If you're tired of the endless circling luggage belt of reboots Hollywood is pumping out on an hourly basis, we've got bad news: They've been doing this for longer than you think. Even when you're watching a non-sequel, that doesn't mean the characters are all-new. In most any movie you can usually spot vague character influences, but a lot of the time actors are straight-up playing fictional characters that are actually real-life people. We've come up with a few of these personhood-remakes and listed them below.
Before the advent of today's computerized princess factories, Disney utilized live actors to stand in for their cartoon characters. One such model was Marge Champion, who was recruited by the company to be the basis for Snow White right about the time she started resenting her parents. Champion later went on to play the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio and, in a down year, a dancing hippo in Fantasia. Though she's not responsible for the voice of Snow White, you can readily blame Champion for the freakishly realistic person dancing with the dwarves.
Sydney Greenstreet was a real trooper. He was always cast as the morbidly obese schemer in movies like Casablanca. In his first movie, The Maltese Falcon, his character was literally named "The Fat Man." It's rumored that he even inspired Spider-Man artist John Romita when he created the underworld honcho known as the Kingpin. So naturally, he was George Lucas' inspiration for the intergalactic crime boss Jabba the Hutt.
But if you wore down your Star Wars Special Edition VHS like I did, you'd remember that Jabba was originally supposed to be a schlubby guy with a fur coat in A New Hope. They ended up cutting Human Jabba, presumably because he looked like more of a porn leaflet peddler than a mafioso-type, but they reworked him into the slug monster we know and love in Return of the Jedi. Without an Oscar to his name, Greenstreet's legacy ended up being a big fat alien who gets choked out by a girl in a bikini. Which, all being said, isn't such a raw deal.
As a rule, movies like to exaggerate true stories, but Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno's life didn't have much for the bullshit to slide on. He was often said to be the inspiration for Michael Corleone in the Godfather movies, and like Al Pacino's character he was the son of a famous mob boss who wanted out of the business -- but the similarities pretty much end there. It's like the guy said "Just when I thought I was out" and then didn't finish his sentence. He remained an outsider for the rest of his days, acting as a consultant for movies based on the mobster life he never really had. There seems to be some truth in his claim to be a Corleone, but The Godfather couldn't be further from his life if it featured Whoopi Goldberg and a dinosaur cop.