Top 10 Movie Characters That Look Nothing Like Their Source Material

Published 1 year ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 6:17 pm, This is a list post.

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher Character Adaptations With more and more movies turning to existing properties instead of original scripts, actors being asked to embody established characters is now commonplace, not a rarity. The latest novel-to-big-screen adaptation puts Tom Cruise in the extremely-oversized shoes of Jack Reacher, and while it may be the latest instance of an actor cast in a role bearing almost no resemblance to themselves, it's certainly not the first. Comic books, novels, TV shows and the inevitable reboots to come all mean that more and more famous faces and newcomers will be asked not to make people care about new characters, but live up to the expectation and legend of ones they already cherish. The list is only going to get longer as the years go by, here's our Top 10 Characters That Look Nothing Like Their Source Material. Some might surprise you.

Jack Reacher, 'Jack Reacher' (2012)

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher We start of course with Tom Cruise, occupying the title role in the upcoming Jack Reacher. The recurring star of Lee Child novels, Reacher is a remorseless, unstoppable force of a man, with his military service spent as part of an elite investigative unit called upon when the Army's most highly-trained operatives were up to no good. Cruise has played roles along the same lines, and proved he could be as intimidating and deadly in the first teaser trailer. Yet anyone who has read a Child novel knows that Cruise is, literally, about as unlike Reacher as is feasibly possible. Described in the books as 6'5", 250 lbs, and sporting blond hair and blue eyes, Cruise's small frame and dark coloring aren't quite a match. Cruise's casting as Reacher may take the cake, but for now, it seems like the decision could end up being a wise one. Child has long maintained that his character's size was merely a symbol of his determination and unyielding drive, which Cruise is achieving through non-physical means.

Jack Ryan, 'The Sum of All Fears' (2002)

Ben Affleck Jack Ryan Sum of All Fears Adaptations of novelist Tom Clancy's perennial hero have regularly strayed for the sake of Hollywood convention, but for The Sum of All Fears, Paramount took things to a new level. Those who saw the movie know that Ben Affleck was cast as Jack Ryan for the then-planned-reboot; a promising young CIA analyst, though not yet a field agent. The same basic plot worked for Alec Baldwin's Ryan in The Hunt for Red October (1990), so it's not hard to see why they chose to follow the same route. The only problem is that in Tom Clancy's continuity, Ryan wasn't just 40 years old and married when the movie occurs, he'd been appointed Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. His career had him just four years away from being President of the United States, no less. Luckily, the source material seems to be adhered to in the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot, with Chris Pine now occupying the role. Maybe it will even be set in Jack Ryan's early adulthood, when he was just a millionaire investment banker-turned-professor of history at the US Naval Academy. Wait...what...?

James West, 'Wild Wild West' (1999)

Will Smith Wild Wild West Robert Conrad In 1965, the genre of western films and TV shows was swiftly making way for the intrigue and tension of spy thrillers. The shift led to the creation of The Wild Wild West on CBS - essentially, a spy story following two Secret Service agents in the 1870s. Modern audiences may not know Robert Conrad as the face of James T. West, as close as one could get to James Bond with a six-shooter. But they sure know the remake. The Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith was cast as the new Jim West in an updated version of the agents' efforts to protect President Ulysses S. Grant from all manner of villains. While Conrad was as much a heartthrob as Smith in his day (black and white six-packs will never not be weird) but that's where the similarities end. We need only remember that the theme song for the remake featured Sisqo, and are instantly glad the film never received a sequel. Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld may have sullied the series' good name, but to Conrad's credit, he had a sense of humor. When Wild Wild West (1999) was awarded five Razzies, Conrad was there to accept them in person. Smith has since apologized to Conrad directly.

James Bond, 'Dr. No' (1962)

James Bond Hoagy Carmichael Sean Connery may have become the face of James Bond, but the secret agent fans know  isn't exactly what creator Ian Fleming had in mind when writing. Fleming's Bond was physically described in his first novel, Casino Royale, as a mix between himself and American singer Hoagy Carmichael (pictured left). What audiences got was a ruggedly handsome and well-fed Connery - not that we're complaining. The decision to go in a more 'suave' direction for film made sense, but the comparisons to Carmichael persisted in the novels, with various women noting the resemblance but distinguishing something far from alluring about Agent 007. Specifically, "something cold and ruthless" according to Vesper Lynd, and Gala Brand's claim in Moonraker that Bond looked "cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold." Fleming's Bond never had issues with women, even with his sharp bone structure, but the source material does directly contradict those who doubted Daniel Craig as a suitable choice when cast for Casino Royale (2006). Craig may not exude the same debonair...air as Connery, but his harsh features and at-times callous expression make him physically closer to Bond than any other.

Kane & Lynch, 'Kane & Lynch' (20??)

Kane and Lynch Bruce Willis Jamie Foxx Video game fans may already know the big screen translation of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (2007) and its...unexpected casting. The story follows two escaped death row inmates: Adam 'Kane' Marcus, a no-nonsense, grizzled mercenary complete with scarred-milk-eye, and James Lynch, a gunman with a sense of humor - who also happens to be schizophrenic. When Bruce Willis was first confirmed to star in the film, many hoped the aging action star would welcome a change, and be the one sporting the shoulder-length hair and mental affliction. Perhaps that was hoping for too much. Oh well. So who would be playing the aging, balding, unkempt, overweight and mentally deranged Lynch to Willis' Kane? Oh that's right, Jamie Foxx. The casting was the first sign that the game's title and loose (and honestly, formulaic) plot might be the only thing the producers were after, supported by a leaked script that removed Lynch's mental condition and crude demeanor entirely. Since then the production has been swamped, meaning fans might not get to enjoy this completely modified adaptation at all.

John Constantine, 'Constantine' (2005)

Keanu Reeves John Constantine Hellblazer It's a tough question: how do you make magic in the modern world work? Our answer: pick up an issue of Hellblazer. The occult detective John Constantine may have been solely created to resemble singer/musician Sting, but since inception has become Vertigo's most iconic and unique antihero. The epitome of sarcasm, crude language, and British punk counterculture, who better to play him in the movie than Keanu Reeves? Trading his blond hair for black, grizzled exterior for baby-face good looks, Liverpool accent for American, and even his uniform of a tan trench coat for black, the magic detective of Constantine bears zero resemblance to the original (although a second attempt may be on its way). The inexplicable changes extended to secondary characters as well, like Constantine's longest and best friend Chas Chandler, portrayed on film as a fast-talking apprentice in Shia LeBouf. Why, we can't possibly answer, since at this point in the comic books, Chas is a grandfather. ...In hindsight, that might've been a stretch for LeBouf.

Frank Abagnale, Jr., 'Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale

One of the too-good-to-be-true biopics, Catch Me If You Can followed the dramatized events of prolific con-man and impersonator Frank William Abagnale, Jr. Having masqueraded as an airline pilot, doctor, lawyer and more, Abagnale's life was one destined for the big screen. Leonardo DiCaprio embodied the confidence man with a performance that helped cement his career as more than just a youthful face; and that's the problem. Abagnale consistently maintained (and the photos support it) that it was his ability to look much older than his actual age that allowed him to fly over 1,000,000 miles posing as a PanAm pilot - by the time he turned 18. Casting DiCaprio, an actor whose unchanging youthful appearance hindered his casting as more than a heartthrob, was an odd choice to say the least. We'd wager he'd have trouble buying a beer before he turned 25, let alone playing a convincing pilot before he was able to drive. Biopics generally receive a dose of glamour in their shift to the big screen, but the truth is: if Frank Abagnale Jr. looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, there wouldn't be a story to tell.

Bruce Wayne, 'Batman' (1989)

Batman Movie Michael Keaton He's one of the most famous comic book characters, and the embodiment of terror; the one man able to strike fear in even the most hardened criminal. So when director Tim Burton got the chance to cast an actor in the role of Batman (who wouldn't merely be parody or camp), who better than Mr. Mom? Michael Keaton was on virtually nobody's list of dream casting for Batman, and fans made their outrage heard. It isn't hard to see why a 5'9" actor known for comedic roles over dramatic ones raised eyebrows, since it's still hard to picture what a serious, depressed Michael Keaton actually looks like. Luckily for all involved, the choice paid off. Comic book and movie fans will debate the best incarnation of Batman until the end of time, but there's no denying the chemistry between Jack Nicholson's Joker and Keaton's Batman as some of the best in the comic book movie world. We wouldn't have bet money that Beetlejuice could give the world anything but a horribly misguided version of Bruce Wayne, but Keaton and Burton made it one to remember.

Genghis Khan, 'The Conquerer'

John Wayne The Conqueror Genghis Khan

John Wayne. The Duke. The quintessential cowboy, and...Mongolia' greatest ruler? We've steered clear of movie adaptations that change the race of existing characters, since more than skin color goes into bringing a role to life. But we have to make an exception for John Wayne's turn as Temujin/Genghis Khan in The Conqueror for its place in industry history and the talent attached. Casting an actor more well-known for his cowboy persona as Genghis Khan is so absurd, so nonsensical that it's hard to credit the filmmakers with racism as opposed to simple lunacy. Produced by magnate Howard Hughes, who purchased every print of the film in an effort to put the movie behind him, The Conqueror is reportedly one of the films that Hughes watched obsessively during his infamous seclusion. Possibly the cause of 91 cases of cancer among cast and crew (the movie was filmed downwind of a US nuclear weapons testing site), The Conqueror's casting has to stand as one of the worst decisions ever made in film. Wayne himself reiterated the lesson it taught: "not to make an ass of yourself trying to play parts you're not suited for." We'd have to agree.

Everyone, 'The Last Airbender' (2010)

Avatar Last Air Bender Casting Choices Horrible casting, atrocious direction, script and pacing issues aside, it was the massive changes to the central characters of M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender that doomed the film to its fate. For those who never saw the TV show it was based on (shame on you!), and simply called it quits after the movie, we can't make this any clearer: none of the characters were faithfully translated. Sokka, the bumbling, ungifted goofball who takes himself seriously (but garners only laughs) became a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense protector to his sister, Katara - the one who really led with her heart, not militaristic courage. But no adaptation is worse than the titular Airbender, Aang. The embodiment of childish wonderment and playfulness, the film portrays a brooding, angry, and all-too-prepared savior. Even the pronunciation of his name was inexplicably changed by Shyamalan...it should have been a sign. Changes of this magnitude aren't exactly rare, but fans of the TV show unfortunate enough to witness the film will agree: a majority of The Last Airbender's cast of characters share almost nothing besides name and haircut to the source material. That the changes all worked to form a downright terrible film just make it worse.

Top 10 Movie Characters That Look Nothing Like Their Source Material

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher Character Adaptations That's just 10 of the most egregious adaptations in our opinion, but the sheer amount of novels, comic books, video games and stage plays mean there are plenty more. We welcome all contributions: What casting decision or 're-imaginings' irked you the most when first seeing them? Were there any that cost the film any chance of success, or perhaps defied expectations and captured the heart of the character despite differences? Hopefully Tom Cruise can pull off that challenge this Friday with Jack Reacher, for both audiences and fans of Lee Child's hulking hero. Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: Jack Reacher, jack ryan, kane and lynch, the last airbender

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  1. ‘GI Joe: The rise of Cobra’ should have been on the list

    • What was wrong with the casting?`And no, i am not saying that you are wrong, but i don’t know anything about G.I Joe so i am just curious. I know that people don’t like Mr.Tatum too much but that’s about it. Personally i’m fine with him

      • From a physical perspective ripcord was changed. From a source perspective he went from a somewhat side character to a main one.

        There were other things but I’m actively trying to forget that movie.

      • JDD wasn’t saying there’s a problem with any of their acting skills. He was refering to the way some of the characters looked “NOTHING” like their cartoon counter parts.

      • Well let’s see, Destro, Cobra Commander, Baroness, probably just about all of the Cobra people looked nothing like their source characters, and had absolutely nothing to do with their origins.

    • Well duke is supposed to be cool and likeable…..and we got channing tatum…..

  2. I don’t know the Reacher books but maybe Alexander Skarsgard would be the correct build/colouring?
    I like the actor but can’t say for sure that he’d have the chops for as a major a role as this… I’d like to seem him try though!

    • Nope, Dolph Lundgren. Right approximate age, size, hair and eye color. The movie sucked IMO.

  3. The title makes it seem as if this is a list is of physical appearances in films that didn’t visually match source material descriptions or representations. This list even starts that way but ends up being something completely different, focusing on character changes beyond the physical.

    Had the list maintained the path of just comparing physical appearance the last Air bender would not be number one.

    Just some that should be reconsidered:

    Morgan Freeman / Alex cross
    Arnold Schwarzenegger / Conan
    Thomas Jane / The punisher
    sylvester stallone / Judge dredd
    Almost every actor who has ever portrayed Jesus/ The Bible

    • Well those characters/actors you name all changed THEIR appearance to look more like the source material, so I’m not quite sure what you mean.

      And if you take into consideration the implied races of the ‘Airbender’ leads, then every one of them is a long way off.

      • @ Andrew Dyce…

        If you are saying that you disagree with the AIREBENDER leads, then I agree myself. I thought those casting picks were way off.

        • Absolutely. Not just the races or physical appearance (this IS a cartoon) but everything. When I first heard Dev Patel had been cast coming off of Slumdog Millionaire I thought “Wow, he could actually make a GREAT Sokka!”

          ….*facepalm*

      • How can you say the people on my list changed their appearances.. Morgan freeman looked like he does in every movie and did not meet the description of that character in the novels, Arnold grew his hair out… but what ever he was in the screen was not how Conan was described in the source. The same arguments made for Constantine and James Bond all apply here. The on screen appearance does not match the appearance in the books.

        The implied races of the “Airbender” comment is just ridiculous, how would you know what the implied races were? The writers / creators of that show side multiple times that this is not our world and that they borrowed from every possible culture to create something that was a marriage of all of them. Like every ambiguous cartoon they were suppose to be whatever you wanted them to be. If all you saw was Asian people running around then that’s on you. Never at any point did they say air benders are X, fire nation are Y etc etc.

        When creators want to they make it very clear that a character is from a specific background it is something they establish right off the bat, but these creators never wanted to even after beign asked mulitple times because it was never the point.

        • Oh please. When adapting Avatar to real life, they should have cast Asians. End of story.

        • @ Los

          I’m saying Tom Jane got ripped, dies his hair black, and never smiled. Every actor who’s portrayed Jesus grows out a beard, hair, and wears the clothes he’s traditionally depicted as wearing. Sylvester Stallone as Dredd is hardly applicable since Dredd doesn’t have a ‘face,’ but the outfit and grimace was right on. If your issue is with them giving him a face, that’s fine, but he’s not an example that really works here.

          I’m not going to get into a battle over races in The Last Airbender, but the inspirations are clear. The Earth Kngdom architecture is Chinese, Fire Nation’s is Japanese, The Water Tribes are subarctic people dressed in taditional Inuit garb, and the Airbenders look and dress like Buddhist Monks.

          Yes, they’re cartoons. But casting them all as Caucasians implies at least some sense of homogeneity that the cartoons implied wasn’t the case.

          I think any intellectually honest fans of the cartoon will understand where I’m coming from.

          • @Andrew Dyce

            I fully understand where your coming from I just do not agree with it. It might not seem like it right now but I do respect your opinion. I like that you (and they rest of the screen rant team) create lists and reviews that generate discussions.

            Happy Holidays.

  4. Kane & Lynch – Ray Liotta or Michael Madsen & John Malkovich or Bryan Cranston. PERFECTION.

    • I would be completely down for Liotta and Cranston. Then again, I’d be completely down for a lot of names before the ones they went with.

      Still, great call.

  5. THANK YOU for putting The Last Airbender on there. I was a fan of the original show, and literally screamed at the t.v. the entire time. The ending especially ticked me off (*cough *cough Azula). Absolutely NOBODY fit with the possible exception of the girl playing Yue.

    • Liotta and Cranston would be great. Nice suggestions dude. U should be a casting agent or something lol

  6. Surprised that the 5’3″ Wolverine played by 6′-something Hugh Jackman didn’t make the list.

    • Excellent point dumpy! Logan should NOT be standing eye to eye with any of his teammates which Hugh Jackman certainly does.

      • @ Broadway

        I agree with you, as well. This is what fans have been saying when criticizing jackman about playing wolverine.

        Hugh Jackman is NOT Wolverine. PERIOD.

    • That’s actually a really good point.

    • @ dumpy

      I agree with you. BTW, Jackman is 6’3

    • @ dumpy nose: Careful, you may be pinching the nose of internet fanboy rage. I agree with you wholeheartedly, but it seems the critics soon quieted down when Jackman delivered such a solid performance (and committed so strongly to that role despite it being a ‘comic book movie’ at the time) amid some other questionable casting.

      Physically, he’s not right. Despite how uncomfortable it would be to look at a physically accurate Wolverine for 4 movies…

      • @ Andrew Dyce…

        We did not quiet down because of jackman’s “solid” performance. We “quieted” down becuase we already let Marvel, Fox, and others know how we feel. Why keep up the rant, unless asked or unless the conversation fits into the discussion. Notice how many folks already mentioned that jackman as wolverine should have been on the list of “Movie Characters That Look Nothing Like Their Source Material.” Folks still don’t like him as wolverine. Also, anyone can act mean and tough for a film. Nevertheless, i felt jackman’s performance was too soft for the character.

        • I’m with you on him being soft (even though he did get a bit closer to Jackman’s portrayal during a few writers’ runs, Joss Whedon for example). I think the overwhelming reaction to Jackman’s performance (from being a relative unknown) didn’t just weaken Cyclops’ role as leader of the team, but made it waaaaay less likely that Fox would characterize him as unlikable.

          He definitely should be though, at least a little bit. Unfortunately, I don’t know if ‘The Wolverine’ is going to go there at all.

  7. When I read the title for this I immediately thought of Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Weird that it was not included in the list.

    • Totally agree jackman is 6’3″

    • @ AbsolutG

      Thank you for that one, too. Gyllenhaal (I don’t know how he spells his name so I am just copying off of you) was definitely the wrong guy for the part. I feel that hollywood is lazy when it comes to casting for characters who are of another country. I mean, come on they couldn’t find an actual actor from the mideast to be cast for the role? Or an actual african actress to be storm in the x-men? It all adds authenticity to the film and character and makes the character more believeable.

      • True, that casting brings to our attention just how few leading men hail from Eastern countries (THAT’s a lengthy minefield of a discussion right there, but one that should at least be had among friendly film enthusiasts).

        I will say that Gyllenhaal turned out better than I thought, since he actually played the character fairly loyal to the game’s (in my opinion).

  8. “well-fed Sean Connery” that was brilliant haha

  9. Where’s the Wolverine comparison? The comic book version of Wolvie is 5′ 4″ whereas Hugh Jackman is 6′ 2″.

    • Wolverine wasn’t forgotten about (we hear your complaints!) but this is a ‘Top 10.’ Jackman’s Wolverine is taller than the comics (even if artists have started to portray Wolverine as short, but not 5’3″) but aside from that, he looks the part.

      Build, hair, beard, even the unhappy grimace for the first couple movies. And in the first film, it’s clear an effort was made to NOT have him tower over his teammates if at all possible. I for one remember the first time I hear Jackman was 6’3″ after seeing X-Men an being surprised.

  10. Where the heck is Robert Neville?

  11. what about dragonball evolution? that is 1 seriously farked up movie!

    • worst movie adaptation ever,

  12. Has everyone forgotten about the superheroes who don’t resemble their comic book counter parts?

    All Batman interpretations

    Hawkman(Smallville)

    Fantastic 4

    The Phantom (Not sure if anyone cares about this one but….)

    Green Lantern (Not so much the look of his suit, but it wasn’t real)

    Steel (Plus Shaq’s acting ability…..just wrong!!)

    The Tick

    DareDevil (Looked great but not exactly like the comics)

    Punisher (Again….same thing like DareDevil)

    Superman (The last movie his suit was too dark. It should be Cherry red & Royal blue. Not Crimson red & Navy blue)

    The biggest snafu of them all, & I do mean BIGGEST….

    The X-Men(Who the heck came up with the ridiculous idea was to put them in all black outfits I will never find a reasonable answer to that ever!)

    • “The X-Men(Who the heck came up with the ridiculous idea was to put them in all black outfits I will never find a reasonable answer to that ever!)”

      Would you prefer the X-Men in rainbow coloured costumes, that would have made them looked like they were starring in a Joel Schumacher movie instead?

      • I’m with you, Scapegoat. I said that to my fellow comic book fans at the time. The black leather may not have been the best possibly option, but it would have been insanely hard to make some of the comic uniforms work on screen.

        Plus, I think they heard those complaints somewhat for the second movie, at least varying them a little more.

      • How about you giving me some of your “brilliant” ideas genious! Oh that’s right….your brain isn’t capable of thinking that way. Sorry I forgot.

        • That last comment was meant for Mr.Genious-goat.

          • No offense, but you really don’t come across as someone who really is in any position to be questioning others’ intelligence. The simple fact is, just because something looks good in art, doesn’t mean it will translate over to live action; superhero costumes being a prime example. It’s been done, and it looks cheap and laughable on film. That is why they tend to change the costumes to something more realistic, and let’s face it, spandex isn’t likely to survive the things superheros put it through.

            • Actually, I would cite Avengers (or Superman, or Batman, etc.) as an example of how ‘true’ character costumes CAN work but it wasn’t the quasi-translation of Jim Leee era X-Men costuming that irked me as much as how the script writers felt the need to display their completely disrespectful attitude towards comics with the “spandex” comment in the first movie.

        • How do you know what my brain is capable of?

    • @Broadway

      You’re only really mentioning the character’s costumes, rather than their complete appearance and portrayal. You also have to take their physical appearance into account, as well as how well they perform in the role.

      • Thanks ezra. I took my attention off track back there & forgot what the article headline was. I’m still pissed off though about these crappy costumes they keep coming up with every year. Not all of them, just the ones’ that suck.

    • That would be Bryan singer. He is a homosexual, and took the project because he said he knows what it felt like to be part of a small demographic that is discriminated against and hated on by most of the populace. The tight black leather S&M outfits he thought looked more militarized and utilitarian.

  13. I thought the most obvious choice on this list would have been Forrest Gump.

  14. What about Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile in Street Fighter? One of the best fighting game franchises, one of the worst adaptations (even though I still loved it). A Frenchman playing an American Air Force soldier. Ha!

    • jean claude van damme is belgian..not french

      • Yeah, plus the hair….wouldn’t have worked in live action anyway.

        Besides, the only questionable casting choices from Street Fighter that I recall are a Hawaiian E. Honda and Kylie Minogue’s terrible attempt at a British accent as Cammy.

        • HAHA. That was kylie minogue? I did not know who kylie minogue was in the 90s, but I remember when I went to see street fighter, i was like…MAN I LIKE THAT LADY PLAYING CAMMY. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her whenever she was in a scene in the movie. I felt the same way about Ming Na when she was playing chung li.

          • @ reddy: Thanks for the correction.

            @ Dazz: Even though E. Honda was Samoan and not Japanese in the film, I thought he looked and fit more the part than some of the other actors. And, I thought Kylie Minogue’s Cammy wasn’t all that bad. Honestly, I think the only people that didn’t fit the part were Van Damme, and the guys that played Ryu and Ken.

            @ Mr. Day: I agree with you. Though I was a wee lad when the film came out, I remember seeing it in theaters and thinking the exact same thing about Kylie Minogue and Ming Na, and I’m not even into Asians. I still think that when I watch the film today.

    • Jean-Claude Van Damme is from Belgium, but I agree with you, that his accent did not fit the character, nor did his hair color or style.

  15. Cannot wait til a well known black character is played by a white guy just to see black folks loose their minds.

    • What the heck does that mean?!

    • like RDJ in Tropic Thunder?? LOL

      • It’s not like that at all my friend. Rob wasn’t playing a black character in that movie. It was more like a parody of how some black people who act the same way he was acting. So he was actually mocking any of them who speak & carry themselves in that same fashion.

        • …huh?

          They were mocking actors who take their roles “too” seriously. Lazarus took it so far that he changed his race. That was the joke. It was probably also making fun of white actors getting cast in roles that should have gone to POC (y’know, racism in Hollywood, etc).

          You totally got the wrong end of the stick if you think they were making fun of black people / white people who act like black stereotypes.

    • Angelina Jolie played a well known black character in WANTED. her character Fox is actually black and shes based on Halle Berry.

      • Good call.

    • @ jb

      In defense of african americans, hollywood unfortunately does not make enough roles for african americans to begin with. With that said, why would a role of a black character (which is already scarce in hollywood) be given to a white actor, espcially when hollywood rolls out a brand new crop of white male and female actors every week?

      Secondly, according to your statement, you simply wanting a white actor to play a black character (instead of an actual black actor), for the sake of “just to see black folks loose their minds,” rather than for the actual quality of the film itself does not speak well of you at all. Some would probably even be right to say your remark is racist. I may be inclined to agree.

    • Tone down the instigation, JB.

      • Oh, wow. Someone´s sensitive, huh, Kofi? I think what JB meant was that everyone´s totally okay with a black actor playing a “white” role, but it´s not okay with a white actor playing a “black” role.

        • ugh, no Scapegoat. If that is what he meant then he should have said just that. Nevertheless, such a comment is flawd simply because there are not many roles (of black characters) for african american actors in hollywood to begin with. Do the white to black ratio of fresh new actors introduced to silver screen and small screen audiences per year and you will see why “everyone´s totally okay with a black actor playing a “white” role,” as you put it, and why many folks are not okay with a “white actor playing a “black” role.”

          BTW, Kofi did not bring it up, I did. Kofi’s just doing his job.

          By the way, thank you, Kofi.

        • I was pist when king pin was played by a black actor , as a black man i love to see my people in major rolls. But some things should not be toyed with like King Pin not being an italian fat man.

          • you are entitled to your opinion. However, I don’t know anything about the kingpin being italian. Nothing in his bio suggests that, so I don’t know why you think his role should be played by an “italian fat man,” as you put it. If anything his ancestry heritage is either russian or polish. You can check it out at the marvel database for yourself.

        • THANK YOU!! Hallelujah, somebody with a brain

          • @ jb

            thank you for the compliment.

            • @Mr Day

              Sorry, buddy i meant that at scapegoat. Sorry new at this

    • lol it’s “lose”

    • Only one Mainstream Black Character cannot be portrayed by a white actor.

      Shaft.

      Even SLJ was a pale comparison

  16. The Last Airbender is no where near as bad as it’s reputation suggest.

    Halle Berry’s Catwoman should definitely be on the list in terms of a movie character that resemble nothing like the source material.

    As well as Tom Cruise superstar status one can understand the studios going against type for Jack Reacher. After all having a 6ft plus 250 pound man beating everyone up brings little in the way of dramatic tension or excitement.

    • Part of the reason TLA got money was because of people seeing it early on (and disliking it). Most of the people that actually liked the movie hadn’t seen the original show. It fits on this list because practically none of the characters resemble the original source material.
      I do agree with Halle Berry’s Catwoman, though.

      • Eartha Kitt played catwoman

        • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327554/
          There have been better potrayed Catwoman’s.

          • Eartha Kitt was the best cat woman, then michelle pheiffer

            • Julie Newmar was the best of the 3 who played Catwoman in the original Batman series, IMO. Michelle Pfeiffer is second on my all-time list. HB’s Catwoman was just atrocious.

  17. Imo Keaton was still the best Batman while Bale was the best Bruce Wayne.

    • Is still the best version of Batman/Bruce Wayne!

      • @ vancity kid: that’s usually how I explain it when asked too. Keaton’s Wayne was…80s. The sequel got things a bit closer, but that always felt very different from the comic books to me.

        • WTF?! Keaton´s Wayne was 80s because (guess what) the movie was made in the 80s. So what the hell is the problem?!

          • I know when the movie came out, but his goofy, awkward portrayal (which I still love) is a lot closer to his comedic roles than anything Wayne-related.

      • I second that!

  18. You forgot the cast of pretty much the majority of video game, cartoon, and or comic book movie adaptations to date. Prince of Persia, Tekken, Punisher, Steel, Super Mario Bros, Wanted, Van Helsing, etc, etc, etc……Heman.

    • Dolph lungren did look like He-Man. It’s just that his acting wasn’t that good. How about the actor who played Man-At-Arms? Now that guy was a poor choice I thought.

      BTW, I have been iching for a TRUE He-Man movie adaptation for years. I would like the setting to be in the vain of the Lord of the Rings movies.

      • @ I agree that at the time Lundgren was a good choice physically for the role.

        On a side note it’s a shame the 2002 animated series was cancelled in it’s 2nd season. There was a lot of creative mileage left in the show and if a live action film ever does arise, it would be good to base it on the 2002 version.

        • YES, AND THANK YOU! I do not know why they canceled that show. They only made 39 episodes. Also the show left off with a cliff hanger, dealing with the snakemen. I enjoyed the origin story of He-Man too with King Grayskull. AH MAN, NOW I’M UPSET. LOL

  19. Andrew, good points about Lucky Leo and Abignale Jr.

    • Thanks Justin, credit to Sandy Schaefer for the incredibly-odd-in-hindsight-casting of a permanently young actor. Seems so weird now.

  20. “We’ve steered clear of movie adaptations that change the race of existing characters, since more than skin color goes into bringing a role to life.”

    A bit inaccurate wouldn’t you say? (Wild Wild West and Kane and Lynch)

    • For those ones, it wasn’t just casting African Americans that made it seem odd, but everything about the actor’s demeanor. Not just their go-to style, but their approach to the character as a whole. And for Kane & Lynch, the double-swing-and-miss had to warrant inclusion.

      • Will Smith’s James West reminded me more of Cleavon Little’s Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles.

  21. I suppose airbender could be on any worst list as it got everything wrong.

  22. Kane & Lynch was supposed to come out this year, completely forgot about this film. I personally never liked Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne had nothing appealing to the character so yeah he`s #1 in my list. And to finish off this Rant page, who has 6`5 with 250 lbs. of muscle and blond hair in Hollywood that can portray Jack Reacher? I cant think of someone who can have a lead role, perhaps Dolph Lundgren? he`s not an A-Lister so of
    course their going with Cruise

    • Thor.

  23. Where is John Leguizamo as Luigi?

    • Or Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze?

  24. Interview with the Vampire.

  25. Wene I first heard about the Batman movie in 89 I had just seen Betlejuice. And I thought Keaton was going to play the Joker. Suprise he played Batman and he did ok not great but ok. He was A little better than the other two guys and all they had was they were taller.

    • Keaton was my favorite Batman, while I thought George Clooney was a better bruce wayne, even better than bale. Clooney’s square/long rectangular head and short black hair is what gave him the bruce wayne look. Dude looked classic, and that’s how bruce wayne looks like (IMO).

      • @Mr. Day,

        Perhaps, but any chance Clooney had of portraying a great Bruce Wayne was squandered by Schumacher, whoever wrote that script, and WB.

        • @ ezra

          yes, the movie was horrible. I only like Keaton and Bale’s bat movies. Perhaps they could have used clooney to portray bruce wayne, while using michael keaton to portray batman all in the same movie? Nevermind. LOL

  26. 1. Hugh Jackman’s as wolverine should be on there. WOlverine is 5’3, while jackman is 6’3. A huge reason for wolverine’s fanbase is because seeing someone as short as he is taking on opponents way bigger and taller than himself is very appealing. In addition, no matter how much jackman tries to bulk up for this film, his tall stature makes him more slim than stocky/bulky, which is what wolverine is. Jackman’s younger self MIGHT have made a better gambit, who shares his same physique.

    2. Plus, the entire cast of all the X-Men movies, except for Patrick stewart as Professor X, and Kelsey Grammar as Beast.

    3. The entire cast of the Fantastic Four movies (with Chiklis and Evans PROBABLY being the only exceptions as The Thing and the Human Torch).

    4. Nick Cage as Johnny Blaze

    • If patrick stewart ever gets tired of playing profesor x, Ben Kingsley would be an EXCELLENT replacement. just a thought.

      • he would be but isnt going to be in iron man 3?

        • isnt he*

          • Yes, but it’s no matter. X-men are Fox, Iron Man is Marvel. There will never be any crossovers. Probably.

    • I agree with you on Hackman being too tall and slim for Wolverine. He just doesn’t seem able to carry off the crazy, beserk persona of the character.

      I’ve always felt that Stallone post First Blood Part 2 – pre Cobra – would’ve been perfect for the role.

    • @Mr. Day

      I personally thought 3 of the fantastic 4 were pretty accurately cast, with the exception of Alba.

  27. I always thought of Wolverine and Storm in X-men.Wolverine is really short and Storm really tall in the comics and in the movies is the other way around.

  28. Well, no one mentioned how Blade is white in the comic books and was played by Wesley Snipes in the movies.

    Not that I care, it’s the guy’s best role and he helped get people reading comic books in a way.

    Nic Cage as Johnny Blaze…..see, I don’t even care that he doesn’t look like the source material because like with Snipes, he made that role his own (just too bad the sequel sucked).

    • Blade has always been black. Who told you otherwise?

    • LOLOL. Blade is not white. Blade has always been black. Please don’t talk about comic book characters if you don’t know them. Let me guess, you assumed blade was white because the supporting cast members (especially those who were part of his team) were white? Too funny.

      • But imagine if they had changed Blade’s nationality in the film. If they had cast a white or latino guy to play Blade in the film, it would have been okay for people to get angry about them changing the character. But let someone point out that Perry White and Electro have been white in the comics for over 50 years and you get called a racist.

        • @ Gary,

          I think you would get called a racist when your remark is racist. the thing is, people cannot hide racism, no matter how hard they try. But, again, with there being very little roles in hollywood for african americans to begin with, where the main character is black I can see why some folks would not mind it. You can’t be an industry (Hollywood) who directly and indirectly suggests that you are for actors of all colors, yet when it is sweeps months what is given to audiences of the small screen are shows whose cast is all white or all white and 1% black, or latino, or asian. It’s same thing with big screen movies. Yet what we have, I presume, are some directors who are willing to put hollywood’s money where it’s mouth is by having black actors or latino actors (EX: jessica alba as sue storm) play roles that were written for white actors.

          First off, Blade is a black character who is part of a marvel library that is well over 5000 characters. Only a few are black, and over the years there have been calls by even some white comic book fans to marvel to create more black characters. Do you know of a time where marvel was criticized for not having enough white characters?

          With all of that, why would you take a black character, in this case blade, whose fellow black characters make up a small number of the total amount of characters, and give such a role to someone else of another race? It is beyond insulting. In other words, there is not enough diversity. It is not hard to incorporate real diversty, therefore why is there not enough of it, especially in a place like hollywood? That is probably why some people shout discrimination or racism.

          • +1

          • *applause*

            Man, I am sick of explaining this stuff to people.

          • And another +1…a year later

        • yep

    • lmfao blade was always black

  29. Sounds like Chris Hemsworth would’ve been the perfect Jack Reacher!

    Keep up the cool features, Screen Rant! :)

    • oh yes i agree he defo has the stature!

      • He’s much too young. Dolph Lundgren’s closer in looks and age. Lundgren was born in ’57 and Reacher’s fictional bio says he was born in ’60. Lundgren could have easily pulled it off- it’s not like the role called for vast emotional range. He coulda handled the action and all the lame one-liners.

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