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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: In the book The Space Odyssey Series by Arthur C. Clarke, HAL-9000 is a beautifully-defined and deeply sympathetic character who is so human that he develops a psychosis, and his reasons for why he takes the actions he does are completely explained. The instructions that he was given from the White House to conceal the monolith clashed with his basic programming not to conceal information from the crew. HAL was working on a non-murderous solution to the problem, but overheard plans from Mission Control to temporarily disconnect him. HAL didn't understand the concept of sleep and thought that this would kill him, so he panicked. The movie, deprived of the ability to use a narrative voice to make this clear, makes HAL seem far more monstrous than the original intent, and sadly the film is often cited as an example of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. The movie of 2010: The Year We Make Contact sticks more closely to the book and redeems HAL, but it's often regarded as a very poor relation to the original movie.
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  • In Abbot and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll has none of the good qualities he has in Stevenson's book, purposely using his murderous Mr. Hyde persona as an assassin against anyone who risks exposing his illegal experiments. Mr. Hyde himself is a near-mindless brute sought by the police as a Serial Killer.
  • The Addams Family: In the original TV show, The Addamses are a textbook example of Dark Is Not Evil, defined by their caring and generous nature, and they were repeatedly shown to be kind, welcoming, cheerful, and unfailingly polite to any strangers who happened upon their home even though most people kept their distance. In the movies they are closer to villains, having a bit of a misanthropic streak, being shown to be rather contemptuous of outsiders, and heavily hinted that they consider murder, torture, and cannibalism to be perfectly normal.
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  • Aladdin (2019): While Jafar in the original movie certainly wasn't above murder, this version of the character is far more murderous, killing people (or attempting to do so) for much less reason.
  • The Amazing Spider Man 2:
    • The Gender Flipped character Dr. Kafka is an evil Mad Scientist, rather than a well-meaning psychologist who genuinely tries to treat her patients as in the comics.
    • Harry Osborn is notably less sympathetic than he was in the comics, being the Big Bad of the film, and the Green Goblin that's responsible for Gwen Stacy's death, rather than his father. In the comics, Harry was genuinely upset by Gwen's death.
  • Aquaman: In the comics, Black Manta's father was a boat captain who helped his son hunt for treasure, and who was accidentally killed by an enraged Aquaman. In the movie, he's instead introduced as a ruthless pirate and killer, and his death is arguably his own fault (as he ends up pinned underneath a torpedo after fighting Aquaman during a botched submarine hijacking).
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  • Around the World in 80 Days: Detective Fix is a misguided Scotland Yard detective who pursued Phileas Fogg because he mistakenly thought that Fogg had committed a robbery. In the 2004 film, he is a Corrupt Cop hired by Lord Kelvin to stop Fogg out of of petty jealousy.
  • The A-Team gives two prominent examples:
    • In the show, Lynch was an Inspector Javert who was just doing his job by pursuing the Team. The worst things about him were his buffoonery and his Glory Hounding. The film's version of Lynch is a lot more ruthless and we eventually learn that he's responsible for framing the Team in the first place, as part of a plan to swipe valuable engraving plates for his own personal use. But since "Lynch" is portrayed here as a codename and he's replaced at the end, it is possible he's not meant to be the same character.
    • In the show, Colonel Morrison did give the Team the orders that made them fugitives, but he did it to bring an end to the Vietnam War, and the only reason he didn't clear their names afterwards was because he'd died. The film's version of Morrison was complicit in Lynch's plan to steal engraving plates and frame the team, then faked his death and betrayed Lynch to keep them for himself.
  • Battle Royale: In the novel, Kazuo Kiriyama is an Empty Shell who participates in the program on a whim. In the film, he's an Ax-Crazy maniac who volunteered for the program for fun.
  • The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms: In the short story that the movie is inspired by, "The Fog Horn" by Ray Bradbury, the dinosaur is a much more sympathetic and tragic figure which usually avoids humans, but comes to a lighthouse every year because it mistakes the fog horn for the cry of a member of its own species. It is strongly implied to be the only survivor of its species and desperately lonely. Although it destroys the lighthouse in a rage when the horn is turned off, no one is killed, and it returns to the ocean in peace without destroying anything else. The human characters even remark that this turn of events is for the best, as it spares the dinosaur from wasting its feelings away on something that can't return them. In the film, the creature is a mindlessly violent Prehistoric Monster which destroys the lighthouse, along with many other places, for no reason and must be killed to end its threat, with none of its tragic qualities from the short story.
  • Beowulf: The film adaptation of the classical tale portrayed Beowulf as being seduced by Grendel's mother, lying about it, and having the dragon with her. Also, King Hrothgar is Grendel's father, something he wasn't in the original poem. The film seems to interpret the original epic poem as having been written by Beowulf himself (or at least based on his testimony), and that he was an Unreliable Narrator.
  • In most versions of Beauty and the Beast that have a rival suitor, said suitor is usually a boorish idiot. Even more sinister versions, like Gaston, are more stupid than malicious. However, Sven of Blood of Beasts uses the Beast as a way to do a coup on his kingdom.
  • The Blob (1988): The remake version of the blob is clearly more intelligent than the Grey Goo version from the original, making it come across as far more sadistic in the way it chooses to toy with its prey, along with those deaths themselves generally being Bloodier and Gorier.
  • The Book of Masters, a Disney production yet filmed in Russia with Russian cast and crew, does it to the Mistress of the Copper Mountain. In the original tales by Pavel Bazhov she was quite harsh, with a peculiar sense of sarcasm, and sometimes kept guys that she fancied for years in her mountain – but, nevertheless, she was always honorable in her own way, was always there to help if a real Big Bad turned up, and always rewarded the good guys. In The Book of Masters, renamed the Stone Princess, she is an Ax-Crazy Big Bad herself. Just the main things include: ordering her soldiers to go raiding villages For the Evulz, killing off stone-carvers because they fail to bring a magical stone to life, trying to pull out her adopted daughter's soul for the sake of the same Impossible Task, turning her most trusted minion to stone because he fell in love with her daughter, and planning to take over the world and turn all of it to stone.
  • The Brady Bunch: In the original series, the Dittmeyers were simply the Bradys' neighbors. In the movie, Mr. Dittmeyer wants to destroy the neighborhood in order to build a mall and is willing to break the law to do it.
  • Brideshead Revisited: In the book, Lady Marchmain is a well-meaning mother with understandable anxiety about her son's drinking problem and a sincere Catholic faith that unfortunately gets on the nerves of her male relatives. In the movie, she comes off more as a domineering religious zealot who continually undermines her children's happiness.
  • The 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a work that traditionally has No Antagonist — the four brats are nasty, even more so in adaptations, but don't actively work against other characters (they're too self-absorbed for that) — does this to Willy Wonka. In the novel and most adaptations he is a Nightmare Fetishist who has extremely Skewed Priorities and No Sympathy for those who disregard his warnings but is also imaginative, polite, friendly, cheerful, and capable of amazing generosity. He may be portrayed as an Anti-Hero in adaptations (i.e. the 2013 stage musical) but nothing worse. In the 2005 film, rather than the Gentleman and a Scholar of the novel he is an apathetic Insufferable Genius Manchild who rarely shows any real kindness to the other characters, and in a Not His Sled twist tells Charlie he must leave his family behind if he wants to inherit the factory. This turns out to stem from a film-specific Backstory for Mr. Wonka — who in all other versions is Inexplicably Awesome and has a Mysterious Past barely touched on at most — that gives him a Freudian Excuse, and he does get better in the denouement.
  • Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1984) comes across as a great deal colder than most. Rather than being indifferent he seems to find the suffering of others darkly amusing. He also makes more efforts to defend himself from the spirits than in most versions.
  • Cinderella (2015): In the animated film, the Duke was a bumbling minion to the boisterous king. In this film, the Duke is a schemer more closely mirroring Lady Tremaine, and who wants the Prince to marry based on politics rather than on love. That said, he's definitely more honourable than Lady Tremaine, and it's worth noting that he has clearly the kingdom's welfare in mind. While a schemer to achieve his ends, the novelization states that he is looking out for the kingdom and the king.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away: The creatures that emerge from the sand to spook and separate Mia from the KA good guys here are comic relief in the original show.
  • Medusa is very much a Designated Villain in the first Clash of the Titans. The remake increases her villainy by having her cackling cruelly, clearly enjoying murdering Perseus's comrades. Likewise taking her head is the second option, as the soldiers first say that she can't be reasoned with. Oddly enough the movie also paints her as a Tragic Monster — with Io revealing her sympathetic backstory.
  • Cloud Atlas: Mephi, who in the book was a University professor who joined the Union not knowing it was part of Unanimity. In the film, he is a major antagonist and head of the Neo Seoul police.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Batman Begins: Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) proves himself a ruthless villain. In the comics, he's not really much more than a cynical French detective (whereas the movie leaves his nationality ambiguous). While the comic book Ducard is certainly an unsavory figure (in addition to being a Misanthrope Supreme, he's a sociopath who has no problem with shooting enemies In the Back), he's far from being a supervillain and will even help Batman and Robin if he believes it is in his interest to do so. The film turns this character into a mass-murdering lunatic...although the plot eventually renders this forgivable by revealing that "Henri Ducard" is nothing more than an alias for Ra's al Ghul, another comic book character who is portrayed more or less accurately, and possibly with more sanity than he deserves, since the relatively-realistic setting cuts out Lazarus Pits.
    • The Dark Knight Rises:
      • In the comics, Ra's al-Ghul's daughter Talia is a gray-shaded character constantly going between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, and has sincere feelings for Batman. In the film, Talia is a flat-out villain with none of the moral conflicts she has in the comics, instead being just as much of a Knight Templar as her father. And her feelings for Batman are revealed to have been all an act: she never loved him, she loved Bane.
      • Bane himself, possibly, depending on whether you think the version that occasionally verges on Noble Demon but doesn't care about anyone but himself is more or less evil than the nihilistic destroyer with the bomb who serves the League of Shadows
  • The Da Vinci Code: Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, the head of Opus Dei, was originally just an unusually conservative clergyman who got roped into helping The Teacher out of desperation, since the Catholic Church was planning to disown Opus Dei and he needed help to keep it afloat. The film version makes him a member of a splinter cell within the Church that actively wants to find and destroy Mary Magdalene's remains to hide the truth about Jesus' descendants, and it has him manipulating Fache (an Opus Dei member in the movie) into hunting down Langdon despite his innocence. Notably, the book gives him a happy ending, where Fache realizes that The Teacher manipulated him and ensures that he goes free. In the movie, he's last seen being arrested by an angry Fache and hauled off by the police.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008):
    • In the original film version The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Klaatu was a messenger from an advanced race who believed that humans have a capacity for good, his main concern that humans are warlike and, having developed nuclear power, would threaten other worlds when they achieved space travel. In the remake, Klaatu comes to Earth intending to wipe out humanity with Grey Goo because humans are destroying the planet's ecosystem.
    • In the original film, Gort the robot was an enforcer of peace, generally not attacking until Klaatu was threatened. In the remake, GORT, who is actually a Swarm Of Alien Locusts designed to only attack people and things made by people, is the aliens' method of destroying the human race.
    • In the original short story by Harry Bates, Gort doesn't attack anyone at all. He tries to resurrect the dead Klaatu, eventually succeeds (after causing some damage and scaring the bejeezus out of some Earthlings), then they both leave.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman outright intended to kill Superman before he could even become a threat in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In one of the movie's major influences, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman merely intends to beat Superman up in a Humiliation Conga and other stories have Batman come up with non-lethal countermeasures in dealing with a rogue Superman. The combination of Superman mentioning the name "Martha", the subsequent PTSD episode where he recalls the death of his parents, and Lois explaining who Martha Kent is and what's going on is what snapped him out of his murderous rage.
    • Suicide Squad (2016) sees Rick Flag undergo this as in the comic, he is one of the more moral officials and members of the Squad in the DC Universe. In the film, he is willing to look the other way when he sees Waller gunning down her staff.
  • Death Note (2017): In the original Death Note, Ryuk is a neutral figure who was only interested making sure Light used the Death Note. He had no issues with how Light used it as long as the Death Note was used, but also made it clear he was not Light's friend and wouldn't help him unless he got something in return. In the film, Ryuk is more outright sinister and sadistic, not only goading Light into using it for the first time but also being the one who tells Light he can specify a cause of death. It seems he also has a habit of betraying previous Death Note keepers, as a warning Light finds informs him to not trust Ryuk, and Ryuk states that past owners have tried to use the Death Note to kill him.
  • Die Hard: In the original novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, Gruber and his gang attacked the Office Building mainly to expose the oil company's illicit dealings with Chile's junta. The movie changes them to thieves in it for the money.
  • Dracula:
    • In the famous 1931 movie, and many other adaptations after it, Renfield is a willing slave to Dracula. In the original book, while Renfield is under Dracula's control, he isn't so happy about it. He even tries to kill Dracula at one point to protect Mina, although unsuccessfully.
    • Renfield in the 1931 movie is an odd case, being something of a Composite Character. At the start of the movie, Renfield fills the role of Jonathan Harker in the book; a skeptical young solicitor sent to take documents to Count Dracula. Unlike Harker, Renfield is fed upon by Dracula and apparently is largely under his control or possibly even part-cursed with vampirism. The actual Harker in the movie, is a supporting character mostly serving as assistant to Dr. Stewart or Dr. Van Helsing, and being properly concerned when Mina is preyed upon by Dracula.
    • A more mild example is that of pre-vampire Lucy. In the book, she's a borderline Purity Sue. In various adaptations she's portrayed as anything from a Femme Fatale to The Vamp (no pun intended) thus introducing a rather unfortunate Madonna/Whore comparison between herself and Mina, with Lucy as the silly flirt who "deserves" to be vamped and staked.
  • Dracula: The Dark Prince: Renfield gets this once again, whereas most adaptations and the source material depict him as a mistreated slave at best or a sycophantic minion at worst, this version is a vampire (albeit one subservient to Dracula) and revealed to be responsible for his master's descent into evil, as Renfield conspired with other advisers to assassinate Dracula's wife when she was left in charge of their castle. The other conspirators became fall guys and were executed, while Renfield walked free and was turned into a vampire when Dracula renounced God and turns into The Starscream during the climax where he tells the whole truth.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: The movie version has Roscoe and Boss Hogg portrayed as traditional, competent evil guys instead of the goofball minor incompetents they usually were in the TV show. While they were corrupt, greedy jerks in the show, too, they were known to Pet the Dog on occasion, were relatively harmless villains, and had lines that they wouldn't cross - for example, Hogg hated violence and avoided physically harming people as part of his schemes.
  • Elektra: Unlike the title character, who received the opposite of this trope in Daredevil, Stone is a member of the Hand as opposed to a loyal devotee of the Chaste.
  • Pazuzu, the demonic entity from The Exorcist, was originally a more ambivalent figure from Sumerian mythology. In mythology, while Pazuzu was a demon, his image was also invoked as protection for women and unborn children against his rival Lamashtu and to drive away other demons.
  • Flubber: Shelby in The Absent-Minded Professor was not the main villain, but just a prideful Jerkass who gets in the way of Professor Brainard in his pursuits of his girlfriend. In the remake, he is renamed Wilson and he is The Man Behind the Man.
  • Frankenstein:
    • There are a lot of film adaptations in which the monster is portrayed as, well... a monster. In the original book, Frankenstein's "monster" is actually a tragic, erudite victim of circumstance. In the most famous adaptation, it's suggested that the monster became evil and dangerous because Frankenstein was given a criminal's brain to create it, while the book, where the monster becomes violent and vengeful after bad treatment from humans, comes down on the "nurture" side of the Nature Vs Nurture debate.
    • Victor Frankenstein himself is also a complex character with plenty of sympathetic moments, but many films portray him as a two-dimensional cackling Mad Scientist who is often willing to kill people to use as parts for his monster, while Victor in the book, for all his faults, never killed anyone for his creation. For instance, in The Curse of Frankenstein, Victor murders an elderly college professor to use his brain for the monster, which he does not do in the book. He also uses the monster to kill his maid Justine, while in the book Justine was deliberately framed by the creature for the murder of Victor's brother and Victor is genuinely upset by her trial and execution.
  • The film adaptation of The Giver paints the Chief Elder as a Knight Templar villain. In the book, she was a fairly minor character.
  • Godzilla:
    • Throughout the various films, Godzilla has at best been a force of nature, neither good nor evil, a large animal that only attacks humans when provoked or needs radiation for sustenance who just happens to pass through cities on the way to nuclear plants, and unintentionally saves them from a greater threat. However, the Godzilla in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! is the original Godzilla (the film's version is nicknamed "Ghost Godzilla" by fans), brought back to life through the vengeful spirits of victims from World War II, and is attacking Japan out of purely evil reasons.
    • Godzilla 1985 has some changes in its portrayals of the Cold War superpowers that reflect the perceptions of those powers in the US as opposed to Japan. What's the same in both versions is that a nuclear missile is launched at Tokyo from a Soviet satellite when Godzilla appears there, and the US military successfully intercepts it with a missile of its own. In the Japanese version, both the US and the Soviet Union are shown to have nuclear-armed satellites and while the Soviets do launch a nuclear missile, it was more out of desperation and misguidance than malice. In the US cut, produced by New World Pictures under the direction of conservative studio executives, the shots depicting the American satellite are removed and while the USSR still want to nuke Godzilla, the Soviets are more ruthless and malicious in intent.
    • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), the Ptero Soarer kaiju Rodan is depicted as an outright antagonist, siding with King Ghidorah and becoming The Dragon to him after being defeated by him. Notably, Rodan in previous films has often been depicted as Godzilla's ally, or the very least a neutral figure playing off as a Token Evil Teammate. At the end, though, Rodan joins Godzilla's side after Ghidorah is defeated.
  • Hairspray: While Velma Von Tussle is the villain in all versions, she is portrayed as a considerably darker character in the 2007 film, which shows her rigging the Miss Hairspray pageant, attempting to seduce Wilbur, and even implying she may have murdered her husband for startup money ("He... accidentally suffocated himself"), none of which she did in the original stage musical or the original film. This is also apparent in her ultimate fate in each version: in the 2007 remake, she is taken down by Wilbur and Edna in an Engineered Public Confession, while in the show she does a last-minute Heel–Face Turn due to The Power of Rock (the original movie, for the record, ended with her and her husband arrested for trying to bomb Tracy with an explosive hidden inside a wig).
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire excised a lot of Barty Crouch Jr.'s more sympathetic traits, particularely his love for his mother and the scorn and neglect he received from his father, which partially explained why he looked up to Voldemort as a mentor figure. In the film he just seems to join the Death Eaters entirely For the Evulz.
    • Umbridge was still a horrifically vile person in the book, but she only inflicted her "Blood-Quill" punishment method on two students (Harry and Lee Jordan), as well as getting Fred, George, and Harry a lifetime note ban from playing Quidditch. In the film, she did it to practically every student who disagreed with her, even first years, and threatened McGonagall with everything up to legal action on trumped-up charges.
    • Pius Thicknesse of the books is weak-willed and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but isn't a villain until he is Brainwashed into becoming one by Voldemort's minions through the Imperius Curse. He's presumably returned to normal after the war, although this isn't shown. In the film series, he is implied to have joined the Death Eaters of his own free will, as he doesn't display traits of characters under the Imperius Curse in the films and is more self-aware.
    • Peter Pettigrew. In the films, he seems generally nastier and less cowardly than in the novels, giving quite a few taunting Psychotic Smirks on his reveal, whereas in the books he was portrayed as a pitiable disgusting obsequious man who's always afraid.
    • Grindelwald, while being a villain in both the books and the films of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, refuses to help Voldemort find the Elder Wand in the book and is killed for it, and it is implied that he feels remorse for his deeds. In the film he outright tells Voldemort where to find the wand.
  • Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers: Anubis gets this once again, this time being a Human Sacrifice demanding god of chainsaws instead of the kindly god of mummification.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: In the 2000 film adaptation, the Whos are for the most part more materialistic and unsympathetic than they were in the book, in part to make the Grinch more sympathetic. In the film, while well-meaning and never deliberately nasty, they are extremely commercial and need to learn what Christmas really means. In the book and animated special, the Whos kept up the Christmas spirit, even after the Grinch stole their gifts, without any prompting, and this is what impresses the Grinch into a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Iliad (AKA N The Trojan War): Film and TV adaptations of this mythological tale tend to play up the villainy of the Greeks while portraying the Trojans in a more sympathetic light - despite the fact that it was started because their prince Paris stole Helen, wife of the Greek warrior king Menelaus. The 2004 film adaptation, Troy, in particular went to great lengths to portray both Menelaus and his older brother, the supreme king of Greece, Agamemnon, as the bad guys. Agamemnon comes off as a shallow, superficial, one note mustache twirling bad guy. Now in the original poem Agamemnon's not exactly a nice man to begin with, but in the 2004 film he's practically a Nazi.
  • Into the Woods:
    • Cinderella's Prince. At least in the musical he had nine plus months to get bored with married life; here he turns around and cheats on Cinderella with the Baker's Wife practically the day after their wedding!
    • The Witch also comes off worse in the adaptation, as her warnings to Rapunzel (who apparently survives) about the dangers of the world come to naught, taking away the (thin) justification for having kept her locked up but "safe" all those years. She also seems more villainous for wanting to turn over a younger Jack over to the Giantess, compared to the older versions of Jack seen onstage, and also because she doesn't have the trauma of having watched Rapunzel get squashed by the giantess to drive her over the edge into despair.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: In the short story that the film is based on, "The Greatest Gift", Mr. Potter is only the owner of a photography studio and doesn't meet, much less cause problems for, George Bailey. In the movie, he is a corrupt slumlord, Jerkass, and all-around nasty piece of work who goes out of his way to make George's life a living hell (and almost drives him to suicide).
  • James Bond:
    • In the books, Ernst Stavro Blofeld was a thoroughly nasty individual. However, he did have lines he wouldn't cross and some humanizing moments. For example, when he learns that a young woman he'd been holding hostage had been raped while in his captivity, he executes the minion responsible and refunds part of her ransom. The movie version lacks these moral standards and moments of altruism, and his schemes — if successfully carried out — would have even more devastating consequences. This contrast is especially pronounced in the book and film versions of You Only Live Twice: in the book, he's "collecting death" by letting people commit suicide at a Japanese castle he owns; in the movie, he's trying to start a war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
      • In Spectre, Big Bad Franz Oberhauser is one of the worst villains in the Bond franchise, being that he relishes in wanton violence. It's later revealed that Oberhauser was not only the man who was behind all of the misery Bond faced since Casino Royale (2006), and is later revealed to be not only Bond's older but estranged step-brother, and has renamed himself Ernst Stavro Blofeld. In short, Blofeld in the Daniel Craig era is really a monster compared to the icy sociopath he was in the earlier films.
    • Kronsteen gets this treatment in From Russia with Love. While he was hardly a nice guy in the book, he was nevertheless just a Soviet operative doing his job. Here, he's a high-ranking member of one of the world's worst criminal organizations.
  • John Carter: In the book, Sab Than gets very little characterization but comes off as something of a Worthy Opponent, while the movie version is a straight-up villain. This is due in part to his being a Composite Character of book!Sab Than and his father, Evil Overlord Than Kosis, as well as the emphasis on the Helium vs. Zodanga conflict (Sab being the leader of the latter).
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Griffin is one of the bad guys here, filling a similar role to Judge Cal from the comics in framing Dredd and trying to take over the city, but with the insanity toned down and paired up with Rico. Judge Griffin in the comics was one of Dredd's main allies against Cal and served as a decent Chief Judge for some time afterwards.
  • The Jungle Book (2016): In the Disney animated version, King Louis is a goofy, bebopping orangutan who gets a bit cross but ultimately isn't terribly threatening when Mowgli can't give him fire. In the new movie, he's a Gigantopithicus with the mannerisms of a mob boss who tries to crush Mowgli to death when he doesn't get his way.
  • Jumanji: In the original book, Van Pelt was only a lost jungle guide and harmless toward the main characters. In the movie, he is a murderous Egomaniac Hunter who likes Hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Gennaro the lawyer, while a bit of a Jerkass, is reasonably brave; he volunteers for several dangerous missions, he goes on to punch out a Velociraptor at one point, becomes The Lancer to Alan Grant (and survives). In the film, Gennaro is a Dirty Coward who abandons any concerns about the park's safety and readiness once he realizes how lucrative it could be and gets bitten in half by a T-Rex while sitting on a toilet. The movie version of Gennaro inherited all his worst traits (including his depraved cowardice and his violent death) from the character Regis, who appeared in the novel but not the movie. So he's actually a twofer—Adaptational Villainy combined with Composite Character.
    • In the book, Dennis Nedry had a reason for sabotaging the park and stealing the dinosaur DNA beyond sheer greed: InGen had essentially blackmailed him into adding extensive modifications to their already-extensive computer systems for no pay. In the movie, he's given no such justification and is in it for the money, being essentially an unscrupulous backstabber who is open to bribes. Though the book's explanation is given a nod when Dennis warns Dodgson, "Don't get cheap on me. That was Hammond's mistake."
    • In Jurassic World and its sequel, geneticist Dr. Henry Wu turns his talents to designing dinosaurs as weapons, creating powerful hybrids like the Indominus rex and Indoraptor, both creatures intelligent, uncontrollable monsters even compared to the Velociraptors. On top of this, he associates with unambiguously villainous characters and intentionally created the I. rex as part of a conspiracy to sabotage Jurassic World. In the original book, Wu's worst crimes were overconfidence and his reluctance to take responsibility for the consequences of his work, but he's not a full-on villain and uncovers Nedry's sabotage of the park. He never shows interest in using his creations for military purposes and actually wanted to modify the dinosaurs to be slower and more docile than the "real" thing.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service:
    • Eggsy's comics counterpart's upper-class, Oxbridge-educated fellow recruits do make some comments regarding his background, but they're mostly friendly and even fight alongside him in the finale. They're mostly all absolute dicks in the movie, though. One of them even turns up in Valentine's bunker party in the end and betrays Eggsy to Valentine.
    • Sir Giles, Arthur's equivalent character in the comics, does not join forces with the villain and attempt to poison the protagonist. This role is fulfilled by Rupert Greaves, Merlin's comic equivalent instead.
  • Krampus. In most of the original tales, Krampus was simply doing his job of tormenting children who were naughty as he was a servant, or friend in some cases, of Santa Claus. In this film, Krampus is acting on his own and is pictured as a cruel, sadistic demon who enjoys tormenting children and adults.
  • Land of the Lost: In the original TV show, Enik the Altrusian was gruff and somewhat self-centered, but was otherwise a good guy and helped the main characters when they needed it, in contrast to his more vicious Sleestak relatives. In the 2009 live-action movie, he is a Manipulative Bastard and murderer who wiped out his own people, tries to Take Over the World with an army of mind-controlled Sleestaks, and briefly tricks the main characters into helping him do so.
  • Last of the Mohicans: In the film version, Duncan Heyward, although he has a Heroic Sacrifice, is significantly more of a jerk than the character in the book, who not only survives the book, but his descendants remain loyal to Hawkeye.
  • Les Misérables:
    • Two American film versions came out in periods of major hysteria about Communism, one in 1935 during the First Red Scare and the other in 1954 during the Cold War, and both of them portray Enjolras in an incredibly negative light, as a dangerous fanatic who co-opts Marius's nonviolent protest movement and turns it into a bloody rebellion. The '34 version even cast John Carradine, better known for numerous turns as Dracula, in the role. In the original novel and more accurate adaptations like the stage musical, he is of course the leader from the beginning and a borderline Messianic Archetype, and what's more, Marius isn't even all that die-hard of a follower. This change was quite obviously made because nobody would have accepted a violent revolutionary as a hero at the time.
    • Inspector Javert, while not that nice to begin with, is much more cruel in quite a few adaptations (such as the 34, 35, 52 and 98 versions).
  • In The Long Goodbye, unlike the novel it was based on, Terry Lennox really is the murderer. While he wasn't a very moral man in the book, he never actually killed anybody.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The book version of Denethor was a complicated man with genuine wisdom and virtues, who had reasons for his obstructionism and harmful decisions—secretly, he had access to a palantír of his own, which Sauron had used to fool him into despair and increasing madness with disinformation. The film was obliged to skip these details, and the character looked far more malignant and callous as a result. His favoritism of Boromir and his dislike for Faramir are also much more blatant, and he's much more hostile towards the latter.
    • In a case that's more Adaptational Anti-Heroism, Faramir, although on the good side in both, is more antagonistic towards the hobbits in the film version of The Two Towers than he was in the book. He also falls under the Ring's spell in the movie - in the book, he's smart enough to know that anything made by Sauron is probably dangerous, and is one of the only human characters to reject the Ring. Word of God says it was because they didn't have enough time to do the complex character development that that scene would require to explain why Faramir is able to refuse without even being tempted.
    • In the books, Saruman does not seek a sincere alliance with Sauron, merely to give the impression of one until he can take the One Ring for himself and then use it against Mordor. The films turn Saruman into a sincere ally of Sauron who has completely gone over to the latter's side.
    • Ugluk, Saruman's uruk-hai leader, while evil in the book as well, is shown to have a code of honor, believes himself to be heroic, and is very offended at the thought of eating orc flesh. In the movie adaptation, Ugluk's Even Evil Has Standards moments are cut, as opposed to disdaining cannibalism, in the film Ugluk gleefully kills and eats one of his men.
    • In The Hobbit, the Master of Laketown is a greedy, corrupt coward but doesn't actively get in Bard's way. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, he is more openly antagonistic towards Bard, who he sees as a rival, to the point of locking him up while the dragon is approaching the town.
    • Thranduil/The Elvenking, while more a Jerkass than a villain, has his unpleasant and racist side played up to the hilt in the movies, with less emphasis on his redeeming quaities. In the book, he is the most reluctant between himself, Thorin, and Bard to start a war over Smaug's treasure, shifts his priorities from claiming the dragon's hoard towards providing relief to the survivors of Smaug's attack on Laketown, and is considerably warmer to Bilbo. He also seems to be on good terms with his son Legolas by the time of The Lord of the Rings (he's the one who sent Legolas to the Council of Elrond), while his actions ultimately estrange them in the films.
    • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey The Great Goblin, only in comparison of his reasons for being a villain in both versions. The sole reason is his willingness to help kill Thorin for Azog even before the dwarves are caught in Goblintown, whereas in the book, he and the goblins believe the dwarves are spies and have come to attempt to destroy them. It doesn't help that Gandalf kills him in attempt to save the dwarves. Not to mention the goblins pursued Thorin's company to avenge their ruler, and even worse, later in the book after the slaying of Smaug, the goblins believed the dwarves, elves, and men to be more of a threat with Smaug's treasure, regardless of the three armies not exactly willing to share the treasure. In the first film, Gandalf's killing of the Great Goblin is justified as Azog and his own orcs are pursuing the dwarves since the beginning, and instead of the Goblintown goblins following Thorin's company, Azog's orcs continue to follow. Additionally Great Goblin valued goblin lives in the book, while in the movie version kills his own men For the Evulz.
    • In a similar case to Faramir above, Beorn, while not a villain by any means, is harsher and more menacing towards the dwarves than he was in the book, and is introduced attacking them in bear form. In the book, he's a generally more comical character and ultimately reasonable after a bit of convincing from Gandalf. He's still Anti-Hero-ish and potentially dangerous - although mainly to goblins and Wargs.
  • Maleficent: King Stefan in Sleeping Beauty was a loving Bumbling Dad who was fiercely protective of Aurora. He is a much nastier character in Maleficent, in which he is the Big Bad of the movie. He betrays Maleficent and cuts off her wings to become king, provoking her into cursing Aurora, and becomes increasingly tyrannical, paranoid, and unstable throughout the film, showing little love to his wife and daughter.
  • Man-Thing: In the original comics featuring Man-Thing, he is a mindless, neutral being who burns people who feel negative emotions around him. However, he is a sympathetic character who usually only really harms Asshole Victims and can be protective of the innocent. In the movie, he is intentionally murderous and much more monstrous than the comics' Man-Thing.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In the comics, Yellowjacket is an alias of Hank Pym, and at worst could be considered an Anti-Hero. In the Ant-Man movie, Yellowjacket is Darren Cross, the unapologetic Big Bad of the movie.note 
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Jasper Sitwell and Alexander Pierce are HYDRA moles secretly implanted in SHIELD. In the comics, both characters are loyal SHIELD agents. This continues into the arc of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that ties into it, as John Garrett is the Big Bad. This was done deliberately so the viewer feels the same betrayal and doesn't know who to trust. Especially Sitwell, not only an unambiguous good guy in the comics but a Mauve Shirt from the films and series with a big role in Item 47; one of the writers mentioned that he was chosen because "Bob from Accounting who you've never met" proving to be a mole just wouldn't have the same impact.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy:
      • Yondu is depicted as a ruthless space pirate who despite some Pet the Dog moments, is not a very nice guy. His comic counterpart is a hero and member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, but this version of him already became part of mainstream Marvel Comics. The sequel shows that all of this universe's version of the original GotG were Ravagers like Yondu.
      • Its Big Bad, Ronan the Accuser's comic counterpart is a Knight Templar but otherwise is devoted to his people and eventually joined a team of space heroes called the Annihilators and helped the Avengers during the Infinity storyline. His film counterpart is an extraterrestrial terrorist who defies his people's peace treaty with Xandar to destroy them. Ironically, in the comics Star-Lord and Ronan ended up on friendly terms.
    • Iron Man 3:
      • In Warren Ellis' Extremis storyline, Aldrich Killian is a normal civilian scientist who becomes wracked with guilt and eventually commits suicide after selling the Extremis formula to some domestic terrorists. In the movie, he's a Smug Snake and one of the major villains, and is also the founder of AIM, as well as the true Big Bad of the movie, Word of God and Killian's own boasts stating he's the real Mandarin..
      • Killian's right-hand man Eric Savin was never outright villainous in the comics as he is in the film. In the comics, he's the cyborg anti-hero Coldblood.
      • The Mandarin , or rather Trevor Slattery, is an inversion as he's nothing but a fraud. However, according to Word of God, Killian, not Slattery, is the real MCU version to the Mandarin (as well as the Scientist Supreme of AIM). Killian in the comics is just the co-creator of Extremis, commits suicide early on, and isn't villainous at all. As of the Marvel one-shot All Hail The King, neither Trevor nor Killian are the real Mandarin. The real Mandarin is a mysterious and ancient Asian villain from whom they both just borrowed the name. He may or may not show up in future stories.
    • Thor: The Dark World: In the Thor comics, Algrim/Kurse does work for Malekith for a time, but Malekith betrays him and Algrim — a noble soul — swears loyalty to Thor and Asgard, in fact being the one to kill Malekith himself. In Dark World, Malekith does sacrifice his own people but doesn't betray Algrim personally. Algrim has Undying Loyalty towards his master and becomes Kurse as a result. The sons of Odin ultimately have to kill him to curb his brutal assault.
    • In the comics that inspired Captain Marvel (2019)'s story, the dynamics of the alien empires were a little different than in the film. There, the Skrulls were a wealthy free-trading Evil Colonialist monarchy of shrewd shapeshifters (a little like an exaggerated bad guy version of the British Empire in space) and the Kree a former dependency of theirs which had revolted and since turned into a paranoid and militaristic garrison state that fanatically hated its old masters. In the movie, the Kree are simply space Nazis without the elements of sympathetic backstory from the comics, persecuting the innocent and defenseless Skrulls for no reason except bigotry and hatred.
  • The Last Airbender: Fire Lord Ozai actually manages to be even worse in this version. Like in the cartoon canon, he scarred and banished his son, but in the cartoon he at least gave his son a small ship and crew, even if they were not royal guards or special forces. Zuko's Story revealed that when Zuko was banished from the palace in the film universe, he was forced to live on the streets and try to recruit a crew from bars and failed. Ultimately, Zuko had to resort to asking Azula to ask Ozai to give him a ship. And even then, Ozai only give Zuko the ship to get rid of Iroh.
  • Mission: Impossible: Jim Phelps in the first movie. In the original series, he was a major protagonist. It seems almost like a deconstruction of what the movie thinks is the 'idea' of Jim Phelps. He's a Cold War agent who ran his own show, but when the conflict is over he finds himself in a low-paying job without a say in policy and a lousy marriage to a woman he doesn't love, so he throws his morals out the window by selling out his country to work for money. Ethan Hunt works as a reconstructed successor to the antiquated "old spy" Jim Phelps, reaffirming his loyalty to his country after they turn on him and ushering in a new era of espionage.
  • Thaddeus Valentine in Mortal Engines. While certainly no hero in the book, in the movie he murders Magnus Crome and tries to sacrifice London itself to destroy the Shield Wall.
  • Harry Warden in My Bloody Valentine 3D compared to the original. The original Harry was motivated by a desire to avenge himself and his fellow miners, as he was the only one to survive the cave-in, all the other miners were killed instantly. Harry only killed the two men he blamed for the cave-in. The Harry in the remake is motivated by selfishness and sadism, as other miner survive the cave in, and Harry kills them himself to preserve his own air. After awakening from his coma, Harry massacres an entire hospital consisting mostly of invalid patients and (according to news reports) children, all seemingly for no reason.
  • October Sky: Homer's father is turned into a Jerkass, presumably because there wouldn't really be a villain otherwise. In the book it was based on, his father is much nicer and more supportive of his rocketry work.
  • The Parent Trap: In the original book, Lottie and Lisa, the father's fiancée is clearly an unsympathetic antagonist, but hardly a villain — she seemed to genuinely like the girls' father (even if attracted to his fame as well), wanted to have her own children with him and only planned to get rid of his daughter (by sending her to boarding school) after the latter came to her house to openly object to their marriage. The fiancée didn't actually get to do anything villainous. However, in both The Parent Trap (1961) and The Parent Trap (1998) she's portrayed as Child Hater and Gold Digger (in the original, she's in fact much richer than her would-be husband) who Would Hurt a Child and resents the daughter he has custody of just on principle.
  • Paycheck: In the original short story, the only real threat for Jennings comes from the security police, not from Rethrick (who after the end of Jennings' contract actually offers him to work for the company again at any time). In the adaptation it's almost inverted - to the extent that Rethrick, of practically neutral alignment in the original, seems to be motivated primarily by For the Evulz in the film.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Hades in the book series is imposing and menacing, described as resembling every dictator in human history, but it turns out that he isn't one of the bad guys, and he eventually helps fight against the Titans while his son Nico becomes an important ally of the protagonists. Not so much in the movie. In the book, his main goal was revealed to be to reclaim his Helmet of Darkness (which he wrongly believes Percy stole along with the Master Bolt), only wanting the bolt to use as a bargaining chip if Percy was not the one with the helmet. In the film he plans to use it to overthrow Zeus.
  • The Phantom: Byron, Diana's love interest in the archaeological expedition, gets handed a Jerkass Ball near the end and becomes an antagonist for the sake of monetary gain. The Byron of the comics, even as a rival to the Phantom for Diana, was never less than honorable.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1989): Unlike most versions of the Phantom, there's absolutely nothing tragic or sympathetic about the title character. He's a slasher-style killer who sold his soul to the Devil and makes masks out of his victims' skin.
  • Planet of the Apes (2001): The entire ape society. In the original movies, they evolved from slave apes who Turned Against Their Masters. In the remake, there's no sign that the apes were oppressed in any meaningful way but still rebel against humans due to a particular power-hungry ape among them (from whom General Thade descended). Also, the humans they have currently enslaved themselves are shown to possess actual sapience, whereas Nova and her people were mute and had an intellect on par with cows. Finally, Thade's reasons for wanting to exterminate all humans are driven more by bigotry and lust for power compared to Dr. Zaius' genuine worry about the inherent destructiveness of humankind since he's actually seen the results of their atomic war. Zaius would certainly never consider casually murdering another ape to advance his own plans like Thade did.
  • In RoboCop (2014), Chief Karen Dean, the Gender Flipped version of Sgt. Reed, Murphy's supervising officer from the original trilogy is presented as a Corrupt Cop aligned with crime boss Antoine Vallon, whereas Reed was an honest cop who stood up to OCP.
  • The Satan Bug: Alistair MacLean's novel has a climax taking place aboard a helicopter. In the book, the pilot is an innocent bystander forced by the villain to fly the copter for him, and he and the hero cooperate to defeat the villain. In the movie, however, the pilot has become a henchman of the villain and even tries to kill the hero.
  • Scooby-Doo: Scrappy-Doo in the live-action movie. While previously an ally of the good guys in the series (although disliked by a lot of fans), he has a Face–Heel Turn and becomes the Big Bad, trying to kill Scooby and friends by sucking out their souls. His motivation in the film is anger at the Mystery, Inc. gang for kicking him out of the Mystery Machine when he demanded that they make him leader.
  • The book The Seven-Per-Cent Solution treats Moriarty's status as a criminal mastermind as something that Sherlock, in a drugged up state, only imagines. The movie does this too, but he is not entirely innocent either. In the book, Moriarty is merely the person who informs Sherlock of his mother's affair and death at her husband's hands. In the film, Moriarty actually is Mrs. Holmes' lover, and Sherlock sees him flee the scene after Squire Holmes shoots his wife dead, right in front of Moriarty and Sherlock.
  • The Servants Of Twilight: In the Made-for-TV Movie adaptation of Dean Koontz's book, the Private Detective protagonist's friend/mentor Henry is revealed to be a member of the cult trying to kill his client/Love Interest's son, whom the cultists believe to be The Antichrist. The possibility of Henry being The Mole was discussed in the novel but was a Red Herring. Additionally, the end of the movie reveals the boy is The Antichrist, while the novel was ambiguous leaning towards "probably not, no point in worrying"; whether or not this negates the "villainy" of the first example is up to the viewer.
  • The Shawshank Redemption: While the various wardens and headscrews aren't nice people in the novella, they don't go as far as to murder anyone, as Samuel Norton and Byron Hadley do to Tommy Williams in the movie. In the novella, Norton instead transfers Tommy to another prison in exchange for his silence on Andy's innocence, and Hadley retired before Norton's tenure.
  • She (1965): Billali, a leader of the Amahaggers who in the novel is a friend and helper to Holly and Leo, is evil in the film, kidnapping Leo on Ayesha's orders and trying to kill Leo in order to gain immortality in the fire.
  • The Shining: The book version of The Shining makes Jack more sympathetic than in the movie and he ultimately redeems himself and doesn't kill anyone in the book. It was this factor that launched criticism from its creator, Stephen King (mostly because Jack is an Author Avatar for King himself when he struggled with alcoholism).
  • Spider-Man 3: Venom (the Eddie Brock version) from the comics is an anti-hero, when not obsessed with killing Spider-Man. While using lethal force, Venom still had a sense of ethics, twisted admittedly, and did not want to harm innocents even when he had to. In this film, Eddie is a self-centered Jerkass who gloats, cheats his way to success and sleazily hits on any pretty woman he meets. He loses his job for far more legitimate reasons that previous incarnations; Spider-Man would unintentionally cause him trouble, while here Peter (under the influence of the symbiote) reveals he made a fake photograph of Spider-Man robbing a bank to get a desk job. Furthermore, in the original comics Eddie is at the church where he receives the symbiote to confess sins and pray for forgiveness as he decided to commit suicide before the symbiote merged with him. In the film, he's praying for Peter to be killed.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness:
    • The film gives a darker view on Khan's origins. In the original series, Khan's origins depicted him as a "benevolent tyrant" who was repressive but not wholly murderous (though he may have just been a Villain with Good Publicity; it's rather odd, but nobody in Starfleet had even heard of the guy, even though he was supposedly a prominent warlord). Into Darkness has Spock state that history indicates that Khan and his followers were planning to destroy those deemed inferior. Khan doesn't confirm it but doesn't deny it either. The tie-in comics clarify the situation: Khan was genuinely a Well-Intentioned Extremist who saw himself as the savior of humanity and wanted to rule, not destroy. However, he used very questionable methods (including nuking Washington D.C. and Moscow) which would certainly justify humanity recording in their history that he was an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • While we never knew what Admiral Marcus's intentions were in the original series, it would be safe to assume he wasn't a Manipulative Bastard who wanted to start a war with the Klingons.
  • Street Fighter: Dee-Jay and Zangief are portrayed as lackeys of M. Bison (although the former is Only in It for the Money and the latter does a Heel–Face Turn at the end).
  • Tekken:
    • In the games, Yoshimitsu is an honorable, Robin Hood-like warrior who helps those who cannot help themselves, while in the movie, he's corrupt and accepts a bribe to kill Jin during their bout, even though he ultimately fails.
    • Likewise, Kazuya lacks his tragic origin story and is just straight-up evil from the beginning, with it even being implied that he raped Jun when they were younger.
    • Law is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who seems to take pleasure in hurting his opponents, in contrast to his humorous, good-natured characterization from the games.
  • While they didn't become villains of their own free will, in The Thing Bennings and Norris are absorbed by the title creature and become alien agents. In "Who Goes There?", the original short story, these two characters were never assimilated and remain human throughout the story. In particular, the scene where Thing!Norris kills Dr. Copper is absent, and Copper survives, too, Norris in particular remaining a useful ally in exposing and defeating the alien. While Bennings's fate is a little more ambiguous, he isn't listed by Copper at the end as one of the casualties, heavily suggesting he survived.
  • In The Thing from Another World, the scientists are naive in general but Dr. Carrington sticks out as The Load, thinking that the blatantly hostile alien is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood long after it starts killing people - he actively sabotages the heroes to protect the alien, who clearly couldn't care less, and grows miniature Things for his own research. Since this version of the Thing has no assimilation powers, he doesn't even have that excuse. In the short story, while many of them do vote to thaw the creature, none of the scientists are under any illusions that the alien can be reasoned with once it reveals itself as hostile. Dr. Blair in particular, likely Carrington's original counterpart, snaps under guilt over his vote and stress and tries to kill everyone in an attempt to stop it from spreading, although this only gets him locked up and assimilated. Other scientist characters, like Norris and and MacReady himself (a trained meteorologist in the short story) are both competent and heroic. In the Truer to the Text 1982 film, both of the characters whose scientific training is highlighted, Blair and Fuchs, quickly realize how dangerous the Thing is and try to take an active role in fighting it. Not that it does either one any good - Blair becomes too unhinged and paranoid to work with the others and is infected at some point while Fuchs, in the best-case scenario, committed a painful suicide to save himself from being digested alive, his research giving the alien a reason to take him out quickly.
  • The Three Musketeers:
    • In most film adaptations, Rochefort is turned into The Dragon of Cardinal Richelieu and is usually killed in a climactic fight with d'Artagnan. In the novel, he insults d'Artagnan and steals his letter of recommendation in the beginning. He barely appears in the rest of the story. Occasionally d'Artagnan spots him and tries to chase him down to have a duel, but never catches him. At the end, Richelieu orders them to become friends, which they eventually do after several non-lethal duels. The Musketeer from 2001 even elevates him to Dragon-in-Chief who goes rogue and takes the Queen and the love interest hostage with his army of mooks, horrifying Richelieu (well, the character is named Febre and Rochefort is actually in the film as well seperately, but Febre is clearly based on Rochefort, so this is just a case of Decomposite Character). Both The Musketeer and the 1993 Three Musketeers make him the killer of D'Artagnan's father. In the novel, d'Artagnan's father is still alive.
    • Richelieu himself is probably one of the biggest examples in all of fiction. Several adaptations make him out to be the Big Bad with diabolical intentions when in fact the original novel portrayed him as an Anti-Villain at worst. He's not exactly a good guy and he is a devious schemer, but he's more interested in making sure that he has more influence over the King than the Queen or anyone else does. Otherwise, all of his actions are ultimately intended for what he views as the good of France. He's willing to commit some small crimes and immoral actions to get that far, but he isn't trying to have the King or Queen murdered or attempting to take over the country. Doubles with Historical Villain Upgrade as well, since the novel version is much closer to the Richelieu of real life. The actual villain of the original story ends up being M'lady de Winter, Richelieu's actual dragon who he eventually decides is a dangerous liability because she's a dangerously homicidal Manipulative Bitch.
    • The Three Musketeers (2011) does this to Buckingham, along with a Historical Villain Upgrade. In the books he's an adversary of France just by virtue of being English. And shtupping the Queen. But otherwise he's presented as a wise and honorable man who assists d'Artagnan and the Musketeers on a number of occasions in their duties to the Queen, before Milady is sent to assassinate him by Richelieu over his support of Protestant rebels at La Rochelle. In this film he's working with Milady.
  • Turkish Mockbuster film Three Big Men, has Captain America and El Santo fighting together in order to stop the evil criminal mastermind Spider-Man. He is portrayed as a visibly overweight sadistic leader of a gang who delights in killing his enemies via boat propellers, switchblades, and bloodthirsty guinea pigs.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Sentinel Prime, in his earliest appearances in the Transformers comics, was Optimus Prime's predecessor as Autobot leader, and is usually depicted as a good guy. Here however, he is the Big Bad and has no qualms about killing and enslaving humans to restore Cybertron. Granted, this isn't the first time Sentinel's actions were morally reprehensible, but this is the first time that he's depicted as an outright villain. Though, there were plans that, in season 4 of Transformers Animated, Sentinel would have taken a possibly much more antagonistic role.
    • There was a possibility that it could have gone even further, with early treatments and call sheets putting future Autobot leader Ultra Magnus in Sentinel Prime's role, but this was changed after early test screenings.
  • In Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Ned Land is one of the main heroes, and even more emphasized in the 1954 Disney film in which he's pretty much THE lead hero. However, in the 1997 TV-movie adaptation starring Michael Caine as Captain Nemo, Ned Land (Bryan Brown) is a despicable villain. Probably because being a harpoonist, thus making a living out of killing whales, was no longer fashionable enough to be a good guy in the 90s.
  • Happens to Shuichi Saito in the film adaptation of Uzumaki. In the original manga, Shuichi is a well-intentioned Waif Prophet who Looks Like Cesare from spending too much time without sleep. He and the protagonist, Kirie, spend about equal amounts of time protecting one another from danger or at least attempting to. In the film, he's an abusive twenty year old "dating" the much younger Kirie while trying to take the place of a lost parent. He's also the primary antagonist.
  • V for Vendetta: Adam Susan in the comic book was arguably already a villain, but of the Anti-Villain sort and gave the air of a rather complex psychological profile. Adam Sutler in the film is an all-out Card-Carrying Villain shouting (idle) threats at his minions and basically begging for the audience to root for his downfall.
  • Vikingdom: Thor in the original Norse myths was considered mankind's friend and protector who frequently defended Midgard from giants and monsters. In this movie, he is a vengeful Omnicidal Maniac bent on destroying Midgard by fusing it with Vallhala and Hel in response to humans abandoning their religion in place for Christianity. It could be possible this version is a Fallen Hero, but he seldom lacks positive qualities, as he commits many atrocities as well as being generally a Bad Boss who doesn't care for his mortal underlings.
  • War of the Worlds: The 2005 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds presents Harlan Ogilvy as a violent madman. In the book, Ogilvy is an astronomer who, far from being violent, was the narrator's friend who was killed by the Martians early on during an attempt at communication. The character's more antagonistic and unhinged personality comes from the deranged curate that the narrator meets in a cellar, not Ogilvy himself.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
    • Veruca Salt, like in the book, was an insufferable brat, but despite having a rich dad, she is willing give the Everlasting Gobstopper to Slugworth for more money. This is what sets Charlie apart from her. Despite losing out on the chocolate he was promised by sneaking fizzy-lifting drinks, Charlie doesn't have it in his heart to cheat Wonka and gives back his Gobstopper.
    • Violet was very much a Designated Villain in the book. While not as mean as she is in the 2005 film, here she's shown to be far more arrogant than she is in the book - as well as frequently fighting with Veruca.
    • Slugworth is only given a brief mention in the book as one of Wonka's candy making rivals. Here, he's portrayed as a Corrupt Corporate Executive who bribes the golden ticket finders with money and a better life in exchange for stealing an Everlasting Gobstopper from Wonka. Ultimately subverted when "Slugworth" reveals himself to be an employee of Wonka who subjects the kids to the Secret Test of Character.
  • The Wizard of Oz (based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz):
    • In the novel, the Flying Monkeys were neutral and were bound by an enchantment to serve the Wicked Witch of the West (she owned the Golden Cap, which meant that she could command them three times). They even serve Dorothy once the Witch is destroyed and she gains control over the Cap - her third wish releases the Monkeys from its power. In the film they are the willing servants of the Witch. This follows through to other Oz adaptations where the Flying Monkeys retain their role as henchmen, sometimes even after the Witch's death.
    • The Witch herself counts too, sort of. In the book, she does not appear until near the end where Dorothy and the others are told to retrieve her broomstick, and her arc in the story is minor. The film expands her role to make her the lead villain, wanting revenge on Dorothy for the death of her sister, the Witch of the East, and, more importantly, to get the ruby slippers from her.
    • The 1925 film version, which omits the Witch, instead does this with the Tin Man and Uncle Henry, of all people. The Tin Man ends up betraying Dorothy and her allies, and Uncle Henry is abusive towards Dorothy. It can be shocking for those used to the book or the much more famous MGM film adaptation.
  • In The Wolfman 1941, Sir John Talbot, while he has a strained relationship with his son Lawrence, is genuinely horrified and upset when he learns that the werewolf he killed in both self-defense and to protect Gwen was his son, and in sequels it's stated that the grief killed him. In the 2010 remake, Sir John is a werewolf himself, was the wolf who infected his son, and in his backstory killed his wife while transformed. He then sent young Lawrence to an asylum to force the memories out of him. Over the course of the film, he kills his other son Ben, murders his manservant whose weapons he sabotaged, and outright tries to murder Lawrence more than once with no hesitation or remorse.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Psylocke, Quill, Spike, and Multiple Man are all associated with some branch of the X-Men franchise in the comics, but here, they all appear as members of Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants.note 
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Agent Zero was a lot closer to being an Anti-Hero in the comics, but his movie counterpart is a straight-up villain who is completely loyal to Colonel Stryker.
    • X-Men: First Class: Angel Salvadore is a member of the X-Men and New Warriors in the comics, but she is depicted as a traitor and member of the Hellfire Club. Granted, she was briefly part of Xorneto's Brotherhood in the penultimate arc of New X-Men, but there, she realized how insane Xorneto was and turned against him, whereas her film counterpart is unrepentant.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • While in the original comic book Bolivar Trask wasn't a good guy by any means, he did eventually come to realise that mutants are not a threat to humanity and even performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Sentinels. Neither of those happen in the movie.
      • In the comics, Quicksilver may be a world-class asshole and suffer from Heel–Face Revolving Door, but he is well-meaning at the core and can be counted on to do the right thing. Here, he's just a bored teenager with a kleptomaniac streak who doesn't really care about being a productive member of society and who has to have the breakout sold to him as an opportunity to raise hell, as it's clear that he probably wouldn't have done it of his own volition otherwise.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse sees Archangel and Psylocke being among Apocalypse's Horsemen of their own free will. And even before meeting Apocalypse, Archangel is depicted as a very vicious and cruel young man.
    • The New Mutants sees Cecilia Reyes as at least more morally-ambiguous if not outright villainous than her comics counterpart who wanted to help people.

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