Since the dawn of the 20th century, Hollywood has been introducing us to iconic character after iconic character, as well as recycling past formulas proven to be successful. Over the decades, classic films have been subjected to remakes, and as such, we’ve got to see multiple actors bring back to life the icons of yesteryear. Time to find out which actor pulled it off the best: the original, or the remake?
1. Sean Connery Vs. Daniel Craig – James Bond
When Sean Connery stepped onto the movie screen and portrayed James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No, he took a storybook spy and turned him into an iconic character upon the silver screen. He had the hearts of everyone the minute he uttered the line: “Bond, James Bond.” Sean Connery instantly became a superstar and released a slew of hits in the series, like From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever.
In 1973, Sean dropped the Bond title to Roger Moore, and the series definitely suffered from the switch. While it seemed no one could ever match Connery’s work, in 2006, audiences were introduced to Daniel Craig. With a slew of hit movies to his name, Bond hadn’t looked so good in years. That said, there just isn’t another actor who can capture the Bond character’s debonair attitude quite like Connery.
Winner: Sean Connery
2. John Wayne Vs. Jeff Bridges – Rooster Cogburn
When it comes to Western movies, it is undeniable that John Wayne is the face of the genre. When he portrayed Rooster Cogburn in 1969, his best days were far behind him. Names like Clint Eastwood were easily leading the genre at that point. However, the movie does hold the title as being his last great role. It even presents us with a softer side of John Wayne.
In 2010, True Grit was remade, with Jeff Bridges picking up where John Wayne left off. He definitely showed audiences a more rugged part of the Rooster Cogburn character. That said, he didn’t make an impact like Wayne did — nor did he bring home the Oscar for Best Actor. While both actors gave a stellar performance, John Wayne truly inhabited this iconic character and made it unmistakably his own.
Winner: John Wayne
3. Rex Harrison Vs. Eddie Murphy – Dr. Dolittle
When Doctor Dolittle first hit the cinemas in 1967, seasoned British actor Rex Harrison charmed audiences and brought enough attention to the movie for it to win Academy Awards for best visual effects and best sound. However, to say it aged well would be an exaggeration.
Three decades later, we were treated to a new and markedly different interpretation of Dr. Dolittle, one that would be beloved even by folks today. In 1998, Eddie Murphy reintroduced the masses to Dr. Dolittle and outdid Rex Harrison with ease. He even mustered up a sequel that was also very popular. No doubt, comedy legend Eddie Murphy took the character to new, goofy heights.
Winner: Eddie Murphy
4. Dorothy Dwan Vs. Judy Garland – Dorothy Gale
While the early days of cinema saw a lot of short films based on L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, it was the 1925 version that presented the novel in the form of a full-length film. 1925’s Wizard of Oz was no doubt a marvel in the days of silent film. The producers even got silent era mega star Dorothy Dwan to play Dorothy.
Sadly for Dwan, the 1939 version pretty much saw the silent version blasted into obscurity. Dorothy Dwan was great in the role, but she couldn’t compare to Judy Garland, her unforgettably beautiful voice, or the sheer spectacle of Technicolor that blew people’s socks off. The legendary Judy Garland owns The Wizard of Oz, and will continue to do so for generations.
Winner: Judy Garland
5. William Shatner Vs. Chris Pine – James T. Kirk
Calm, cool, and collected, everyone wanted to be like William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in the 1960s. He was flying through the galaxy, charming alien babes, and kicking some extraterrestrial butt. However, as time and spinoffs flew by, Star Trek introduced us to an array of other captains who outshone and outdated the original Kirk character.
With 2009’s Star Trek prequel, we saw Chris Pine step onto the scene as a James T. Kirk who represented the modern generation and its aesthetic. While he did show us a more vulnerable side of the character, he lacked the distinguished coolness of William Shatner. The veteran actor is so defined by Kirk that the two are basically one.
Winner: William Shatner
6. Christopher Reeve Vs. Henry Cavill – Superman
Looks aren’t everything — and we definitely learned that from Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Superman. He didn’t exactly appear to be a man made of steel. However, he took the role very seriously, and the first two flicks in the series have been elevated to the status of a classic. Even in 2020, when folks think Superman, they’re either thinking of the animated version or Christopher Reeve.
Henry Cavill, the actor who portrayed him in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, appeared in trailers to be the Superman we always dreamed of. He had the look down perfectly and even his acting was solid. Sadly, the movie as a whole was a huge failure. With that said, four decades later, and Christopher Reeve is still our go-to Superman.
Winner: Christopher Reeve
7. Tim Curry Vs. Bill Skarsgård – Pennywise
Some four years after Stephen King released his highly praised novel It, fans got a long, nightmarish 1990 TV miniseries. Tim Curry played the demonic clown Pennywise, and in typical Curry fashion, his performance was larger than life itself. For decades this was our only representation of the creepy yet iconic character of the unforgettable clown. He was unmistakably evil, yet humorous, and 100% Curry.
Almost three decades later, audiences were treated to a feature film adaptation of the novel. While people were initially hesitant to watch their childhoods remade, the movie turned out to be a masterpiece. Bill Skarsgård propelled Pennywise to a new level of horror, making him instantly recognizable for an entire generation. It should shock nobody that he took the Pennywise throne. A 1990 television miniseries budget can’t really compare to something made for cinemas.
Winner: Bill Skarsgård
8. Mel Gibson Vs. Tom Hardy – Max Rockatansky
Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky is something to behold. We see this young man go from a normal officer of the law to a wild man when his family is done away with by a motorcycle gang. We then follow him on a three-film journey through a dystopian Australia. One can’t deny that Mel Gibson made this character legendary, especially in the sequel, The Road Warrior.
In 2015, audiences got a new spin on the series with the massively successful Mad Max: Fury Road. Due to the aging process, Mel Gibson hung up his boots and we got Tom Hardy as Max. He did an amazing job with the character, and a good chunk of fans even claim Fury Road to be the best film in the franchise. But one taste was not enough, and Mel remains Max for generations of fans.
Winner: Mel Gibson
9. Patrick Swayze Vs. Colt Prattes – Johnny Castle
Up until portraying Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze was mostly playing tough guy characters. Who could forget him in such chest-thumping films like Red Dawn and The Outsiders? Yet this movie showed us a drastically different side of Swayze. With his mother being a professional dancer, he at last had a stellar opportunity to bust out his own dance moves — and we were enthralled.
In 2017, Lionsgate Television decided to lavish everyone with a television remake of Dirty Dancing. It featured Colt Prattes playing Johnny Castle. The film and its actors were met with a slew of negative reviews from critics. One source even called the film disrespectful. It was hard to replace this iconic character, made more painful by Swayze’s untimely passing.
Winner: Patrick Swayze
10. Charlton Heston Vs. Jack Huston – Judah Ben-Hur
When it comes to historical epics, few can live up to the splash made by 1959’s Ben-Hur, itself a remake of an earlier epic silent film. The film received 11 Oscars and three Golden Globe awards. The man who took us on this grandiose journey was Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur. His amazing acting, partnered with the directing of William Wyler, created something that could never be matched.
2016 saw a remake hit the cinemas. While Jack Huston did a good job with the character, he couldn’t match the acting abilities of Charlton Heston. The film as a whole was slaughtered by the critics and picked up no awards.
Winner: Charlton Heston
11. Jackie Earle Haley Vs. Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger
From 1984 to 2003, we saw Robert Englund act as Freddy Krueger across eight motion pictures. His crude humor and sadistic streak absolutely cemented him as Krueger in the minds of millions across the world. By 2010, film makers decided it was time to put a new face under that hat.
In the remake of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Robert Englund hung up his glove and left us in the hands of Jackie Earle Haley. He didn’t at all do a bad job as the character. It goes without saying that his own touch of creepiness to the role rather than doing an impression. Sadly, the new series was hung to dry, and in over a decade audiences have not seen him reprise the role.
Winner: Robert Englund
12. Sissy Spacek Vs. Chloë Grace Moretz – Carrie
In terms of painfully awkward yet undeniably iconic characters, Carrie takes the throne, especially when Sissy Spacek is playing the role. Despite getting an inside look into this tragic teen’s life, one couldn’t help but cringe when observing her behavior. When Carrie finally lost it and set her prom on fire, she didn’t fail to appear out of this world.
This is definitely something that Chloë Grace Moretz failed to accomplish. While Sissy Spacek looked unkempt and strange walking down the halls of her 1970s school, Moretz looked like a popular girl after a wild night out. The Carrie role is definitely owned by Spacek.
Winner: Sissy Spacek
13. Anthony Perkins Vs. Vince Vaughn – Norman Bates
With that boyish face, the eyebrows, and that soulless grin, Anthony Perkins is Norman Bates. In the classic Hitchcock thriller Psycho, he played the role of a creepy yet polite, mother-obsessed murderer, and did so flawlessly. When watching the film, it ultimately isn’t hard to begin to find oneself empathizing with Bates, making the experience that much more disturbing.
On the other hand, Vince Vaughn also did an amazing job with the role. He even held an intimidation factor that Anthony Perkins didn’t have. Vaughn is a bigger guy and would tower over his accusers. He actually looked like he had the ability to do some damage to someone in a face to face confrontation. But in this contest, it’s subtlety and silence that win over fans and critics alike.
Winner: Anthony Perkins
14. Paul Muni Vs. Al Pacino – Tony Montana
Before the Hays Code policed Hollywood films’ content, the early 1930s saw a slew of gangster flicks. Somewhere between Public Enemy and Little Caesar was the original Scarface. While the film holds up, and Tony’s character is an interesting study into the machinations of a gangster, it has none of the depth that comes with the 1980s remake. Paul Muni’s Tony brings us a rather cliché depiction. One would be better to watch a James Cagney flick.
When Al Pacino slipped into the role of Tony Montana, however, things changed — drastically. The movie traded its Chicago backdrop for Miami, and Tony Montana dumped his Italian background for a Cuban one. If someone wants to see a far more ruthless Tony Montana who spits classic line after line in a movie that is beautifully shot, they’d be far better off to watch the 1983 remake.
Winner: Al Pacino
15. Tim Curry Vs. Laverne Cox – Dr. Frank-N-Furter
Back in 1975, Tim Curry and the rest of the Rocky Horror Picture Show castmates couldn’t have known that they were acting in a film that would rock generations for almost half a century. Out of all the characters on the screen, no one was as showstopping as Tim Curry in his portrayal of the deliciously decadent and enjoyably evil Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The character was something out of this world.
In 2016, Fox decided that the rock musical needed to be remade, and promptly produced a straight-to-television version. In Curry’s shoes was Laverne Cox. As great as the actress is, she was up against forty years of Curry’s legacy cemented into the minds of several generations of obsessed fans screaming their callbacks. The remake was panned by critics and quickly fell off the world’s radar.
Winner: Tim Curry
16. Boris Karloff Vs. Arnold Vosloo – Imhotep
Boris Karloff took Imhotep the ancient Egyptian mummy and made him one of the most celebrated Universal monsters. Out of all the monster flicks that came out of Universal, The Mummy was perhaps treated the most respectfully. All the other monsters got a handful of increasingly cheesy sequels, continuously declining in quality, while Karloff’s iconic character was allowed to remain relatively unscathed.
For years, Karloff alone was the mummy. However, in 1999, The Mummy was remade with style, flair, grandiose effects, and an all-star cast. South African actor Arnold Vosloo stepped in as Imhotep and blew audiences away. Not only did he look the part, but he was about 100 times more fierce with the role — and simultaneously, bizarrely alluring. When people think about Imhotep today, Boris Karloff probably isn’t even on their radar.
Winner: Arnold Vosloo
17. Claudia Wells Vs. Elizabeth Shue – Jennifer Parker
Back To The Future shook moviegoers and instantly created hopelessly obsessed fans when it first came out in 1985. Amid a cast of amazing actors was Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer, Marty’s girlfriend. While she did have some scenes in the beginning of the movie, the flick was mostly focused on Marty and Doc Brown.
In the sequel, Jennifer stepped onto the scene looking a lot less like Claudia Wells and a lot more like Elizabeth Shue. It made sense to make the switch, seeing how popular Elizabeth Shue was at the time. In the movie, Jennifer was written a much bigger role, and it was very likely that Claudia Wells couldn’t pull off the kind of acting Shue could do with ease.
Winner: Elizabeth Shue
18. Julie Andrews Vs. Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins
In 1964, Walt Disney Pictures released Mary Poppins and it instantly became one of the most popular children’s movies of all time. This likely wouldn’t have been the case if it had not been for Julie Andrews. The budding star was able to give it the magic that was needed to make it a classic. The iconic character no doubt paved the way for her getting the Oscar-winning role in The Sound of Music a year later.
While Mary Poppins remained untouched for over half a century, the movie was given a 2018 sequel called Mary Poppins Returns. In place of Julie Andrews was Emily Blunt. While the English powerhouse actress did manage to bring back some of that original magic, she was in no way determined to outshine her predecessor. After all, there was simply no way that she could compare to Julie Andrews.
Winner: Julie Andrews
19. Charlton Heston Vs. Will Smith – Neville
Bringing things back around to Charlton Heston, the celebrated actor found himself in another classic film when he acted as Neville in 1971’s The Omega Man. We got to see more of the smooth-talking, heavy-hitting Heston that we saw in The Planet of The Apes. He was nothing short of brilliant in the role.
Will Smith brought the character of Neville back to life when he acted in I Am Legend in 2007. He was also arresting in the role in his own right. Who on Earth can forget the scene where he had to say goodbye to his beloved dog? However, it’s hard for anyone to match up with Academy Award-winner Charlton Heston’s acting abilities and the longevity of his performances’ impact.
Winner: Charlton Heston
20. Michael Keaton Vs. Christian Bale – Batman
When it comes to Batman, the argument of who is the greatest Batman is a constant, nigh endless battle. The man who really started it all for the modern generation is Michael Keaton. He was serious as Batman, quirky as Bruce Wayne, and totally knew how to turn on the intimidation factor. He also had director Tim Burton, and a split soundtrack involving Danny Elfman and Prince, on his side.
In 2006, Christian Bale burst onto the scene as a Batman for the 21st century. Through his performance, he showed that he was fierce as Batman and visibly damaged as Bruce Wayne. It was a wonderful interpretation that he carried undaunted for three movies. Until this day, the best Batman claim is still something that can’t be fully decided upon.
21. Jack Nicholson Vs. Heath Ledger – The Joker
1989’s Batman introduced us to Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Joker. He started off as a ruthless gangster by the name of Jack Napier. Once he falls into a vat of chemicals, he becomes Joker. Not only does he take people out in face-to-face confrontations; he also poisoned cosmetic and hygiene products, and later choked Gotham with gas.
Heath Ledger’s Joker, meanwhile, is the stuff of legends, earning him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. While we don’t get an origin story with him, he is viscerally insane, leaving audiences inexorably tense. He blows up a hospital, burns stacks of money, and is definitely more sadistic — and masochistic — than Jack Nicholson’s Joker. People of different eras have different opinions about who’s the better Joker. At the end of the day, they both carry serious clout.
22. Michelle Pfeiffer Vs. Halle Berry – Catwoman
Michelle Pfeiffer brought Catwoman to life for the first time in decades with 1992’s Batman Returns. With her tight latex suit, her take-charge attitude, and karate skills, she was definitely the Catwoman of the 1990s. She also took nothing away from Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt’s performances in the 1960s Batman TV show. Michelle Pfeiffer was forming her own mould.
In 2004, it was announced that Oscar winner Halle Berry would be portraying Catwoman. Knowing what a great actress Berry is, the masses were pretty excited about seeing her bring this iconic character back to life. Sadly, the Catwoman film was a gigantic flop so devastating that people still talk about today. The character was only successful at staining Berry’s career.
Winner: Michelle Pfeiffer
23. Al Jolson Vs. Neil Diamond – Jackie Robin
1927’s The Jazz Singer is historically significant for being the first film to ever feature synchronous sound. The voice that welcomed sound to movies was none other than Al Jolson portraying singer Jack Robin. While the actor is a major wild card and was deemed difficult to work with, he did bring us hit songs like “Mammy”, “Toot Toot Tootsie” and his own rendition of “Blue Skies”.
In 1980, singer-songwriter legend Neil Diamond stepped into the role of Jackie Robin. While he definitely presented a more serious version of the character, the film has since fallen from the public eye. The original iteration of The Jazz Singer, on the other hand, as well as its central performance, will always hold a significant place in film history.
Winner: Al Jolson
24. Gene Wilder Vs. Johnny Depp – Willy Wonka
For decades, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was the psychedelic, lighthearted yet sinister musical that was capturing and expanding the imaginations of kids everywhere. Gene Wilder, the man who portrayed Wonka, definitely deserves a lot of credit for making the movie so iconic. His bizarre yet loving performance is still talked about to this very day.
If one is going to make a good remake, Johnny Depp is a good pick to make it shine. However, not even his superb acting abilities could outfox Gene Wilder’s performance. One can’t argue that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is good. On the contrary, as far as critics and fans are concerned, it is also extremely forgettable.
Winner: Gene Wilder
25. Janet Hubert Vs. Daphne Reid – Vivian Banks
The 1990s were no stranger to firing an actor and just sneaking in another actor to take over the character for them. Usually, such a move would flop hard. However, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air somehow made it work. Janet Hubert was the original Vivian Banks. She was tough, sassy, and at times even a little frantic. However, she was immensely beloved.
After three seasons, Hubert left and was replaced with Daphne Reid for the remaining three seasons. The two couldn’t have been any more different. Reid was definitely more loving, witty, and soft in nature. However, she played the Vivian Banks character just as well as Hubert. In the end, they both represented the essence of the character skillfully.
26. Ashton Kutcher Vs. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
For modern day tech-heads, a film documenting the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a dream to watch. When another one came out, it naturally excited us all even more. But which actor portrayed the tech mogul better – Ashton Kutcher or Michael Fassbender?
Unlike many other battles on this list, the winner here isn’t so clear cut. They both did an equally excellent job. That said, Kutcher seemed to embody Jobs’ spirit a bit more effortlessly than Fassbender (picture the scene where Kutcher is lying in the grass listening to classical music). For that reason, we’re giving him the edge.
Winner: Ashton Kutcher
27. Catherine Bach Vs. Jessica Simpson – Daisy Duke
When The Dukes Of Hazzard reboot film came out in 2005, it had been heavily anticipated for a while. There were many reasons for this, but one of them was the way the media promoted Jessica Simpson. In the days leading up to, and after, the release of the film, you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing Simpson dancing as Daisy Duke in a Pizza Hut commercial.
However, Catherine Bach was simply incredible in the way she portrayed the original Daisy Duke. Normally we’d give Bach the edge for her sheer icon status, but due to the way Simpson was the talk of the town back in 2005, we’ll have to call this one a close draw.
28. Albert Finney Vs. Jamie Foxx – Oliver Warbucks
There have been many interpretations of the classic Broadway musical Annie. But perhaps the most famous one was the one that came out in 1982, with a cast that included stars like Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, and Albert Finney. Finney played the billionaire Oliver Warbucks, who seeks to adopt an orphan to improve his public image.
In the modern day 2014 version, the amazing Jamie Foxx gave his own take on the role – and he by all accounts killed it. Ultimately, even though Kinney’s acting was superb, Foxx shined in a cutting edge remake that surprised people for the better.
Winner: Jamie Foxx
29. Jessica Lange Vs. Naomi Watts – Ann Darrow
The legend of King Kong continues to preserve itself, constantly updating itself every few decades. There have been many versions of King Kong, but perhaps two most well-known were the films released in 1976 and 2005. The 1976 version stars a young Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, a tandem with a chemistry so strong it essentially carried the film.
Unfortunately, the 2005 King Kong film was a bit of a dud. Although star-studded (Jack Black, Adrian Brody), it struggled to inspire us in the same way the original did. Naomi Watts is lovely as Ann Darrow, but Lange was simply on another level.
Winner: Jessica Lange
30. Paul Michael Glaser Vs. Ben Stiller – David Starsky
Back when muscle cars were all the rage, shows like Starsky And Hutch were a breath of fresh air to watch after a long day’s work. Starring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as the titular lead duo, viewers watched as they fought crime, performed crazy car stunts, and did so while looking as stylish as the 70s could possibly get.
However, while Paul Michael Glaser performed the role of David Starsky brilliantly, we’re going to have to give the victory to the actor who last played him – Ben Stiller. As he always does with his roles, Stiller embodies his character’s craziest tendencies. And we love him all the more for it.
Winner: Ben Stiller
31. Richard Harris Vs. Michael Gambon – Professor Dumbledore
We’re not joking when we say that this issue has been weighing on our minds and hearts for a long time. In fact, it’s been weighing on the minds of thousands of people from the Harry Potter community. And that issue, of course, is that Richard Harris was the true Albus Dumbledore. Kindly, calm, and mysterious, Harris’ portrayal of the Hogwarts headmaster was the true vision for the character.
But after his sad and untimely passing, Dumbledore then started being portrayed by the eccentric Michael Gambon. Gambon then turned Dumbledore into a grumbly, irritable, grouch. His most infamous moment, of course, was slamming young Harry into a wall, demanding to know if he’d put his name into the goblet of fire. Book-Dumbledore was never so aggressive.
Winner: Richard Harris
32. Patrick Stewart Vs. James McAvoy – Professor Charles Xavier
This one may be tough to judge, considering the fact that these two talented actors played their corresponding characters during different periods of their life. In most of the early X-Men films, we see the magnificent Patrick Stewart embody the calm and controlled, wheelchair-ridden Professor X.
In later films, we’re given these characters’ origin stories, and now it’s James McAvoy who’s playing the role of Charles Xavier. For a long while, we see what his life was like before his wheelchair (and when he had hair as well). From a performance standpoint, McAvoy was bloody brilliant – but ultimately, Patrick Stewart was the true Professor X.
Winner: Patrick Stewart
33. Ian McKellan Vs. Michael Fassbender – Magneto
If we’re really being honest with ourselves, the same argument that we applied to the Patrick Stewart-James McAvoy battle can be applied here as well. If we’re matching up Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender over who portrayed the Class-A mutant Magneto better, our immediate thought would be to give the nod to McKellan.
However, Fassbender had some truly memorable scenes in those films, including his amazing freakout on the private jet in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. To give him the victory wouldn’t be out of the question – but the truth is we still have to give it to McKellan. His character is simply a boss. Enough said.
Winner: Ian McKellan
34. Tyler Mane Vs. Liev Schreiber – Sabretooth
Sabretooth appears twice throughout the X-Men live action film series – and his two appearances couldn’t have been more different. In the very first 2000 X-Men film, Sabretooth is a mere henchman for the ruthless Magneto. All he does is grunt and display his superhuman strength, and although Tyler Mane did a good job – he was essentially a side character.
Such was not the case in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, when Liev Schreiber took over the role. Not only was he one of the film’s main characters, but he was also more vocal, vicious, intelligent, and present. He also had a whole backstory arc with Wolverine, who’s apparently his actual brother. Even though the film itself loses to the original X-Men, Schreiber still takes the crown over Mane.
Winner: Liev Schreiber
35. Edward Norton Vs. Mark Ruffalo – The Incredible Hulk
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a tendency to suck everything into its orbit. People forget that years before Mark Ruffalo became the official embodiment of Bruce Banner (after all, the MCU is law), Edward Norton pulled off the role pretty damn well. We should also mention that actor Eric Bana was the actual original Hulk, but that movie flopped pretty heavily.
When it comes to Norton and Ruffalo, the battle is certainly a tight one. Norton is a tough actor to beat at pretty much anything, but Ruffalo is so beloved by fans for his goofy portrayal of the big green guy. Ahh, call it a draw.
36. Tobey Maguire Vs. Tom Holland – Spider-Man
This list simply wouldn’t be complete without the insertion of a classic battle for the best Spider-Man. Over the years we’ve seen Peter Parker played by three different actors (not including the critically acclaimed animated film) – Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. Most agree that while Garfield did a swell job, he was simply too “cool” to be a realistic Peter Parker – and thus he gets third place.
The real trick is knowing who wins between the other two. On one hand, Tobey Maguire was the first Spider-Man we knew, and his ability to evoke emotion on screen was incredible. On the other hand, Tom Holland is part of the MCU, and he embodied Peter Parker’s vulnerable, teen, coming-of-age spirit better than we’ve ever seen. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t get much more classic than Maguire’s performance in those original Spider-Man films. So he wins.
Winner: Tobey Maguire
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