Which Favorite Movie Characters Have Been Reinvented Successfully?

The idea of rebooting movie franchises has revolutionized the film industry in recent years. Who are some of our favorite characters who have changed almost beyond recognition to achieve even greater success than before?

James Bond Got Tougher Thanks to Daniel Craig

007 has been one of the most popular movie characters since 1962’s Dr No featuring Sean Connery as Bond. The secret agent was depicted as a larger-than-life character who, despite being reportedly based on real-life figures from the world of espionage, was never fully grounded in reality according to many critics. Daniel Craig changed all that when he appeared in 2006’s Casino Royale. This film kept many of the elements of the first movies, such as the evil villain looking to take over the world.

We can also see that casinos remained a key part of the character, as had traditionally been the case. Casino Royale was released at a time when blackjack online games were already popular and we had a different view of casinos from the past. We can now play this card game online at any time, with human dealers live-streamed onto our screens, and use more relaxed clothing. In the film, Bond’s dramatic poker game against Le Chiffre sees the agent smartly dressed but the atmosphere is grittier than in past movies.  

Modern Versions of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes has been represented in many ways in movies and TV shows. Basil Rathbone’s depiction over 14 films gave us the classic image of Holmes living in the Victorian age and wearing formal clothing with a deerstalker hat. The modern Sherlock TV series from the BBC starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character keeps him in London but moves the setting to the present day, although a special episode was set in Victorian times. The actor played him as an arrogant genius who becomes a reluctant celebrity thanks to his problem-solving skills.

Meanwhile, the 2009 movie titled Sherlock features Robert Downey Jr and takes us back to Victorian London but the actor said that he wanted to concentrate on the bohemian, patriotic aspects of Holmes. He also pointed out that he felt as weird as the character in real-life. Downey Jr is still hopeful of Sherlock Holmes 3 being announced shortly, allowing him to explore the character further.

Ethan Hunt Has Evolved

This is an interesting case, as the Mission: Impossible movie series is loosely based on an older TV series of the same name. Yet, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character never appeared in the TV show. Instead, his evolution has been seen over the course of the six films released to date, with two instalments of Dead Reckoning due in the next year as well. This character changed dramatically when his personal life started to fall apart. In this way, the director can concentrate on his problems rather than just spectacular stunts and plot twists.

All of these examples let us see how a character can evolve, either through an ambitious reboot that brings in a new actor, or by highlighting different parts of the story to put the focus on fresh new aspects that appeal to audiences.

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