Top 10 Original Actor Appearances In Remakes
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Scott Varnham
Look closely and you might catch a couple of familiar faces! Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 original actor appearances in remakes.
For this list, we're taking a look at remakes or reboots of movies wherein an actor that had previously starred in the original appears. They don't necessarily have to pay the same character, as long as they make an appearance. Also, this may be a bit spoilery depending how surprised you like to be at cameos, so a SPOILER ALERT may be in order.
Special thanks to our user Daniel John for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Scott Varnham
Top 10 Original Character Appearances In Remakes
Look closely and you might catch a couple of familiar faces! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 original actor appearances in remakes.
For this list, we’re taking a look at remakes or reboots of movies wherein an actor that had previously starred in the original appears. They don’t necessarily have to pay the same character, as long as they make an appearance. Also, this may be a bit spoilery depending how surprised you like to be at cameos, so a SPOILER ALERT may be in order.
#10: Michael Caine
“Get Carter” (2000)
Fresh off appearances in “Alfie,” “The Italian Job” and a few other notable films, Michael Caine was the natural choice to play Jack Carter, a hardened gangster who investigates his brother’s death. While working on the film, the actor drew on his own experiences to play the criminal with a hard edge, as he’d come from a blue-collar background where many of his friends were involved in law breaking. When the film was remade with Sylvester Stallone starring as Carter, it seemed only natural to pay homage to the original, and so Michael Caine was brought back to play another important role this time around.
#9: Christopher Reeve
After his career-defining run as Superman, Christopher Reeve suffered a horse riding accidentally and tragically became a quadriplegic. That wasn’t the end of his association with the “Superman” franchise, however. Years later, he was asked to guest star on “Smallville” as Dr. Virgil Swann, who helped Clark Kent to understand more about his heritage. Snippets of John Williams’ score from “Superman” are played during some of these scenes, making for a fitting tribute to his work as the Man of Steel and helping him pass the cape to another generation.
#8: Paul Michael Glaser & David Soul
“Starsky & Hutch” (2004)
As a film, the remake of the classic detective series stayed reasonably close to its roots, featuring familiar characters and the Ford Torino that just screams ‘70s – with a lot more laughs thrown in. While Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson did a good job with their take on Starsky and Hutch themselves, the film would be incomplete without a shout-out to the series that started it all, and we got one with the original TV actors both dropping in to hand over the keys. The speaking parts for the two veteran actors helped give the remake a seal of approval.
#7: Hugh Keays-Byrne
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
With Tom Hardy taking on Mel Gibson’s iconic role as the titular badass, it was up to Hugh Keays-Byrne to tie the fourth outing to the original. In “Fury Road,” Keays-Byrne plays the character big baddie Immortan Joe, while previously in the first “Mad Max” film, he’d played another villainous character; the motorcycle gang leader with the pleasant name Toecutter. The intervening 36 years helped to significantly improve Byrne’s acting skills, leading him to give a memorable performance and allowing George Miller to pay homage to the earlier movie without Gibson.
#6: Chris Sarandon
“Fright Night” (2011)
In the first “Fright Night” film, Chris Sarandon gave a surprisingly layered – yet still bloodthirsty – performance as vampiric villain Jerry Dandridge. Nearly 30 years later, he returned; but this time the vampire gets him. Playing the cameo role of Jay Dee in “Fright Night 2.0,” the character’s initials are a nod to his original character’s name, who in 2011 was played by Colin Farrell. Staying true to the spirit of the original with its signature humor and horror, the inclusion of Sarandon was one way filmmakers tried to appeal to existing fans of the series – and it worked.
#5: Burt Reynolds
“The Longest Yard” (2005)
Fans of the 1974 film, about a pro quarterback who winds up in jail and ends up leading a team of convicts in a prison football game, got a pleasant surprise when Burt Reynolds showed up as Coach Nate Scarborough in the 2005 remake. Unlike some of the other films on this list, where the actor shows up for a brief walk-on appearance, Reynolds’ new role is a substantial one: he stars as the coach who corrals the ragtag team together – and he gets a bit rough and rowdy with the cast to boot, insisting on doing some of his own stunts.
#4: Lou Ferrigno
“Hulk” (2003); “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)
While a lot of younger viewers might not have seen the green giant’s original outing in the late-‘70s, many might recognize Lou Ferrigno nonetheless thanks to his Hulk-related cameos. In Ang Lee’s 2003 take, Ferrigno appeared beside Stan Lee as a tight-shirted security guard. And in the 2008 version starring Ed Norton, he turned up as a security guard once again! Of course, you might also know Ferrigno’s voice as one of many that makes up the Hulk’s growl in “The Avengers” movies. Though it’s a small part, he injects the role with real fury and helps connect the franchise to its roots; the Hulk’s just not complete without him.
#3: Charlton Heston
“Planet of the Apes” (2001)
Tim Burton’s remake of the classic ape-‘em-up may’ve left a lot of fans wanting more, but they were certainly satisfied with some of the notable shout-outs to the 1968 – particularly, Charlton Heston’s performance as Zaius. Since this was one of Heston’s last film roles before his death, it’s fitting that it referenced something from his career heyday. However, we can’t ignore the delicious irony that Heston himself is now portraying one of the damn, dirty apes.
#2: Johnny Depp
“21 Jump Street” (2012)
Most of the cameos on this list were designed to pay tribute for the source material, and “21 Jump Street” is no different… Well, for the most part. While the ‘80s series on which Johnny Depp got his big break featured more drama than comedy, Depp decided that if he were to return to the franchise, he’d like to have some fun: not only did he insist on having his former co-star Peter DeLuise come back with him; he also forced writers to kill them both off. The filmmakers obliged, creating a memorable scene that proved the films did not need to be shackled to the past.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Jaclyn Smith
“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” (2003)
- Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger & Tom Savini
“Dawn of the Dead” (2004)
- Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Barry Williams, etc.
“The Brady Bunch Movie” (1995)
- Dirk Benedict & Dwight Schultz
“The A-Team” (2010)
- David Hasselhoff
“Knight Rider” (2008-09)
#1: Leonard Nimoy
“Star Trek” (2009)
Leonard Nimoy had a love-hate relationship with his most famous character earlier in his career, as evidenced by his autobiographies “I Am Not Spock” and “I Am Spock.” But he softened his stance, and reprised the role of the beloved Vulcan several times during his career. But his appearance in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot went beyond a mere cameo: his involvement kickstarted the entire plot. He appeared briefly in the next installment, “Into Darkness;” but sadly, his death in February 2015 means that those were some of his final roles. But what a legacy he left.
Do you agree with our list? Which original character reappearances surprised you the most? For more kickass top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.