Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are headed back into the ring. They will both once again play a boxer, this time in Grudge Match, EW has confirmed with Warner Bros. The news was first reported by Deadline.
Stallone is of course famous for Rocky and De Niro tackled the role of Jake LaMotta in 1980’s Raging Bull. That got us thinking about other actors – who have an iconic, everyone-knows-it role – that go back to a similar part years later (not in official sequels). We’re not talking about actors that just play the same role in every movie. Rather, thespians who have taken on many different roles but return to a famous one.
Raging Bull and now Grudge Match isn’t De Niro’s only famous repeat. Audiences were sure to think of Vito Corleone when they went to see Analyze This in 1999, a full 25 years after The Godfather Part II.
Another Godfather alum, Marlon Brando, also makes our list. He played a silly version of a gangster in a send-up of his most famous role in the crime comedy The Freshman.
Queen of sci-fi Sigourney Weaver was iconic as Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott’s Alien and its sequels, and then, in 1999, she reappeared in space in the comedy Galaxy Quest.
For the romantics among us, Colin Firth first made us swoon as the charming Mr. Darcy in the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice, and then, almost a decade later, returned to make our hearts melt as the charming Mark Darcy (reference completely intentional) in Bridget Jones’s Diary — he was even the bright spot in the sequel!
This occurrence isn’t just limited to live-action — animation can call back some favorite memories as well. Antonio Banderas was beloved for The Mask of Zorro, and then essentially played the same character, albeit a feline version: Puss in Boots in Shrek 2.
What are some of your favorite actors who’ve gone back to an iconic role?
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