Hollywood is rebooting the classic Chevy Chase comedy series, “Vacation.” The writers and directors brought aboard the series are John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the men who helmed “Horrible Bosses” and they seem to have an interesting idea on how to kick off the series once again. Instead of simply remaking the original or rebooting it for a new generation, the two plan to create a simple sequel.
Where the idea gets interesting is that they are not creating this as a vehicle for Chase. Instead, they are looking at focusing the movie on Rusty Griswold, the son from the original franchise. Throughout the series, four child actors played Rusty. It started with Anthony Michael Hall (“The Dead Zone”) and moved on to Jason Lively, Ethan Embry (“Can’t Hardly Wait”) and finally Johnny Galecki (“Big Bang Theory”).
The new movie cast a new Rusty, perfectly aged between Embry and Hall, in “Hangover” star Ed Helms. The new movie will see Helm’s Rusty take his own family on the same crazed, nerve wracking vacations as his father did before him. With Helms taking on the role of a former character in an updated version of the movie franchise, here is a look at other cases where new actors portray old characters in sequels.
One of the most infamous castings in movie history was when Hayden Christenson took on the role of Akakin Skywalker in “Attack of the Clones.” He portrayed the character introduced in “Phantom Menace” by Jake Lloyd as well as in the original trilogy by David Prowse. Thanks largely to the prequels being panned, Christensen was never accepted by fans of the “Star Wars” franchise.
Christensen didn’t seem happy about it either.
“It wasn’t necessarily anything you could feel good about creatively,” he said. “It’s not why you become an actor, to do stuff like that.”
Robert De Niro
When Marlon Brando asked for too much money to appear in the sequel to “The Godfather,” Francis Ford Coppola cast Robert De Niro to play Vito Corleone in “The Godfather, Part II.” While a lot of recasting of characters is met with defiance, De Niro was universally accepted. He was not the heavyweight he is now, mainly a Martin Scorsese discovery at the time, but he took the role that Brando perfected and made it his own.
De Niro won an Oscar for the performance, following Brando’s Oscar win for the first movie. It was one of the rare times that two men won Oscars for the same character.