Contrary to what bibliophiles might claim, some books do look better on screen.
Books have been popular source materials for movies to adapt from. Some of the most iconic movie franchises were first written on the page before they were translated to the screen.
Franchises like Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and 50 Shades of Grey started as popular book series, beloved by billions. Which ensures their success as movie franchises.
However, during the adaptation process, details were changed, ranging from the plots of the books to the characters’ appearance. To appease both avid fans and casual moviegoers, the studios sometimes have to make compromises when casting or styling a movie character. This results in them not looking 100% identical to their book counterparts.
While casual moviegoers overlook these details, fans of the book series are less likely to do so. Here are what 12 movie characters would look like if they were faithfully adapted from their books, according to fans.
#1 Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
At the beginning of the Game of Thrones book series, Daenerys Targaryen is 13. The show changes her age to 17, however. Naturally, this leads to some inconsistencies with her characters from the book. She was supposed to look like a short, slim girl with purple eyes and silver-white hair. No offense to Emilia Clarke, but the actress looks nothing like that.
#2 Daario Naharis, Game of Thrones
George Martin describes Daario Naharis as flamboyant. His beard was cut into 3 prongs and dyed blue, and his mustache was painted gold. Quite a significant difference from his TV series appearance.
#3 The Ancient One, Doctor Strange
The Ancient was unfortunately a poor casting choice from Marvel. Tilda Swinton’s performance was fine, but when you cast a tall Caucasian woman to play an Asian man, fans did not take kindly to that. It was well-meaning, though, as the director thought the character was too stereotypical racially and wished to change that.
#4 John Milton, The Devil’s Advocate
In The Devil’s Advocate, author Andrew Neiderman described John Milton as a tall man with bushy silver hair, pale skin, and red cheeks. But when he comes to the silver screen, he looks nothing like that. To be fair, he is still pretty dashing, being played by Al Pachino. But the unrealistic white hair look is impossible to recreate from the book, so Al just appears with his chestnut hair.
#5 Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina
Fans still think Keira Knightley is a miscast for the role of Anna Karenina. But this is no fault of Keira. While the talented actress portrayed the protagonist beautifully, her figure was… not. According to the book, Anna Karenina is supposed to be a plump woman, and Keira is nowhere near plump.
#6 Vronsky, Anna Karenina
Described as “a short, well-built man with brown hair, that started losing hair early,” the movie version of Alexei Vronsky might be too pretty for the fans of the book. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the Russian aristocrat, but fans claim he makes the character look too pretty. Aaron is not only tall, but comes with a head full of blonde hair as well.
#7 Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray
Source: © Dorian Gray / Ealing Studios
In the book, Dorian Gray is a beautiful man with blue eyes and golden locks. While Hollywood is not short of actors whose appearance fits the profile, director Oliver Parker chose to go with Ben Barnes, whose looks are nothing like Dorian Gray. He even forwent Ben’s request to dye his hair and wear contact lenses.
#8 Triss Merigold, The Witcher
The Netflix series’ casting choice receives a heavy backlash from fans. The character Triss Merigold does not look like her videogames and books counterpart. In these media, she was a young girl with blue eyes and brown-ginger hair. In The Witcher, though, Triss Merigold could pass for a young girl’s mother.
#9 Edward Rochester, Jane Eyre
Cary Fukunaga, the film’s director, stated that while he was casting the titular role, he learned that others looked more like the book character, but he believed that Michael Fassbender was the best choice. Rochester was characterized by Charlotte Bront as having a high forehead, black hair and brown eyes, large nostrils, and a severe visage.
#10 Grandmaster, Thor: Ragnarok
In Thor: Ragnarok, the Grandmaster received a drastic makeover. In the comics, he has blue skin, an enlarged head, and yellow eyes without pupils. However, director Taika Waititi decided to change his appearance, so he looks more Terranean. You can still see a lot of the original design for the Grandmaster: a blue line on the chin, blue nails, and blue lower eyelids.
#11 Armand, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
The movie Interview with the Vampire gives us a very beautiful Armand played by Antonio Banderas with long dark straight hair. In the book, however, Armand is a young adolescent when he was turned, with red hair.
#12 Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn was initially featured in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. She was only scheduled to appear in one episode, but fans loved her so much that she appeared in DC comic books, video games, and movies. Harley Quinn has had a lot of custom changes throughout the years, but originally, she wears a red and black Harlequin outfit.
#13 Erik, The Phantom of the Opera
The menace that terrorizes the opera house in Gaston Leroux’s book was supposed to be very deep eyes, yellow skin, a small, almost invisible nose, and almost no hair on his head. His on-screen version was nothing akin to that, as Gerard Butler is the director’s vision of the character. The phantom needs a more rock-n-roll edge, to make Christine willingly go into danger.