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Movies Based On Books: Characters Who Look Nothing Like They're Described In The Original Story


Many of the people who go se “Jack Reacher”  won’t be aware tha Tom Cruise is way too short to play the title characte (when the actor was cast in the role last year, fans of Lee Child’s best-selling book series were up in arms over the choice). Reacher, who is the protagonist of 17 novels is well-known in literary form as being six-foot-five with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and a weight of well over 200 lbs. So, basically the opposite of Cruise.

However, the actor will likely make the character his own, and that’s fin if you can accept that movies don’t always have to be faithful to the page. ruise is just following in steps of actors who were cast in adaptations in spite of having little to no resemblance to their literary counterparts. Let’s take a look at 10 examples below.

Tom Cruise as Lestat (‘Interview with a Vampire’)

“Jack Reacher” isn’t the first adaptation Cruise was cast in where fans (and author) were disappointed. In the novel by Anne Rice, Lestat is described as having blonde hair, like a blaze of light, and bluish gray eyes. And he’s supposed to be young looking and six-feet tall (kinda like Reacher, but undead). Reportedly, Rice originally envisioned Lestat resembling Rutger Hauer, and her first choice for the film casting was Julian Sands.

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones (‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’)

Following early casting considerations including Toni Collette, Kate Winslet and Emily Watson, an American actress was chosen to play the very popular and very English character. In one of the greatest instances of skeptics being proven wrong and an actor successfully making a literary favorite all her own, Zellweger managed the accent adequately and also gained a good amount of weight to fit Jones’s issues with her body. Moviegoers and fans of Helen Fielding’s novel found her to be an utter delight in the part.

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine (‘Constantine’)

Comic book fans weren’t happy to hear that Reeves was cast as a definitively British character, specifically from Liverpool, who was drawn with blonde hair and meant to resemble Sting. Reeves didn’t try for the accent (the movie was set in Los Angeles), nor did he bother to dye his hair. Reviews of the adaptation were mostly negative, including usual criticisms about Reeves’s acting, but the changes to the character weren’t of much focus. Still, fans of the comic are probably thankful it didn’t succeed enough to warrant sequels and can now hope that if Guillermo Del Toro follows through with a supernatural DC Comics ensemble film that Constantine will be recast more appropriately.

Daniel Craig as James Bond (‘Casino Royale’)

Now that Craig has starred as Agent 007 in three very successful movies, there doesn't seem to be any issues with the actor's looks. But back when he was first cast as James Bond, skeptical fans, whether of Ian Fleming’s novels or just the movie franchise, really focused on his hair, calling him "James Blonde." Now "Skyfall" is the highest grossing (and arguably the best) Bond movie yet. Also, hardcore fans have moved on to protesting the idea of Idris Elba or any other non-white actor in the part.

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon (‘The Da Vinci Code’)

Another famous Tom has overruled literary descriptions on account of his stardom being more important to the studio than faithfulness. Still, the oft-noted way that Dan Brown presents the appearance of Robert Langdon is “Harrison Ford in Harris tweed.” However, Ford would have reminded us just too much of Indiana Jones in the role of an expert on religious and historical symbols. At least Hanks went the distance and got a mullet for the part.

List also include

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade (‘The Maltese Falcon’)
Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey (‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’)
Will Smith as Agent J (‘Men in Black’)
Anthony Hopkins as Coleman Silk (‘The Human Stain’)
Steve Zahn as Al Giordino (‘Sahara’)


ONTD, does it bother you the character you imagined in the books and the one you see on the screen doesn't even remotely similar even if the actor/actress is good enough to pull it despite his/her physical appearence?

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