An extreme example in the Atlas Shrugged films. Each movie in the trilogy has every member of the cast replaced between films, meaning ultimately there are as many as three actors for every character. Not a single one of mostly C or D-list actors to appear were contracted for more than one film. This makes Atlas Shrugged perhaps the most inconsistent film series of all time.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods has a variant. In the first movie, Grace Fulton was Mary Bromfield while Michelle Borth was her supeheroine form. The sequel has Fulton as both the teenager and the superheroine.
Tarzan. Quite a few people forget that Tarzan films reached theaters regularly from 1918 to 1968, and a live-action film came out as late as 2016. For obvious reasons (i.e. he barely wears clothes, so the aging of the actors received maximum attention, plus the fact multiple studios produced Tarzan films with two competing series at one point co-existing in Hollywood), the part of Tarzan underwent constant recasting. Elmo Lincoln, Johnny Weissmuller, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott, and Mike Henry among others played the role including Casper Van Dien in the 1998 version. In 2016 Alexander Skarsgård played Tarzan in the last live-action Tarzan film to reach theaters.
The same is true for Jane and their son Boy - both had to be replaced. Justified with Boy, as they didn't want him getting too old.
Melvin's alter ego, Toxie -the title character, is played by 5 different actors across the four Toxic Avenger films. In the first film, he is played by Mitch Cohen. In the sequel, he is first played by John Altamura, who was fired due to a case of Small Name, Big Ego. Then for the rest of the second and third film, he's played by Altamura's stunt double, Ron Fazio. In the fourth film, Toxie is now played by David Mattey. However, due to miscommunication on part of his filming schedule, he was not on set during one of the scenes, and thus for said scene, Toxie was played by a tall African American actor, wearing the mask from the second film.
Finally, Toxie's love interest is played by three different actresses. In the first film, her name is Sara and she is played by Andree Maranda. In the following two sequels, her character's name is changed to Claire, and she's played by Phoebe Legere. The in the fourth film, she is played by Heidi Sjursen.
James Bond: Many recurring characters have changed actors multiple times, either due to them getting too old or for other reasons.
Felix Leiter has appeared in ten films in the Eon Productions series so far, and has been played by seven different actors. The only ones to have played him more than once are David Hedison — whose appearances were non-consecutive (in Live and Let Die and Licence to Kill), opposite two different Bondsnote (Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton) — and Jeffrey Wright in the Daniel Craig continuity. Before the Craig continuity, absolutely no attempt was made at maintaining continuity in terms of age and appearance, with the character alternating between young and middle aged and thin and portly.
Otherwise averted by actors playing Q and M, who are meant to be different people succeeding to the titles. This is shown in-universe, with Judi Dench's character being referred to as "the new M" in GoldenEye and Ralph Fiennes's character replacing her in Skyfall, and with John Cleese's character first appearing as Q's assistant in The World Is Not Enough.
To add further confusion to the issue the Craig era is the first official reboot, but as the producers liked Dench performance they kept her. Which means that Dench plays the same character in two different continuities, and is the first M on screen on one and the last on the other.
Speaking of the DCEU, Idris Elba was originally cast as the new Deadshot in The Suicide Squad after Will Smith turned down an offer to reprise his role from the first movie. However, possibly to leave the door open in case Smith chose to return in a later sequel, the script was eventually rewritten to have Elba play another DC Comics mercenary, Bloodsport, instead.
In the sequels, Jennifer is played by Elisabeth Shue, as Claudia Wells declined to reprise the role to care for her mother, who was dying of cancer. The opening shot of Back to the Future Part II was the closing shot of the original reshot meticulously with Elisabeth Shue instead.
Also, Crispin Glover declined to appear as George McFly, so he was made into a Fake Shemp played by Jeffrey Weissman. This sparked a precedent-setting lawsuit from Glover.
Kirk Douglas played the dual roles of Harrison and his brother Spur in The Man from Snowy River. When the sequel Return to Snowy River was filmed six years later, the role of Harrison was played by Brian Dennehy, and Spur was said to have died between the events of the two films, making it both The Other Darrin and a Bus Crash.
The youth of most of the cast of the X-Men Film Series, as well as their easily identifiable powers, made it a simple matter for them to be replaced. The character of Kitty Pryde only became a major character in the third film, and was played by different actresses in both of her prior appearances. For the record, it went Sumela Kay, Katie Stuart, Elliot Page.
X-Men: The Last Stand has Bill Duke playing "Secretary Trask", who was supposed to be Bolivar Trask... until the character appeared played by Peter Dinklage in X-Men: Days of Future Past. But Duke's character never has his first name mentioned, making for a handwave case of Name's the Same, and the creators added that Days of Future Past is all about, well, changing the past, so some characters turned out slightly differently to the original timeline.
Screenwriters unknowingly wrote the mutant Caliban into both X-Men: Apocalypse and Logan, which were released less than a year apart. So not only does Caliban have a different actor for the two movies, he's (roughly) the same age, despite the movies taking place almost 50 years apart, and the two Calibans have completely different personalities. Reportedly, screenwriters for Logan had written in Caliban before the Apocalypse writers had, but both refused to remove the character from the film. And this was one movie afterX-Men: Days of Future Past had rebooted the continuity to avoid snarls exactly like this.
The character of Joachim, recast and slightly renamed, from his appearance in the original "Space Seed". The Expanded Universe attempted to cover this by claiming that the considerably younger looking Joachim seen in the movie is actually the son of the original Joachim, while Word of God suggested the movie version is Khan's son, and was merely named in honour of the original, who was his closest friend and ally during the Eugenics Wars (and is presumably dead by the time of the movie).
Lieutenant Saavik was played by Kirstie Alley in TWoK and by Robin Curtis in the following two movies.
An early script for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country featured Lt. Saavik as a bridge officer, with Kim Cattrall cast to play her. Cattrall objected to being the third actress to portray Saavik (and Roddenberry objected to Saavik being revealed as a traitor), but then accepted when the character was rewritten to being a previously unknown Vulcan named Valeris (and at least one piece of marketing, the film's Novelization, included an unfilmed scene in which Valeris meets Saavik, in order to reduce the Expy factor).
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films had Judith Hoag play April O'Neil in the first film and Paige Turco play her in the last two. Likewise, Donatello was voiced by Corey Feldman in the first and third movies but was unavailable in the second due to a stint in rehab and was voiced by Adam Carl. Raphael had a different voice actor in each of the three films (Josh Pais, Laurie Faso, and Tim Kelleher respectively). Also, Master Splinter was voiced by Kevin Clashnote a.k.a. Elmo in the first two films and by James Murray in the third.
As a result of the script being rewritten at the last minute, several characters who were supposed to have larger roles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) had their parts cut down considerably. The sequel has now recast several of the parts for larger roles, with Brian Tee replacing Tohoru Masamune as the Shredder, Tyler Perry replacing K. Todd Freeman as Baxter Stockman, and Brittany Ishibashi replacing Minae Noji as Karai. And while in the first Johnny Knoxville voiced Leonardo, in the sequel the voice is also provided by his mocap actor Pete Ploszek (like with the rest of the turtles).
The only other actors to reprise their roles in every installment of the film franchise are Earl Boen (who portrays Dr. Silberman over the course of three films) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who portrays a T-101 series Terminator across two models—specifically, the T-800 and T-850—and three different copies—all come off an assembly line, mind you—in the first three films and the T-101's face—Roland Kickinger portrayed that T-101's body—in the fourth). Apart from Schwarzenegger, Hamilton would've been the only other performer to appear in all four films if she didn't request an offer to reprise her role in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (her character was originally supposed to die during the film, but after Hamilton's refusal to appear, it was stated that Sarah Connor died in Mexico of leukemia, her ashes were scattered at sea by her friends, apparently in secret, and a cache of weapons was buried in her grave at the mausoleum following a closed casket funeral in Los Angeles).
Everybody outside of the Terminator in Terminator Genisys. Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese are justified from a meta-standpoint as this is based in the time of the original film but produced decades later, so Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn have aged. Additionally, Courtney B. Vance replaced Joe Morton as Miles Dyson, but this is less justified and even invoked WTH, Casting Agency? reactions as when we see Dyson in the altered timeline, it's 2017 and hence Dyson didn't require a younger actor like Sarah and Kyle did. The T-1000 going from Caucasian Robert Patrick to South Korean actor Byung-hun Lee could be summed up as a different disguise. However, this doesn't explain why John Connor undergoes this again, as Christian Bale was replaced by Jason Clarke, unless Bale's F-bomb meltdown on the set of Salvation cost him the part.
Wedge is a rare case of being The Other Darrin in the same movie. During the Death Star briefing scene, Wedge is played by Colin Higgins, still voiced by David Ankrum. For the actual X-Wing scenes, it's Denis Lawson.
Boba Fett was portrayed by Jeremy Bulloch in Episodes V and VI (and voiced by Jason Wingreen), but in II, it's established that the character is a clone of Jango Fett, played by Temuera Morrison. Similar to Palpatine's appearance, Morisson's voice is re-dubbed over Wingreen's dialogue in the special edition DVD release of V. Various Industrial Light and Magic employees were stand-ins for Boba in the new scenes he appeared in the special editions of IV and VI.
Boba Fett was already played by two different actors in his film debut, since John Fass Morton was inside the costume during the carbon freezing scene.
Averted, remarkably, in the case of relatively minor character Oola (the slave dancer Jabba throws to the Rancor). Professional dancer/actress Femi Taylor was able to fill what passed for her costume to film extended Special Edition scenes 14 years after originally playing the part. The Force Awakens has plenty of Role Reprise, and even the costumed roles of Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb bring the same guys back.
The role of R2-D2, previously portrayed by Kenny Baker, is portrayed by Jimmy Vee beginning with his obligatory cameo alongside C-3PO (once again portrayed by Anthony Daniels as always) in Rogue One.
In perhaps the most obvious example, Alec Guinness portrayed Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original three films, while in the prequels he was replaced with Ewan McGregor.
Peter Mayhew reprised the role of Chewbacca in The Force Awakens, but Joonas Suotamo played Chewbacca in the more physically-demanding scenes. Suotamo then took over the role altogether from The Last Jedi onwards.
Peter Serafinowicz voiced Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace before being replaced in Solo by Sam Witwer, who had voiced the character extensively in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. According to Serafinowicz, they did have him record the lines from Solo as well but ultimately chose Witwer's version instead.
Plan 9 from Outer Space is probably the most ignoble example: after Bela Lugosi died in the middle of filming, he was replaced by Tom Mason, Ed Wood's chiropractor, who had to hold a cape in front of his face to cover up the fact that he looked nothing like Lugosi. He was also much taller than Lugosi, so he spent the film hunched over.
This example overlaps with the Fake Shemp trope as well.
Lugosi was never alive during filming in the first place. The film was made with a tiny amount of Lugosi footage filmed by Wood previously, and the chiropractor played Lugosi's character during virtually the entire film!
Lampshaded in the second George of the Jungle, when the narrator stops to ask who the title character (played by Chris Showerman) is, to which he replies, "Me New George. Producers too cheap to get Brendan Fraser." Other references to Fraser appear throughout the movie.
In The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns, the role of Evy O'Connell is played by Rachel Weisz. However, in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, her role was taken over by Maria Bello when Weisz declined. Her first scene shows her at a book reading/signing event with several discrete camera angles showing an arm, her downturned head, etc. Eventually, one of her audience members asks her if it's true that the main character was based on her own experience. In the greatest Lampshade Hanging since The Oracle's explanation for her new appearance, the camera zooms in on Evy's face for the first time as she says, "Honestly, I can truly say she's a completely different person."
Always done with Clark Griswold's children Rusty and Audrey in the National Lampoon's Vacation series, always fluctuating in age and appearance, to the point that Vegas Vacationhung one on this when Clark remarked during their first appearance that he hardly recognizes them anymore. Christmas Vacation 2 had no Rusty (nor Clark nor Ellen, for that matter, as this one stars Cousin Eddie), but the Audrey from the original Vacation (Dana Barron) does return, making her the only actor the play a Griswold kid in more than one movie.
Parodied in this Old Navy commercial featuring no less than three Audreys and three Rustys two of these, New Audrey and New Rusty being exclusive to this comercial. Sadly Johnny Galecki aka Christmas Rusty is not one of them.
Omar Epps replaced Wesley Snipes as Willie "Mays" Hayes in Major League II. This gets a Lampshade Hanging when people say that he thought he was too good for the team after becoming a hotshot action movie star.
In the 90s-era Jack Ryan films, both the character and his family change completely between movies. Alec Baldwin (who played the role in The Hunt for Red October) went through scheduling conflicts for the second film (Patriot Games) and didn't return, being replaced with Harrison Ford (the actor the studio wanted for the role to begin with, but wasn't available for Red October).
Gates McFadden (who played Cathy Ryan) was replaced by Anne Archer for the two subsequent films. A combination of scheduling conflicts (she was on a year-long hiatus from shooting Star Trek: The Next Generation) and her role being reduced to The Cameo (most of the scenes involving her character were cut from the final print) likely played a role in her decision.
Louise Borras, who played Sally Ryan in Red October, was replaced by Thora Birch for the two sequels.
The Sum of All Fears is an interesting case, as Ford was initially in talks to star, but bowed out when script problems dragged on for years. The role was subsequently recast with Ben Affleck in the lead and reworked as a Continuity Reboot / Prequel that takes place at the beginning of Jack's career.
The third Addams Family film, Addams Family Reunion, did this to most of the cast who played the family due to various reasons: Raúl Juliá (Gomez) had died, Christina Ricci (Wednesday) and Jimmy Workman (Pugsley) were by this point too old (they had turned 18 at the time), and Anjelica Huston (Morticia), Christopher Lloyd (Fester) and Carol Kane (Grandmama) declined. Only Lurch and Thing retain the same actors. This is justified due to actually being a separate continuity.
Even earlier, the actress playing Grandmama changed between The Addams Family and Addams Family Values: Judith Malina played her in the former, while for unknown reasons she was replaced by Carol Kane for the latter.
After Jodie Foster played Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, Julianne Moore took over the role for Hannibal. This is no small part due to Foster (as well as writer Ted Tally and director Jonathan Demme) feeling the ending of the book, where Clarice and Hannibal became lovers, betrayed the character of Clarice.
Ray Liotta replaced Ron Vawter as Paul Krendler because of the latter's passing.
Clerks features the character of Willam Black, played by Scott Mosier. Mallrats, which takes place the day before Clerks, also features the character—except now he's Ethan Suplee. We're left to assume that over the course of a night this guy lost a good fifty pounds and grew in a decent-sized beard. (The character also appears in Scott form in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.)
Writer/Director Kevin Smith explained at a fan Q&A that he had a film in mind entitled Clerks: The Voyage Home where Jay and Silent Bob travel back in time a day to bring back a whale (who would presumably replace Willam for a day). It's hard to tell whether Smith was joking because his response is so sincere.
Averted in the case of Douglas Rain, which is interesting because the book says HAL's voice is different after he's rebooted.
Mother Firefly is played by Karen Black in House of 1000 Corpses and Leslie Easterbrook in The Devil's Rejects. Grandpa Hugo was played by Dennis Fimple in the first movie but wasn't included in the sequel at all because Fimple passed away.
Three of the four main cast in Another Gay Movie were replaced for Another Gay Sequel — Lampshaded by the mother at the beginning of the movie.
And in the seldom seen television prologue of a A Fistful of Dollars (added by the network to soften The Man With No Name) we get a Very Much Not Clint Eastwood with his back to the camera getting a pardon from Harry Dean Stanton in exchange for taking care of the two gangs.
In addition Elizabeth was played by Mae Clarke in the original Frankenstein and by Valerie Hobson in Bride of Frankenstein due to Clarke's illness at the time. This is a bit jarring since Bride picks up right where the original leaves off and Elizabeth's hair changes from blonde to brunette.
Luis Buñuel's film That Obscure Object of Desire features two actresses, Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina, in the single role of Conchita. Who Conchita is played by changes from scene to scene, and sometimes even from shot to shot. It's unclear whether this is a comment on Conchita's mercurial nature, a comment on Mathieu's failure to see her for who she really is, or if it's just weird for the sake of weird.
In his autobiography, My Last Sigh (1983), Buñuel explains (pp. 4647) the decision to use two actresses to play Conchita:
In 1977, in Madrid, when I was in despair after a tempestuous argument with an actress who'd brought the shooting of That Obscure Object of Desire to a halt, the producer, Serge Silberman, decided to abandon the film altogether. The considerable financial loss was depressing us both until one evening, when we were drowning our sorrows in a bar, I suddenly had the idea (after two dry martinis) of using two actresses in the same role, a tactic that had never been tried before. Although I made the suggestion as a joke, Silberman loved it, and the film was saved.
The actress who caused the 'tempestuous argument' was Maria Schneider. Bouquet and Molina stepped in after she was fired.
In the teen romantic comedy The Prince & Me, the Prince's fiancee Paige is played by Julia Stiles. In the film's direct-to-video sequel The Prince and Me II: The Royal Wedding, Paige is played by Kam Heskin instead, who went on to play the part in the next two movies as well. Luke Mably played the the titular prince in the first two films, but declined to return for more. Chris Geere took over for the next two movies.
The sequel to The Neverending Story was almost completely recast; only one actor reprised his role (Thomas Hill as Mr. Koreander). The sequel's sequel was completely recast.
Perry Mason was originally played by Warren William in a series of 1930s movies. After four movies, William left; two more movies were made, with Ricardo Cortez and Donald Woods playing Mason in each of them. Then the character went to television, with Raymond Burr becoming the definitive Mason.
And before Barbara Hale played Mason's secretary Della Street on TV, no fewer than 5 actresses took turns playing the role in the above-mentioned film series; only Claire Dodd played Street in more than one movie.
In the first Hellboy, Abe is played by Doug Jones with his voice dubbed over by David Hyde Pierce. However, after seeing the film, Hyde-Pierce was so impressed by Jones' performance that he refused to be credited and convinced the producers that the character did not need a separate voice actor. In the sequel and two animated films that followed, Jones supplies his own voice, which is surprisingly similar to Hyde-Pierce's.
Perhaps the most extreme example of this trope is the character of Allen in Happiness and its sequel, Life During Wartime. The character was played by white actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and then black actor, Michael K. Williams, without any explanation for the complete change of the character's race. Of course, all of the characters in Life During Wartime were played by different actors than in previous Todd Solondz' films, but Allen is the most noticeable difference.
Matthew Broderick played Inspector Gadget in the 1999 live-action feature film adaptation. For its 2003 direct-to-video sequel, Broderick was replaced by French Stewart (for the record, with the exception of D.L. Hughley as the voice of the Gadgetmobile, none of the cast of the 1999 film returned for the sequel).
Rachelle Lefèvre played vampire villainess Victoria in Twilight and New Moon. Due to scheduling conflicts, she was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for Eclipse.
The Halloweentown Disney Channel movies had this happen with the lead character, Marnie Piper, who was played by Kimberly J. Brown for the first three movies, and Sara Paxton for the fourth. Not even Brown knows why she was replaced. It's usually speculated that Disney wanted a younger actress for the 4th film to keep the franchise fresh (Brown was 22 at the time whereas Paxton was 18). This is usually cited as a reason why many fans pretend the fourth film doesn't exist.
In addition, Benny's voice was recast from Rino Romano in the first movie to Richard Side in the second, but for his brief appearance in the fourth movie, he was voiced by another, uncredited voice actor.
The Live-Action Adaptation of Asterix suffer this a lot. Gérard Depardieu as Obélix is the only actor to have stayed in all movies so far, while the rest of the main cast has been constantly changed: Astérix has been the same only in the first two movies and Caesar has been played by a different actor every time (including the director of the second movie, and in the third, French legend Alain Delon).
In the first film, Sheriff Harv is played by M. Emmet Walsh. In the sequel, he's portrayed by Barry Corbin.
The original film had the Krites voiced by Corey Burton, with the second, third and fourth films leaving whoever voiced the Krites uncredited. In the fifth film Critters Attack!, the Krites are now voiced by Steve Blum.
In the Subspecies series, Laura Tate plays Michelle in the first film, Denise Duff in the three sequels
The Wizarding World franchise has made it two decades and ten films with only two major recastings, which is quite remarkable considering some of the cast started out so young. Emma Watson is reported to have thought about leaving halfway through the original series when she wanted to attend university. Inevitably she ended up deciding to defer her enrollment a year in order to finish.
The first major recasting came with Dumbledore in Harry Potter. Richard Harris played him in the first two films, but after his death he was played by Michael Gambon for the remainder of the series. Although the concept of the films would have allowed for the change of actor to be treated in The Nth Doctor manner by referencing some magic-related cause, they chose to not acknowledge the change. However Gambon honored Harris by giving his Dumbledore an Irish accent too.
The second major recasting in the franchise was the role of Gellert Grindelwald between the second and third Fantastic Beasts installments. Johnny Depp, the original actor, was fired after he lost a domestic violence related libel lawsuit in the UK in the fall of 2020. He sued a tabloid who called him a "wife beater" in the context of him staying in the franchise despite domestic violence allegations from ex-wife Amber Heard. However, he lost the case when the judge ruled that 12 of the 14 instances brought forth in court met the civil bar for DV (one was inconclusive and one hadn't had a full deposition so it wasn't ruled on) and was fired a few days after the ruling, in the middle of the third films's production. note Allegedly WB had done its own investigation into the situation that came to a similar conclusion as the court case and made the decision to fire him then but were just waiting for some sort of ruling from either the UK or another case in the US to fire him. His replacement Mads Mikkelsen was officially signed on within three weeks of his firing. It remains to be seen if they'll acknowledge the switch with an In-Universe explanation or ignore it like they did with Dumbledore in the original series.
The series has a handful or so instances where characters were played by extras originally before being recast later on when the characters become important players. An infamous case being Lavender Brown, who gets a Race Lift once she becomes the Clingy Jealous Girl played by Jessie Cave. Other prominent examples include Helena Ravenclaw before Kelly Macdonald was cast in the eighth and Dumbledore's brother Aberforth in the fifth movie before Ciarán Hinds was cast for the eighth.
Tom Riddle/Voldemort has been played by several actors. Ian Hart voiced the character in the first movie. Christian Coulson played the teenaged version in the second. Ralph Fiennes was cast as the present day version in the fourth film and stuck with it through the rest of the series. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Ralphs nephew) played the pre-teen version and Frank Dillane played the teen version in the sixth. Coulson, by that point, was in his late twenties so they decided to recast. Given that the Fantastic Beasts series will eventually get to his school days, its quite likely he will be re-cast again.
Sir Charles Lytton was originally played by David Niven, but when the character came back for The Return he was played by Christopher Plummer. Niven returned for Trail and Curse — they were shot at the same time — but he was terminally ill by then and Rich Little dubbed his voice.
Costumer Auguste Balls was initially played by Harvey Korman for a sequence filmed for but cut from The Pink Panther Strikes Again. When Revenge of the Pink Panther was made two years later, the part was recast with Graham Stark. Then the Strikes Again footage was incorporated into Trail, so to keep things consistent Korman was brought back as Balls for it and Curse. Stark returned to the role for Son of... ten years later.
The Charlie Chan movies went from Warner Oland to Sidney Toler to Roland Winters playing the famous sleuth.
In the Clint Eastwood comedy Every Which Way but Loose, Clyde the orangutan was played by an ape named Manis. In the sequel, Any Which Way You Can, the orangutan goes uncredited, but from the physical differences one can tell that it is not the same ape. Manis had matured between the first and second films, and was considered potentially dangerous (orangutans have a tendency to get meaner as they age). Sadly, the ape who portrayed Clyde in the second film died of a cerebral hemorrhage two weeks after filming was complete.
In Arthur (1981), the role of Susan Johnson is played by Jill Eikenberry. In the sequel, the role is played by Cynthia Sikes.
In The Fly (1986), Veronica Quaife was played by Geena Davis. In the 1989 sequel The Fly II, Saffron Henderson replaces her in the beginning and in a voice-over when Martin watches an interview she filmed. Geena Davis didn't want to reprise her role because the nightmare where she gives birth to a giant maggot in the first movie traumatized her so much.
The role of Lewis Dodgson was taken over in Jurassic World: Dominion by Campbell Scott after his original actor, Cameron Thor, was charged with sexual assault of a minor in 2016.
In Pitch Black, Jack was played by Rhiana Griffith. In The Chronicles of Riddick, Alexa Davalos took over the role, with a new name and a completely new look. Her only explanation for how changed she was: "I'm a whole new animal." Many fans were not happy. Salt in the wound is the fact that Rhiana Griffith was willing to reprise the role - and Vin Diesel apparently wanted her, but was told by executives she needed to "toughen up" for the role.
Mainly people complained that the cat named Buttercup because of his orange fur was for some reason played by a black and white cat in the film.
Mike Brody and his brother Sean (Chief Brody's sons), the only characters to appear in all four Jaws movies, are played by Chris Rebello and Jay Mello in the original, Mark Gruner and Marc Gilpin in Jaws 2, Dennis Quaid and John Putch in Jaws 3D and Lance Guest and Mitchell Anderson in Jaws: The Revenge. Justified, as they grow older in the course of the series.
In the 2010 Clash of the Titans, Andromeda was played by Alexa Davalos and was brunette. In Wrath of the Titans, she was played by Rosamund Pike, who is blonde.
In the 1940's Mexican Spitfire movie series, the role of Carmelita's husband Dennis went from Donald Woods (3 movies) to Charles "Buddy" Rogers (3 movies) to Walter Reed (2 movies).
Following the box office success of The Carpetbaggers, Paramount gave the character of Nevada Smith his own prequel. Unfortunately Alan Ladd was unavailable due to his death (in fact, The Carpetbaggers was his final movie), so Steve McQueen (Actor) played the role.
The film reverts Kowalski and Private to their original voice actors in the first three Madagascar movies (Chris Miller and Christopher Knights, instead of Jeff Bennett and James Patrick Stuart, respectively, on the TV series). Oddly, Rico, who kept his original voice actor John DiMaggio for the TV series, is now voiced by Conrad Vernon, who voiced Mason the chimp in the movies and TV series. The only penguin who has had the same voice actor through every adaptation is Skipper (Tom McGrath). It should be noted all four are Dreamworks crew (in the first Madagascar, McGrath was one of the directors, Miller a story artist, Knights an assistant editor, and Vernon a creative consultant).
22 Jump Streetparodied this in the Sequel Snark filled ending sequence, which showed a series of increasingly absurd further installments in the franchise. 29 Jump Street: Sunday School features Schmidt being portrayed by Seth Rogen instead of Jonah Hill. Jenko asks Dickson if Schmidt looks different, but Dickson says he looks the same. Schmidt claims he's wearing new glasses, then whispers to Jenko, "No one's gonna fucking notice." We then see them on their mission, with Schmidt accidentally calling Jenko "Jenkins", which he quietly apologizes for. 30 Jump Street: Flight School shows Schmidt once again portrayed by Jonah Hill, and Jenko is glad he's back, to which Schmidt replies, "What are you talking about? What contract dispute? I've been here the whole time." Jenko just tells him to shut the fuck up.
Angel (not that one, the honor student by day/hooker by night in the '80s) had a different actress play her in all four movies - Donna Wilkes in the 1984 original, Betsy Russell in 1985's Avenging Angel, Mitzi Kapture in 1988's Angel III: The Final Chapter, and Darlene Vogel in 1993's Angel 4: Undercover. Lt. Andrews, the cop who helps Angel get off the streets in the first movie (and whose murder Angel avenges in the second), was played by Cliff Gorman in the first movie and Robert F. Lyons in the second.
Similarly, in Mulan II Eddie Murphy could not reprise his role as Mushu due a clause in his contract for Shrek 2. Mark Moseley replaced him. Coincidentally, Moseley has also filled in for Murphy by voicing Donkey in the Shrek video games.
A brief in-series example, for Aladdin: At one point, Mozenrath's voice actor Jonathan Brandis was unavailable, so he ended up being voiced by Jeff Bennett for one episode. Brandis returned as Mozenrath's voice in subsequent episodes.
Jason Scott Lee voiced Nani Pelekai's boyfriend David Kawena in the original film and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, but he was replaced by Dee Bradley Baker for The Series and its films.
A slight variation occurred in The Lion King (1994) with Scar. Scar was normally voiced by Jeremy Irons, but the ending portion of the song "Be Prepared" (starting with the verse "You won't get a sniff without me") was done by Jim Cummings (who is Ed's voice actor) instead of Irons due to Irons blowing out his voice during recording sessions. It also led to a Throw It In moment when Ed uncharacteristically sang a line from the song (most of the time, Ed is either silent, or communicates via insane laughter).
The Direct to Video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, on the other hand, plays this straight two times, the first being with Cummings replacing Irons outright as Scar in Simba's nightmare sequence, as Irons was under contractual obligations performing in The Man in the Iron Mask. The second time was when Rowan Atkinson turned down an offer to reprise his role as Zazu in the sequel to avoid conflict with his work in Bean; Edward Hibbert replaced him (the third actor to voice the character after Michael Gough).
The parallel direct-to-video sequel The Lion King 1½ had Jonathan Taylor Thomas replaced by Matt Weinberg as the voice of cub Simba. Hibbert again replaced Atkinson as Zazu due to conflicts with Johnny English and Love Actually.
The Made-for-TV MovieThe Point manages to have three Other Darrins in spite of being, well, a movie; for its initial airing the movie was narrated by Dustin Hoffman, but for contractual reasons he was replaced on later (and, outside North America, all English language) airings by Alan Barzman initially and then Alan Thicke, with the VHS (and later DVD) release narrated by Ringo Starr.
In Tinker Bell, Fawn was voiced by America "Ugly Betty" Ferrera; Angela Bartys took over for Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure and the next few movies; Ginnifer Goodwin voiced her in Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.
In addition, Rossetta was originally voiced by Kristin Chenoweth for the first three features. The character has since been voiced by Megan Hilty.
Three of the characters, Maltazard, Selenia, and Darkos, were recast for the sequels. Maltazard was originally voiced by David Bowie, but was replaced with Lou Reed, Selenia was originally voiced by Madonna, but was replaced with Selena Gomez, and Darkos was originally voiced by Jason Bateman but was replaced with Iggy Pop.
Friday the 13th - Pamela Voorhees and Tommy Jarvis are both portrayed by multiple actors throughout the series. Not to mention Jason himself, though for a while there was consistency as Kane Hodder played him for five movies.
In Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, J.C. Brandy took over for Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, who played the role as a child in the previous two films. Harris even sat down for an interview for the 2014 Blu-ray release to discuss why she chose not to return. Apparently producers had wanted to recast the role from the beginning of production with an actress over 18, but Harris (17 at the time) got herself legally emancipated so she could work on the film. However the role was heavily reduced at the last minute, and Harris refused to work for scale, in part because it would not even cover the court costs she spent to get herself emancipated. She also disagreed with the script, and was not happy with how she was being treated by the production team.
While the Oz stories have been adapted enough times that switching performers doesn't usually raise eyebrows, Fairuza Balk's casting as Dorothy in Return to Oz was nonetheless jarring. Chalk it up to Adaptation Displacement and Misaimed Marketing. See, Walt Disney Pictures marketed the movie as a direct sequel to the most iconic Oz adaptation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz, which featured seventeen-year-old Judy Garland as Dorothy. In truth, while Return to Oz did borrow some elements from the MGM version (like the magic shoes being ruby instead of silver, and Oz potentially being All Just a Dream), most of the movie was more in tune with L. Frank Baum's original Land of Oz series. So even though eleven-year-old Balk was ironically closer to the original Dorothy's age, a lot of viewers were surprised because they expected someone resembling Garland but got Balk instead.
The "Lamborghini Ladies", Marcie and Jill, were played by Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buchman in the first film and Catherine Bach and Susan Anton in the second. Also, they were only named in the credits in the first film, but their names are finally mentioned on screen in the second.
The two guys in the stock car are played by Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis in the first film. Tillis returned for the second, but Bradshaw was replaced by Tony Danza. In an odd turn of events, they also weren't given names for the first film but named Terry and Mel for the second. So, Terry is an example of The Danza in the first film and the Trope Namer for The Danza in the second.
RoboCop 3 sees Robert John Burke replace Peter Weller as Murphy, due to a combination of Weller doing Naked Lunch after having a bad time filming RoboCop 2 and Orion starting to collapse, resulting in them wanting to cast an actor similar in size to Weller to save money and modifying the suits from 2 for Burke to wear. Burke is on record as saying wearing the suits got painful after a while.
Almost all the characters in Disney's Christopher Robin were recast with mainly British voice actors, one exception being Pooh himself, with Jim Cummings reprising the role he first performed in the beloved Saturday morning cartoon adaptation. His other role as Tigger was originally meant to be recast to Chris O'Dowd, but he walked from the film after his initial performance was not received well by test audiences, so Cummings filled in and reprised Tigger as well.
Of the four leads in Another Gay Movie only Jonah Blechman reprised his role in Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! The film opens with a Wizard of Oz-style sequence in which the replacements are introduced with the explanation that the agents of the original actors warned them not to play gay too often because of the danger of type casting.
The 25th Anniversary Edition Re-Cut of Bedknobs and Broomsticks has an interesting case of this, due to the fact that some of the dialogues for the deleted scenes were unrecoverable, this caused Disney to have them redubbed, Angela Lansbury and Roddy McDowall reprised their roles so they could rerecord their own lines, but some characters who had actors that either died or were too old had new ADR actors for these parts. While David Tomlinson was still alive while the 25th Anniversary Edition cut was being made, he was unable to do the role due to being in his 70s and was in ill-health, which sadly meant that Jeff Bennett had to subsitute for him. However, there were slight hiccups during the dubbing, such as Mrs. Hobday's accent changing from Welsh to Scottish and back again, Charlie sounding nothing like Ian Weighill, and Emelius Browne sounding a bit off.
In-Universe played for laughs in the 1995 TV movie The Adventures of Captain Zoom. An arrogant 1950s TV actor is whisked away into space by an alien race who mistakenly believed he's his heroic sci-fi hero. He goes along with it with only a few allies knowing he's just an actor. At one point, he sighs on how he feels sorry for the folks back on the show who are now out of work as there's obviously no way the show can go on without him. Gilligan Cut to the show's set where they've simply hired a new actor with the explanation of the hero needing special surgery to get a new face and the show runs for several more years.