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Adaptation Name Change / Live-Action TV

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Many characters' names get changed from the source material to a Live-Action television series. Or even from one reboot to the next.


  • The 100:
    • From "The Colony" in the books to "The Ark" on the show.
    • People who survived the nuclear winter are called "Earthborn" in the books while the show calls them "Grounders."
  • 12 Monkeys: Dr Kathryn Railly from the film becomes Dr Cassandra Railly on the show.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow, based on Green Arrow and Black Canary:
      • Oliver Queen isn't actually called Green Arrow until season 4. At first he's just "the vigilante" or sometimes "the hood", then "The Arrow" starting in Season 2.
      • The island on which Oliver is marooned, typically called Starfish Island in the comics, is renamed Lian Yu (meaning purgatory).
      • Dinah Laurel Lance goes by Laurel Lance.
      • Laurel's father, Detective Larry Lance, is Detective Quentin Lance, though his middle name is acknowledged as Larry.
      • Mia Dearden is re-imagined as Thea Dearden Queen.
      • Star City itself is Starling City, until it's renamed Star City in season 4.
      • Arthur King/Merlyn the Archer is Malcom Merlyn/the Dark Archer.
      • In Season 2, Nyssa Raatko is introduced as Nyssa Al-Ghul (from Ra's Al-Ghul).
      • Michael Holt/Mr Terrific is Curtis Holt.
      • Wild Dog's identity in the comics is Jack Wheller. In the series, he's renamed as Rene Ramirez, to accommodate his Race Lift from Caucasian to Hispanic.
      • In the New 52 comics, Ricardo Diaz Jr. used the name "Richard Dragon" as an alias. In Arrow, he is simply known as Ricardo Diaz and his codename is "Dragon".
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    • The Flash (2014):
      • Iris West's father's first name changed from Ira (New Earth) or William (New 52) to Joe.
      • Roy G. Bivolo goes by Prism rather than "Rainbow Raider" or his New 52 codename of "Chroma".
      • Peek-a-Boo has her name changed from Lashawn Baez to Shawna Baez.
      • The S.T.A.R. Labs founder's name is changed from Robert Meersman (Silver Age) or Garrison Slate (New Earth) to Harrison Wells.
      • The Reverse Flash spends most of the first season going by the alias "Harrison Wells", though it's eventually revealed that his true name is still Eobard Thawne.
      • Jesse Quick's real name is changed from Jesse Chambers to Jesse Chambers Wells, since her father is an alternate version of Harrison Wells rather than Johnny Chambers.
      • Several examples stemming from the Gender Flip trope:
      • The Bug-Eyed Bandit is named Brie Larvan rather than Bertram Larvan.
      • The Top's real name is Rosalind "Rosa" Dillion instead of Roscoe Dillon.
      • Black Bison's real name is Mina Chayton rather than John Ravenhair.
      • The Fiddler's name is changed from Isaac Bowen to Izzy Bowen.
      • Spin was only known as "Mr. Auerbach" in the comics (his first name was never given), while in the show, her real name is Spencer Young.
      • Barry and Iris' daughter is named Nora instead of Dawn, though some people speculated that Dawn is her middle name instead. She's also a name change from Jenni Ognats, as she uses XS as her superhero identity, making her a Composite Character. In the 100th episode, the Reverse Flash calls her Dawn, implying that was her name in the original timeline that he came from, making it an In-Universe example.
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    • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • Supergirl (2015):
      • On Earth, Kara Zor-El goes by Kara Danvers instead of either Linda Lee or Linda Lee Danvers, names she used in the comics.
      • In the comics, the Daxamite Lar Gand is better known by his honorary Kryptonian name of Mon-El. In the series, Mon-El is his real name. His father, Kel Gand in the comics, is Lar Gand.
    • The Big Bad of the Elseworlds Crossover is called Dr John Deegan, but seems to be the Arrowverse counterpart of Dr Destiny, whose real name in the comics is John Dee.
  • Batman (1966): Mr Zero's name is changed to Mr Freeze, and the new name was so popular, it was brought over into the comics as well.
  • Birds of Prey:
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    • Helena Wayne (from Huntress) goes by "Helena Kyle" due to a combination for her parents (Batman and Catwoman) not being married in the series prior to her mother's death and being pissed off at her father for leaving.
    • Dinah Drake Lance (from Black Canary) is renamed "Carolyn". Likewise, Dinah Laurel Lance (from same) goes by her adopted last name; "Redmond".
  • The Boys (2019): Hughie's adopted father in the comic is named Alexander. The man who might be his biological father is Joe. Here it's Hugh Sr.
  • Casino Royale: In this 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale, Felix Leiter was called Clarence Leiter.
  • Classics Dark and Dangerous: "The Ugly Little Boy":
    • Edith Fellowes becomes Edyth Fellows, as seen on her resume.
    • Dr Hoskins loses his first name and ends up with Last-Name Basis because this adaptation cuts several minor plot elements.
    • Timmie's proper name in the original story is Timothy, but the scene where Nurse Fellows names him is completely different, so she only gives him the Affectionate Nickname.
  • Cristal: Went through a Cultural Translation, as each had a different dialect compared to the original Venezuelan telenovela:
    • Mexican version El privilegio de amar changed most of the names: Victoria Ascanio became Luciana Duval; Alejandro Ascanio became Andrés Duval; Luis Alfredo became Victor manuel; Priest Ángel de Jesús became Priest Juan de la Cruz (in this case, retained the Christian motif in both versions). Basically, only (co-)protagonist Cristina kept the same first name, altough the surname was different.
    • Brazilian version, also named Cristal, kept most of original names intact, with minor adjustments to fit Portuguese language names, with exception of male protagonist Luis Alfredo, renamed as João Pedro.
  • Dirty Dancing: Baby Houseman becomes Baby Kellerman, daughter of the resort owner, while the rest of the Housemans are Adapted Out. Penny's last name changes from Johnson to Rivera, and Penny gets a Race Lift to match her Latina actress.
  • In Doom Patrol, Elasti-Girl is renamed "Elasti-Woman" to avoid confusion with the Pixar's The Incredibles character, Elastigirl.
  • Dracula (2020): Abraham Van Helsing from Dracula becomes Agatha Van Helsing in the TV show.
  • The Dresden Files: When The Dresden Files was adapted into a TV series, Lt Karrin Murphy was changed to Connie Murphy, as there was an actual Karen Murphy in the Chicago Police Department. Additionally, Harry's mentor Justin DuMorne in the novels was renamed to Justin Morningway and made Harry's maternal uncle, possibly to make it more likely that he would raise Harry after his parents' deaths.
  • Elementary: Sherlock Holmes' primary Friend on the Force in this adaptation is Captain Gregson, based on a minor character from the original Doyle canon. Early promotional material and reviews indicated that he shared the original character's full name, Tobias Gregson, but his first name was not used on screen until the second season which revealed his name was now Thomas Gregson.
  • Emerald City: In the Land of Oz books, the Wizard of Oz's real name is Oscar Diggs. Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of the Wizard on the other hand, is named Frank Morgan (and named after the actor who portrayed the Wizard in the 1939 film).
  • The Flash (1990): The TV show gave Captain Cold's real name as Leonard Wynters, a Meaningful Name. The comics use Leonard Snart, instead.
  • Flash Gordon (2007):
    • In this version, the protagonist's real name is Stephen, with "Flash" being a nickname he got from his father for being a fast runner. In fact, Flash's real name becomes a plot point in the pilot, when his mother is mind-controlled to call him and ask him to come home, calling him "Flash" in the process. He realizes something's wrong, as his mother always calls him by his real name.
    • Ming the Merciless is now Ming the Benevolent Father, although he's still quietly called "the Merciless" behind his back.
  • The Ghost & Mrs. Muir: In the original novel and The Film of the Book, Mrs Muir's first name is Lucy. In the TV series, it is Carolyn.
  • The Gifted:
    • Blink's real name is changed from Clarice Ferguson to Clarice Fong, due to her being Race Lifted into an Asian-American.
    • In the comics, the Stepford Cuckoos all have the surname "Cuckoo". Here, they all have the last name "Frost", as Emma Frost (of Emma Frost) is known to be their mother from the beginning, unlike in the comics, where their true parentage wasn't revealed until quite a while after they were introduced.
  • Gotham:
    • Poison Ivy's real name is changed from "Pamela Isley" to "Ivy Pepper."
    • The Dollmaker's real name is now Francis Dulmacher, rather than Anton Schott or Barton Mathis.
    • It was initally thought that Amygdala underwent this as a character in Season 1 with a similar background named "Aaron Danzing" appeared. Ultimately however, this was subverted as Season 2 saw the actual Aaron Helzinger appear.
    • Tigress goes from "Paula Brooks" (or "Artemis Crock") to "Tabitha Galavan."
    • Firefly is given a Race Lift and Gender Flip, and as such, goes from being a white guy named Garfield Lynns to a Latina woman named Bridget Pike.
    • The Ogre is named "Jason Lennon" (born "Jason Skolimski") instead of "Michael Adams"
    • Of course, in the cases of the Dollmaker, Tabitha, Firefly and the Ogre they are more or less different characters than the ones from the comics. In the Dollmaker's and the Tigress's case there were even a few different people in the comics under this mantle.
  • The Incredible Hulk: This TV adaptation of the comic changed Robert Bruce Banner to David Bruce Banner, and the character would call himself by his first name, instead of his middle name. This was due to the network thinking Bruce sounded "too gay", as well as the head writer wanting to ditch the "comic booky" Alliterative Name trope.
  • Johnny And The Bomb: In The BBC's adaptation of Johnny and the Bomb, Sir John becomes Sir Walter. This is a double example as it turns out Walter is Wobbler's real name, while in the books it's Stephen and he took Johnny's name as a pseudonym when Trapped in the Past.
  • Justice League of America: Ice's name is changed from Tora Olafsdotter in the comics to the more American-sounding Tori Olafsdotter for the Pilot Movie.
  • Lois & Clark:
    • In the comics, Vinnie and Morgan Edge are a father-son duo and leaders of Intergang. In the television show, however, they become Bill Church Sr, introduced in "Church of Metropolis", and he was subsequently replaced by his son Bill Church Jr, whose front organisation was a media empire called Multiworld Communications, with Multiworld standing in for Galaxy Broadcasting.
    • In the "New Krypton" arc, Lord Nor is General Zod in all but name.
  • In The Magicians, Janet from the novels becomes Margo. Though it's implied that her name was Janet in a previous iteration of the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Agent Carter, the Secret Empire is called the Council of Nine.
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
      • Daisy Johnson is rechristened "Skye" for the first season and a half before her father reveals her birth name. It's also mentioned that she used to go by the name "Mary Sue Poots" while growing up in an orphanage. [invoked]
      • Her parents' names were also changed to reflect her modified heritage, including which parent she got her surname from. In the comics, her father, Calvin Zabo, impregnated a prostitute named Kim Johnson. In the show, Calvin Johnson was Happily Married to a Chinese woman named Jiaying. There's a bit of a nod to Dad's original name when he says he used a more sinister surname when he was on the run, though that may have been a reference to his supervillain codename, Mister Hyde.
      • Daniel Whitehall's real name is changed to Werner Reinhardt. "Daniel Whitehall" is an alias he came up with to hide the fact that he's both Older Than He Looks and a Nazi war criminal. (In the comics he's a British agent before he joins HYDRA.)
      • Mark Scarlotti (one of the supervillains called "Whiplash" in the comics) was changed to Marcus Scarlotti (with no codename).
    • Daredevil (2015)
      • Vanessa Fisk (from The Kingpin) is Wilson Fisk's wife in the comics and is just his girlfriend (surname Marianna) in the television show.
      • In the comics, Bullseye's full name has never been revealed, but it's known that his first name is Lester, and that he's used "Benjamin Poindexter" as an alias. In the TV show, Benjamin Poindexter is explicitly his real name, though he's called "Dex" by most people.
    • Jessica Jones (2015)
      • Though not obvious at first, there is Jessica herself. In the comics, Jessica's birth name was Jessica Campbell and she is later adopted by the Jones family after her accident. In the show, her last name has always been Jones, which was not changed by her adoption.
      • Subverted with Trish Walker (from Patsy Walker), with Patsy being an Affectionate Nickname used by fans of her previous TV show; her real name is Patricia and both Patsy and Trish are uncommon nicknames.
      • Zebediah Killgrave's is modified to "Kilgrave". Or seems to be, as his real name is Kevin Thompson and hence "Kilgrave" is his nickname.
      • Malcolm Powder becomes Malcolm Ducasse.
      • Frank Simpson (the supervillain Nuke) is renamed Will Simpson. This is for two reasons: the first is to hide the plot twist, and the second is to avoid name confusion with Frank Castle / The Punisher, who was about to be introduced in season 2 of Daredevil (2015).
      • The Whizzer's name is changed from Robert Frank to Robert Coleman.
    • In Luke Cage (2016), Cottonmouth's real name is changed from Cornell Cottonmouth to Cornell Stokes. And he absolutely hates being called "Cottonmouth".
    • In Runaways, Molly is Race Lifted from white to Latina, with her last name changing from "Hayes" to "Hernandez" as a result.
  • My Big Fat Greek Life: Nia Vardalos's character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was named Toula, but renamed to Nia for the TV series in order to match the actress.
  • Night Man: In the TV series, Johnny's father is called Frank rather than Edward, like in The Ultraverse.
  • Once Upon a Time: A Secondary Adaptation of Disney characters based on fairy-tale characters.
    • "James Hook" was an alias in the original book, but the narrator refuses to reveal their real name, implying that to do so would cause a scandal. In Disney's Peter Pan, "Captain Hook" is the real name of the character; he was named "James Hook" even before he had a hook. However, in the television show, it comes full circle as Captain Hook is an alias and his real name is Killian Jones.
    • "Prince Charming" is more of a generic title, the original story doesn't necessarily have a name for him at all. In Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he's never named onscreen (if it comes up, the name is Ferdinand). However, in the television show, the prince's actual given name is James, and "Prince Charming" is just something Snow White calls him, sarcastically at first and then genuinely.
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit: The TV adaptation changed Jeanette's name to Jessica, possibly to detract from the autobiographical elements of the story.
  • Out of this World (1962):
    • "Little Lost Robot":
      • The NS-2 series robots are never called by their model number, and their In-Series Nickname is spelled "Nester" instead of "Nestor".
      • United States Robots & Mechanical Men are instead called the Universal Robots Corporation.
    • In the adaptation of "The Cold Equations", Marilyn Lee Cross's name is shortened to simply Lee Cross.
    • In the adaptation of "Impostor", Spence Olham's name is changed to Robert Carter.
  • Poirot: In the television adaptation of Five Little Pigs, Carla Crane's name becomes Lucy.
  • RoboCop: The Series saw a number of characters from the original film trilogy get their names changed outside of Alex Murphy/RoboCop himself and his son Jimmy.
    • Anne Lewis became Lisa Madigan
    • Sgt Reed became Sgt Stan Parks
    • Alex's former wife and Jimmy's mother, Ellen, had her first name changed to Nancy.
    • The Old Man became the OCP Chairman.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Some of the characters changed names between the TV movie and the television series; Sabrina Sawyer was changed to Sabrina Spellman, Marnie became Jenny, and Katy LaMore became Libby Chessler.
  • The Secret Agent: In this 2016 BBC mini-series of Joseph Conrad's novel (The Secret Agent), the main character's first name is changed from "Adolf" to "Anton". The source material was written in 1907 and therefore the name is a complete coincidence.
  • Shadowhunters: Madame Dorothea, from City Of Bones 2007, is given the surname Rollins and the nickname Dot when adapted to television.
  • Smallville:
    • Lex Luthor's father, who had been named Jules Luthor in pre-Crisis continuity, became Lionel Luthor. Since Lex's father had not previously been given a name in post-Crisis continuity, this was quickly Ret Canoned.
    • Tess "Mercy" Mercer/Lutessa Lena Luthor is a Composite Character of three characters from other Superman media (Ms Tessmacher, Mercy Graves and Lena Luthor) and doesn't quite share a name with any of them.
    • In the episode "Vengeance", Andrea Rojas uses the vigilante identity Angel of Vengeance rather than Acrata.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
    • The real name of the first seasons's Big Bad, Quintus Lentulus Batiatus, is Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus.
    • The real life son of the final Big Bad Marcus Licinius Crassus was named after him. The show renamed him Tiberius to avoid the One Steve Limit.
    • Subverted with Agron. At first it seemed that he is the German Rebel Leader Castus with a different name, but Castus appeared as a Sixth Ranger in the final season, thus making them a Decomposite Character instead.
  • Supernatural: Dorothy from Land of Oz appears in one episode with the last name Baum, although her last name is Gale in the books. Though this is justifiable since she's depicted as L. Frank Baum's daughter in this series
  • Titans (2018):
    • Raven's mother is named Angela Azarath instead of Angela Roth.
    • Jericho's real name is Jericho Wilson rather than Joseph Wilson.
    • Ravager's mother is named Mei instead of Lillian "Sweet Lili" Worth.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Time Enough at Last", Henry Bemis' wife is named Helen. In the short story by Lynn Venable, her name is Agnes.
    • In "Perchance to Dream", the protagonist is named Edward Hall. In the short story by Charles Beaumont, his name is Philip Hall.
    • In "What You Need", Pedott's ability to see the future is taken advantage of by Fred Renard. In the short story by Lewis Padgett (the pseudonym of the writing team C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner), their names are Peter Talley and Tim Carmichael.
    • In "Elegy", the caretaker of the cemetery asteroid Happy Glades and the most rational crewman are named Jeremy Wickwire and Professor Kurt Meyers respectively. In the short story by Charles Beaumont, their names are Mr. Greypoole and Mr. Friden.
    • In "The Chaser", Roger Shackleforth is madly in love with Leila. In the short story by John Collier, their names are Alan Austen and Diana.
    • In "Shadow Play", the newspaper editor and Henry Ritchie's wife are named Paul Carson and Carol respectively. In the short story "Traumerei" by Charles Beaumont, their names are Max Caplan and Ruth.
    • In "The Jungle", Alan Richards, whose wife's name is Doris, is cursed by an African tribe called the Kekouyu. In the short story by Charles Beaumont, Richard Austin, whose wife's name is Mag, is cursed by the Bantu, a real life collection of ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • In "To Serve Man", the protagonist is named Michael Chambers. In the short story by Damon Knight, his name is Peter.
    • In "In His Image", the respective names of the protagonist, his creator, his fiancée and his supposed neighbor are Alan Talbot, Walter B. Cummings, Jr., Jessica Connelly and Agatha Cook. In the short story "The Man Who Made Himself" by Charles Beaumont, their names are Peter Nolan (a tribute to Beaumont's friend and fellow writer William F. Nolan), Walter B. Ryder, Jr., Jessica Lang and Jenny Cook.
    • In "Printer's Devil", Douglas Winter, the editor of The Dansburg Courier, is visited by the Devil under the name Mr. Smith. In the short story "The Devil, You Say?" by Charles Beaumont, Richard Lewis, the editor of The Danville Daily Courier, is visited by the Devil under the name Mr. Jones.
    • In "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", the protagonist is named William J. Feathersmith. In the short story "Blind Alley" by Malcolm Jameson, his name is Jack Feathersmith.
    • In "Passage on the Lady Anne", the McKenzies' names are Toby and Millie. In the short story "Song for a Lady" by Charles Beaumont, their names are Jack and Sally.
    • In "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", the protagonist's name is Robert Wilson. In the short story by Richard Matheson, his name is Arthur Jeffrey Wilson.
    • In "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", the names of the protagonist, her mother and her psychiatrist are Marilyn Cuberle, Lana Cuberle and Dr. Rex respectively. In the short story by Charles Beaumont, their names are Mary Cuberle, Zena Cuberle and Dr. Hortel.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Caucasian Thomas Richards was Race Lifted into a Hispanic, thus became Tomas. Oddly, his new last name isn't revealed.
    • The Chalmers family became the Chambler family.
    • The Marauders became the Claimers, though it may or may not be a case of Named by the Adaptation whom the members played straight.
    • Chris, The Leader of The Hunters, became Gareth.
  • Granted, it was only in-universe speculation in the original comic, but Watchmen (2019) sees Hooded Justice's real name be revealed to be Will Reeves, not Rolf Müller -- though that's not the only change.
  • The White Queen: The TV adaptation of The Cousins' War Series renames Elizabeth Shore to Jane Shore, avoiding confusion with the two main characters already named Elizabeth (and because "Jane" is the name she used in Real Life and is better known by as a historical figure).
  • Wonder Woman (1975): In the comics, Steve Trevor's superior officer is named Phillip Darnell, here he's named Philip Blankenship.
  • Yo soy Betty, la fea: The many different Foreign Remakes usually change the characters names (but keeping the tendency of having a nickname of the "shortened first name" type for the protagonist). The protagonist's name was originally Beatriz "Betty" Aurora Pinzón Solano.
    • La Fea Más Bella: This Mexican remake features Leticia "Letty" Padilla Solis de Mendiola.
    • Bela, a Feia: This Brazilian remake of Yo soy Betty, la fea features Anabela "Bela" Palhares (an Ironic Nickname, as "bela" means "beautiful" in Portuguese). Her name was originally Beatriz "Betty" Aurora Pinzón Solano.
    • Ugly Betty: Beatriz "Betty" Aurora Pinzón Solano keeps her original first name (but not the surname) in this American remake, being named Beatriz U. "Betty" Suarez.
    • The Dutch Lotte featuring Lotte Pronk.
    • The German Verliebt en Berlin featuring Lisa Plenske.
    • The Flemish Sara featuring Sara De Roose.

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