The adage, “The only constant is change,” is only partially true in Hollywood. The list of recent movie reboots is as long as Lindsay Lohan’s arrest record, and there’s more on the way — we’ll soon see new versions of Death Wish, Fletch and Highlander — but while the titles stay the same, the faces change.
This weekend, Peter Parker swings back into theatres, but instead of Tobey Maguire behind the familiar red-and-black-webbed mask it’s Social Network star Andrew Garfield.
Not everyone is happy about the change. 1234zoomer commented on the new movie: “IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME WITHOUT TOBBY!!!,” (her uppercase and spelling, not mine), but Maguire has been gracious, saying, “I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story.”
Whether the new Spidey acknowledges Maguire is yet to be seen, but at least one replacement had the manners to recognize their precursor on screen.
George Lazenby paid a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Sean Connery in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. After a wild battle to rescue Contessa Teresa (played by Diana Rigg) the new James Bond didn’t get the girl. “This never happened to the other fellow,” he says, looking dejectedly into the camera.
Former Bond Connery went on to co-star in The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan, a character later played by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.
It’s rumoured that Chris Pine (who took over the part of Captain Kirk in Star Trek from William Shatner) will soon reprise the role.
The Batman franchise has also had a revolving cast. Since 1943 seven actors have played the Caped Crusader, including Lewis G. Wilson, who at 23 remains the youngest actor to play the character, and George Clooney who admits he was “really bad” in Batman & Robin.
It’s not only the Caped Crusader who changes from time to time. Harvey Dent, the handsome district attorney who turns into villain Two Face has been played by Billy Dee Williams, Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart and The Dark Knight’s Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role of Rachel Dawes from Batman Begins star Katie Holmes.
Finally, Jodie Foster’s take on FBI agent Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs was ranked the sixth greatest protagonist in film history on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains list, but when she declined to reprise the role in Hannibal, Julianne Moore stepped in.
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