12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later

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There are movies that we can’t forget no matter how many years go by, either because of the plot or endearing characters, and sometimes, 1, 2, or even 3 sequels aren’t enough. Luckily, there are directors who decide to bring back the stories that won the hearts of viewers. And boy, do we love it when they do this with the perfect formula: a new adventure with the same characters we’ve kept in our memories for so long.

At Bright Side, we were overcome with nostalgia and couldn’t help but look for all the movies that came back after a long time with the original actors (and we didn’t expect some of them).

1. Laura Dern and Sam Neill: Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World Dominio
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Jurassic Park III / Universal Pictures and co-producer, © Jurassic World: Dominion / Amblin Entertainment and co-producers
The last time these actors brought Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant to life was in the third installment of Jurassic Park. After more than 2 decades, we can finally see them, once again, facing the consequences of a world where dinosaurs live among us. In addition, in this film, we see how the chemistry between the characters grows again.

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2. Harrison Ford: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the untitled fifth Indiana Jones film
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull / Paramount Pictures and co-producers, Sicily1 / IPA / SIPA / Sipa Press / East News
How can we forget the adventures of the brave Indiana Jones? While we thought that the 2008 film — the sequel that took 19 years to return to the screen — would be the last time we would see Harrison Ford in this role, years later, the script for the fifth installment was starting to be written. After several delays and rewrites, the feature film will finally hit theaters in 2023.

3. Val Kilmer: Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Top Gun / Paramount Pictures and co-producer, © Top Gun: Maverick / Paramount Pictures and co-producers
In the 1980s, Val Kilmer played Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, who was Tom Cruise’s rival in the aeronautical drama. After one of the longest periods between a movie and its sequel, the actor returned to play one of his most memorable roles. In the sequel, his character is an admiral who insists Maverick not abandon the group of pilots he has to train for a new mission.

4. Amy Adams: Enchanted and Disenchanted
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Enchanted / Walt Disney Pictures and co-producers, © Disenchanted / Walt Disney Pictures and co-producers
It took 15 years for Amy Adams to take the crown again and become the charismatic princess, Giselle. The second installment promises much more dancing and music than its predecessor. “The last time I really danced as much as is required here, I was 20. It feels different at 40,” the actress recounted.

5. Willem Dafoe: Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: No Way Home
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Spider-Man 3 / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © Spider-Man: No Way Home / Columbia Pictures and co-producers
The iconic Green Goblin was part of Tobey Maguire’s last Spider-Man movie as a hallucination encouraging his son to kill Spider-Man. 14 years later, Willem Dafoe reinterpreted his character as one of the villains who sneaks into Tom Holland’s character’s dimension. For this film, Dafoe had to be digitally rejuvenated.

6. Andrew Garfield: The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: No Way Home
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2 / Marvel Enterprises and co-producers, © Spider-Man: No Way Home / Columbia Pictures and co-producers
It wasn’t just villains that filtered into Tom Holland’s dimension. After the second The Amazing Spider-Man movie failed to achieve the expected success, it was unclear if we would ever see Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker again. Fortunately, he was able to show off his hero skills in the 2021 blockbuster.

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7. Ernie Hudson: Ghostbusters II and Ghostbusters: Afterlife
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Ghostbusters II / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © Ghostbusters: Afterlife / Columbia Pictures and co-producers
Ernie Hudson brought Winston Zeddemore to life. The actor lent his voice to video games featuring his character, and we saw him in 2016’s Ghostbusters as Bill Jenkins, Patty’s uncle. However, we hadn’t seen him back in action as a ghost hunter since the 1980s.

8. Sharon Stone: Basic Instinct and Basic Instinct 2
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Basic Instinct / Carolco Pictures and co-producer, © Basic Instinct 2 / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and co-producers
Thanks to the film, Basic Instinct, the young Sharon Stone achieved international fame for her role as Catherine Tramell. Unfortunately, the sequel was not as successful as expected and was considered incapable of matching the suspense of the first film.

9. Bill Pullman: Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© Independence Day / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producer, © Independence Day: Resurgence / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers
In this action film, Bill Pullman played the fictional president, Thomas J. Whitmore. It was the highest-grossing film of 1996 and the performances were well received. 20 years later, the sequel arrived in theaters and the actor reprised his role, now as a revered hero.

10. Keanu Reeves: The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix Resurrections
12 Characters Who Stayed in Our Hearts and Surprised Us by Returning to the Screen Years Later
© The Matrix Revolutions / Warner Bros. and co-producers, © The Matrix Resurrections / Warner Bros. and co-producers
The Matrix Revolutions hit theaters approximately 3 weeks after Matrix Reloaded was released on DVD. However, fans of this story had to wait 18 years to see Neo in action again.

11. Hayden Christensen: Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Obi-Wan Kenobi

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