10 Iconic Movie Characters Who Should Never Be Recast

It seems almost every movie now is a remake or reboot of something. That’s not always a bad thing, as some of these remakes and reboots have been pretty awesome (like Mad Max Fury Road). However, this raises the question of whether any Needs to redo.

While a smart reboot can breathe new life into a flagging franchise, some movies are probably best left alone. More so, the legendary characters that these films launched into the history of cinema. With the current debate over who should be the next James Bond and who could replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, some characters are too synonymous with their actors to be recast.

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Indiana Jones—Indiana Jones Franchise


Indiana Jones Situation Torn Shirt

Rumors of a reboot or redesign of the IndianaJones the series have been going in circles for years, with several actors supposed to take the whip. While several of the big names mentioned could no doubt do a good job with the role, Harrison Ford is just too good at it.

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Like SoloThe mixed reception of proved, no matter how good a recast actor is, they’ll still have to live up to Harrison Ford. Ford played the daring archaeologist so well that it would be hard to see anyone else in the brown felt hat. Plus, for the most part, the original films still hold up today, and Ford is already returning for a fifth film soon. Lucasfilm said they have no intention of ever recasting Indy, so maybe Ford will remain the only Indiana Jones.


Ace Ventura—Ace Ventura Series


Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura, showing his ID badge to the camera

While not quite the cultural phenomenon that Indiana Jones is, Ace Ventura is a comedy favorite who helped lift Jim Carrey into the limelight. While the Pet Detective premise has more to offer, Ventura itself is probably something that can never be replicated.

Carrey played the role with so much of his physicality and off-balance charm that casting someone else in the role would set them up for failure. All of Jim Carrey’s best characters are intrinsically linked to his unique brand of humor, so any actor who puts himself in his shoes would have to choose between going down a whole new path with him or settling for an impression of the original. .


Ellis “Red” Redding – The Shawshank Redemption


The end of Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption Not only is arguably Stephen King’s best film adaptation, but it’s also often considered one of the best films of all time. With its stellar writing, powerfully emotional story, and fantastic acting, Shawshank loved by generations of moviegoers.

One of the most famous parts of the film is undoubtedly Morgan Freeman’s performance as “Red”, Andy Dufresne’s best friend and the film’s narrator. Morgan Freeman brings endless prestige to all of his roles, and this might be one of his best. Although a far cry from the book version of Red, Morgan Freeman is someone who would be nearly impossible to replace in any role.


Charles Foster Kane—Citizen Kane


The hall of mirrors in Citizen Kane

The masterful work of Orson Welles Citizen Kane is often called the greatest movie ever made. While moviegoers are free to agree or disagree with this as they please, it’s hard to argue with the impact this has had on the industry.

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Welles himself played the titular Charles Foster Kane as he is remembered at every stage of his life by those who knew him. A very blatant allegory for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Kane goes from an optimistic youth to a bitter, lonely old man by the end. Since Welles wrote, directed, and played the character, it wouldn’t be the same with anyone else in the role. Citizen Kane is a movie that should just stay intact.


The T-800—Terminator Franchise


The Terminator - The T-800 massacres a police station

Ask anyone on the terminator movies and the first thing they’ll mention will almost certainly be Arnold Schwarzenegger as the hulking T-800. His classic portrayal of the murderous cyborg from the future in the original instantly catapulted him into legend. It was so popular that it was even brought back for sequels on the side of good.

There have been several new Terminator models played by different actors, but the classic T-800 has been a franchise mainstay from the very beginning. There have even been several canonical explanations for why the T-800 continues to look like Arnie, and for good reason. It would be hard to imagine anyone else in the role.

Jules Winfield—Pulp Fiction


Jules Winnfield pointing a gun in Pulp Fiction.

pulp Fiction is considered by many to be Quentin Tarantino’s best film, thanks in large part to Samuel L. Jackson’s career-defining turn as Bible-quoting hitman Jules. Jackson is both cool, hilarious and intimidating in the role. The entire cast is phenomenal, but Samuel L. Jackson has become the face of the whole movie.

Jackson is so synonymous with the role and the movie that trying to replicate what he does with it would be out of the question. Whether they love the movie or hate it, almost anyone can quote one of his lines. Also, no one else could have delivered the Ezekiel speech like Jackson. Say what again.

Holly Golightly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Audrey Hepburn in herself is someone who can probably never be matched. She is considered one of the greatest film legends of all time and was a cultural icon even outside of her film roles. That said, it stands to reason that his most iconic role should be well and truly left alone.

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Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was Hepburn’s defining role and one that cemented his place in cinematic history and the hearts of fans around the world. Hepburn played her as eccentric but endearing, and naive but confident. It’s a true cinematic legend that will forever be Audrey Hepburn’s masterpiece.

Rocky Balboa—Rocky Franchise


Sylvester Stallone portrayed two characters that would be hard for anyone else to step into, but more so than Rambo, Rocky Balboa should never be replaced. So far, Stallone hasn’t played the character in every movie, but he was the one who created Rocky in the first place.

As much as each actor makes a character their own, Rocky is entirely Stallone’s creation and was made for him. To cast someone else as the iconic boxer would be almost blasphemy. Fortunately, the Creed took a great approach to continuing Rocky’s story by having him train the next great boxer.

Ellen Ripley — Alien Franchise


ellen ripley alien

Ellen Ripley has a unique claim to be both one of the best horror movie finale girls of all time and one of the best female action heroines of all time. The original protagonist of Extraterrestrial series, Ellen Ripley is a piece of screen legend. Sigourney Weaver made the character a relatable and capable survivor in the original film and turned her into a powerhouse in her own right in the sequel.

Weaver’s performance made Ripley likable, kind, self-reliant and unstoppable. She was such a complete character that fans could feel for her and encourage her badassery at the same time. There’s a reason the show has mostly done prequels since it left. If anyone plays Ripley on screen again, it has to be Sigourney Weaver.


Darth Vader — Star Wars Franchise


Star Wars Return of the Jedi Darth Vader

Darth Vader is unquestionably one of the most iconic and enduring characters to ever grace the screen. His hulking form and menacing armor were a classic as soon as he entered the frame. There have been several actors to portray Vader, both physically and vocally, but the most recognizable has to be the incomparable James Earl Jones.

Equally significant was David Prowse’s original turn in the Sith Lord costume, but it was Jones’ legendary voice that cemented his place in fans’ hearts. Many other actors have voiced Vader, most quite well, but each performance essentially boils down to a printout of James Earl Jones’ original work. Since Vader is likely to be part of the star wars series for years, I hope Jones does too.

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