What 12 Characters From Screen Adaptations Should Look Like According to Their Books

3 years ago

Literature and cinema sometimes use very different methods to get the attention of the reader or the viewer. But even if we understand the concept, it is still really hard to not compare our favorite books to the films or series that were made based on it. And of course, we pay the most attention to the characters.

We at Bright Side decided to check our favorite novels and comic books. And we wanted to imagine what the characters of famous screen adaptations would look like if the creators had been more accurate. And in the bonus, you will see what Margot Robbie would look like in the classic Harley Quinn image.

Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina

The 2002 film Anna Karenina had mixed reviews: some people were confused by the theater decor, and others criticized the casting. The fans of the novel said that Anna is supposed to be a plump woman and Keira Knightley is not even remotely curvy.

Keira Knightley said, “I think that if I was made plump with makeup or a costume, nobody would even talk about my character: everyone would just discuss the plump Keira Knightley.”

Vronsky, Anna Karenina

Tolstoy described Vronsky as “a short, well-built man with brown hair, that started losing hair early.” The author mentioned that he was quite attractive too, but it seems that the creators of the 2012 film only focused on his positive traits. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is not only a man with great blonde hair, but he’s also quite tall.

John Milton, The Devil’s Advocate

The author of the novel, Andrew Neiderman, described John Milton as a pretty tall man with bushy silver hair, pale skin, and red cheeks. Even though Al Pacino doesn’t look anything like that, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in his place.

In fact, a different actor could have played the antagonist: Al Pacino turned down the role of John Milton 3 times because he thought the character was a regular superficial villain. And it was only after the script was changed a bit that he finally agreed to take the part.

Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray is supposed to be an attractive young man with blue eyes and golden locks. This is why Ben Barnes wanted to dye his hair and wear contact lenses, but it turned out that the film director was totally okay with the actor’s appearance.

A funny fact: before giving the role to Barnes, Oliver Parker was walking around with his photo and asking people if the actor was attractive enough.

Triss Merigold, The Witcher

Many fans of the video games and novels about the Witcher were unhappy about the cast of the Netflix series. Triss Merigold portrayed by Anna Shaffer got a lot of heat. She’s really different from her description in the books. She’s supposed to be a young girl with blue eyes and brown-ginger hair.

The Ancient One, Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange’s mentor is supposed to be an elderly Asian man. But the director of the Marvel film decided to reconsider the look of this character, thinking that the original character was too stereotypical. So, Tilda Swinton ended up playing The Elder One because it’s more of a title than a specific person.

Grandmaster, Thor: Ragnarok

In the comics, Grandmaster is a man with blue skin, a big head, and yellow eyes without pupils. But the director of the film, Taika Waititi, decided to change the appearance to prevent viewers from having flashbacks of Earth Girls Are Easy where Jeff Goldblum portrayed a blue alien. Also, Waititi didn’t want to hide the appearance of the actor under makeup.

You can still see the leftovers of the canon look of Grandmaster: a blue line on the chin, the same-colored nails, and the blue color of his lower eyelids.

Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones

At the beginning of the first Game of Thrones book, Daenerys was only 13 years old, but in the beginning of the series, she’s 17 years old. And that’s not all. George Martin described her as a short slim girl with purple eyes and silver-white hair.

When Daenerys goes into the fire and becomes the Mother of Dragons, her hair burns and she becomes bald. Her hair grew slowly, so there could not be any beautiful hair like there was in the series.

Daario Naharis, Game of Thrones

The appearance of Daario Naharis in the Game of Thrones series is very different from the book version. George Martin describes him like this, “Daario Naharis was flamboyant even for a Tyroshi. His beard was cut into 3 prongs and dyed blue, the same color as his eyes and the curly hair that fell to his collar. His pointed mustache was painted gold.”

Armand, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Viewers really liked the amazing look of Antonio Banderas as a charismatic vampire: long dark hair, pale skin, red velvet clothing. But the author of the original book, Anne Rice, had a different vision of the character. In the book, he was a 17-year-old man with ginger curly hair that was sometimes compared to Cupid or one of Sandro Botticelli’s angels.

Erik, The Phantom of the Opera

When talking about the actor for the role of Erik, producer Andrew Lloyd Webber explained, “We needed somebody who had a bit of rock and roll sensibility in him. He’s got to be a bit rough, a bit dangerous — not a conventional singer. Christine is attracted to the Phantom because he’s the right side of danger.”

So, it’s clear that the creators of the film didn’t try to portray Erik, from Gaston Leroux’s book, exactly as he was. The author described him as an incredibly thin man with very deep eyes, yellow skin, a small, almost invisible nose, and almost no hair on his head.

Edward Rochester, Jane Eyre

The director of the film Cary Fukunaga said that when he was choosing the actor for the part of Rochester, he realized that there were people that looked more like the book character, but he still felt that Michael Fassbender was a better choice. Charlotte Brontë described Rochester as a man with a heavy brow, dark hair and brown eyes, big nostrils, and a stern face.

Bonus: The classic version of Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman cartoon in 1992. She was supposed to only appear in one episode, but then the creators decided to expand her role and people liked her so much that she also appeared in comics, video games, and movies. For a long time, Harley Quinn had many different looks, but in the classic version she’s wearing a red and black Harlequin suit.

Did you like the new appearance of any of the characters from this compilation? Share your opinion in the comment section below!


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How have you not mentioned Jack Reacher?! 6 foot plus, massive build and barrel chest and they cast Tom Cruise


I played the witcher games and read the books and didn't even think this character was triss when I first saw it in the episode... took me a while to realize


Would be kinda weird to have Daario with blue hair and a blonde moustache on screen...


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