Hayden Panettiere, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Evan Rachel Wood - before producer Cameron Mackintosh went on the Manchester stage of her Oliver! gig to announce Samantha had won the role of Eponine. “Most incredible moment of my life!!!!”
- Sandra Bullock, Gravity, 2012. Once Angelina Jolie passed (twice), they all wanted the 3D sf special written by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron and his son, Jonas – Scarlett, Abbie Cornish, Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Sienna Miller, Casey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Wilde... Because the female astronaut is alone on-screen for most of the movie. (Sorry about that, George Clooney).
- Hailee Steinfeld, Can A Song Save Your Life, 2012. Yet another schedule clash had Johansson passing her young singer-songwriter to the new girl with true grit.
- Rosario Dawson, Trance, 2012. Director Danny Boyle also saw Eva Green, Zoe Saldana and Melanie Thierry. But would they have agreed to Rosario’s bolder-than-Sharon Stone genitalia sequence? Shooting filled a gap in Boyle’s two-year schedule for his stunning opening/closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Olympics - and edited after the event.
- Lily James, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2014. Natalie Portman was set for the revisionist Elizabeth Bennet until delays clashed with her schedule. She remaiend as one of seven producers while Johansson (opposite Bradley’s Mr Darcy), Lily Collins, Anne Hathaway, Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Emma Stone, and Mia Wasikowska were rung up Jane Austen flagpoles. But the winner was Downton Abbey’s Lady Rose and the screen’s latest Cinderella!
- Eva Green, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, 2014. Johansson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams were all up for the dame in question. Ava.