Bradley Cooper , Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis have become huge stars in The Hangover franchise, films which follow the antics of the hard-partying Wolf Pack as they hit the road on wild adventures. Today it's hard to imagine anyone else playing Phil Wenneck, Stu Price, Alan Garner or any of the other characters in the film—but it almost happened.
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1. The Hangover
"The Hangover" movies have raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, and now the third installment of the franchise will hit theaters on May 24. Click forward to see which major stars are probably kicking themselves for losing the chance to be in the funny films.
2. Jack Black
Producers went back and forth on who to pick for "The Hangover." Luckily for Bradley Cooper and the other actors who eventually were cast, a couple leading men passed on parts in the film. Jack Black was one.
3. Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd, the star of "This Is 40," also declined to star in the film.
4. Bradley Cooper and Heather Graham
Heather Graham was a knockout as Jade, the stripper whose baby the guys mysteriously find in their care after a night of partying. Now imagine Lindsay Lohan as Jade instead.
5. Lindsay Lohan
"I did meet with Lindsay Lohan a little bit before casting Heather Graham, and we talked," reveals Todd Phillips, the film's producer. "Honestly, it felt like she ended up being too young for what we were talking about. She didn't turn it down. She loved the script, actually. It really was an age thing."
6. Zach Galifianakis
Zach Galifianakis landed the role of Alan Garner, who tags along with soon-to-be groom Doug Billings (played by Justin Bartha) and his wild friends to Vegas. "I've always been a huge fan of Zach as a comedian and actor," says Phillips.
7. Jonah Hill
Zach was hilarious as Alan, but he wasn't always first choice for the role. "When we were writing, we did have other actors in mind," reveals Phillips. "Quite honestly, we were writing the brother-in-law as a younger brother they had to take along with them." One actor they liked was Jonah Hill.
8. Jake Gyllenhaael
It seems like a bad fit now, but Jake Gyllenhaal was also considered as a great actor to play the younger version of Alan.
9. Thomas Haden Church
"Then we thought it'd be so much more awkward if it was an older brother who's still at home," says Phillips. Thomas Haden Church became a strong frontrunner.
10. Zach Galifianakis
But Zach won out in the end and played his part perfectly.
11. Mel Gibson
Who knew that getting an actor to do a quick cameo as a tattoo artist in "The Hangover Part II" would be such a problem. Mel Gibson agreed to do it, but he had to be replaced when some of the film's cast and crew complained about the controversial actor.
12. Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson took over, but he too had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
13. Nick Cassavetes
The third time was the charm, and actor-director Nick Cassavetes replaced Liam as Tattoo Joe.