14 Characters That Were Significantly Changed for the Movie Adaptations
Every time there’s a new movie adaptation of books, comics, or video games, we can hear lots of criticism about the cast from the fans of the original source material. However, we should all remember that movies are a separate art form, and they can be different. Also, the actors can’t just morph into the characters’ descriptions, so there will always be a discrepancy. In this article, we’re going to imagine what our favorite characters would look like if they were exactly like their book counterparts.
1. The Ancient One, Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange’s mentor is supposed to be an elderly man. But the director of the Marvel film decided to reconsider the look of this character, thinking that the original character was too stereotypical. So, Tilda Swinton ended up playing The Elder One because it’s more of a title than a specific person.
2. Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray is supposed to be an attractive young man with blue eyes and golden locks. This is why Ben Barnes wanted to dye his hair and wear contact lenses, but it turned out that the film director was totally okay with the actor’s appearance.
A funny fact: before giving the role to Barnes, Oliver Parker was walking around with his photo and asking people if the actor was attractive enough.
3. Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Annabeth Chase was the daughter of the Greek goddess Athena in the Percy Jackson saga. In the books, she was described as a blonde girl, with gray eyes, and an intense and analytical gaze, besides being extremely intelligent and a determined warrior, which went against the stereotypes associated with that hair color.
4. Triss Merigold, The Witcher
Many fans of the video games and novels about the Witcher were unhappy about the cast of the Netflix series. Triss Merigold portrayed by Anna Shaffer got a lot of heat. She’s really different from her description in the books. She’s supposed to be a young girl with blue eyes and brown-ginger hair.
5. Jo, Little Women
In the last screen version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, the role of Jo was played by Saoirse Ronan. The actress has pale skin, while the author of the book presented the girl as dark-skinned, “Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt.” Though the rest of the description matches the actress’s appearance well, “She had a decided mouth, a comical nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were by turns fierce, funny, or thoughtful.”
6. Edward Cullen, Twilight
The main vampire from the Twilight saga should have had auburn hair instead of brown. On top of that, the color of his eyes was constantly changing, something that wasn’t very evident in the movies. Before he became a vampire, he had green eyes, and when he transformed, they changed from gold to black (and at one time they were even red).
7. Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair
Becky Sharp, the character of William Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair, has reddish hair and green eyes. It feels as if this appearance opposes the bold and brave Becky to the shy blue-eyed Amelia Sedley. In the mini-series based on the book and released in 2018, the role of the cunning and hard-tempered character was given to the brown-eyed and dark-haired actress, Olivia Cooke.
8. Petunia Dursley, Harry Potter
Harry Potter’s aunt Petunia Dursley also went through a serious metamorphosis as well. She turned from a slim blonde woman with a long neck and an “almost horse-like” face, into a dark-haired woman with a fit body and a normal neck in the screen adaptation.
9. Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes
Undoubtedly, playing one of the most mythical characters in modern fiction, like Sherlock Holmes, is not an easy job. However, the choice of Robert Downey Jr. to play the most famous detective of all time was extremely strange. Physically, he is a far cry from the literary character, who is described as being over 6 feet tall and so extraordinarily wiry that he gave the impression of being even taller. “His eyes were sharp and penetrating, [...] and his nose, thin and aquiline, gave his features an air of liveliness and resolution.”
10. Alice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The first illustrations in the books about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland created by John Tenniel showed the main character as a little girl with long blonde hair. Viewers saw the same Alice, whose role was played by Mia Wasikowska in the screen version from the year 2010. However, Alice Liddell who was supposedly the prototype of the main character has a short dark-brown bob with bangs.
11. Rochester, Jane Eyre
Edward Rochester is an unattractive man in Charlotte Brontë’s book. In fact, the author intentionally describes him that way to serve the purpose of her story. But in the 2011 film adaptation, Michael Fassbender didn’t have a stern face or bushy eyebrows.
12. Hermione, Harry Potter
We can hardly imagine the 3 friends from Harry Potter with a different appearance today. But they did look different in the books. For example, Hermione from the book is a girl with bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth. Initially, JK Rowling depicted Hermione as an “ugly duckling” but eventually the role was played by the attractive Emma Watson.
13. James Bond, Casino Royale
Undoubtedly, Daniel Craig elevated the character of James Bond to his most human and sentimental side. His personality and intelligence outlined a perfect spy. But the truth is that Craig and the character created by Ian Fleming are nothing alike. The author had always described Bond as a man who was 5’9″ with long hair falling over his forehead.
14. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
At the beginning of the first Game of Thrones book, Daenerys was only 13 years old, but in the beginning of the series, she’s 17 years old. And that’s not all. George Martin described her as a short slim girl with purple eyes and silver-white hair.
When Daenerys goes into the fire and becomes the Mother of Dragons, her hair burns and she becomes bald. Her hair grew slowly, so there could not be any beautiful hair like there was in the series.
Is it important for you that the on-screen character matches the book prototype? Or is the actor’s talent the priority?