Every film fan knows this classic disheartening experience.
You've just arrived at the multiplex, loaded your arms with overpriced popcorn, and sat down to the latest blockbuster offering from Hollywood, only to notice that this time something is... different.
Maybe the formula has been messed with, the writing is a little clunkier, or the chemistry simply isn't there this time around. Whatever the cause, it feels like some element of the magic has been lost. That's when it hits you.
The filmmakers have replaced a key cast member on the sly, either hoping you wouldn't notice or drawing attention to the replacement in the hopes of outshining the beloved original. Nothing sinks a follow up quite as fast as replacing a pivotal player, and this choice can often spell death for films which should never have gone into production in the first place.
However, as this is the era of zombie Hollywood where no franchise is allowed a dignified death thanks to endless reboots, re-imaginings, prequels, sequels, and re-interpretations of established moneymakers, it wasn't difficult to find ten films which have switched out key players.
10. Chicken Run 2
This one may come as something of a surprise to those who don't follow Hollywood gossip, but British stop motion animation legends Aardman intend to produce a Chicken Run sequel without the involvement of Lethal Weapon star Mel Gibson.
The actor, who voiced the original film's heroic love interest, hasn't been approached about the upcoming sequel and Aardman have confirmed they don't intend to involve him. It may seem odd since Gibson is easily the best known name from the original family flick's cast.
But despite starring in the likes of 2019's Dragged Across Concrete, Gibson's controversial personal struggles with alcoholism as well as recent accusations of anti-Semitism from Stranger Things star Winona Ryder ensure he's more suited to playing violent cops than family film heroes for now.