- Lily Cole, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 2007. Never good at picking actresses, director Terry Gilliam voted in the flame-haired model for Valentina (to be promised to the Devil at 16) over Gemma, Abbie Cornish, Romola Garai, Jena Malone and Mia Wasikowska. Duh!
- Emma Roberts, Valentine’s Day, 2009. Director Garry Marshall auditioned her and let her go. He should’ve known better! Then again, Emma was the neice of his biggest ($3m) discovery, Julia Roberts. He struck gold again here - then re-made it (badly) as New Year’s Eve in New York.
- - Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2, 2009. That’s what James Bond does for an actress - makes her international. She was called in for Black Widow. So were Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Emily Blunt, Eliza Dushku, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman.
- Hayley Atwell, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010. Peggy Carter changed about as often as the directors of this fifth screen incarnation of the heroic Steve Rogers... and his main squeeze. Others falling by the wayside included Alice Eve, Emily Blunt, Alexa, Alice Eve, Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike.
- Natalie Portman, Thor, 2010. Gemma was seen as Jane Foster.
After her fleeting Strawberry Fields in the Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, 2008, Gemma was seen for everything... and won seven roles in 2009.
- Rose Huntington-Whitely, Transformers: Dark of the Month, 2010. In the running to replace - not the Mikaela role, but the actress Megan Fox... after her hassles with the franchise director Michael Bay. She compared him to Hitler (and Napoleon) and producer Steven Spielberg told him to sack her. The Victoria’s Secret model became Carly, Shia LaBeouf’s new love interest. Also considered: Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Brooklyn Decker, Ashley Greene, Lucy Hale, Amber Heard, Julianne Hogue, Anna Kendrick, Miranda Kerr, Blake Lively, Heidi Montag, Bar Refaeli and Sarah Wright.
- Alice Eve, Men In Black III, 2011. Script delays ruined Gemma’s plan to be young Agent O (Emma Thompson was the older) . Her substitute was another UK stunner. This is the only film that featured, as extras: David Beckham, Tim Burton, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga.
- Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.
- Rosamund Pike, Wrath of the Titans, 2011. Titans go Bond Girl - again. Ursula Andress was the 1980 original, Gemma Arterton in the 2008 re-make - but too busy with Hansel and Gretel for this sequel. Enter: Die Another Day’s Pike. Next..?
- Hayley Atwell, I, Anna, 2011. Change of Emily when Charlotte Rampling falls for the detective investigating a murder: Gabriel Byrne. The thriller was writer-directed by Barnaby Southcombe, Rampling’s son, aged 39.
- Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, 2011. Among the season’s usual testees chasing Ridley Scott’s (is it?/it isn’t/oh yes, it is) Alien prequel - Abbie Cornish, Anne Hathaway, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde. The initially cast Charlize Theron switched to Meredith Vickers, instead.
- Scarlett Johansson, Under The Skin, 2012. Many of the same faces from the late 2010 casting season - Gemma, Jessica Biel, Abbie Cornish, Megan Fox, Eva Green, January Jones, Blake Lively, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde - were up for the alien hanging around Glasgow …originally the wife of an alien Brad Pitt, but he couldn’t wait for director Jonathan Glazert to get started on his “chilling masterpice” (The Guardian).
- Rebecca Hall, Iron Man 3, 2012. Also considered for Maya Hansen were Jessica Chastain, Isla Fisher and Diane Kruger. Chastain won, then had to leave…
- 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), Warner suits looked at Arterton, Emilia Clarke, Alice Eve, Sarah Gadon, Felicity Jones, Teresa Palmer and Mia Wasikowska. Director Steven Soderbergh quit in November 2011 when realising Warner Bros wanted a new franchise (like his Ocean’s 11 trilogy) … but didn’t want to pay for it! Guy Ritchie took over… badly. Amber Heard, London Fields, 2013. Gemma was opposite Johnny Depp. Then, she wasn’t and – surprise! surprise! - his new lady love (from his Rum Diary) was.
- Kate Beckinsale, Absolutely Anything, 2014. Arterton and Benedict Cumberbatch churned into Beckinsale and Simon Pegg - in Robin Williams’ final film. (He voiced the dog Dennis). Beckinsale’s mother and daughter, Lily Mo, were also in the toon. The ETs were voiced the Pythons: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle Michael Palin and (director) Terry Jones.