I recently watched the new trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and fangirled over the glimpses of major ass-kicking from Alice, the main character of the film series. As I reminisced about the five previous films, I started thinking about where my love for them came from and soon realized, "Oh yeah, it comes from the video games!" I remember being 9 years old, watching my dad kill zombies on our Sega Dreamcast as I navigated him through Raccoon City. Not to mention the giant crush I had on Leon Kennedy.
Flash forward a few years to the release of the first Resident Evil movie. I remember going on a father-daughter date to the theater on opening weekend, feeling so excited to see my favorite characters come to life. But as I watched the film, I remember thinking, "Where the heck are the Redfield siblings, and who in the world is this Alice person?"
At the time, it was so strange to me that a film adapted from already existing material would be centered around a main character who never existed in the games. Now that I'm older, I have learned to appreciate creative freedom in adaptations and embrace the bold chances that filmmakers take when they stray from the source material and create brand new main characters. It is a risky move in my opinion, especially when you are dealing with fans expecting to see characters they already know and love.
But sometimes the risk pays off and we end up with awesome characters! Here are six examples of main characters from film and television that never existed in the source material:
1. Alice From Resident Evil
As I already mentioned, the Resident Evil movie series is centered around Alice, a character who never appears in any of the Resident Evil video games. She does, however, represent a combination of characters who strive to bring down the Umbrella Corporation and put an end to the infection. She is the key to everything, as she uses what her enemies gave her to defeat them. She's a badass fighter, yet has a caring and very human heart. We do get to see Alice interact with several characters from the games, such as Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, and Ada Wong, but her character actually manages to be compelling on her own.
2. Daryl Dixon From The Walking Dead
There is no denying that Daryl Dixon is a fan favorite on The Walking Dead, the popular zombie drama based on the graphic novels. Just walk into any Hot Topic and see the shirts with phrases like "Mrs. Daryl Dixon" and "In Daryl We Trust." That's a lot of fandom for a character that was never in the graphic novels. A series regular since Season 1, Daryl is a main character with influence in the story and a mysterious "bad boy or good boy?" personality that makes viewers love him and continue to love him. Please don't let him die, writers!
3. Fish Mooney From Gotham
The show Gotham tells the story of a young James Gordon in Gotham City, years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. The show's creators definitely make some interesting choices when it comes to either being true or loose with the source material. Personally, Fish Mooney is one example where I feel the creators may have missed the mark, but because she is such an essential part of the story in all of Season 1, she's on the list. Her character had some potential to be intriguing and likable, but unfortunately, compared to such a fantastic pool of Batman villains the show could have chosen from, she ends up being uninteresting and boring. She wasn't well-received by a lot of viewers, which may be why she disappears for the majority of Season 2. But she's back in the newest season airing this September and I'm hoping to see a revamp of the character that finally makes her worthy of being a Gotham villain.
4. Jessica Hamby From True Blood
Remember when vampires were popular? The success of the Twilight adaptations brought on True Blood, an HBO vampire drama based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels. The show caters to a much older audience than Twihards, but the introduction of Jessica Hamby definitely gave younger viewers a character they can relate to. Jessica Hamby is an innocent Christian teenager who never did a bad thing in her life, turned vampire against her will. This baby vamp goes through all the stages of a rebellious teen — acting out of excitement for her new-found freedom, but eventually learning how to grow up. Although Jessica was not in the original novels, the father-daughter relationship between Jessica and her maker, Bill, also brought opportunities for great storylines and even some touching moments.
5. Agent Phil Coulson From Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe first introduced Agent Phil Coulson in Iron Man as Nick Fury's right-hand man. The character then had a significant role in The Avengers and eventually became the main character in the TV show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While Agents is not based on any one specific comic series, Agent Coulson is on this list because he has become a staple in the Marvel Universe despite never appearing in Marvel comics. I just know that we’ll see him again in one of the upcoming movies — I just know it!
6. Harley Quinn From Batman: The Animated Series
Harley Quinn is the best example of how a brand new character not in the source material can break out and become one of the most loved characters in pop culture. Even though Batman has been around for over 75 years, Harley Quinn was never in a comic book until recently. She was created for the 1992 cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series as a counterpart for the Joker. Although Harley wasn't necessarily a main character on the show, she managed to win the hearts of tons of comic fans everywhere. Since her debut on the show, she's earned her way into dozens of comic storylines (including her own), is a featured character in the well-received Arkham video games, and is now a live-action character in the DC Extended Universe. She's even getting her own movie! Not to mention all the Harley Quinn merchandise anyone could possibly ask for. As far as comic book characters go, she's definitely a fan favorite and she didn't even originate from comics! Talk about being a powerful woman!
In anticipation for the upcoming Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, check out 13 of the most insane moments from the film franchise in the Movie Pilot original video below:
Who is your favorite main character not from the source material? Did I miss anybody? Mention them in the comments!