Movie News

When Actors Replace Other Actors in Movies

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Jun 28, 2011 | 11:28am EDT

Movie buffs everywhere will agree there's nothing more irritating than getting to know a character and then watching the actor who plays he/she be replaced in the second or third installment of the series.  It completely destroys the persona we have of the character and we lose all the attachments we've had for them since the beginning of the story. Like it or not, it's something directors and actors have to deal with, either out of necessity, conflicting schedules, or (like recent events) out of pure anger.  Check out this list of celebrity flip-flops in movies throughout the years and decide for yourself if producers made the right call to switch things up or not:

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Megan Fox was the expected leading lady for the third Transformer's installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, coming to theaters July 1.  After her ill advised Hitler remark about director, Michael Bay, she got booted and replaced by Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  Note to self: don't get on Steven Spielberg's bad side.  Who's the better fit for this role? 

        

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Rachelle Lefevre - who played the vengeful vampire, Victoria, in the first two movies of the Twilight phenomena - was instructed to hand in her fangs for last year's box office hit, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.  She was replaced mid-saga by Terminator Salvation actress, Bryce Dallas Howard.  Was this the producers' way of saying that all vampires look alike?  The switch was said to be due to scheduling conflicts.  I guess some vampires don't live forever...

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Katie Holmes decided not to reprise her Batman Begins role as Rachel Dawes in the following installation The Dark Knight.  Apparently, if you get married and have a baby and then your whole set of priorities change.  Mrs. Cruise ended up doing us all a favor since she was replaced by the lovely Maggie Gyllenhaal, who gave great strength and depth to the role.  Now if only they had cast her from the very beginning.

        

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets vs. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Now some replacements can't be helped.  When Richard Harris died after the filming of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the director was left with no choice but to find somebody to take his place as the adored, omnipresent headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore.  That somebody turned out to be Michael Gambon who stoically took up the reins in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.   This tragic loss filled all avid Harry Potter fans (including myself) with a deep sense of foreshadowing since Dumbledore's character is killed later on in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  Spooky.

Silence of the Lambs vs. Hannibal       

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"Hello Clarice" or rather...goodbye.  After delivering a stellar performance as Clarice Starling in the fantastic thriller, Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster passed on the chance to reprise her role as Dr. Lecter's favorite experiment.  She apparently opted out of the role for the chance to direct actress, Claire Danes, in the movie Flora Plum.  So disappointed fans watched in horror as Julianne Moore transformed (or at least tried to) into Detective Starling in the follow up movie, Hannibal.  I think we were all ready to eat our own arms after sitting through that performance.

        

Batman Returns vs. Batman Forever vs. Batman & Robin

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The filmmakers of the original Batman movies went a step further in trying to drive viewers crazy by replacing the lead role 3 DIFFERENT TIMES!  Yes indeed, Michael Keaton played a convincing batman in both Batman and Batman Returns, but then things start to get a little "batty."  Val Kilmer starred as the dark hero of Gotham city in Batman Forever and none other than George Clooney finished out the saga in Batman & Robin (because, why not?).  I know that Batman wears a mask, so who would know if it were the same man each time, but what about Bruce Wayne?!  We can see that they are completely different people that don't look anything alike.  That would be like if Zac Efron, not Robert Pattinson, starred as Edward Cullen in the upcoming Twilight movie: Breaking Dawn.  Fans would knock your Twi-lights out.

                 

Home Alone 2 vs. Home Alone 3

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Macaulay Culkin won America's heart over in his role of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.  The movies were a big hit and became majorly successful, so you can imagine the children's excitement when Home Alone 3 was released.  Kids were severely disappointed once they discovered that not only was Culkin nowhere to be found, but it was a completely different character as well. Alex Linz played Alex Pruitt (what happened to Kevin?) a young boy who has to ward off thieves from committing crimes.  No familiar faces, no recognizable character names.  Someone may have wanted to rethink the title a little as to not get people confused.  Might I suggest Home By Yourself?

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