Although most comic book actors typically get to play their roles for as long as they’re required, there have been exceptions. Whether they decide they’ve had enough of the character or found themselves replaced for some reason, old actors leave and new actors take over for the next theatrical installment, and despite looking different, they are, for all intents and purposes, the same character. So that poses a unique question: Who played the better version?

We picked the five biggest examples of casting changes in superhero movies and weighed which of the actors gave the better performance in their respective films. It’s important to note that this list will not judge the differences in performances when it comes to reboots. So don’t expect comparisons between Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Mans, Christopher Reeves and Henry Cavill’s Supermans, etc. The focus will solely be on actors who played the same characters within the same continuity. Let’s take a look!

Tyler Mane: Sabretooth in 2000’s X-Men was about as one-dimensional a character as you can find. His only job was to unleash his berserker rage whenever directed to by Magneto. When he wasn’t doing that, he just stood around and remained mute, save for a few words. Sure, Mane nailed Sabretooth’s ferocity, but that’s all that was notable. There was nothing of substance with his Sabretooth. The script clearly wanted him to be nothing more than the Brotherhood’s muscle.

Liev Schreiber: Taking aspects from the Origin miniseries, X-Men Origins: Wolverine gave audiences an earlier version of Sabretooth that was a much different beast…so to speak. Aside from having the same abilities and rage as Mane’s version, there were barely any similarities between the two Sabretooths. Schreiber’s version was intelligent, well-spoken, and had a feud with Wolverine that actually made sense. It was a major step up.

Conclusion: While Mane’s Sabertooth certainly looked the part, it was Schreiber who nailed the role and then some. X-Men Origins: Wolverine has a lot of faults, but he was one of the few good things about that movie. His performance was nuanced enough that we’re hoping that he’ll return for Hugh Jackman’s last hurrah as Logan in Wolverine 3 to give us more of the Sabretooth we deserve.

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