Gender recasts that worked?


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There's the obvious:Ripley in the Alien franchise, but that was recast before filming, so there were no viewer expectations of a different gender.

Starbuck in the Battlestar: Galactica remake? I remember hearing that and thinking a very long-winded rant that boiled down to, "wtf?" And I'm a woman. But she was a pretty phenomenal character. (My husband added that when Starbuck was recast as a woman, since she pulled off the role, it was a two-fer for a guy: he wanted to do what she did--be that hero--but he also wanted to, uh, "do" her. I hadn't thought about it that way before, but it seemed like another "plus" of recasting old-time male heroes as women.)
Boomer was originally a black man that was swapped to an asian woman and a Cylon on top of it.
Admiral Cain was also switched from male to female.
In reference to Alien, from what I remember reading, it was actually written where any of the crew members could be interchanged between male and female. So, there was always the chance that not only could we have ended up with a male Ripley, but there was also a chance that we could have had female versions of any of the male characters.
I hated the Galactica reboot with a passion and it had nothing whatsoever to do with Starbuck being a woman. It was just a really crappy series.
I hated the Galactica reboot with a passion and it had nothing whatsoever to do with Starbuck being a woman. It was just a really crappy series.

I hate being on the same boat because so many good and talented writers and artists worked on this show. Some with an undying love and respect for the original series who managed to slip in moments that were straight from the original series despite the show runners efforts to distance themselves from. Starbuck being female was not a problem. It was her character. She was just so unprofessional, loathsome and so obviously a creator's pet that her.... whatever the heck she turned into at the enddidn't do anything for me. I think Boomer worked out a bit better but she had a lot of unprofessional moments too. At the same time though, i think it's kind of refreshing that a female character can embody that loathsome yet important role that is usually associated with male characters. While I don't like these characters for what they are, I know that some fans of the show do and I give credit for the show runners in giving them that chance.

I think when it comes to recast, well... This is kind of a cheat but I'm going with it. Revan from the first Knights of the Old Republic. Playing Revan as a male character is about as original as, well, having a male character be the lead in almost everything. Just look at the roster of unique characters who star in their own Star Wars games. They're 90% of the time all white males with a grin. So after one play through I decided to play the game as a female Revan to see how it compared, and holy heck was it an enlightening moment. It's not so much that the hero of a huge and important Star Wars story was female, but thanks to that we got to see important story threads play out in a different light that is never really done. Like Revan's connection with Bastilla. The way the connection plot is executed is an obvious set-up for a romance if you're male, but when Revan is female and romance isn't an outcome (Although a part of me wishes that could have been an option), the connection between Revan and Bastila carries more weight to it. These are two women working together to solve a mystery that doesn't involve romance or guys. That kind of character development between two women is almost unheard of in the entertainment medium as a whole.

So that's my pick for the best gender recast that worked. Should it really count given that there is a choice involved on what gender the character is? Maybe not, but it still changes a lot of important dynamics and certainly for the better.
I normally don't like recasts. They usually wreak of political correctness. But I really enjoyed the recasting of Starbuck as a woman. The reason I think that it worked was they didn't try to portray her as the ultimate pilot who knows everything and does everything right. Instead, they portrayed her as a phenomenal pilot, but with an extremely self destructive personality, which I found much more realistic and easier to accept.
I'm not a fan of when they take a movie and recasting everyone to another ethnicity. I understand WHY they do it, but I don't particularly care for it as I think it's just as much PC pandering as anything else. The three I can think of right off the bat are Love Don't Cost A Thing (Can't Buy Me Love remake), Guess Who? (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? remake), and The Honeymooners.
Well Watson being a female on Elementary is working well. The Master being female this go-round on Dr. Who was quite good. All I can say is if Slimer hits one of The Ghostbusters and she's PMSing, he's going to be one sorry little spud.
Grace Park has played 2 roles now thatwere orginally men, she's also on Hawaii Five-O as Kono Kalakaua
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The new Twelve Monkey's series has switched Jeffrey Goines to Jennifer Goines. Not sure how it plays out yet since I haven't seen beyond the pilot, and they only showed her briefly at the end.

I hated the Battlestar reboot casting changes at first simply because it was such a radical change. But after watching a few episodes and seeing where they were going with the characters, it didn't really matter. It still worked

Also in early drafts of Star Wars, wasn't Luke's character supposed to be a girl? ( at least from what I remember in the blurbs in the Ralph McQuarrie pre-production painting print set)

also these...
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