Often when adapting from a book or other medium, a character will be included in the adaptation but their personality will be different from the original medium. Maybe they are a Composite Character
and take on the role and personality of the one they get combined with. Maybe they only have a minor role initially but it gets expanded upon in the adaptation. Or maybe in the original their role was much bigger and got cut down in the adaptation, leaving them a little one dimensional. See also Adaptation Explanation Extrication
. Adaptational Villainy
is a sub trope. Also compare Alternate Character Interpretation
. Note that this is not a trope to complain about minor changes in an adaptation.
Live Action TV
- In Brian DePalma's version of Carrie, Norma Watson is made into Chris's gal pal and openly bullies Carrie as well as being in on the prank at the prom. This is due to DePalma being impressed with PJ Soles's performance and rewriting Norma to expand her role.
- Again in the TV remake with Tina Blake. While she is one of Chris's friends in the book, she isn't as big a bully and she isn't in on the prank, which she is in the film.
- Helen Shyres in the book is mostly just a background character as Sue's friend but gets combined with another girl Frieda Jason in the TV film and so has her scene where she is nice to Carrie at the prom.
- Cho Chang in the Harry Potter books was written to be excessively jealous and clingy when she and Harry are dating but none of this is shown in the movies.
- Get Smart turned 99 into a Defrosting Ice Queen and Larrabee into a Jerk Jock, but the most noticeable change is that Max has now has a brain between his ears.
- Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events was written as very sinister in the original books but in the film he is more over the top and hammy leaning closer to comic relief.
- Jurassic Park: In the original book, Gennaro the lawyer ends up turning into The Lancer for Alan Grant, and he even punches out a Velociraptor! The film turns Gennaro into a Dirty Coward that gets eaten by a T-Rex whilst sitting on a toilet. John Hammond in the original book is The Scrooge and a tyrant who shortchanges people (giving fat programmer Dennis a reason to betray him), has a Never My Fault mentality, and then suffers Karmic Death. The film turns Hammond into a kindly old man who truly thinks that what he's doing is a good idea (which it isn't), and one result of the change is that Dennis comes off as more of a Jerkass for betraying him!
- Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films did this with a few characters. Arwen's role is expanded and she becomes an Action Girl, Faramir becomes tempted by the ring and his Parental Favouritism issues are more played up. Elrond is also made to be bitter and cynical, thinking humans are useless. Merry was also more serious in the book but in the films is more carefree and comical. Denethor also gets a bit of Adaptational Villainy when he was simply Good Is Not Nice in the book.
- The movie of Forrest Gump does this with Jenny (making her a vapid party girl), Forrest's mom (Who loved her son, but was much less in charge), and to an extent, Forrest himself, who in the books is an idiot savant, and much less Inspirationally Disadvantaged.
- In the movie adaptation of the Tintin comic The Secret of the Unicorn, this happens to Barnaby and Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine. Sakharine in the comics is annoying but harmless, and is implied to be nice enough to offer one of his ships to Captain Haddock's maritime gallery. In the movie, he is a vengeful and vindictive Big Bad. Barnaby in the comics was a spy for the villains who turned informer, and they shot him to keep him from revealing their activities. The film adapts him into a well-meaning Interpol agent who tries to warn and help Tintin, although Tintin doesn't realize this until after Barnaby is shot by Sakharine's henchmen.
- In the original The Worst Witch books Miss Bat appears only in the second book and appears to be your average strict teacher. The TV series has her as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and much more empathic to the students. Miss Drill is also written as a tough Drill Sergeant Nasty type of PE teacher in the books but is much more friendly in the TV series, as well as being rewritten to be mortal. She is implied to be a witch in the books.
- Awkward Zombie portrays Marth from Fire Emblem rather differently than the games do. The author was rather surprised when confronted with a game highlighting the difference, noting that "Sometimes I forget that I kinda sorta totally made up his characterization for the purposes of this comic."
- Scarface's mate in The Animals of Farthing Wood is mostly just a background character and isn't necessarily evil but the cartoon expands her role into a proper Femme Fatale. Also Friendly takes on Bold's role as the sneak between Charmer and Ranger, making his name in the cartoon rather ironic.
- A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog adaptations do this. Perhaps most notably Sonic Satam turns Dr "Eggman" Robotnik from a clownish Anti-Villain to a (mostly) deathly serious Complete Monster overlord. Sonic's personality in different medias can range anywhere from an incorruptably kind and laid back Ace to a Jerk Ass Knight in Sour Armor. Pretty much the whole cast that has been in more than one enterpretation of the franchise has underwent this process to some extent.
- Mickey Mouse may be an odd variation in that it was his adaption enterpretations that avoided such a change. While the Mickey of Classic Disney Shorts was slowly tamed into The Everyman, the comics continued to refer to his earlier more adventurous and abrasive persona for a long period of time. Epic Mickey even plays with this, allowing you to choose between evolving Mickey into either his former or latter persona.
- In BIONICLE's first Direct-to-Video film, the protagonist Takua was written as a irresponsible, goofy and rather dim to contrast with Jaller's Straight Man, whereas in previous and arguably every other incarnation he is an adventerous Guile Hero.
- Done in spades for most Disney Animated Canon adaptations of novels. In The Jungle Book for example, Baloo and Bageehra essentially switch personalities and Kaa becomes a clownish villain rather than a wise mentor for Mowgli.