As Halloween approaches, it’s time to get those horror movie marathons going. From old school classics to modern takes on beloved franchises, there are so many scary movies that deserve a spot in your rotation. Horror films are well-trodden territory, and the actors who star in them are undeniably connected to their success. It wouldn’t quite be The Shining without Jack Nicholson as the chilling Jack Torrance, nor would it be The Silence of the Lambs without Anthony Hopkins as enigmatic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. But imagine if your favorite horror movies’ iconic villains were played by completely different actors. Believe it or not, that was a real possibility.

Casting a feature film is a long process — sometimes, an actor even ends up with a different role than the one they auditioned for. Other times, an actor just might not be the right fit for a project, no matter how good their audition was. Horror films are no different, and finding the right performer for a villainous role can be tricky. Playing the Big Bad in a potentially successful horror flick can propel an actor’s career forward, but the actor risks becoming typecast as solely an antagonist. It’s important to find a dynamic actor who can send a chill down the audience’s spine without going over the top.

It may be hard to fully grasp an alternate universe where different actors haunt horror favorites such as Scream and American Psycho, but this was almost the case. Here are 10 well-known actors who almost played famous horror movie villains.

10 Famous Actors Who Almost Played Iconic Horror Villains

These movies would have looked a lot different if these famous actors had been cast as their villains.
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