If one of your favorite characters starts looking like a different person at some point, it might be because they are!
Bourne Legacy hits theaters nationwide today and has Jeremy Renner taking over leading role duties from Matt Damon, who starred in the first three movies of the franchise. This is hardly the first time this has happened though. On both the big and small screen, actors take over the roles of characters all the time, sometimes even in the middle of the season! Here's our round-up of 12 famous characters that have been recast.
1. Dick York --> Dick Sargent ("Bewitched"): Darrin
Dick York took on the role of Darrin for the first five seasons of Bewitched from 1964-1969. Unfortunately, a back injury that already caused him great pain and left him dependent on prescription medication eventually caused him to collapse on set. He was replaced by Dick Sargent for the final three seasons, but the ratings declined with each year and the show was scrapped in 1972.
2. Katie Holmes ("Batman Begins") --> Maggie Gyllenhaal ("The Dark Knight"): Rachel Dawes
Sometimes change is a good thing. Katie was replaced from the role of Rachel Dawes because of scheduling conflicts between The Dark Knight and her other film Mad Money. Many critics felt the switch to Maggie for the role was a positive thing because she is a more capable actress and Katie was actually the weakest link of Batman Begins.
3. Charlie Sheen (Charlie Harper) --> Ashton Kutcher (Walden Schmidt) ("Two & A Half Men")
We all know the story here. Charlie had solid ratings on his long-standing show and was the highest paid actor in Hollywood, earning $1 million per episode. Then he went absolutely insane with rants on winning and being a warlock from Mars, made disparaging comments about the show's creator and went into rehab for drug treatment. He was replaced by Ashton and the ratings soared, with the total number of viewers jumping by 13 percent.
4. Lecy Goranson --> Sarah Chalke ("Roseanne"): Becky
Lecy left the show to attend college in season 5, which the writers explained by having Becky elope and move away. She was replaced by Sarah from season 6 onward, but Lecy would step back into her old role in season 8, with the cast working it into a gag and repeatedly asking her "where the hell have you been?" Sarah returned for the role full-time in season 9 and stayed there until the series went off the air in 1997.
5. Andy Whitfield --> Liam McIntyre ("Spartacus"): Spartacus
The legendary gladiator was played by Andy in season 1 before he was diagnosed with cancer when season 2 was about to begin. He underwent treatment, but the cancer returned before season 3 and Liam got his blessing to take over the role. Sadly, Andy died in 2011 at the age of 40.
6. Richard Harris (The "Harry Potter" Film series 1 & 2) --> Sir Michael Gambon (The "Harry Potter" Film series 3-8): Dumbledore
Richard knew his health was declining when he was offered the role of Dumbledore, but his 11-year-old granddaughter "threatened never to speak to him again if he did not take it." He played the role for two of the Harry Potter movies before passing away at the age of 72 to Hodgkin's disease. After an extensive search, Sir Michael took over the role for the remainder of the franchise.
7. Claudia Wells ("Back to the Future") --> Elisabeth Shue ("Back to the Future II & III"): Jennifer Parker (Marty McFly's girlfriend)
Everyone wanted to play the role of girlfriend to Michael J. Fox during the '80s! When Claudia was unavailable for the sequels to this franchise, Elisabeth happily stepped in and many considered her to be a "hotter" upgrade. However, the ending of the original had to be reshot with Elisabeth now standing alongside Michael! She eventually received an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for Leaving Las Vegas
8. Janet Hubert-Whitten --> Daphne Maxwell Reid ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"): Aunt Viv (Vivian Banks)
Holy cheesy '80s wardrobes! Aunt Viv's fashion sense on the show always remained the same, but her character didn't when she was recast. Janet played the part of a stern career woman, while Daphne was a more demure housewife (with less on-camera time) when she took over. Janet left the show after Season 3 amongst rumors of butting heads with Will Smith, who she accused of trying to get her kicked off the show!
9. Shailene Woodley --> Willa Holland ("The OC"): Katilin Cooper
Kaitlin Cooper is the younger sister of Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton). Woodley and little Cooper were sent away to boarding school after season 1 and then Cooper came back as a much-older, precocious vixen Willa Holland in Season 3.
10. Jodie Foster ("The Silence of the Lambs") --> Julianne Moore ("Hannibal"): Clarice Starling
Julianne took over the role of Clarice Starling in Hannibal, but the rumors swirled as to why Jodie didn't return. Jodie claims she was too busy producing and directing the never-finished film Flora Plum, while producer Dino De Laurentiis said the recasting was because Jodie wanted $20 million and 15 percent of the gross.
11. Terrence Howard ("Iron Man") --> Don Cheadle ("Iron Man 2 & 3"): Jim Rhodes/War Machine
Terrence was reportedly the highest paid member of the cast for the first movie and was dropped over a dispute about pay for the sequel. However, he claims he was blindslided at the last minute by the switch in actors.
12. Lisa Robin Kelly --> Christina Moore ("That '70s Show"): Laurie
The character of Laurie was essentially an excuse for writers to throw in babe and slut jokes. Lisa played the role until the character was suddenly dropped in season 2, but she then reprised it in season 5. Christina eventually took over the babe helm for season 6 until the end of the show.
What do you think was the best character recasting?
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