Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley

When you see characters on the big screen you would be forgiven for thinking that they remain the same from the initial idea all the way up to release.

But some of the most iconic characters in film have undergone a complete transformation with male characters being changed to women and vice versa.

- Ellen Ripley in Alien

Ellen Ripley is one of the most famous female characters of all time and remains Sigourney Weaver’s greatest role.

And yet all of the major roles on Alien were written as unisex characters and that allowed casting directors to interpret the characters as they saw fit and to fit them to who auditioned - Ripley only became a female character after Weaver had auditioned for the part.

Weaver was cast in the role of Ripley and this is a role that really did change cinema forever as it was a role that really challenged gender roles - particularly within the science fiction genre.

Not only does Ellen Ripley remain one of the greatest female characters of all time but one of the greatest film characters of all time.

- Luke Skywalker in Star Wars

Luke Skywalker was imagined several different ways before the character that we all know and love was created.

One of the most interesting ideas for this character is that, for a time, Luke Skywalker was in fact female. George Lucas went on to reveal that that female character then became twins which was where Luke really was introduced.

The characters of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia were then developed side by side - although Princess Leia was going to be a minor character in an early draft - as they became the iconic brother and sister that we all know.

Luke Skywalker and the Star Wars movies defined a generation and remain one of the great movie trilogies of all time.

- Evelyn Salt in Salt

Salt hit the big screen back in 2010 and saw Angelina Jolie return to the action genre and was at her kick ass best.

But the role of Evelyn Salt in this movie was originally written as a man - Tom Cruise was even on board to take on the role.

But after Cruise left the project Ms Jolie got her hands on it and the role of Edward turned into Evelyn as the script was rewritten for the Oscar winner.

Salt was another great movie for Jolie as it allowed her to have great action moments along with emotional ones in a character driven story.

- Dory in Finding Nemo

When you think of the character of Dory in Finding Nemo nothing else but the voice of Ellen DeGeneres springs to mind.

But the loveable Pacific regal blue tang with a memory problem was original meant to be a male character when director Andrew Stanton was working on the screenplay.

But working at home one night changed the director of this character as Stanton’s wife believed that Ellen DeGeneres had the perfect voice to bring this character to life.

The moral of this story is ’always listen to your wife’ as Finding Nemo remains one of Pixar’s biggest movies and Dory one of the most loved characters.

- Hobson in Arthur

Arthur was released for the first time back in 1981 starring Dudley Moore before it was remade in 2011 with Russell Brand in the lead role.

The role of Hobson, a vital part in both films, went from male to female over the course of the two movies.

John Gielgud took on the role of Hobson - who is really a parental figure to the main character - in the 1981 film while H

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