Comingsoon.net is taking a look at some
iconic characters who have been played by different actors. Check out our picks in the gallery below!
These days, a good idea seems hard to come by. Hollywood has gotten into the unfortunate habit of recycling old ideas—If it worked once surely it’ll work again. This philosophy is applied to movie and television
and reboots regularly. Filmmakers simply rework an idea, cast an in-demand actor or actress (in a role that was once inhabited by a previously in-demand thespian) and voilà. Younger audiences won’t even know it’s being done.
When this process is done well, moviegoers are treated to not one, but two iconic
. The original and the remake are both something to adore. Over the course of cinematic history, many iconic characters have been recast and recast well. Here is a look at those characters as well as their history in cinema.
Actors Who Have Taken On Roles Made Iconic By Other Actors
The role of Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi was made iconic in 1977 by Alec Guinness. The role was recast in 1999 with Ewan McGregor at at the helm; he did the unprecedented and made it his own.
Tom Clancy's most popular character has been embodied on screen by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and now, John Krasinski. The most iconic portrayal is obviously Harrison Ford's; however, John Krasinski is doing one hell of a job.
The character of Lisabeth Salander came to fame in Stieg LLarsson's
Millennium series. The role became iconic in the 2009 Swedish film trilogy based on those novels (where she was played by Noomi Rapace). in 2011 David Fincher directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where Rooney Mara did the role justice. Recently the character was played by Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider's Web with mixed results...
The character of Sarah Connor was made iconic by Linda Hamilton in the 80s and 90s. The character has since been played by
Game of Thrones alums Lean Headey and Emilia Clarke (both doing their best).
A cornerstone of iconic; the Joker has been played by many people. Mark Hamill has immortalized his voicing of him and Cesar Romero was one of the first actors to play him on screen. Then there was Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Cameron Monaghan, and now, Joaquin Phoenix. The part attracts talent like flies to a corpse.
The face of Warner Bros. and DC superhero cinema. The role was played by Adam West, then by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. Now, we await Robert Pattinson's take on this iconic character in the upcoming
The Batman (2021).
The fictional psychiatrist and serial killer from Thomas Harris' suspense novels has been played by Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins (who made it iconic), Gaspard Ulliel and Mads Miikelsen.
Norman Bates first appeared in Robert Bloch's thriller novel
Psycho. The 1960 adaptation brought Anthony Perkins into the role making it iconic. Vince Vaughn took on the character in the 1999 remake (with mixed results) and Freddie Highmore did a younger version of the character proud in the television series Bates Motel (2013-2017).
An iconic character originally played by an iconic entertainer. Frank Sinatra was the perfect person to play the casino-robbing charmer in 1960's
Ocean's 11, and George Clooney was the perfect choice in the 2001 remake.
First played by John Wayne in the Oscar-winning
True Grit, the role was recast in the 2010 Coen Brothers remake of the same name— Jeff Bridges giving John Wayne a masterful, one-eyed wink.
Arguably the most iconic character in film history. Ian Fleming's fictional British spy has been played by Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. All of these actors are a reflection of not only the character's evolution but of film itself.
Leonard Nimoy found fame playing everyone's favorite first officer of the starship Enterprise. He basically played Spock from 1996-2013. The role was taken on by Zachary Quinto in J.J Abrams' reboot of the series
Star Trek (2009); a film that also stared Nimoy as the character.
Side note: James T. Kirk also could have easily made this list.
The eccentric owner of the Wonka Chocolate Factory from Roald Dahl's children's novel was originally played by Gene Wilder (1971). Johnny Depp brought his own form of eccentricity to the role in 2005.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
I staggering amount of people have played Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic duo (so many it would be tedious to list them all). The most notable are Nicol Williamson and Robert Duvall, Ronald Howard and Howard Marion Crawford, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee, Jeremy Brett and David Burke, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Honorable mention: Ian McKellen as Mr. Holmes
Did we miss anyone?