The Quick Report

Actors Who Refused to Revisit Their Iconic Roles

For fans of a movie or TV series, it’s always exciting when they make a sequel or a reboot after cancellation. However, all of the original cast doesn’t always return. Find out why these actors refused to come back.

9. Ron Perlman in Hellboy

Ron Perlman in Hellboy
Columbia Pictures

Ron Perlman, who played Hellboy in the original, said he’d only do a sequel with original director Guillermo del Toro. “If Guillermo [said], ‘… We need to finish the trilogy’… I’d be there in a heartbeat… Without him, I have no interest in donning the makeup again.” So instead, the 2019 reboot featured David Harbour starring in the title role.

8. Matthew Gray Gubler in Criminal Minds

Matthew Gray Gubler in Criminal Minds

Two years after the series ended in 2020, the Criminal Minds got a reboot. Nearly the entire cast returned. However, Matthew Gray Gubler, who starred as Dr. Spencer Reid in all 15 seasons, did not return. At the time, Gubler said he wanted to explore other projects. Two years after the 2022 reboot, Gubler has not returned to the show.

7. Jennette McCurdy in iCarly

Jennette McCurdy in iCarly

Teen sitcom iCarly ran from 2007-2012. A 2021 reboot saw nearly all of the original cast reprising their roles. However Jennette McCurdy, who played Sam Puckett in the original series, was noticeably absent. In her memoir, McCurdy said despite the offer of “really good money,” her mental health was the main reason she didn’t return to the series.

6. Dylan O’Brien in Teen Wolf

Dylan O'Brien in Teen Wolf

The TV series Teen Wolf (2011-2017) saw a movie reboot in 2023’s Teen Wolf: The Movie. Dylan O’Brien turned down an offer to reprise his role as Stiles Stilinski in the film. O’Brien said, “The show couldn’t be more dear to me.” He indicated the timing wasn’t right. “I was trying to make[it] work… they kind of just threw it at us.”

5. Lauren Conrad in The Hills

Lauren Conrad in The Hills

Reality TV show The Hills ran from 2006-2010. It got a 2019 reboot called The Hills: New Beginnings. Several of the original cast returned. However, noticeably absent was Lauren Conrad. When asked, she said she hadn’t seen it. “I’m glad they were able to do it again. I actually don’t watch any reality television. It’s a little triggering for me!”

4. Chad Michael Murray in Gilmore Girls

Chad Michael Murray in Gilmore Girls
The WB

The 2000-2007 series got a 2016 revival called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Nearly the entire cast returned. Chad Michael Murray, who played Triston, had his character recast. “I wasn’t available at the time,” Murray said, adding. “I was having a baby – my first child. It just did not work into what we were doing at that moment.”

3. David Hyde Pierce in Frasier

David Hyde Pierce in Frasier

Frasier ran for 11 seasons from 1993-2004. It got a reboot in 2023 with Kelsey Grammer returning to his iconic role. However, David Hyde Pierce rejected an offer to return to the series as Niles. “I never really wanted to go back.” He said his reason for not returning was “[He] wanted to do other things.”


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2. Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters

Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters
Columbia Pictures

1984’s Ghostbusters has had several reboots. The most recent are 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife and 2024’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts all reprised their original roles. Absent is Rick Moranis. He said, “It just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?”

1. Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls

Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls
Paramount Pictures

Walmart reunited several of the movie’s main cast to reprise their roles in a Black Friday commercial. All except Rachel McAdams, who played Regina George. “I guess I wasn’t that excited about doing a commercial… I’ve never done commercials, and it just didn’t feel like my bag.” She added “Also… I didn’t know that everyone was doing it… I found that out later.”

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