Film characters that let their book counterparts down


It’s often the usual situation for book-lovers to face – they’ve read the novel and are so excited to see what cinematographers can do with the idea, all to be let down when they see it. Yes, it’s difficult to please everyone, but there are also times when almost everyone agrees, even the experts alike that a movie character just didn’t portray the character of the book. Sometimes it’s the poor casting of an actor or it’s a poor adaptation by the screenwriter. But whatever the reason there are a few examples of film characters that let their book counterparts down.

Russell Crowe as Javert in Les Miserables

Russell Crowe is an esteemed actor and has a long list of film successes. This might be what attracted him to the role of Javert in Les Miserables. His acting was definitely up to scratch, but he’s singing fell very flat, especially compared to his co-stars. Crowe even admitted this himself on social media in response to comments from audience members.

Film characters that let their book counterparts down

Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games

Though a rather controversial debate, the facts are quite clear that John Hutchison, who was cast as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games, just didn’t fit. The book calls for a stocky character with wavy blonde hair. Hutchison had blonde hair in the movie, but it definitely wasn’t wavy and his build is good, but not stocky.

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

Many purists of the older Spider-Man trilogy featuring Tobey Maguire would argue with this item on the list. And granted Maguire’s performance was not substandard. But Maguire’s features are not like the description of the bubbly high school boy that is Spider-Man in the comics. Some said that he also lacked the pizzazz of Spider-Man. This becomes quite apparent when comparing him to the latest performances by Tom Holland.

Ben Affleck as Batman

Off the back of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight starring Christian Bale, Ben Affleck in Batman vs Superman was unfortunately quite underwhelming. Affleck lacks the emotion and conviction of the comic-inspired Batman and his costume was a letdown as well. Affleck passed on the role of Batman in 2019 admitting that he couldn’t crack it.

Jane of the Twilight Saga

Jane, a Volturi in the Twilight Saga was played by Dakota Fanning. Though a talented actress, Fanning was unable to portray the majesty and royalty required of her character, who in the book was an incredibly powerful millennia-old vampire. Her deliverance came across as corny and flat.

Rachel Watson in the Girl on the Train

Emily Blunt, who played Rachel Watson in the girl on the train was given an incredible task when the screenwriters decided to change features of the story such as the location and direction in which they wanted to take the character. In the book, she has a very messy past which features divorce, vices, and blackouts. The movie character seems a lot more stable and coddled.

Film characters that let their book counterparts down

Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic in Fantastic Four

Ioan Gruffudd really hit it out of the park when he played Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it is his success in this regard that highlights how poor his performance as Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four was. He seemed to lack the clout required to be the leader of a superhero organization. Anyway, at least he’ll be remembered for his brilliant performance as the mean green fighting machine.