Early illustration promoting Frankenstein (1931)
Bela Lugosi was offered the role of the monster, but refused on the grounds that his character would not speak (though he eventually played the role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man). Lugosi also insisted on creating his own makeup for the Monster, but his design was rejected. According to film historian Richard J. Anobile, Lugosi was originally offered the role of Dr. Frankenstein by original director Robert Florey, but Carl Laemmle insisted that Lugosi play the monster. Test footage of Lugosi in Monster make-up was filmed by Florey on the set of Dracula. Soon after, Florey was replaced by James Whale as director, and Lugosi was replaced by Karloff, via vintagegal.
Béla Lugosi as Dracula and Frances Dade as Lucy in Dracula c. 1931
Béla Lugosi as Béla the gypsy with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Wolf Man (1941)
Fact 98: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1998) is considered Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s all-time greatest film, but originally, Costello fought the idea because he didn’t think it would be funny.
Béla Lugosi as the title role in Tod Browning’s Dracula c.1931, via bela-lugosi-source.