Superhero Movie Recastings That Went Under The Radar (And Some That Were Prominently Noticed)


Movie franchises that run over several years and decades regularly need to re-cast roles with new actors taking over, and this applies to the superhero films too. Quite often, an exhausted performer stops playing the same character after the contract is over, or there are disagreements with the studio regarding the paycheck or the screentime offered to them in the next movie.

There are also occasions when a smaller character gets a more important place in the latest narrative. In such cases, it is usual that an obscure actor is replaced by a top star who is more suited to manage the bigger role and also to appeal to the fanbase.

No matter what the reason for re-casting be, what matters to the superhero film fans is how seamlessly the change is taken care of. At times, miraculously the replacement actor manages to physically and talent wise able to appear as an embodiment of the actor exiting.

However, generally, it is not possible to find a seamless replacement for someone leaving a role. This is not necessarily harmful, and there have been several replacement actors who have completely taken over the character. Still, there have been times when the continuity problems between sequels are too glaring to ignore, especially if you are binge-watching the movies.

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Here we present to you some superhero movie re-castings that slipped under the radar and some which made headlines.

1. Went Unnoticed – Kitty Pryde (X-Men)

Sumela Kay played the role in X-Men and was replaced by Katie Stuart in X2, but, when the time came to give the character some prominence, Ellen Page stepped into the shoes.

2. Can’t Be Missed – Clark Kent / Superman (Superman Returns)

Christopher Reeve starred as Superman in the 1970s, but, in the 2006 movie Superman Returns, director Bryan Singer cast Brandon Routh as Superman.

3. Went Unnoticed – Thanos (Guardians Of The Galaxy)

Damione Poitier had played Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, but, Josh Brolin is the star playing the mega-villain in Avengers: Infinity War, and we must say nobody even noticed the transition.

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4. Can’t Be Missed – Harvey Dent / Two-Face (Batman Forever)

Billy Dee Jones is an African-American star who played Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman film, but, Tommy Lee Jones who played the role in Schumacher helmed Batman Forever is a white actor, so the difference was too striking to miss out.

5. Went Unnoticed – Fandral (Thor: The Dark World)

Josh Dallas played Fandral in original Thor movie, but, was replaced by Zachary Levi in the next two Thor films. (Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok).

6. Can’t Be Missed – Raven Darkhölme / Mystique (X-Men: First Class)

Rebecca Romijn played Mystique in the first three X-Men films before being replaced by Jennifer Laurence in X-Men: First Class.

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7. Went Unnoticed – The Red Skull (Avengers: Infinity War)

In 2011’s Captain America:  The First Avenger, Hugho Weaving played the Red Skull, but, in Avengers: Infinity War, Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead) took over.

8. Can’t Be Missed – Rachel Dawes (The Dark Knight)

Katie Holmes played Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins, but, she left the role, and  Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped in to play the character in The Dark Knight.

9. Went Unnoticed – Jubilee (X-Men: Apocalypse)

Katrina Florence played Jubilee in X-Men, but, Kea Wong played the role in X-Men: Apocalypse and other sequels.

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10. Can’t Be Missed – Bolivar Trask (X-Men: Days Of Future Past)

Middle-aged African American actor Bill Duke played Bolivar Trask in X-Men: The Last Stand, but, in the sequel movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, the character was played by the little Caucasian actor Peter Dinklage.

11. Can’t Be Missed – Bruce Banner / The Hulk (The Avengers)

Edward Norton debuted as Doctor Bruce Banner in 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk, but, since then Mark Ruffalo has been playing the fan favorite character.

12. Went Unnoticed – Piotr Rasputin / Colossus (Deadpool)

Daniel Cudmore played Colossus in X-Men films, but, Stefan Kapicic plays the role in Deadpool movies.

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13. Can’t Be Missed – James Rhodes / War Machine (Iron Man 2)

Terrence Howard played Lieutenant Colonel James  “Rhodey” Rhodes in Iron-Man in 2008, but, a salary dispute saw Don Cheadle replace him in future movies.

14. Went Unnoticed – Raphael & Donatello (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ii)

In the 1990s original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Josh Pais played Raphael, and Corey Feldman played Donatello, but, in the sequel, they were replaced by Laurie Faso and Adam Carl respectively.

15. Can’t Be Missed – Victor Creed / Sabretooth (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

Tyler Mane played Sabretooth in the original X-Men film, but, Liev Schreiber played the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

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16. Went Unnoticed – Abe Sapien (Hellboy Ii: The Golden Army)

In the first Hellboy movie David Hyde Pierce had voiced the character of Abe Sapien, but, in the sequel Actor, Doug Jones not only portrayed but, voiced the character.

17. Can’t Be Missed – Bruce Wayne / Batman (Batman Forever)

Michael Keaton played Batman in the first Tim Burton film, and then Val Kilmer took over in Batman: Forever.


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