Be it in film or on television, fans really don’t like seeing their favorite characters recast. Once they’ve gotten to know an actor in a certain role, it becomes that they don’t want to see any other actor in that same part. Certainly not helping things is the fact that recasting is often unfortunate and forced, as well as the fact that most recasting situations have had terrible results. There are, however, some key instances where replacing an actor for a follow-up story has actually worked – and those are the performances we want to celebrate today.

This week will see Ed Skrien try and replace Jason Statham’s place in pop culture as The Transporter franchise’s new Frank Martin – so we figured now would be a great time to take a look back at some of the instances where a franchise changing actors for a character actually worked out for the best. Read on!

Mark Ruffalo As Bruce Banner
Mark Ruffalo As Bruce Banner
When it was revealed in 2010 that Edward Norton would not be reprising his role as Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, fans nearly rioted. While few were really big fans of Norton’s first entry as the hero/monster , 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, what people didn’t like was that Marvel Studios was already changing key elements within the continuity they were trying to build. Then everyone got to see Mark Ruffalo’s version of the character and completely forgot there was an Edward Norton version.

While Norton certainly wasn’t a bad Bruce Banner, he did infuse The Incredible Hulk with a serious kind of energy that really makes the film the least "fun" in the Marvel canon. Ruffalo, however, is the complete opposite. In addition to really hitting all of the big and necessary emotional beats that he needs to, Ruffalo presents a much softer, approachable version of the brilliant scientist – and as a result has the power to both make us laugh and generate awe.

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