Movies take certain liberties when it comes to the characters and their journeys through the story of the movie. Often the journey makes these characters transition to an entirely different person in the 2 hour period of the movie. Making this believable is an absolute achievement for the movie. This requires some of the greatest performances on the screen to be delivered by the actors in order to convince us of this transformation. Sequels have the benefit of making these appearances come out absolutely different since the change in the character could be explained due to the time between the original movie and the sequel. Let’s look at the instances when characters changed drastically between franchise films.
The recent Halloween movies have given a major development to the character of Laurie Strode. She wields weapons and stays prepared for any chance of Michael’s return. This is completely different from what we saw in her last portrayal in the horrible Halloween: Ressurection where she makes a very poor attempt at catching Michael. She acted in desperation while being holed up at a mental institution. Even though the latter film has now been scrapped from the continuity of the movies fans of the franchise will remember how Laurie Strode was redeemed and will now play an essential role in defeating Michael.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe gave us hints for Thanos ever since the very first team-up of the heroes in Avengers. But here Marvel hadn’t attached a big-name actor for the part so the role was portrayed by a lesser-known performer Damion Poitier. Later Josh Brolin took the role with his first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. The most essential fact to notice is that the character went through a lot of transformation in terms of his appearance along with the movies as the advancement of the technology impacted the CGI used to represent the character.
The transformation this character has gone through is one of the most impressive and efficient in cinema history. The first Terminator showed us a damsel in distress who had an absolutely ordinary appearance. The sequel gave us one of the most memorable characters in cinema history and took the character to a whole new level. Here we got to see a character that knew what was coming and was prepared to handle things by herself. Over the next few movies, her character doesn’t undergo much interesting development as the movie tried to focus a lot more on the absolute craziness and not on the persona of the most essential character of the movie.
Wolverine is one of the most essential superhero characters in both comic books and movies. Hugh Jackman took the role and portrayed it as if he was born to do so. The character evolved a lot over time and became a character of importance in the X-Men films under the 20th Century Fox. His largest transition has to be in his final portrayal in Logan directed by James Mangold. The movie is in various ways the best farewell to a comic book character. Here we see him pass his legacy in the most iconic way while showing the most maturity we have seen from his portrayal.
Michael Corleone’s character has gone through a massive transformation over the time between Godfather 2 and Godfather 3. This transition is important in showing what power does to a person. Power can give rise to other developments in your personality and shift you away from the people you held closest to you. This is clear in Al Pacino’s portrayal of the character in the two movies. This does absolute poetic justice to the character of Michael Corleone.
Thor went through a massive transition when he appeared in Thor: Ragnarok. Here we got to see a lot of development in his character which resulted in him being able to deal with the events of Avengers: Infinity War until the very end. After the failure of not being able to defeat Thanos we see him feel sorrow about the consequences at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame. After that, he goes into a recluse and when he reappears we see him in an absolutely different appearance. He has grown a belly and is shown playing games on a Playstation. Here his character undergoes a lot of development over which we discover a different side of him, something we hadn’t witnessed before. Here’s to hoping for a much bigger change in his character in the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder.
Even though Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 aren’t direct sequels because of the studio interference but true fans of the franchise know at what point the movies connect. The transition is clearly apparent as the innocent kid we were introduced to in the first film is now aware and ready to take full vengeance for the death of his friends. The second movie shows us a much more over-the-top version that matches the over-the-top tone of the movie. He wields his iconic chainsaw hand which comes of much use in the next film.
The last time we had seen Bo Peep before Toy Story 4 was when she played Woody’s love interest in Toy Story 2. The fans of Pixar films were surprised to see how she was changed and made into a much more memorable character in the fourth addition to the film series. The character was given a terrifically contemporary makeover. She now uses her staff for her adventures. This was a proper redemption for a character that was considered unimportant at a time when she was just a stereotypical character who was stuck to her sheep herding mentality.
Similar to Thanos, Voldemort also went through a massive transition before settling for an A-list actor to play the character. The version that we got to see was a haunting depiction that really shook our nerves but because it was only the head we didn’t feel much fear. The first full appearance of Voldemort Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was an absolutely chilling performance as nailed by Ralph Fiennes. This continued to be the way as with each movie the character remained an ideal villain in the franchise.
This is a transformation that doesn’t have a strong place in this list but made a considerable impact in the ongoing franchise that has seen massive success in recent times. Cipher played the main villain in The Fate of the Furious by blackmailing Dom and making him work for her. In the sequel, she mostly operated while in a prison and still ended up making an impact as she took over the villain’s role by the end still making attempts at killing Dom and his family. She doesn’t succeed but since she survived we can be excited about her bringing things to a whole new level in the 10th addition to the franchise.
So these were the instances where characters changed drastically between movies.