'True Blood' Nearly Cast Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, and Jennifer Lawrence

HBO's vampire series True Blood helped launch the careers of a number of its stars, though creator Alan Ball recently revealed that it was almost a completely different cast that was featured in the show. Among other now-famous stars who auditioned for the series, Ball noted that Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, and Jennifer Lawrence all attempted to earn a role in the show.

"Benedict Cumberbatch came and read for Bill," Ball shared at a 10th-anniversary screening of the pilot. He also confirmed that Chastain auditioned for Sookie Stackhouse, a role ultimately played by Anna Paquin, and that Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the part of a were-panther. Given how early this was in Lawrence's career, her age was the reason she wasn't considered for the part.

"She was great," Ball shared of Lawrence. "But all the women in the room, because she was going to be Jason's girlfriend, and she was 17 at the time, were like, 'No that's gross.'"

The creator went on to detail that the series relied so heavily on finding the perfect actors for each role that they shot the pilot, thought the actress playing Tara Thornton wasn't the right fit, and re-shot all of the scenes with Rutina Wesley.

"We had actually cast another actress," Ball admitted. "And we shot the pilot with her in it. But HBO said, 'We don't really buy that girl,' and we said, 'Yeah we should have done it with Rutina Wesley.' So we went back and re-shot those scenes."

Ball also offered hints of what to expect from the True Blood musical, which composer Nathan Barr originally announced in 2014.

"It tells the story of vampires coming out of the closet," Ball explained. "Ultimately it really departs from the book, because people aren't ready, and they're too bigoted and they end up going back in to the closet."

The series focused on a world where vampires existed and stuck to the shadows, until a synthetic alternative for human blood was discovered, allowing vampires to quell their deadly urges and reveal themselves to humanity. The series was inspired by Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mystery series, which consists of 13 novels and many short stories. The HBO series ran for seven seasons, concluding in 2014.

Stay tuned for details on the future of the True Blood series, including the potential musical.

Do you think you would have liked the show more or less if it starred Cumberbatch and Chastain? Let us know in the comments below!

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[H/T Deadline]