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Adaptation Species Change / Film

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  • Used twice in the film adaptations of Annie:
  • In Aquaman, the Fisherman is the fish-like king of an undersea race known as collectively as the Fishermen, in contrast to the comics, where he was simply a human criminal with a high-tech underwater suit.
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  • BloodRayne had Belial, a powerful vampire who became invulnerable to all their common weaknesses and had his body parts turned into relics that could confer the same abilities to other vampires. In the video game that the movie was based on, Belial was actually a demon, though not just any demon but the previous ruler of Hell before being dethroned by Lucifer, and his body parts granted a variety of superpowers to other people.
  • In Dr. Who and the Daleks the Doctor (referred to as Doctor Who), unlike the main series, is a human scientist instead of a Human Alien Time Lord.
  • Godzilla:
    • The Godzilla of Shin Godzilla isn't a dinosaur, but rather a different prehistorical Animalistic Abomination that's undergoing Hollywood Evolution. His growth cycle and even the shape of his final form's head resembles that of a Salamander; albeit a highly irradiated and deformed one.
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    • Rodan is usually depicted as some variation of a Pteranodon. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), as a Permian Titan, he would have to predate not only the Pteranodon genus, but the entire pterosaur order.
  • In Tarnsman of Gor, Cabot rides a tarn, which is a giant bird; in other books of the series people also ride tharlarion and kailla, which are land animals. In the films Gor and Outlaw of Gor, people ride horses.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the books, Hagrid's dog Fang is described as a boarhound, which is an old term for a Great Dane. In the movies, Fang is played by a Neapolitan Mastiff. Downplayed as this is a change of breed rather than species.
    • Also, in the first movie the species of the snake Harry unintentionally frees from the zoo is changed from boa constrictor to Burmese Python.
    • Nagini's species isn't specified in the books, but we do know she's some kind of venomous snake. In the movies, she's also a python (but she's still venomous, even though real pythons aren't). The prequel films eventually revealed (and Rowling confirmed it was canon to the book) that she was born a witch, and her snake form was the result of a hereditary curse that eventually left her stuck in that form for good.
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  • Happened in the transition from the book The Incredible Journey to the film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. They're all the same breed types as the original, although the dogs have age and personality swapped: Shadow is Luath's breed type (retriever, though Shadow is a Golden and Luath a Labrador) and stone-cold determined personality with Bodger's age, Chance is Bodger's breed type (bully breeds; Chance is an American Bulldog and Bodger an English Bull Terrier) and devil-may-care personality with Luath's young age, and Tao the male Siamese is changed into Sassy the female Himalayan (a Persian/Siamese cross). In both versions, it's the young dog who has a bad run-in with a porcupine and the old dog who almost doesn't make it home at the end.
  • The unproduced (and completely over the top) script Indiana Jones and the Monkey King has Indiana Jones chasing a tank while riding a rhinoceros. In the film finally developed from that script, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy chases the tank on a horse.
  • In The Film of the Book for Inkheart, Dustfinger's horned marten was changed to a ferret. Because, well, horned martens don't exist.
  • King Louie from Disney's 1967 adaptation of The Jungle Book was originally an orangutan. For the 2016 live-action movie (also by Disney), he's changed to a Gigantopithecus, as orangutans aren't native to India. (The Gigantopithecus died out several million years before the movie is set, but points for trying.)
    • Baloo is a weird case. The book says that he has brown fur, but his diet is more like an Asian black bear, and the story is set in a place only inhabited by sloth bears. In the 1967 movie, he is obviously a sloth bear (complete with that species's signature claws) and in the 2016 movie, he is a Himalayan brown bear, but is still called a "sloth bear" by Bagheera and says that he doesn't need to hibernate and just likes to nap a lot, which is true of sloth bears.
    • While the jackal Tabaqui, the lackey of Shere Khan, is simply Adapted Out from both Disney versions, there are several other live-action adaptations that turn Tabaqui from a jackal to a hyena, possibly because jackals look too similar to wolves. Examples include the 1998 film The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (where he is a spotted hyena despite the species not being native to India) and the 2018 film Mowgli.
  • Jurassic Park series:
    • In the first film, the park's local sauropod is changed from an Apatosaurus to a Brachiosaurus. The only sauropods in the first sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, are Mamenchisaurus. Brachiosaurus returns for a very brief scene in Jurassic Park III (and with a completely different color) and is finally replaced by Apatosaurus in Jurassic World.
    • The iconic sick Triceratops from the first movie was a sick Stegosaurus in the novel. This switch was inverted in the sequel, when they used Stegosaurus as the first dinosaurs the main characters interact with, and reduced the Triceratops to the anecdotal appearances they had in the first book.
    • In the first book, the dinosaurs that Grant, Lex and Tim watch being hunted by the Tyrannosaurus are the elephant-sized hadrosaurs Maiasaura. Probably because of FX limitations, the Maisaura was changed to horse-sized Gallimimus in the movie. However, the only hadrosaurid in the movie is Parasaurolophus, which we also see in the sequels along with Corythosaurus, but Maiasaura still has to appear yet - probably because it is rather boring looking compared to them.
      • In fact, most of the species from the novel are changed in the film version. It's not readily apparent in the film itself, but promotional material and props reveals all but two of the park's fifteen species (the other two are thought to be Compsognathus and Pteranodon). Most of these species are relatively obscure carnivores such as Metriacanthosaurus. In the novel, most of the other animals in the park were herbivores such as Hypsilophodon.
    • It is a matter of debate if the land piranhas in the second movie are Procomsognathus, as in the book, or Compsognathus. They are called the first by a character, but are named one or the other interchangeably in the merchandise.
    • The pterosaur aviary (pterosaury?) in Jurassic Park III with the iconic Pteranodon longiceps was based on a scene from the first book involving the Seldom-Seen Species Cearadactylus. The aviary scene in the next movie has Pteranodon (which look different because they are all female this time) and Dimorphodon.
    • In general, Jurassic Park III changes the Tyrannosaurus role in the franchise to Spinosaurus, even on the movie's logo. The Spinosaurus boat attack scene was based on a scene involving a Tyrannosaurus in the first book.
    • The camouflaging Big Bad dinos in the second book were Carnotaurus. In Jurassic World, this role is filled by a genetically-engineered hybrid, the Indominus rex. Though Carnotaurus is identified as one of its DNA donors as a Mythology Gag, the Indominus's camouflage abilities come from something else.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Drax the Destroyer and Mantis were both humans originally from Earth; their powers and unusual appearances come from being genetically altered/trained by aliens. In the film and its sequel, both are aliens. It's also possible that Rocket, before being granted intelligence by experiment, was not a terrestrial raccoon but some alien animal that happened to look like one.
    • Also in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego the Living Planet is a Celestial instead of "just" a sentient planet.
    • Thanks to rights issuesnote  the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (the two characters in the page image) are not depicted as mutants. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's shown that they were ordinary humans who received special abilities from experimentation done with Loki's cosmic scepter. This change carried over to the comics, where their powers were Retconned into being the result of experimentation from the High Evolutionary combined with coming from a magical bloodline, with Magneto no longer being their father.
    • Redwing in the comics is a bird with a telepathic link to Falcon. Here, Redwing is reimagined as a drone of entirely technological origin, in part because Falcon here is a Badass Normal in this universe.
    • Subverted by Edwin Jarvis. He's human in the comics, but the Jarvis introduced in Iron Man is an Artificial Intelligence. However, as first shown in supplemental material, it turns out that this computer program is based on the actual Edwin Jarvis, who was given an Age Lift and served Tony's father instead.
    • In the The Mighty Thor comics, Hela and Fenris are jotun (giants) as the children of Loki. In Thor: Ragnarok, they are Asgardians instead since they are no longer related to Loki by blood; Hela is a biological daughter of Odin while Fenris is merely listed as an "Asgardian wolf".
    • Avengers: Infinity War reveals that Thanos is a member of a race called the Titans who hail from a planet called Titan (which is apparently not Saturn's moon of the same name). In the comics, he was an Eternal, one of a splinter race of humanity who were forcibly altered by the Celestials and chose to leave Earth to resettle on Titan (Saturn's largest moon).note 
  • Madame Dorothea is a mundane in City of Bones, but a witch in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  • In Murders in the Rue Morgue, the killer ape is a gorilla rather than an orangutan, like in the book.
  • In Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Ms Norman, a Gender Flip version of the game's Keith Norman is revealed to be a Ditto.
  • Stuart Little: In the book Stuart is a weird, small, mouse-looking human, however the movie changed him into actually being a mouse who is adopted by humans.
  • Due to budget and special effects limitations, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory changed the nut-sorting squirrels of its source novel to geese that lay golden chocolate eggs. Veruca Salt's exit was altered accordingly — instead of being tossed down the rubbish chute by the squirrels, she carelessly stands on top of the trapdoor that "bad eggs" are sent down during her Villain Song. Subsequent adaptations have been able to return to the novel's version of events.
  • The film version of Wolfen alters the title creatures from human-like intelligent wolves into supernatural creature wolves.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In X2: X-Men United, Lady Deathstrike is a mutant with a healing factor who was given an adamantium-laced skeleton by Weapon X. This is in contrast to the comics, where she was a human who was transformed into a Cyborg by Spiral.
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Juggernaut is a mutant rather than a human with powers from a magic gem.
    • In the comics, Silver Samurai is a mutant. In The Wolverine, Silver Samurai is a Decomposite Character, and both of the resulting characters are humans (one of whom is a martial artist, the other of whom is an old man in a suit of Powered Armor).
    • In the comics, Deadpool was a normal human who gained special abilities from genetic experimentation done by Weapon X. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he's an outright mutant with enhanced strength and superhuman reflexes. The Deadpool movie splits the difference by making him a human with dormant mutant genes, which are activated after he's experimented on.
    • In the comics, Yukio is a human. In both The Wolverine and Deadpool 2, she's a mutant (respectively with precognition and electrical abilities).
  • In the original Rampage video games, George, Ralph, and Lizze were all former humans who were transformed into giant anthropomorphic animals by Scumlab. In the movie, all three were animals to begin with, but were transformed into aggressive giants by mysterious objects from outer space. Also, George is now a albino silverback gorilla rather than a brown one (to differentiate from that other giant ape), and Lizzie is now a crocodile instead of a Not Zilla.
  • In Old Yeller, the titular dog is an obscure breed known as the Original Mountain Cur. In the film he was changed to a more common Labrador Retriever.
  • While his form is undefined in the comics, Galactus takes the form of a gigantic Humanoid Abomination. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer portrays him as a "blackhole-like" entity.
  • Garfield: In the original comic strip, Odie is said to be part Beagle (his mother being a Beagle... and Garfield snidely adding that his father was a brick). In the two live-action movies, though, Odie is a Dachshund instead and, of course, lacks the comic Odie's very long tongue.
  • In the original The Little Rascals shorts Pete the Pup was played by an American Pit Bull Terrier. In the 1994 film he is played by an American Bulldog. In 2014 The Little Rascals Save The Day he played by a mutt.
  • In A Dog's Purpose, Buddy (Bailey's final reincarnation) is a Saint Bernard/Australian shepherd mix, as opposed to being a Labrador retriever in the novel.
  • Toto is an unspecified black terrier in Land of Oz. Adaptations vary on what breed he is:
  • The Omen: The following is more of a "Remake Species/Breed Change". When Damien's first nanny hangs herself at his birthday party, a Rottweiler (hinted to be the devil himself) shows up in the 1976 version, while the 2006 remake has a black German shepherd instead.


Example of: