Scarlett Johansson


  1. 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. 
  2. Lindsay Lohan, The Parent Trap,  1998.   Lindsay won the roles that Scarlett knew all about – twins.   She has a  three minute younger brother, Hunter.  
  3. Amanda Seyfried, Mean Girls, 2003.   Amanda was all set to make her  movie debut as ”the nice girl” Cad Heron,  when producer Lorne Michaels decided she’d be funnier as Karen Smith. And Michaels knew all about funnier, being the producer of Saturday Night Live.  Also seen for “the dumb girl” of the awful high school “in” clique called The Plastics (they resemble Barbie) were Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively and Ashley Tisdale. This is the first movie script by Tina Fey, based on the lessons of Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction hit (wait for it):  Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence.
  4. Bryce Dallas Howard, Spider-Man 2, 2003.
  5. Kelli Garner, Thumbsucker, 2004.     She quit before filming began.,
  6. Kirsten Dunst,Elizabethtown, 2004.   Auteur Cameron Crowe’s second misstep in six films (after Vanilla Sky, 2001) was never finding  a Tom Cruise-Renée Zellweger Mk II.  Orlando Bloom was committed to Kingdom of Heavenand Dunst was into  The Village. Crowe looked at other guys for Drew (Chris Evans, James Franco, Colin Hanks, etc)  – and Claires like Johansson, Jessica Biel and “too young” Evan Rachel Wood. Bloom and Dunst had zero chemistry, while  Evans and Biel, his then lover, would have burnt up the screen. Chicago critic Roger Ebert called Claire  “the kind of person who would alphabetise alphabet soup.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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. (In August 2019,. she had the guts to declare: “I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him any time.”). 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
  9. 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!
  10. Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2005.

  11. Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2005.
  12. 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.
  13. Bryce Dallas Howard, Spider-Man 3, 2006.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.”
  17. 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: Scarlett, Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, 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 Scoltt  said the only Sherwood movie he thought was any good was… Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights, 1993
  18. Rooney Mara,  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2010.
  19. 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
  20. 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.

  21. 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.
  22. Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby, 2011.  Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s hunt for Daisy in the fourth Gatsby movie since 1926  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!” (Except, sadly, she wasn’t).
  23. 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.
  24. Jessica Biel, Total Recall, 2011.    Melina became Biel v Eva Green when ScarJo turned down one 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.   Director Len Wiseman said  Biel was fine for either female lead (and his wife, Kate Beckinsale, would play the other) but failed in any retread’s #1 rule. Build a better movie.
  25. 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!!!!”
  26. 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).
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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!
  30. 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.   Variety critic Justin Chang was unmoved by the movie.. “ Rare indeed is the movie that features this many bared breasts, pummeled crotches and severed noggins and still leaves you checking your watch every 10 minutes.”

  31. Dakota Johnson, Black Mass, 2014.  Lindsey Cyr was the doting lover of the infamous Whitey Bulger, the South Boston crime boss with a US Senator brother – and FBI help in avoiding jail and tackling the Italian Mafia muscling in on his territory.  Also up for Lindsey in the damn near black-comedy were Scar Jo, Anne Hathaway, Felicity Jones, Anna Kendrick, the too busy Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively and Margot Robbie.
  32. Margot Robbie, The Big Short, 2015. As if Philadelphia auteur Adam McKay’s film didn’t have  enough stars  – Christian  Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan  Gosling, Brad Pitt plus archive footage of Michael Bloomberg, George W Bush, Tom Cruise Ludacris, Ronald Reagan, Tuopac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears –  there were changes in the A List guests. What had been Scarlett under a waterfall became Margot in a bubble bath.
  33. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots, 2017.     Eleven years  earlier, Johansson was booked for Queen Mary. Then, six years (and two directors) later, Ronan was announced for the Scottish throne.  And held on to it  while awaiting news of who would be her nemesis, Queen Eliuzabeth I. As late as 2017, she found out – Margot Robbie became the second Australian to play Her Majesty.
  34. Ana de Armas, Ghosted,  TV, 2023.  Change of usual partner for Chris Evans in the AppleTV actioner. From Scarlett, his Marvelverse partner, to his Knives Out and Gray Man co-star Ana. Rare, though, after a star withdraws due “scheduling conflicts” that the replacement becomes one of the project’s producers!  



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  34