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Creator-Chosen Casting

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How much control a creator has over actor selection when it comes to casting is highly variable. In the best case, their dream actor gets the role envisioned for them. In unfortunate cases, they end up not being in favor of casting choices but not being able to do anything about it, either.

From time to time, though, creators personally handpick a certain performer for a role. On occasion, the performer will turn it down, but other times, the handpick ends up being a successful choice.

May distantly relate to Doing It for the Art. Compare Comic-Book Fantasy Casting. See also Hypothetical Casting, where creators hypothesize about which actors could conceivably play the characters, Ascended Fancast, where the person who gets cast is someone the fans also wanted in the role, and Cast the Runner-Up, for when a performer doesn't get chosen for the role they auditioned for, but the creator instead casts them in a role they feel suits them better; in some cases, an original character is created specifically for them.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: Mangaka Akira Toriyama chose Masako Nozawa as the voice of Goku and Mayumi Tanaka as Krillin.
  • FLCL: Original creator Kazuya Tsurumaki was so concerned that the American localization carry the same spirit as the Japanese that he personally cast then-newcomer Kari Wahlgren as Haruko, and later traveled to Los Angeles to co-direct the dub for the first episode.
  • One Piece: Emporio Ivankov was based on a real person – Norio Imamura, a friend of Luffy's actress Mayumi Tanaka who really did dress like that. Creator Eiichiro Oda insisted the real thing voice his anime counterpart and Toei obliged. Unfortunately, a minor drug charge halfway through Ivankov's role in the story led to Imamura being fired and replaced by professional Mitsuo Iwata.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Neil Gaiman insisted on having David Tennant play Crowley in the live-action adaptation of Good Omens.
  • By her own account, author Kerry Greenwood took one look at Essie Davis' audition for Phryne Fisher in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and said "Her! Her! I want her!"
  • Before playing Perry Mason, Raymond Burr had primarily acted in a series of low-budget films. And then he was invited to shoot a screen test for the role of Hamilton Burger. Days later, midway through the playback of Burr's test, the author of Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner, who had never heard of Burr before then, stood up, pointed at the screen, and said "That's him! That's Perry Mason!" And the rest is history. Prior to Burr's casting, Mason had, both on screen and on the covers of the books, been presented as an older man, no doubt to go with Mason's stated experience as an attorney.
  • In the 1940s, Agatha Christie had already seen multiple disappointing adaptations of her work, but after seeing Joan Hickson in a play, Christie wrote to her saying she hoped that one day Hickson could play Miss Marple. Forty years later, she was cast in the iconic BBC Television production.
  • During pre-production of One Piece (2023), original creator Eiichiro Oda saw Iñaki Godoy's audition and said the Japanese equivalent of "That's Luffy." Fellow cast, crew, and even Luffy's longtime Japanese and English voice actresses agreed.

  • When Lit were presented with the treatment for the video for Miserable they said they would only do it if Pamela Anderson, who they were working with on V.I.P. played the Giant Woman. For their part, the band wasn't really sold on the idea for the video, and most likely chose her not just because they enjoyed working with her, but because she was at the height of her popularity and they didn't think the label would be able to land her. For her part, Pam loved the video's ideanote  and not only jumped at the chance but did it for free. When she ran up to them the next day and excitedly told them she was going to be in their video, the guys were apparently in utter shock.
  • When Taylor Swift released her re-recording of Red (2012), she not only included the legendary, original 10-minute version of "All Too Well," but released a short film to go with it, which she wrote and directed herself. She wanted Dylan O'Brien and Sadie Sink to play the couple from the very start, and even said in an interview that if Sink hadn't been on board, she might've considered it a sign and not done the film. Luckily, both Sink and O'Brien were very enthusiastic about being involved, and the film was made to Taylor's vision.

    Western Animation