Few films are as well-liked by burgeoning style aficionados, for some reason, but the fact that the movie’s third-biggest star – Mickey Rooney – pretends to be a Japanese man the entire time. With a ridiculous prosthetic for his teeth, a terrible accent that just barely sounds Asian, and silly glasses that bugged out his eyes, this character is a slap in the face for any of the possible Asian actors who could have had a spot in this film.
However, the character is really only for comic relief, which might have made putting an Asian man in the role an even greater misstep.
John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror
This one's a big blunder, guys and gals. John Wayne was born in Iowa, and Mr. Khan was born in Asia. Mongolia, specifically. Maybe you can see what we're getting at here. After a lifetime of killing it in the west, Wayne wanted something different. When producer Howard Hughes delivered a big pallet of cash for this role, Wayne signed up, but both the movie and the casting choice ended up being terrible.
It's often seen as one of the worst movies of all time, thanks in part to Wayne's casting as this famous conqueror.
Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian
Nobody can decry Johansson's acting chops, but this was another misstep in casting white actors in Asian roles. "Ghost in the Shell" is a classic piece of anime history, and it was a great opportunity to give a big role to a smaller name. But the producers went with the hot hand, and Johansson starred instead.
Plenty of people wanted the role recast, and thanks to this bad press – and, we have to assume, being not a very good movie – the film became both a commercial and critical flop.
Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad
We could have put almost any actor or actress from this superhero stinker here, but Jared Leto stands out as the worst. He's a new, updated version of the clown prince of crime, but whether it was following in Heath Ledger's big shoes or the movie's fault, the character had too many issues. We were told over and over how much time he spent getting into character, but he was apparently getting into the wrong character.
It's one of the many, many, many many problems with Suicide Squad and squashed between Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix; this Joker is mostly just a joke.
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars
There are plenty of ways to level criticism at the Star Wars prequel trilogy – special effects far too flashy, spectacle takes away from the story, the story isn't that good anyway. And the dialogue – but yet again, a big one is the main character casting. Hayden Christensen appears as Anakin Skywalker in Episodes II and III and is unable to stand next to big names like Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, and even wilts opposite Ewan McGregor.
His exaggerated portrayal of the Sith Lord takes power away from the proceedings and thus drags the trilogy down even farther than it would have.