Liars, the whole lot of them!
Orlando Bloom said back in 2010 that he was done playing Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean series — one of his most iconic roles — and that he definitely wouldn’t be in the fourth film. He emphasized that while he had a great time making the films, he wanted to “do different things.”
Except, of course, Bloom did return as Turner, in the fifth film: 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Keira Knightley did the exact same thing. She told BBC Radio in 2014 that she would not return as Elizabeth Swann: “My time has definitely passed. I loved it, it was an amazing experience, but I won’t be going back.”
Joseph Morgan played fan-favorite villain Klaus Mikaelson on The Vampire Diaries before pivoting to be one of the leads of The Originals, which ran for five seasons. When asked if he’d appear in the spinoff Legacies (which starred his character’s daughter), he said, “No, never, never. You’re never going to see it,” he told TV Guide.
“I just feel like to come back as a ghost or a flashback or something, for me, that journey, that story, has ended. That’s the complete story, and it just doesn’t feel right to me to do that,” he added. Well, joke’s on all of us, because Morgan showed up as Klaus in the Legacies series finale this year.
Similarly, Emily Bett Rickards left Arrow (and other Arrow spinoffs) after Season 6. When asked if she’d like to return to the show in its last season in any capacity, Rickards said, “I feel like Felicity has done her time.”
She did, however, end up returning for the series finale to mourn Oliver — and then reunite with him in the afterlife.
One of Harrison Ford’s most iconic characters was Han Solo in the Star Wars trilogy. While promoting the third film, however, he seemed to be pretty relieved to be done. “Three is enough for me. I was glad to see that costume for the last time,” he said. He has also revealed that he wanted Han to be killed off in the third film.
He returned in 2015’s The Force Awakens because of “a really good script, the opportunity to work with J.J. [Abrams], who [he’s] admired, and it just seemed like a good idea,” he told Entertainment Weekly. Notably, his character was killed off in the film. He later told GQ, “I’m finished with Star Wars if Star Wars is finished with me,” and said that he’d “rather not” reprise the role. “You know, at this point I’d rather do something else. Just because it’s more interesting to do something new.”
However, Harrison returned AGAIN as Solo in The Rise of Skywalker. It was rumored he’d return (de-aged) in The Book of Boba Fett as well, but it never came to be.
Ewan McGregor also returned to Star Wars after a longtime denial that he ever would. He recently said in an interview that if you had asked him in 2003 about reprising his character Obi-Wan Kenobi, he “most definitely” would’ve said no.
Obviously, though, in 2022 he did reprise the role in the series Obi-Wan Kenobi. And he’s not done — he wants a Season 2 of the miniseries.
Daniel Craig rather infamously said after Spectre that he was done playing iconic character James Bond. When asked if he could imagine doing another Bond film, Craig replied, “Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
He said if he did do another film, it’d only be for the money…and apparently the money was good, because he would go on to appear as Bond one more time in No Time to Die. Ahead of the film’s release, Craig expressed regret for his earlier comments, saying he was joking and was also unsure if he’d even be able to do another film, having just finished filming Spectre with a broken leg and heading toward his 50s.
Fans were surprised after the character of Spider-Man/Peter Parker was recast for the third time in nine years*, especially considering it had only been two years since Andrew Garfield last played the character.
But leading up to the third film with Holland as Spider-Man, fans began to speculate if Garfield and Maguire might have appearances in the film, which was set to be about villains from their movie sagas ending up in the MCU.
However, Garfield — and Maguire, but mostly Garfield — vehemently denied these rumors for over a year, saying he wouldn’t return as the character. “No, I…listen, I’m not in the film,” Garfield told the Today show. “I love Spider-Man; I always have. I was so happy to have played the part, and I’m so excited to see what they do with the third one.” But this all turned out to be lies, because Garfield — along with Maguire — was in the film after all!
Chadwick Boseman similarly lied about his involvement in Avengers: Endgame, essentially telling a reporter that he wasn’t in the films because his character had died.
However, Boseman was obviously in Endgame, returning with the other characters who had been snapped out of existence in Infinity War.
We’ve got another superhero example for you! Jennifer Lawrence said she was done playing Mystique after X-Men: Apocalypse, confirming it would be her last X-Men film.
However…she ended up appearing in Dark Phoenix a few years later. Director Simon Kinberg said that she only came back because he was directing, and that she’d approached him saying she would not return otherwise.
Steve Carell memorably starred as Michael Scott in The Office for seven seasons, but he left the series after his contract ended. When the show ended two years later, Carell said he wouldn’t be returning for the finale season or the finale. “I just didn’t think it was right for the character, because that character had had an arc within the story and kind of grew and sort of evolved past the idea of the documentary,” he said while promoting a film at Sundance.
He also said, “It’s like, once you graduate from college, you don’t want to be that guy two years out who’s sleeping on the dorm floor.” However, he ended up making a short appearance at Dwight’s wedding in the series finale. In fact, it was the wedding that convinced Carell to return.
Keaton was done playing Bruce/Batman for decades, during which time, multiple other actors took on the role. However, he’s now set to return as his version of Batman in The Flash. “It took a long time,” he acknowledged about being convinced to come back. “I’m not just gonna say I’ll do it. It has to be good. And there has to be a reason.”
Ben Affleck also said in 2019 that he was done playing Batman after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League*. He said that he’d tried to write a solo film, but he “couldn’t crack it” and it was time to “let someone else take a shot at it.” Robert Pattinson ended up taking on the role in The Batman.
However, Affleck is also set to return as his version of Batman in The Flash — in fact, he calls it his best work as the character.
Sylvester Stallone has said multiple times that he’s done playing Rocky. For example, after Rocky IV, Stallone said, “Oh, this is it for Rocky. Because I don’t know where you go after you battle Russia. You know what I mean? You have that clash of ideologies and you take on supposedly the greatest fighting machine ever built — a biochemically produced Soviet fighter. Where do you go after that?”
However, he returned for the critically panned Rocky V and for Rocky Balboa, and then for the Creed film series starring Michael B. Jordan — though he says he’s now done with that, too.
Stallone also said in 2016 that he was retiring from the role of Rambo, suggesting he was too old to play the character. “The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home!’” he joked, saying he was satisfied with where the fourth film left the character.
But a fifth film, which had long been planned and just never seemed to pan out, ended up going ahead, with the then–72-year-old reprising his role in 2019’s Rambo: Last Blood.
Keanu Reeves told agents for years that he wasn’t interested in making another Matrix film, despite interest from Warner Bros. — especially considering that his character, Neo, had died at the end of the third film.
However, when director Lana Wachowski approached him and suggested a way to bring him back for The Matrix Resurrections, he was in — but only because of her involvement (Wachowski and her sister Lilly had created the saga).
And finally, Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) said she was retiring from Jersey Shore: Family Vacation in 2019. “I am not coming back for Jersey Shore Season 4, if there is one. The main reason is I just can’t do it anymore. Literally, leaving my kids to film it is really hard on me. I try and quit every single day. I just hate being away from the kids.”
However, not only did Snooki return in Season 4 (albeit briefly), but she also became a main cast member again in Season 5.
Taylor Swift was right — people are people, and sometimes they change their minds. What do you think of these returning actors? Would you like any of them to return to their role again? Let us know in the comments!