Comic-Book Fantasy Casting
It even gets lampshaded in the comic, and reversed later on.

"Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, of course, no discussion."
Ultimate Nick Fury (as to who should play him in a movie), The Ultimates

Sometimes in comics or animated shows, a character is made to look like a particular actor or other celebrity whom the artist imagines playing the character. This might be out of admiration for the actor, because the character fits with the actor's well-known roles, or in the hope that the actor would be flattered and try to get the comic adapted as a movie. Or it might be unconscious on the author/artist's part.

Fantasy casting can also occur in non-visual media such as (non-illustrated) novels, but can be harder to spot unless Word of God acknowledges it, or the character is closely based on a particular role the actor is associated with.

If the resemblance is outright stated in the text, it's Textual Celebrity Resemblance. For when the character is a direct impression or parody of a celebrity's public persona, see No Celebrities Were Harmed. For when an animated character is designed to resemble the real-world voice actor, see Ink-Suit Actor. See also Hypothetical Casting, for where fans or creators do this as Word of God without making it explicit in canon.

Not the same thing as when a comic book or animation is spun-off from an earlier live-action film or TV show and the characters inevitably are drawn to look like the live-action actors, which would be "Reality Casting". However, sometimes there are borderline cases where a comic or animation is adapted into a live-action medium and artists start drawing a character to look like the actor in the adaptation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakuman。 offers an interesting Manga Within A Manga case: every time Takagi and Mashiro create a new manga series, Mashiro makes the most important female character look like his girlfriend Azuki, a voice actress, hoping that she will get the role of this character in the anime adaptation.
  • Mr. Chang, the head of the local triad in Black Lagoon looks a lot like Chow Yun-fat.
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • Spike Spiegel was modeled after famous 1970s Japanese action film star Yusaku Matsuda.
    • The couple in the first episode were based on Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.
    • The debt assistant also known as a conman who's sent to help Faye with her debts after she was revived is based on George Clooney.
    • Decker, the bounty in Heavy Metal Queen appears to be modeled on Woody Allen.
    • The gangster from "Waltz for Venus" is based on Biggie Smalls.
    • The bounty hunter in "Mushroom Samba" is based on Pam Grier (and named after one of her movies).
  • Freddy from Cromartie High School bears an obvious resemblance to Freddie Mercury from Queen. It's never explicitly stated whether or not he actually is Freddie Mercury, but most signs point to no. Just avoids No Celebrities Were Harmed since his characterization has no resemblance at all to Freddy's public persona.
  • It's hard to tell, given the blue hair and gold eyes, but April of Darker Than Black looks a fair amount like Halle Berry. Probably because her Japanese voice actress, Takako Honda, dubs a lot of Berry's film roles – including that of Storm from the X-Men movies, who like April, is black and has weather-control powers.
  • Dr. Slump had Dr Mashirito as a recurring Big Bad (as far as that goes in the comedy/satire genre), with facial features based on Akira Toriyama's editor, Kazuhiko Torishima. It's even lampshaded by a few panels where said editor calls up Toriyama to tell him not to draw Mashirito to look like him - for this scene, he is drawn with exactly the same face as Mashirito.
  • It's been noted that Re-L of Ergo Proxy has an uncanny resemblance to Evanescence singer Amy Lee.
  • Eyeshield 21 has some really strange ones considering all the characters are high school football players. Shin (especially in the early days) was pretty much Bruce Lee in football gear, Aoyanagi is Weird Al on steroids, Bud Walker is Johnny Depp, and Shinryuuji has players that resemble Gandhi, Richard Nixon, and the Dalai Lama.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star fame infamously resembles Mel Gibson's character from The Road Warrior with a bit of Bruce Lee to round him out.
  • In Moldiver, Mad Scientist Doctor Machinegal's robot female minions are all named after (and are designed to resemble) various female movie stars.
  • Doctor Reichwein in Monster bears a strong resemblance to American actor Wilford Brimley. Oddly, this is actually due to Naoki Urasawa's unrepentant Osamu Tezuka fandom. Reichwein was modelled on Brimley because he was the closest Real Life actor to Tezuka's famed "Mr. Mustachio" character. Still, any AMV Hell clip of the character will include the dance remix of "You know, I have diabeetus..."
  • One Piece:
  • Masayuki Ozaki has confirmed that several characters in Tiger & Bunny are supposed to resemble certain famous individuals:
  • Yami No Aegis's Zero really looks like Leon from The Professional. They're also both assassins, and aside from the hats (Zero wears a baseball hat) they dress identically.
  • The Jesus of Saint Young Men is drawn to look like Johnny Depp. The comic occasionally lampshades the similarity - one of his bios says he would want Depp to play him in a movie about his life, and at one point, he distracts a group of Gyaru who are upsetting Buddha by posing at a 'Johnny Depp-like angle' and flirting with them in English. At another point, he tries on a Cosplay of Jack Sparrow, calling it 'fate'. When Buddha tries to persuade Jesus to change his hairstyle, he hands him a movie magazine containing some photos of Depp's various roles — Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow, Sweeney Todd and Willy Wonka — but Jesus decides to keep his original haircut due to the need to protect his celebrity image.
  • According to Naoko Takeuchi, Seiya Kou/Sailor Star Fighter from Sailor Moon was based on androgynous model Jenny Shimizu.
  • Zafal Takie from the Motorball arc of Gunnm is based on Grace Jones in Conan the Destroyer. Overall this seems to be a fairly common practice with black characters in manga. Since there aren't many black people in Japan, artists will often use American movies as photo-reference, as Japanese manga artists' attempts to produce black characters freehand can sometimes show a dubious similarity to Blackface caricatures.
  • In Naruto, the First Raikage is designed to look like Jimi Hendrix.
  • Shougo Sena from Love Stage!!'s physical appearance is based off of one of Daigo, lead vocalist from the band Breakerz, who happens to be author Eiki Eiki's younger brother.
  • Ash Lynx, the main character in Banana Fish, was initially based off the tennis player Stephen Edberg, and later River Phoenix. Another character, Max Lobo, was modeled on Harrison Ford.
  • Gundam:
  • Gendo Ikari and Kozo Fuyutsuki from Neon Genesis Evangelion are heavily based on (respectively) Ed Bishop and George Sewell in their roles as Edward Straker and Alec E. Freeman in the TV series UFO. Their character dynamic is even very much the same as in UFO.
  • Mamura from Hirunaka no Ryuusei is modeled on Kentaro Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi even portrayed Mamura during a collaboration photoshoot.
  • Little Witch Academia: Earl Paul Hanbridge has a pretty uncanny resemblance to Colin Firth, especially as he looks on the Kingsman film series.

    Comic Books — DC Universe 

    Comic Books — Marvel Universe 
  • Ultimate Nick Fury was drawn to look like Samuel L. Jackson. In the Iron Man movie, Jackson was naturally cast in the role.
  • The Punisher MAX series has a lot of characters looking like famous "cool" actors in real life.
    • Frank himself is a beefy Clint Eastwood in the first arc; this is particularly evident when he's held prisoner by Microchip. Another artist basically turns him into the T-800.
    • Paul Budiansky is Samuel L. Jackson.
    • Budiansky's CSI friend is Tommy Lee Jones (and he hates CSI.)
    • Colonel George Howe is Morgan Freeman.
    • From The Punisher Presents Barracuda, Big Chris Angelone is Christopher Walken.
    • Castle's CO in the Born mini-series is William H. Macy.
    • According to Garth Ennis's script for issue #37 (which has since been taken down from its original spot in the Comic Book Script Archive by Marvel) Nicky Cavella's physical appearance was based on Andy Garcia, and John James Toomey was based on Puff Daddy.
  • Lenny Balinger from Damage Control is a dead ringer for Lee Marvin, though he thinks he looks more like Paul Newman.
  • The original X-Men Hellfire Club line-up were all based by John Byrne on actors he admired. Sebastian Shaw was based on Robert Shaw, the Black Queen (Jean Grey) on Diana Rigg (Emma Peel), Mastermind/Jason Wyngarde on Peter Wyngarde (Jason King in Department S), Harry Leland on Orson Welles (Harry Lime and Jedediah Leland), and Donald Pierce on Donald Sutherland (film version of Hawkeye Pierce).
    • A later writer introduced Emma Steed of the London Hellfire Club, who was even more Diana Rigg.
    • The Diana Rigg and Peter Wyngarde parallels specifically were part of a Whole Plot Reference to the Avengers episode "A Touch of Brimstone", also set at a Hellfire Club, and which had Mrs Peel in the Jean Grey role and Peter Wyngarde as John Cleverly Carter in the Mastermind role.
  • During the Claremont/Byrne run on Uncanny X-Men, Cyclops was based on a young Henry Fonda, Jean Grey on a young Raquel Welch, Wolverine on Paul D'Amato (Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken) in Slap Shot, Colossus on Max Baer Jr, Beast on Al Franken, Charles Xavier on Keane Curtis, Moira McTaggert on Hannah Gordon, Arcade on Malcolm McDowell, and Emma Frost on a young Faye Dunaway. Kitty Pryde was based on what Byrne thought a young Sigourney Weaver would look like.
    • Nightcrawler started to gradually look more and more like Errol Flynn, with his holographic image inducer calibrated specifically to look like him. Nightcrawler is also a huge Flynn fanboy, so in his case it was a cultivated look.
    • The disco-themed mutant Dazzler was modeled after Bo Derek, who was supposed to play the character in a live-action movie.
    • Later, when handling art honors for Excalibur, Alan Davis once stated that he modeled his Kitty Pryde after a young Katharine Hepburn.
  • Tony Isabella has said Misty Knight was physically modeled after Pam Grier, while the basic concept of the character was essentially conceived as a Gender Flipped version of Blackbelt Jones.
  • Darla Deering/Miss Thing from FF was modeled after pop star Katy Perry.
  • Detective Oscar Clemons from Greg Rucka's The Punisher run is based on Morgan Freeman.
  • In John Byrne comics, Mr. Fantastic is based on Jeffrey Hunter, Wonder Man on David Prowse, Doctor Strange on Richard Boone, the Scarlet Witch on Playmate Julia Lyndon, Desmond Marrs on Rocco Siffredi, Polaris (in X-Men: The Hidden Years) on Jennifer Aniston.
  • John Romita (Sr.) modeled Mary Jane Watson on Ann-Margret, specifically the way she looked in Bye Bye Birdie.
    • More recently, Mike Deodato has drawn her as a red-haired Liv Tyler, and Paolo Rivera's take on her is a blend between Leighton Meester and Miranda Kerr, inspired by her dimples.
  • Rachel Summers in her first appearances in New Mutants was intentionally designed to look like Annie Lennox.
  • Likewise, Illyana Rasputin in the same title was designed to look like Heather O'Rourke, the child actress who played Carol-Ann in Poltergeist.
  • Monica Rambeau was designed to resemble Pam Grier, one of John Romita, Jr.'s favorite actresses.
  • Whenever Mike Deodato draws Norman Osborn (see Thunderbolts, Dark Avengers, etc.), he ends up looking like Tommy Lee Jones. Deodato has admitted that this is deliberate.
    • In his more recent appearances, Norman appears to have been modelled on Julian McMahon. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it...
  • Blade: Since the success of the movies, there hasn't been an instance where the character wasn't drawn to look like Wesley Snipes.
  • When she first appeared in Secret War, Daisy Johnson/Quake was drawn to look exactly like Angelina Jolie as she appeared in Hackers. As time went on, the resemblance lessened.
  • Don Heck based Pepper Potts off actress Ann B. Davis, known at the time for her role on The Bob Cummings Show. She's best remembered today for playing Alice in The Brady Bunch.
  • Before the movies, Charles Xavier's bald head and thin eyebrows were reminiscent of Yul Brynner's distinct appearance. In several X-Men books since the movies, though, Professor Xavier has noticeably been drawn more like Patrick Stewart.
  • When Walt Simonson was the writer/artist on Thor, he based Sif's look on actress Sigourney Weaver and the Enchantress' sister Lorelei on Debbie Harry of the punk band Blondie. This was Lampshaded in an issue where a street punk tried to hit on Lorelei by asking if anyone had ever told her that she looks like "Blondie" before.
  • Numinus, an obscure Power Pack character who looks like a bright-red Whoopi Goldberg in Kirbyesque "cosmic" armor.
  • Before Iron Man 2 came out, Justin Hammer was modeled on Peter Cushing.
  • Tony Stark, as drawn by Salvador Larocca in the current series by Matt Fraction, looks A LOT like Josh Holloway.
  • Salvador Larocca does this with many characters in The New Universe reimagining newuniversal. He casts Josh Holloway as Kenneth Connell (Star Brand); James Gandolfini as the father of Connell's girlfriend; Vincent Pastore, Steven Van Zandt, Michael Imperioli, and Tony Sirico as sheriff's deputies; Leonard Nimoy as a Starbrand wielder from an alternate Earth; Angelina Jolie as Dr. Jennifer Swann; James Cromwell as her boss, Philip L. Voight; Bruce Willis as Det. John Tensen (Justice); Eminem as the crack dealer who put Tensen in the hospital; footballer Zinedine Zidane as a Serial-Mercy Killing nurse who would've killed Tensen if not for the White Event; Johnny Depp as Dr. Leonard Carson; Nicole Kidman as Dr. Hannah Ballad; and Gene Hackman as Jim Braddock.
  • On at least one occasion (the moment when Spider-Man revealed his secret identity), Peter Parker and J. Jonah Jameson look very much like Tobey Maguire and J. K. Simmons, respectively.
  • Early Doctor Strange more or less is Vincent Price.
    • Steve Ditko's art can make it difficult to say for certain, but his early appearances sometimes more closely resemble Charlie Chan actor Warner Oland.
    • Morgana Blessing was based on singer Amy Grant, something her management team did not appreciate. They were worried that Grant being associated with a sorcerer like Doctor Strange would harm her standing in the Christian music community, and took legal action against Marvel. The case ultimately ended with an out-of-court settlement.
  • Alex Ross based Mr. Fantastic's appearance in Marvels off of Russell Johnson aka The Professor from Gilligan's Island in keeping with The '60s setting of the series.
    Ross's fully-painted artwork uses photo references for most major characters. Books like Kingdom Come and Marvels actually have model credits, mostly comprised of the artist's friends and fellow comic creators. And Richard Nixon as Norman Osborn.
  • Brian Michael Bendis's unused script for Ultimate X-Men actually calls for this, describing Archangel as "Kurt Cobain-esque", Rogue as a teen Gwen Stefani, Storm as either Erykah Badu or Lauryn Hill, and Gambit as a devilish Leonardo look-a-like, probably referring to DiCaprio. Beast's dad would supposedly look like Martin Sheen.
  • Black Panther supporting character Everett Ross is admittedly drawn as Michael J. Fox.
  • Frank Miller stated that Elektra's appearance was based on bodybuilder Lisa Lyon.
  • On The Avengers, John Buscema modeled Captain America on Burt Lancaster, Hawkeye on Anthony Quinn, Goliath on Robert Culp, Quicksilver on Fred Astaire and The Incredible Hercules on Steve Reeves, who portrayed Hercules in the famous Italian produced Hercules movies from the 50s. Lampshaded in an issue where a kid saw Hercules walking down the street and excitedly said it was Steve Reeves.
  • Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider, is based off pop singer Zayn Malik.
  • Jack Kirby's pre-cosmic ray Ben Grimm borrows the look of cinema heavy John Garfield.
  • In the second volume of Secret Avengers, Senator Robert Ralston, former Howling Commando and United Nations official overseeing SHIELD, is drawn to resemble a middle aged Robert Redford.
  • Black Widow 2099 from Secret Wars is designed to resemble Nicki Minaj.
  • One iteration of the character Echo was designed to look like adult film actress Skin Diamond.
  • Artist Gil Kane based Morbius' appearance on that of actor Jack Palance when he created the character.

    Comic Books — Other 
  • The Saint of Killers in Preacher had a powerful and deliberate resemblance to Lee Marvin, stated as deliberate by Garth Ennis in his introduction to the Ancient History collection that contained his origin story.
  • The Boys features Simon Pegg as Wee Hughie. This started back when Pegg had only done Spaced and wasn't well known.
  • The eponymous hero of the Italian comic Dylan Dog is based on Rupert Everett. Among the other characters, Kim is based on Kim Novak, and Professor Adam on Sean Connery. Groucho is a in-universe sosia of Groucho Marx, complete with fake mustaches.
  • Dave Stevens did this an awful lot in The Rocketeer. For example, Cliff is Errol Flynn, his girlfriend Betty is pin-up model Bettie Page, Cliff's sleazy photographer rival is real-world porn photographer Ken Marcus, and second-storyline villain Lothar is Rondo Hatton.
    • Stevens modeled Cliff Secord after himself, not Errol Flynn. He mentioned this in several interviews. And Peevy was modeled after his friend and mentor Doug Wildey.
  • Astro City:
    • Steeljack's appearance was modeled on Robert Mitchum.
    • The Gentleman, like inspiration Captain Marvel (above), is modeled on Fred McMurray.
  • Anything drawn by Greg Land will resemble a random assortment of celebrities and porn stars due to his tendency to trace. Unfortunately, there's little rhyme or reason to his choices. Emma Frost may look like Natalie Portman in one panel and Kim Kardashian in the next.
  • Cerebus the Aardvark has too many of these to count, though the most notable one has to be Lord Julius, who for all intents and purposes is Groucho Marx. Groucho's actual first name, for the record, was Julius. Other members of the Marx Brothers are also depicted. Over the years there has also been a character based upon Margaret Thatcher, and Canadian politicians have also been caricaturized.
  • In Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8, there's a Tibetan character called Bayarmaa. The artist, Georges Jeanty, made her look like the exact portrait of Dichen Lachman, a half Tibetan actress who stars in another of Whedon's shows (she's Sierra in Dollhouse).
  • Jeremy Johns, a character in Spike: After the Fall, is based on Jim Halpert from The Office, played by John Krasinski.
  • In the Doctor Who Magazine comic strips:
    • Long-running Eighth Doctor companion Izzy S was based, according to Word of God, initially on the singer Louise Wener and later on the actress Luisa Bradshaw-White.
    • The Eighth Doctor strips also featured a fake Ninth Doctor, in reality the Time Lord agent Shayde in disguise, who was visually based on the Big Name Fan, spin-off actor-director, and now official Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs.
    • Leighton Woodrow, an MI-6 recurring character from that era of the comics, was closely based on Leo McKern, specifically as he appeared when playing Number Two in The Prisoner.
    • Frobisher's humanoid form in his Eighth Doctor reappearance is based on James Gandolfini.
    • In the Twelfth Doctor strips, Jess Collins was based on actress Mélissa Azombo, a big Doctor Who fan who jumped at the chance to be in the comic, even doing a photo shoot as reference for artist David A. Roach.
  • In the Doctor Who (Titan) Eleventh Doctor comics, the older version of recurring villain August Hart is blatantly based on Bryan Cranston's Beard of Evil look as Walter White.
  • In the Doctor Who (Titan) Twelfth Doctor comics, the original companion Hattie, who is a bassist in a rock band, looks like a younger and punker Gail Ann Dorsey, a real bass player best known for her work with David Bowie.
  • Lieutenant Blueberry was originally based on Jean-Paul Belmondo. His face later evolved into what now looks like a Belmondo/Banderas cross-over.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Dirty Frank was intentionally drawn to resemble Alan Moore.
    • Judge Anderson was based on Debbie Harry in her first few appearances.
  • There are a number of examples in Global Frequency, Depending on the Artist. In certain issues, Miranda Zero looks almost exactly like Michelle Forbes, who was later cast as her in the abortive TV pilot. In issue 4, the English gunwoman looks like Kate Moss (something of an in-joke, as Warren Ellis's Stormwatch and The Authority leading character Jenny Sparks was famously visually based on her). And in issue 5, the magician Alan Crowe looks exactly like Alan Cumming.
  • Rasputin in Corto Maltese is quite obviously modeled after the famous Russian monk of the same name. This is lampshaded in one story, where someone asks the name of the "guy who looks like Rasputin".
  • The main character of Switchblade Honey, Captain John Ryder, is based on Ray Winstone. The story started out with the idea "What if the kind of character who Ray Winstone usually plays somehow got to be a Star Trek captain?".
  • Jon Polito was cast as Gideon the pawn shop owner in the film of The Crow because the character in the comic was modeled on him.
  • In the Marsupilami comic series, Harold Stonelove, the villain of "The Temple of Boavista", has a striking similarity to Hugh Laurie, especially in the flashback to his younger days.
  • Gargoyles: Several comic only characters were based off of actors, and even the creator admitted that he mentally casts the characters. Quincy Hemings is Morgan Freeman, Duval is Eddie Marsan, and the leader of the Illuminati is Jude Law.
  • Criminal: Last of the Innocent features Wil Wheaton as Britannica Black, a former Kid Detective who grew into a Noir-style PI.
  • Wesley and the Fox in Wanted are overtly based on Eminem and Halle Berry, in what was seen as a deliberate attempt to angle for a film adaptation. In the eventual film the roles ended up being played by James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. Wesley's father bears a resemblance to Tommy Lee Jones.
  • Mark Millar's first comic Saviour focuses on a returned Jesus who later turns out to be the devil that looks like Jonathan Ross.
  • Astérix:
  • Jenny Sparks in Stormwatch and The Authority is a double for the model Kate Moss.
  • Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch's series America's Got Powers is pretty evident with its celebrity likenesses, with David Tennant as the head scientist, and Sarah Palin as a villainous US Sentator, with Ed Harris playing a John McCain fashioned US President, even before he was cast as McCain for the TV movie Game Change.
  • Lucky Luke:
  • From Hell: Inspector Abberline was modelled after Robbie Coltrane. Who amusingly was also in the movie, though Abberline himself was played by Johnny Depp.
  • In Transmetropolitan, Oscar Rossini is played by Patrick Stewart, who was a big fan of the comic and had been considered as potentially playing Spider Jerusalem in a failed film adaptation project.
  • The cast of The Wicked + The Divine are all physically modeled after famous music stars.
  • By Word of God, the titular heroine of Albedo: Erma Felna EDF is basically a feline version of Helena Bonham-Carter, albeit only in looks in a retroactive way, due to the Art Evolution Erma has suffered across the years, since she debuted many years before Carter began her career as an actress.
  • The IDW comic spin-off of Dirk Gently has a Dirk who looks very, very, similar to David Tennant. He's also costumed and styled in a way that creates the general impression that IDW were very upset about losing the Doctor Who comics license and are desperately trying to lure the readers into a new comic.
  • In The Invisibles, the Blind Chessplayer is sometimes drawn to look exactly like Richard E. Grant. After one of those occasions, his conversation with Dane in Dulce, Dane outright says that he looked like a well-known actor without mentioning who.
  • XIII's General Carrington is very much Lee Marvin.
  • Transformers vs. G.I. Joe:
  • In the Image SF comic Void Trip, co-protagonist Ana looks an awful lot like Cara Delevingne.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sentinel Prime of Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a robotic version of 1970s Sean Connery (though his body language is that of his voice actor, Leonard Nimoy).
  • Both Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola revealed at the same time that their first choice for the title character was Ron Perlman.
  • Neil Blomkamp's concept art for Chappie originally had Deon Wilson (Chappie's creator) modeled after the likeness of actor Jason Cope, who was the motion capture actor for the alien Christopher Johnson in District 9 and also served as one of the narrator in the same movie. Dev Patel was ultimately chosen for the role of Deon, but Cope still makes a cameo as a Tetravaal engineer.

  • Paul Kidby's illustrations of Sam Vimes in Discworld cover designs and other art deliberately depict him as Clint Eastwood. By contrast, Melvyn Grant, the artist of Where's My Cow?, drew Vimes like Pete Postlethwaite, who was said to be Terry Pratchett's own fantasy casting for the role.
    • Similiarly, Kidby has based his drawings of Carrot Ironfoundersson on a young Liam Neeson.
  • Cornelia Funke based Mo in Inkheart on Brendan Fraser, who went on to play the character in the film version. (And in her less-famous novel The Thief Lord, she based Viktor on Bob Hoskins. It was also made into a film, but not with Bob Hoskins in.)
  • Harry Dresden is generally described (and in illustrations and the comics drawn) in fashions that evoke a young Clint Eastwood, which carries over into the art. Tall, lean, dark haired, stubbly, sharp features... yep, that's Clint.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe examples:
    • Lance Parkin has an acknowledged tendency toward fantasy-casting his characters; in particular, Ian Richardson gets a lot of "roles" in Parkin novels, most obviously in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel The Dying Days, where Lord Greyhaven is quite close to his iconic role in House of Cards (UK).
    • The third incarnation of Romana who appears in the Eighth Doctor Adventures was based by her initial creator, Paul Cornell, on Louise Brooks.
    • Cornell has also said he saw Bernice Summerfield played by Emma Thompson (specifically, she's based on the character of Kate from The Tall Guy). This gets Lampshaded in The Dying Days, where she's mistaken for Thompson, and the short story "Digging Up the Past" by Mark Michelowski in The Dead Men Diaries, in which she says she'd like to be played by a CGI Thompson in a docudrama.
    • The new incarnation of the Master introduced in First Frontier is played by Basil Rathbone.
    • Iris Wildthyme's incarnations in the Eighth Doctor Adventures are modelled on Beryl Reid, Shirley Bassey and Jane Fonda as Barbarella. (The Big Finish Doctor Who incarnation is modelled on Katy Manning, but that incarnation is actually played by Katy Manning.)
  • Word of God from Marissa Meyer is that Linh Cinder from Lunar Chronicles was modeled after Mew Azama, the actress who played Sailor Jupiter in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.
  • Barbara Hambly:
  • Supposedly, J. K. Rowling based Hagrid on Robbie Coltrane when she was writing the first Harry Potter book. Either way, when the movies rolled around, she insisted that Robbie Coltrane was the only choice for the part of Hagrid and, fortunately for her, they got himnote . JK has also said that she imagined Professor McGonagall as being Maggie Smith. This also worked out for her. One that didn't however, was her vision of Tim Roth as Snape (Roth later confirmed he was offered the part, but was unable to appear in the first film due to his commitment to Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes (2001)), although it's clear that Alan Rickman did start to creep into her image of him in later books.
  • Tamora Pierce often "casts" characters in her head in both her Tortall Universe and Circle of Magic books—sometimes the actor themselves or a role they've played. Rosethorn, for example, is based on Kira Nerys. (Yes, she's a Trekkie.) Rosto the Piper is played by James Marsters, which is pretty clear when you read Beka's description and then look at a picture of, say, Spike.
  • Played with in Gaunt's Ghosts. In the books, Gaunt is described as having blonde hair and it's generally agreed he was modeled after Sean Bean's performance in Sharpe. The funny thing is that the cover art also looks like Sharpe, only this time as he's described in the books.
  • Christopher Fowler's novel Hell Train is conceived as the novelisation of a fictional "lost" Hammer Horror film, with a framing narrative around the planning of the film. This includes an in-canon casting chapter where it's discussed which of the Hammer regulars and other well-known English character actors would play the major characters.
  • Happens in-universe in Nora Roberts' Tribute. After meeting Former Child Star Cilla McGowan, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer is inspired to create a new superheroine and bases her appearance off of Cilla's.
  • A.J. Butcher, the author of Spy High, said that he envisioned Lori as the tennis player Anna Kournikova, and would want her to be played by Kournikova in any screen adaptation (although Kournikova isn't an actress.)
  • William Goldman says he wrote Fezzik in The Princess Bride with André the Giant in mind. They got him for the movie, even though he didn't speak English!
  • Rex Mundi, the co-hero of Robert Rankin's Armageddon trilogy, is repeatedly described as looking like a young Harrison Ford. The third book in the trilogy finishes with "credits" (including actors who at the time of publication were obviously far too old for the characters (or, in the case of Orson Welles, too dead)). It also has a bunch of minor characters arguing over which film star they resemble as they fight to get more page space. Note that Rex's co-hero is a time-travelling Elvis Presley.
  • Writer Ian Fleming based the James Bond's original appearance on that of singer/actor Hoagy Carmichael. In later books, however, Fleming made Bond more closely resemble actor Sean Connery (including making the character part Scottish).
  • Recurring Star Wars character Kell Tainer resembles Jason Segel in illustrations. Both of them are very tall, so it's possibly intentional.
  • Word of God says that Shadow from American Gods by Neil Gaiman was supposed to look like Dwayne Johnson.
  • An odd partial example - the The Pirates books make a point out of describing the Captain in the introduction to every book as "all teeth and curls" and with "a pleasant, open face", both notorious clichés used to describe Tom Baker and Peter Davison's Doctors in Doctor Who ("teeth and curls" coming from a notorious Take That! line by Jon Pertwee's Doctor in "The Five Doctors", and "pleasant open face" from Terrance Dicks' Target novelisations). However, when the author was asked about whether he imagined the Captain being 'played' by those actors in an interview, he admitted that he didn't imagine him as anyone specific at all. The version of him that appears in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! looks slightly like a mixture of Tom Baker and Peter Davison, but in the art style it's hard to tell, and his voice performance (by Hugh Grant) and animation is nothing like how either of them would have played the role.
  • Word of God is that in Star Trek: Vanguard, Admiral Nogura is "played" by Mako and Jon Cooper is James Naughton.
  • The depiction of Frost in the last book's cover of the Magic University series has a staggering resemblance to Kiera Knightley.
  • In Catch-22, Major Major Major Major's life is plagued by his resemblance to Henry Fonda:
    Major Major had three strikes on him from the beginning – his mother, his father and Henry Fonda, to whom he bore a sickly resemblance almost from the moment of his birth. Long before he even suspected who Henry Fonda was, he found himself the subject of unflattering comparisons everywhere he went. Total strangers saw fit to deprecate him, with the result that he was stricken early with a guilty fear of people and an obsequious impulse to apologize to society for the fact that he was not Henry Fonda."

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    Tabletop Games 
  • A few characters from Warhammer 40,000 are based on famous movie characters and are thus designed to resemble the actors who played them (though how much the models and/or official art reflect this is pretty hit or miss). Fabius Bile is pretty blatantly modeled on Richard O'Brien as Riff Raff, Sly Marbo is Sylvester Stallone's Rambo, etc., though sometimes there's no particular rationale for a character's resemblance to a particular celebrity. There's one cover painting for one of the Horus Heresy books where Horus bears an uncanny resemblance to James Gandolfini of all people.
  • At COTG Live Event, several wrestlers dressed as characters from the Champions Of The Galaxy card game. These characters then got special cards made to resemble the wrestlers portraying them, Thantos even getting altered abilities to make him even more like Chuck Taylor.

    Video Games 
  • In the actual game of Injustice: Gods Among Us, John Stewart is a dead-ringer for Idris Elba.
  • Wing Commander: The Tiger's Claw ace pilot Iceman appears magnificently similar in both grizzly features and gritty demeanour to that ace shooter himself of another time, Clint Eastwood. One of the good guys and firmly focused on vengeance against the Kilrathi. Not someone who one can imagine cracking a joke with too often. According to his fellow pilots, he don't say much.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Somewhat weird video game example: Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend was based on Jack Black from the start, but then Double Fine persuaded him to play the role, which turned it into an example of an Ink-Suit Actor.
  • In Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Malcolm Van Horn looks uncannily like Max von Sydow (most strikingly in the concept art).
  • Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic (a sort of 1988 proto-Mass Effect RPG) used particularly shameless photo swipes as the basis for several crew pictures, including Arnold Schwarzenegger from The Terminator, Sigourney Weaver from Aliens, and, apparently, a young Donald Rumsfeld.
  • Laser Squad is guilty of this in the IBM PC version. The cutscenes exclusive to this version use trace-overs of various scenes and/or characters from The Empire Strikes Back for the Rebel Star team in the first level and the cyborgs in the second, while the team member portraits use various 1980s movie actors as facial sources - Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Biehn, Alec Baldwin, Rutger Hauer, Michael Ironside, John Hollis (who makes up the entire enemy squad in the second mission) and, surprisingly standing out from the rest of the list, Errol Flynn. In a bit of Hilarious in Hindsight, there are also people looking like Adam Baldwin and Vin Diesel as Riddick as he appears in the Batman Cold Open of The Chronicles of Riddick.
  • Zoey in Left 4 Dead is modeled after Natassja Kinski, according to the series's wiki.
    • Something worth noting would be the fact that the face model of Zoey happened to be Sonja Kinski, the daughter of Natassja.
  • All eight playable main characters in the Resident Evil Outbreak games resemble celebrities to some extent. The most blatant is Jim Chapman, who is basically Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element.
    • Beg to differ, there's probably no one who, when shown a picture of the character of Kevin Ryman, the maverick R.P.D police officer, wouldn't immediately recognize Tom Cruise.
  • Nathan Drake's appearance is based on Johnny Knoxville.
  • Speaking of Naughty Dog: Ellie from The Last of Us looks a lot like Ellen Page. The character design has since been modified to look a little younger and better resemble voice actress Ashley Johnson, though the resemblance did not go unnoticed by Page, who said she was "not pleased" at Ellie's close resemblance to her, mainly since her image IS being used for the game Beyond: Two Souls.
  • Like Nathan Drake above, Travis Touchdown is modeled on Johnny Knoxville. Some of his opponents also resemble real people; Dr. Peace is Charles Bronson, Volodarski is magician Criss Angel and Destroyman's secret identity, John Harnet, is UFC fighter Josh Barnett.
  • Robert Garcia is drawn to look almost exactly like Jean-Claude Van Damme on the cover of the first Art of Fighting game.
  • Max Payne's face was modeled after the chief writer Sam Lake's in the original game and after Timothy Gibbs' in the second, before going full-on Ink-Suit Actor in the third (where he is modeled after his own long-time VA James McCaffrey).
  • Rynn's appearance in the Drakan series was based on a model named Myrna Blankenstein.
  • Whether intentional or not is unknown, but Natla in the original Tomb Raider game bears more than a passing resemblance to then-singer Victoria Adams (now better-known as socialite and fashion designer Victoria Beckham)
  • Arcueid's design in Tsukihime was based upon a nameless occidental model whom the artist Takashi Takeuchi once glimpsed in a fashion magazine and was so smitten by that he decided to recreate her appearance from memory and give it to the female lead of the game.
  • The two female love interests in Dragon Age: Origins were modeled after real women (Leliana after an adult model Alexandra Stein, and Morrigan, after Victoria Johnson)—at least in the Sacred Ashes trailer (which not entirely dissimilar from the released game).
  • Many of the NPC character portraits in Neverwinter Nights strongly resemble not just celebrity actors, but specific photographs of those actors. In most cases, the photos were legally licensed for use, but when it turned out that some were used without permission, the offending portraits had to be redrawn.
  • You can actually do this with your Commander Shepard in Mass Effect. The default apperance of the male Commander Shepard is modeled after Dutch model Mark Vanderloo.
  • Mr. Torgue of Borderlands 2 was based on Randy Savage. Word of God also states that Handsome Jack was based on Nathan Fillion.
  • Jennifer, the main character of Clock Tower and its first sequel, looks just like Jennifer Connelly. The game was inspired by Dario Argento movies (especially Phenomena, which starred Connelly), so the resemblance is clearly intentional, as another one of the developers' homages.
  • Pokémon X and Y: Diantha was clearly based on Audrey Hepburn, down to being an actress.
  • The development team behind the Nancy Drew games uses celebrities as inspiration for their character designs, as stated in an interview. Many characters bear resemblance to certain famous actors, such as a Scottish character looking suspiciously like David Tennant.
    • Similarly, the photo of George Fayne owes a lot to Tina Fey, and Victor Lossett of The Deadly Device is rather blatantly a photo of Obadiah Stane era Jeff Bridges.
  • Doctor Who Legacy's representation of Cinder (a book character) is based on Hayley Williams from Paramore.
  • Tony Stark, as he appears in Iron's Man's and Haggar's endings in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, resembles Robert Downey, Jr..
  • Aiden Pearce's facial model looks VERY close to Tom Cruise.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series got in on this:
  • Contra is essentially what would have happened if Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone decided to team up while they were still in their prime to take on Xenomorphs.
  • The Lovecraftian 1993 adventure game Shadow of the Comet has several character portraits very obviously based on famous actors. For example, Vincent Price and Jack Nicholson. Somewhat more obscurely the mayor is Glenn Shadix, whom you might recognize as the interior designer in Beetlejuice or the kimono-wearing assistant in Demolition Man.
  • Final Fantasy VIII ran into some legal trouble by using Gackt as basis for Squall's design (mostly due to outfit resemblance), although Gackt was a fan of the series and appeared in an Ink-Suit Actor capacity as a Compilation of Final Fantasy VII character in later games. Tetsuya Nomura has always claimed that Squall was based on River Phoenix. Cid Kramer also has a very strong resemblance to Robin Williams.
  • Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was based after a famous 90s heartthrob actor... but the developers have purposefully obscured which actor it was, other than that he was 'who you would think of when you thought of a handsome actor at that time'. One of the features taken from the actor was his distinctive, pointed nose, leading many to speculate that River Phoenix, who had a similar pointed nose to the Link art, was the inspiration. Other theories suggest Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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