Fantastic Beasts and 8 Other Franchises Recasting Actors Between Movies

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Recasts happen all the time in Hollywood, maybe more in the case of TV shows, but still in movies as well. Often this is due to a falling out between a particular actor and the movie studio, many characters were recast after the actor was fired. The recent fiasco that led to Mads Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets is just one of many examples.

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While a redesign is unlikely to go unnoticed by audiences, it’s rarely something that spoils the viewing experience. Below, a selection of films have been discussed that recast the cast between films, for better and for worse.

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The Mummy: From Rachel Weisz to Maria Bello


The Mummy The trilogy is an all-time classic of the 2000s era, and while Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell remains the face of the franchise, Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn Carnahan didn’t play a small role either and is one of the greatest archaeologists of cinema.

She plays a key role in triggering the events of the first film, and eventually becomes the romantic partner of protagonist Rick and a mother in the sequels. Rachel Weisz brought Evelyn to life with her portrayal, but for the third film, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, she decided not to return and was replaced by Maria Bello.

Dark Knight Trilogy: From Katie Holmes to Maggie Gyllenhaal


side-by-side images of Katie Holmes in Batman Begins and Maria Bello in The Dark Knight as Rachel

The character of Rachel Dawes was created specifically for Christopher Nolan Black Knight trilogy for being Bruce Wayne’s romantic interest and adding another layer of complexity to Bruce Wayne’s double life as a caped crusader.


batman begins reunites with Katie Holmes in the role, and she’s replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in the sequel The black Knight where the character plays a much larger role. In the finale, in one of the most intense scenes in the entire trilogy, Batman finally decides to save Harvey Dent instead, resulting in Rachel’s death.

The Twilight Saga: From Rachelle Lefevre to Bryce Dallas Howard


side-by-side images of Rachelle Lefevre and Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria in The Twilight Saga

The Twilight Saga is a long story of the relationship between vampire Edward Cullen and human Bella Swan told across five films, and Victoria’s character is just one of many obstacles in the way of their romance.

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A vampire herself, Victoria is played by Rachelle Lefevre in the first two films where she spends much of her time trying to take Bella’s life in revenge for her mate’s death. For the third moviejurassic world Star Bryce Dallas Howard was instead cast in the role due to a scheduling conflict with the original actress.

MCU: from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo


side-by-side images of Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce BannerHulk in the MCU

The success of the first Iron Man often leaves another movie out of the conversation that was also there at the start of the MCU – The Incredible Hulk. What is also easily forgotten is that before Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton portrayed the character of the monster irradiated with gamma rays.


In terms of viewership, The Incredible Hulk is one of the lowest-rated live-action movies featuring the Hulk. While Ruffalo’s chemistry with the rest of the Avengers is a treat to watch, it’s unfortunate that the character hasn’t had a solo movie or series in over a decade.

Harry Potter: From Richard Harris to Michael Gambon


side-by-side images of Richard Harris and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films

The Headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore is one of the most important figures in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, almost as important as Harry himself. The first two Harry Potter films, Philosophical Stone and Chamber of Secretsstarred actor Richard Harris as the wise wizard.

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After his death in 2002, Michael Gambon was recast in the role, and he played the role for the remainder of the series. Jude Law now portrays a young Dumbledore in the fantastic beasts movies.

MCU: From Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle


side-by-side footage of Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle as War Machine/James Rhodes in the MCU

Tony Stark’s friendship with James Rhodes has been a defining element of his character over the years, and Rhodes has gone from just a military man to a major Avenger. Interestingly, Terrence Howard was the highest paid actor in the first Iron Man film, and it was an argument over money that ultimately led to its recast.

Cheadle will reprise his role as War Machine in the upcoming Armor Wars show, which will hopefully explore some of the War Machine stories we’d love to see in the MCU.

Hannibal Lecter: From Jodie Foster to Julianne Moore


side-by-side images of Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore in the Hannibal Lecter films

While it is true that the main character in the Hannibal Lecter films is Hannibal himself, it is also true that Thesilenceofthelambs wouldn’t be half as interesting as it is without Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning performance as Clarice Starling.

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The sequel, titled just Hannibal and written and directed by a completely different team from the original, found Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as the titular villain with Julianne Moore replacing Jodie Foster. Two prequels were also released after this, but the character of Clarice Starling did not appear in these films.

Back to the Future: From Claudia Wells to Elisabeth Shue


side-by-side images of Claudia Wells and Elisabeth Shue in the Back to the Future movies

the Back to the future Movies are the cornerstone of American pop culture, and there’s no better movie to watch if you love the 80s. Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc are the obvious stars of the show. , but among the other significant supporting characters was Marty’s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker.

Claudia Wells can be found in the role of the first film, where her character’s involvement in the plot is limited. For the second and third movies, Jennifer Parker is played by Elisabeth Shue and she even travels to the future with Marty where she meets her future self.

Fantastic Beasts: From Johnny Depp to Mads Mikkelsen


side-by-side images of Johnny Depp and Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies

Johnny Depp is undeniably one of the most admired actors of his generation, but the whole controversy with his wife Amber Heard has done none of their acting careers any favors. the fantastic beasts The franchise had its main villain in the form of the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald, played in Johnny Depp’s first two films.


But for the third film, he was replaced by Hannibal Mads Mikkelsen. This redesign drama is one of the many reasons why the Fantastic Beasts The series is set to end, but judging by the popularity of Harry Potter around the world, it’s unlikely to be any time soon.

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