In the earlier days of La La Land's inception, a completely different pair of lovers were going to sing their way through the ups and downs of modern life in Hollywood. While it's been known that Miles Teller was originally earmarked for the role that went to Ryan Gosling, we almost forgot that Emma Watson was going to be filling the role that Emma Stone has taken to heart. Of course, now that we've been reminded, we're very curious about the road that wasn't taken.
The Hollywood Reporter opened the old wounds by reminding the world that Watson was originally in the mix for La La Land, but ultimately she passed on the project. Before you write the Harry Potter actor off as criminally insane, she had a pretty good reason to not sign on to the project, as she was being courted for another musical at the time. That's right, instead of singing around modern day Hollywood, Emma Watson decided that singing in a fairy tale kingdom from long ago was the better gig, and she signed on for the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Still, was it really the better fit?
In our opinion: yes, it was indeed. With Watson having extensive experience with all things magical and whimsical, parlaying her skills as a bookish wizard who's familiar with spells into the role of a bookish woman who's trying to help break a spell is a pretty solid move. It's not that Emma Watson and Emma Stone couldn't swap roles between La La Land and Beauty and the Beast easily. In fact, Stone could have made a fantastic Belle herself. It's just that there's the one deciding factor that makes the current configuration the best one possible: Ryan "Baby Goose" Gosling.
Miles Teller and Emma Watson would have been an extremely experimental pair, and while they probably could have done a bang up job, they wouldn't have the fictional baggage that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling would have on screen. After playing love interests in both Crazy Stupid Love and Gangster Squad, Stone and Gosling are a pair that people are automatically invested in from the first moment they're seen together. Not to mention, La La Land is enough of a gamble on its own, so having a pair of actors that already have history together goes a long way towards selling the end result.
Casting is a fine art, and it's always interesting to learn about the "could have been" and "what if" scenarios that have almost happened in the history of film. Emma Watson's role in La La Land will go down in history alongside that version of The Matrix that almost starred Val Kilmer and Will Smith, and Tom Cruise's performance as Tony Stark in the alternate universe version of Iron Man. However, in this universe, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will be the one breaking hearts and climbing charts in La La Land, which will find itself on the silver screen on December 2.