If a character is reasonably popular, through cartoons, comics or general folklore, they'll probably have some kind of iconic visage. In the world of Hollywood, however, any actor with the clout to play the character in question is probably recognizable to the degree of bankability, the actors just want the audience to see their faces, or they have difficulty emoting with it. Sometimes, the heavy makeup or costuming is just too uncomfortable or the film makers feel a character in a crazy get-up just looks too silly doing anything but fighting.
As a result, our strange-looking character is reverted back to a less costumed face (often by way of an Anti-Climactic Unmasking
), and may stay that way until the film's climax. Keep in mind this isn't just about character.
It's not so strange when you consider how important an actor's face is in "selling" the acting in media such as film where body language matters. Thus, it is not surprising that directors might want to be sure the audience has an unobstructed view of that important face at any especially dramatic moment. Comic books or prose narratives offer other methods of conveying the same information, rendering it less important to see the character's true face.
Compare Adaptational Attractiveness
and Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames
. May also result from Obscured Special Effects
- Seen often in Smallville. Green Arrow seems to spend more time out of his hood and sunglasses than in them while in costume even before outing himself. And this could be the reason why the writers took so long to give Clark his mild-mannered, glasses-sporting civilian disguise.
- In the Batman television series from the sixties, Adam West and Burt Ward spent most of the episodes in masks. Considering the series was aimed mostly at children, this makes sense. It is however, played straight with Frank Gorshen who played the Riddler. Apparently, the Riddler mask was uncomfortable so Frank whipped it off every chance he had.