ByDena Pech, writer at
Award winning screenwriter. Storyteller. "What a man can't remember doesn't exist for him."
Dena Pech

It’s fun to see actors reuniting from one movie to another. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson do it all the time, Adam Sandler has his usual posse, and Seth Rogen never fails to make us laugh with James Franco. On the surface, it seems that it's just for kicks — but sometimes it may carry more meaning than we think.

Some actors never get to finish their story with one character, and carry it to the next one. It's like another storyline hidden beneath the movies — as if the characters themselves have been reincarnated, Cloud Atlas-style, to fulfill unfinished business.

1. In Jumper, Samuel L. Jackson Wants Revenge On Hayden Christensen For Star Wars: Episode III

Samuel L. Jackson is one badass Jedi, holding the only purple lightsaber in the Star Wars universe as Mace Windu. His demise unfortunately marked the start of the Sith takeover that led Hayden Christensen to the dark side. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) provided the help Palpatine needed to kill Mace Windu. With Windu out of the picture, Anakin was able to destroy the Jedi

But Mace Windu was not going to let that slide. He wasn't going to let some foolish brat kill him that easily. So, in another way, he followed Hayden Christensen to the movie for revenge. The tables have turned, and in a movie about people who can teleport (and others trying to hunt and kill them), Jackson is now the man thirsty for the kill — and his sights are set on the former Darth Vader.

In the end, Jackson didn't get his revenge, but he got a taste of the dark side; he got to terrorize whiny Anakin in a different movie, and that is enough to fulfill the thirst for revenge.

2. David Wenham Still Has Daddy Issues From Lord Of The Rings In Iron Fist

In the trilogy, David Wenham’s Faramir was the less-favored son of Denethor. He was neglected and forgotten. His father's hatred for him has many layers, and he was even nearly burned alive in Return of the King.

David Denham as Harold Meachum [Credit: Netflix/Marvel]
David Denham as Harold Meachum [Credit: Netflix/Marvel]

After experiencing horrific treatment from his father, Faramir couldn’t help but pass i forward when resurrected as Harold Meachum in Netflix's , repeating what Denethor had done to him. Harold Meachum carries on the legacy, treating Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) as harshly as Denethor treated Faramir.

3. Smaug Will Never Forgive Bilbo, Even If They Have To Solve Crimes Together In Sherlock

'The Hobbit' [Credit: Warner Bros]
'The Hobbit' [Credit: Warner Bros]

The fearsome dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) didn't appreciate Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) taking the Arkenstone from his treasure-filled cave; his vengeful reaction got him killed by Bard the Bowman — but the perceptive Smaug obviously reincarnated as the world's greatest detective in , desperate to prove to Bilbo which of them can outwit the other.

The bromance between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman now spans a few franchises, including Sherlock, The Hobbit and now even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it’s unlikely Doctor Strange will find an opportunity to annoy the hell out of Everett K. Ross.

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]

4. Brian Cox's Hannibal Lector Is On The Other Side Of The Cell In X2 And The Bourne Supremacy

[Credit: Monogram Pictures/20th Century Fox/Universal]
[Credit: Monogram Pictures/20th Century Fox/Universal]

Dr. Hannibal Lector (or "Lecktor" as it's spelled in 1986's Manhunter, starring Brian Cox in the role later made famous by Anthony Hopkins) is a monster. He's educated and refined, but he's also a killer at his core. He's made peace with that fact of his existence, and he spends quite a lot of time playing mind games with FBI agents.

Is it any wonder, then, that Cox (or, should we say, an executed Hannibal?) shows up in later films — X2: X-Men United and the Jason Bourne series — as a government official himself, who tries to convince amnesiacs that they're killers at their core?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]
[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

As William Stryker, he basically created Wolverine — and seeing Logan in turmoil turns him on:

"If you knew the kind of person you used to be, the work we did together... People don't change, Wolverine. You were an animal then and you're an animal now. I just gave you claws."

But when Wolverine got the drop on him at the end of X2, his reign of terror was over, as the water from Alkali Lake floods his secret facility and consumes him.

Cox/Hannibal then reincarnates again — still keeping his thirst for manipulation and torture — as character Warren Abbot. All Jason Bourne wanted was to be left alone, but Cox wouldn't listen. Bourne confronts Abbot, and Cox responds with the same answer he gave Wolverine:

"It's what you are Jason, a killer. You always will be."

It takes one to know one. And Hannibal definitely is one.

5. 'Ted' Theodore Logan Has A Bogus Journey From Speed To The Lake House

[Credit: MGM/Fox/Warner Bros.]
[Credit: MGM/Fox/Warner Bros.]

When Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) meets Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) in , they become entangled with each other — both in turmoil and romance. It seems like a perfect match; they should be together forever. And then, in Speed 2: Cruise Control, Jack is mysteriously gone.

Yeah, sure, it's because Keanu Reeves didn't like the sequel's script. But maybe it's also because "Jack" had to get back to the time-machine phone booth from the Bill & Ted franchise, which he'd taken for a joyride and unexpectedly malfunctioned?

Twelve years later, Keanu/Jack/Ted finds his way back to Sandra Bullock in — but they are two years apart and must find a way to communicate through time. Man! What an obstacle to overcome! Who uses a phone booth these days, anyway?

But Keanu doesn't give up, and throughout the film, finds a way to reunite with Sandra face-to-face. It's a pretty complicated setup for Bill & Ted 3 and/or Speed 3, but we're here for it.

Are there any character connections missing here? Comment below with your "past life" theories!


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