Long before La La Land was nominated for a historic 14 Oscars, tying the record held by All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997), Emma Watson and Miles Teller were originally set for the lead roles in the musical. As moviegoers now know, the parts ultimately went to Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling instead. Here's a refresher as we realize just how different the blockbuster could have been.
Teller, 29, was unceremoniously dropped from the musical by director Damien Chazelle. He addressed the squabble in an August 2015 interview with Esquire, saying, "I got a call from my agent, saying, 'Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them he no longer thinks you're creatively right for the project. He's moving on without you.'"
Chazelle, 32, who directed Teller in 2014's Whiplash, also discussed the last-minute change in a September 2016 interview. "The casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it's true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it," he told Uproxx. "And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out."
"But I loved working with [Teller] in Whiplash," the filmmaker continued. "That's why he and I started talking about doing this one together. And I think he's an extraordinary actor."
Teller claimed there were no hard feelings. "I'm a pretty strong believer that everything happens for a reason," he told Esquire. "I'm happy Damien made the film he wanted to make. ... I don't get jealous of good reviews."
Watson, 26, meanwhile, began working on a different musical, the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which is set to hit theaters on March 17.
Producers eventually selected Stone, 28, and Gosling, 36, for the roles of Mia Dolan and Sebastian Wilder. The movie stars previously worked together on 2013's Gangster Squad and 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love.
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