10 Movie Characters Who Look Nothing Like Their Source Material

Seriously, who are you kidding?

Jack Reacher Tom Cruise TV Show
Paramount Pictures/Amazon

Casting is a funny old thing.

With the help of make-up, prosthetics and digital effects, it has never been easier to make a performer resemble a fictional charge that they look nothing like in reality. However, there's also a fine line to tread. When translating characters from one form of media to another, a balance between the source material and the reimagining seen onscreen is vital in terms of authenticity.

Adapting an established story means that production has a ready-made narrative vehicle to work with, but this comes with considerable caveats. Large swathes of fans will already be passionately devoted to the production's source material - any deviation from their high standards is likely to be met with a wave of hyper-critical backlash. It's worth noting that re-imagining established characters isn't necessarily doomed to calamity from the get-go, but it's a notably risky endeavour.

Whether the overall performance transcended the shaky cinematic depiction of the character in question or simply crashed and burned in spectacular fashion, it is safe to say that the following examples failed to strike this aforementioned fine balance.

10. Shailene Woodley As Beatrice "Tris" Prior - The Divergent Series

Jack Reacher Tom Cruise TV Show

It speaks volumes to just how woeful The Divergent Series is as a cinematic endeavour that in addition to the franchise's laundry list of shortcomings, production couldn't even land an actress that vaguely resembled the source material's lead character.

Shailene Woodley is the best thing about these contrived sci-fi adaptations, desperately trying to keep the doomed enterprise afloat like a single salmon trying to lift a blue whale from the bottom of the ocean. With that being said, arguing that The Fault in Our Stars alum is the spitting image of her literary counterpart is like trying to posit that Conor McGregor looks like Margaret Thatcher.

Veronica Roth - author of the novels on which the film series is based - brings her leading lady to life on paper with blonde tresses, large blue eyes and a long, narrow face. Considering that Woodley has auburn hair, piercing hazel eyes and a distinctly oval profile, it's almost like production read Roth's books and decided to find someone who looked as far apart from the writer's description as physically possible.

In terms of fidelity to the original, this is about as disastrous as it gets.


Law graduate with a newly rediscovered passion for writing, mad about film, television, gaming and MMA. Can usually be found having some delightful manner of violence being inflicted upon him or playing with his golden retriever.