Top 5 Franchises that Replace the Main Actor

Kenny D December 11, 2012 1
Top 5 Franchises that Replace the Main Actor

I apologize for the misleading picture. This is purely a movie franchise list, and I thought it would be a mistake to not include all 11 Doctors in this type of list. Some will argue that there have been “movies” about Doctor Who, but I’ve yet to see one hit the big screen, so he gets an honorable mention.

Instead I want to focus on movie franchises that consistently replace the main character with different actors. Sometimes it’s due to poor reception of the original actor, other times it may be because the character becomes bigger than any one actor. Or in the case of Alec Baldwin, the actor became larger than the character.

5 -The Incredible Hulk
hulk actors, ed norton, mark ruffalo, eric bana, hulk, avengers, big green rage monster, hulk smash
I’m always angry…that I’ll never see Norton act against RDJ

Do you remember when Superhero movies were really cool in 2002? Every Marvel character was getting his/her own movie. Yes, even Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Matter Eating Lad. A Hulk movie was a no brainer. Unfortunately, the movie dulled the brain a bit. We paid our money to see Hulk smash, not Hulk’s daddy issues. Eric Bana was a decent Banner, but the movie just plain sucked. Next came the Incredible Hulk movie we deserved, without a tedious origin story. Ed Norton is still my favorite Bruce Banner. I know this movie was overshadowed by the wildly popular Iron Man, but I believe it’s superior. I was sad to hear that Mark “Humperdink” Ruffalo was replacing Norton in The Avengers. Turns out, Hulk provided the best moments in the movie, by far. I would venture to say he provides the only memorable moments in it. I was a fan of the Hulk, but not necessarily of Ruffalo, who looked like he was stifling the Hulk within by stifling flatulence. Once Ruffalo stars in his own Hulk flick, he will be swiftly replaced by Gerard Butler.

4 – Hannibal Lecter series
hannibal actors, every hannibal actor, silence of the lambs, bryan cox, gaspard ulliel, hannibal tv
He’s undressing your skin with his eyes…

Not many people have seen Manhunter, which is actually the first Lecter movie ever made. It’s actually not half bad. Brian Cox plays Hannibal Lecter, and is decent. I mean, come on, it’s Brian Cox! But a few years later, Anthony Hopkins became Lecter. He only had a few minutes of screen time, but won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He went on to play the role in Hannibal and then in the Manhunter remake, Red Dragon. Little should be said about young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, played by Gaspard Ulliel. This series is also known for recasting forgettable Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling, in a role perfected by Jodie Foster. Look out for the Hannibal TV series when it debuts in the fall. Mads Mikkelsen (Valhalla Rising) will play Hannibal Lecter as an FBI agent before he gets his cannibalism on.

3 – Jack Ryan series
jack ryan movie, patriot games, hunt for red october, clear and present danger, sum of all fears, chris pine, harrison ford
“Get off my Franchise!!!”

The character of Jack Ryan, written by Tom Clancy, was America’s answer to James Bond. Alec Baldwin left the Jack Ryan role after The Hunt for Red October because he was a primadonna on set, and because he had a 15-year plan to gain a significant amount of weight. Harrison Ford owned the role with Patriot Games and every dad’s favorite movie, Clear and Present Danger. Nearly ten years later, the franchise was rebooted with Ben Affleck, fresh off the set of Daredevil, as Ryan in his younger CIA days. The movie was mediocre, which is why we haven’t seen a sequel till now. Well, we’re getting another reboot with Chris “Tiberius” Pine as an even younger CIA analyst caught up in an international firestorm. Is it wrong that I think Air Force One is an unintentional sequel to Ford’s Jack Ryan movies? I could go for more of that. Bring back Ford.

2 – Batman
every batman actor, adam west, michael keaton, val kilmer, george clooney, christian bale
Did you know: The only Batmen who could move their necks were Bale and West?

I know, I know. I should hardly count reboots. But not every Batman iteration has been a reboot. Michael Keaton, who played a great Bruce Wayne for 2 movies was apparently Nostradamus. He read the script for Batman Forever and realized that the villains were overshadowing Batman, plus he didn’t like the lighter tone. Well played Mr. Keaton. So a skinny Val Kilmer took on the role and did his best (I didn’t hate him). Even he realizes that his movie was the beginning of the end for Batman. He left the role because it was getting “too cute.” He knew Batman should not have rubber nipples. Then came “It Boy” George “Bobblehead” Clooney. (So many quote marks in the last 2 sentences) He ruined Batman. That is all. Thankfully the movies were rebooted and began one of the greatest trilogies in film history.

Who will wear the cape and cowl next? Please Bless it’s someone awesome.

1 – James Bond
every james bond, 007, bond james bond, bond girls, bond men, spy movie
Of course they give the smallest gun to Lazenby…

This had to be number one because this series has lasted 50 years now. That is success. Even despite half of the movies being terrible, it is still a success. Sean Connery is still widely regarded as the best 007. When he decided to call it quits, he was replaced by Aussie George Lazenby. He only lasted one movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when Connery decided to come back to reprise the role. Now, that’s just selfish Mr Connery. Roger Moore had a good stint as Bond but was in some of the character’s worst movies. Timothy Dalton then starred in two of the movies. But the series was pretty much dead in the late 80’s. But Bond wanted to Die Another Day (see what I did there?) and came back 6 years later with GoldenEye, with someone who was born to play 007, Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, his last 2 Bond flicks were the worst in Bond’s history. And now, of course we have Daniel Craig who faltered with Quantum of Solace, but delivered the goods with Skyfall.

One Comment »

  1. Sarah December 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm -

    Nobody’s job is safe, is it? This blog just proves my theory that Hollywood is really just like high school.

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