This summer may be confusing to some less blog-literate moviegoers thanks to two recast roles. In both The Dark Knight and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, a prominent character is played by a new actress. In the former sequel, "Rachel Dawes" will be played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, replacing Katie Holmes, who had the role in Batman Begins. In the latter, "Eveyln Carnahan O'Connell" will be played by Maria Bello, subbing for Rachel Weisz, who appeared in both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
This certainly isn't the first time characters have been recast with different actors, and over at The Onion, the A.V. Club has listed 20 such memorably jarring switcheroos, which they're calling The Darrin Effect (after the famous character replacement on TV's Bewitched), in television and film. Surely everyone recalls when Sarah Chalke took over the part of "Becky" on Roseanne; the writers even occasionally even slipped in some reflexive jokes about it. And let's not forget the glaring problem of recasting Jodie Foster's Oscar-winning role of "Clarice Starling" -- Julianne Moore played the part in Hannibal. Or the tragic yet surprisingly respectable replacement of Michael Gambon for a deceased Richard Harris in the Harry Potter movies.
A few of the A.V. Club's picks, though, don't technically fit, in my opinion. The change from Billy Dee Williams to Tommy Lee Jones as "Harvey Dent"/"Two-Face" in the Batman movies? I never think of Joel Schumacher's installments to be in the same universe as Tim Burton's (even if some actors, such as Michael Gough remained throughout), but even if you do, considering all the different actors portraying "Bruce Wayne"/"Batman", where's the big deal in recasting another part? Similarly, if in The Dark Knight, Wayne/Batman were played by someone other than Christian Bale, the switch from Holmes to Gyllenhaal wouldn't be as significant.
I also had a minor issue with the claim that "Kitty Pryde"/"Shadowcat" appeared by name in all of the X-Men films, but then I recalled that a character is called "Kitty" in the first movie. And I always had a forgiveness for the recasting of the Griswold children in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, because I always thought about the other franchises with recast roles, such as the James Bond films. But wait, that actually just means that the A.V. Club should have included the many actors who've played Bond -- nope, they've got an explanation why not, too, even if the same rule should also exclude the Harvey Dent/Two-Face switch.
Personally, I think there should have been some mention of lesser sequels that recast roles, such as Splash Too (at least recently deceased Dody Goodman got to retain her role), the Tammy and the Bachelor followers and The Sting II. I guess because they weren't widely seen, they weren't so jarring.
Has there ever been a recast that was just too jarring for you to fully accept?