If you think that movies and TV shows in the past were so original and not at all dependent on existing material, think again. Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Godfather – all these and more were adapted from books, which is what Hollywood is doing nowadays with comics, novels, and video games.
This approach, however, has a huge drawback: the fanbase. You can rarely please these people because there’s simply no way to make an exact one-to-one replica of their favorite character or storyline. But the filmmakers are still putting in a lot of effort, which sometimes pays off, while other times, the characters fall flat when transferred to the movie screen.
Here are seven iconic characters movies can’t seem to get right.
The Caped Crusader, aka Batman, deserves a spot on this list for all the horrible iterations we had to suffer through to see the Dark Knight, Batfleck, and, more recently, Batison. But we’d rather throw Batgirl into the mix. Barbara Gordon is undeniably one of the most important members of the bat family and one that has a really messed up origin story. A story that was never actually explored in the Batman and Robin movie. That Barb was just an adrenaline junkie who happens to be Alfred’s niece. That movie was a real travesty.
Bane came around in the comics in January of 1993, and since then, he has been one of Batman’s smartest and most back-breaking adversaries ever created. Not only is he supposed to be at the same intelligence level as Batman, thanks to a special drug called Venom, but Bane could also easily overpower him. Sadly, that’s not what we see in the movies. One Bane was dumb but strong, and the newer one was smart but weak. Don’t they learn from past mistakes?
When it comes to good comic book supervillains, there are plenty of memorable characters, but none are as powerful and cunning as the Marvel baddie – Victor von Doom, aka Dr. Doom. He’s the genius-slash-warlock-slash-ruler that, at a certain point in time, became more powerful than any god of the multiverse. And what do we see on the screen? A poor little victim of circumstances who can’t even beat the Fantastic Four. And the 2015 version of him is even more pathetic! Let’s hope the MCU Doom will finally hit the spot. Otherwise, we riot.
The history of Tarzan, King of the Jungle, runs all the way back to the early years of cinema, with the first movie being released in 1912. The buff jungle man jumped from the pages of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books to the big screen with his signature “jungle call,” and people loved it. Probably because it was one of the first movies they’ve ever seen. Either way, Tarzan’s origin story is kinda messed up. His parents are killed in the African forests, and Tarzan is raised by his new family – a group of apes. Throughout the books, Tarzan goes back to England, where everyone treats him as a circus freak. The original story has a ton of vastly outdated themes which means making a movie about this guy in the modern era would not work. Yet Hollywood gave it a shot multiple times. The funny thing is that the best version of that story was done by Disney.
Let’s just say this out loud: “Jean Grey in movies is cursed.” So far, we have seen two Jeans, and one of them is much worse than the other. It’s funny how both X-Men branches tried to incorporate the Dark Phoenix Saga into their plots, and both successfully failed. The live-action Jeans lack personality. It’s like they’re just there in the background until the time comes to embrace the Phoenix Force. The newer X-Men did give Sansa Grey some time to shine, but the result was even worse than before. At least the old X-Men had Hugh Jackman.
Hollywood loves movies about strong women like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, but there’s one badass lady that could use a lot more love. Of course, we’re talking about the infamous tomb-raiding, gun-slinging, butt-kicking Lara freaking Croft. In case you didn’t know, she’s the main protagonist in the fan-favorite action games Tomb Raider, where she, well, raided tombs while shooting wolves, dinosaurs, and regular bad guys. Isn’t that a perfect concept for a movie franchise? So far, there have been two different interpretations of Lara Croft, and sadly, both are lacking. Jolie’s Lara was too goofy, and Vikander’s Lara was too dull. If we could get something in the middle, that would be great.
Dragonball Z is an iconic anime with even more iconic characters like Vegeta, Bulma, Master Roshi, and naturally, the main protagonist – Son Goku. It has been a staple of the shounen anime genre for decades; the fans quote memorable bits and turn them into memes – it’s a real gem! But here comes the live-action adaptation with its non-sensical plot, horrendous acting, and Goku, who looks like he escaped from an early 2000s punk-rock band. If there ever was a competition for the worst-portrayed anime character, Goku from Dragonball would get the top spot.