James McAvoy

  1. Matthew Macfadyen, Pride & Prejudice, 2004.   Director Joe Wright came acalling offering Mr Darcy, Jane Austen’s Hamlet, immortalised  over the years by all the great leading men: from Laurence Olivier to Colin Firth.  

  2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I’m With Cancer, 2010. The Scot quit the comedy days before the Vancouver shooting. “It’s incredibly unfortunate that circumstances outside of everyone’s control have taken James away from the project,” said co-star and co-producer Seth Rogan.  “But, with James’s blessing, we were able to have Joseph step in… We all look forward to working with James in the future.” His fans refer to themselves as McAvoyeurs.

  3. Tobey Maguire, The Details, 2010.     Jeff was first given to McAvoy. His schedules interfered and Spider-Man  became the doc- going through bad times with his wife, Eliuabeth Banks. Worse follows:: raccoons, worms, infidelity, murder.

  4. Bill Nighy, Rango, 2010.   Odd really but two Brits were up for voicing  Rattlesnake Jake… who was  based on Lee Van Cleef the same way that Timothy Olyphant’s Spirit of the West was an inevitable ode to Clint Eastwood. So, much so, he only had nine lines!
  5. Domhnall Gleeson, Anna Karenina, 2011.     In  director Joe Wright’s sights for Levin, the country farmer  – in the real world, far from Anna’s artificial life… indeed, theatrical.  (Literally). “Filmed many times, ” noted Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, “but never with this kind of erotic charge.”   Well, Keira Knightley was Anna. (The 25th). 
  6. Ryan Reynolds, Safe House,2011.     All the other new guys  – James,Zac Efron,Jake Gyllenhaall, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Shia LaBeouf, Chris Pine, Channing Tatum, Sam Worthington- also angled to be the freshman CIA babysitter having to rescue Denzel Washington from an attacked safe house in the Hollywood debut of Swedish film-maker Daniel Espinosa.
  7. Martin Freeman, The Hobbit trilogy, 2011-2012.
  8. Armie Hammer, Mirror, Mirror, 2011.    As Hollywood inexplicably started re-puss-in-booting fairy tales, he tested for Prince Andrew Alcott. So did James Holizer, Robert Pattinson and Alex Pettyfer. His Royal Highness became the 6’5” actor who who was the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, 2010., but didn’t break-out until the rapturous Call Me By Your Name in 2016.  
  9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 59/59, 2011.     With just two days’  notice,  JLG agreed to Seth Rogen’s  SOS and took over from McAvoy, forced to quit for “personal conflicts.”
  10. Jim Sturgess, Cloud Atlas, US-Germany-Hong Kong-Singapore, 2011.   The Wachowski siblings (Lana and Andy at the time, now Lana and Lilly) offered not one but six roles to McAvoy. Idem for Halle Berry, Tom, Hanks, Hugo Weaving, etc. When a script needs gimmicks…
  11. Daniel Brühl, The Fifth Estate, 2013.      Director Bill Condon chose McAvoy for Daniel Domscheit-Berg Scot, the early supporter of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. Until the Scot dropped out for another Scot. Macbeth.  Assange hated the  film. Even more than the public.
  12. Johnny Depp, Transcendence, 2013.     The pitch: terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer.  So who else could it be but Depp.  Unless he played the computer.  And, of course, he was both by the end.
  13. Adam Driver, Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, 2014.
  14. Taron Egerton, Eddie The Eagle, 2015. UK ski-ing champions are as rare as Jamaican bobsleigh teams – and  both inspired movies! In the long struggle to film the tale of plasterer  Eddie Edwards, more ski-ing chump than champ, an abject  failure  (therefore, a British hero!)  at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, choices changed from Steve Coogan,  Martin Freeman, Kris Marshall and Robin Williams to  (closer to Eddie’s age)  Harry Potter star Rupert Grint. Then Kingsman was made – and so was Egerton. 


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  14