If you watch The Huntsman: Winter’s War this weekend, you’ll notice something interesting. Kristen Stewart, the star of the film’s predecessor Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), isn’t in it. What gives? Why did the sequel ditch its main star? WHERE IS THE LOVE?!
We’ll tell you why below, but The Huntsman: Winter’s War isn’t the only sequel to come out with a main character mysteriously absent. It happens more than you think. From Megan Fox getting fired from Transformers to Arnold Schwarzenegger turning down Predator 2 (1990) for lack of $$$, these nine sequels prove the show must go on–with or without Will Smith.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)
Ditched star: Kristen Stewart
The tea: Universal decided to subtract Snow White (Stewart’s character in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman) in this sequel, leaving the Twilight actress out of a job. Given the offset Snow White drama–if you forgot, Stewart was caught cheating on then-boo Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders–this was probably a good idea. A fresh slate, and all that jazz.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Ditched star: Megan Fox
The tea: In a 2009 interview, Fox put her foot in her mouth when she said Transformers director Michael Bay “wants to be like [Adolf] Hitler on his sets, and he is.” That was enough for Bay to fire Fox before beginning the third Transformers film. She was replaced by Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitley. “[Fox] was in a different world, on her BlackBerry,” Bay told GQ. “You gotta stay focused. And you know, the Hitler thing. Steven [Spielberg] said, ’Fire her right now.'”
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Ditched star: Keira Knightley
The tea: For Knightley, three Pirates films were enough, and even Johnny Depp couldn’t convince her otherwise. When a journalist asked Knightley if a phone call from Depp would’ve persuaded her to do On Stranger Tides, she said, “No. I said when the second one came out that there wasn’t going to be another one for me. I mean, they were already shooting the third one at that time. I knew that that was going to be it for me. It was an extraordinary experience, you know, but I was 17 when I started it and 21 when I finished. And that’s quite a large chunk of time there.”
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Ditched star: Terrence Howard
The tea: Howard was the highest-paid actor in the first Iron Man installment. For a while, we thought the only reason Howard bowed out of Iron Man 2 was because Marvel wanted him to take a pay cut. However, Howard offered a different reason during an interview on Watch What Happens Live!. “It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” Howard said. Yikes. Did Robert Downey Jr. leave him in the lurch?
The Dark Knight (2008)
Ditched star: Katie Holmes
The tea: Conspiracy theorists hypothesize Holmes dropped out of the movie because her then-hubby Tom Cruise didn’t approve of her love scenes with Christian Bale. However, on the record, Holmes said she turned down The Dark Knight to do Mad Money with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. “I chose to do this movie [Mad Money], and I’m really proud of it,” Holmes told MTV News. We wonder if she regrets this decision. Mad Money was a commercial and critical flop, whereas The Dark Knight grossed more than $1 billion.
Ditched star: Jodie Foster
The tea: Foster straight-up turned down the offer to reprise her role of Clarice Starling, which gave her an Oscar in 1991 for Silence of the Lambs. Lambs director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ted Tally also declined to work on Hannibal because they found the source content–Thomas Harris’ novel–too freaky.
Predator 2 (1990)
Ditched star: Arnold Schwarzenegger
The tea: For Schwarzenegger, it all came down to the coins. A $250,000 dispute kept the former California governor from signing on for Predator 2. Given the film’s modest box office gross–only $57 million on a $37 million budget–maybe 20th Century Fox should’ve handed the dough to Schwarzenegger…
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Ditched star: Will Smith
The tea: Like Schwarzenegger, Resurgence producers couldn’t fork over enough Benjamins to lock down Smith. “Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” director Roland Emmerich told The New York Daily News. “It would be too much.”
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2002)
Ditched star: Bill Murray
The tea: Rumors that Murray feuded with Charlie’s Angels co-star Lucy Liu have been rampant for years. However, even though they did get into an on-set spat, that’s not the reason Murray turned down Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. According to Contact Music, it was Murray’s beef with another cast member–not Liu–that made him walk. “That same person was going to be involved in the second one, so I wasn’t going to show up again,” Murray said. (NBC Universal corroborated this quote.) WHO WAS IT?!