The 10 Biggest Gender Swaps in TV and Film
7. Evelyn Salt in Salt
In the early stages of development, the main character of the action thriller Salt, originally Edwin Salt, was intended to be portrayed by Tom Cruise. Instead, after realizing how saturated the male spy movie market was, they swapped Salt’s gender and brought Angelina Jolie on board, renaming the character Evelyn Salt.
Although it caused parts of the script to be rewritten, the result was a fun, classic spy thriller that did well at the box office. It added nicely to Jolie’s own collection of kick-ass action roles like Wanted, the Tomb Raider films, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
6. Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica
It’s hard to believe now, considering how popular she has become, but Ronald D Moore’s decision to make Starbuck a woman for the reboot of Battlestar Galactica was originally met with lots of complaints from fans of the original series.
These complaints were silenced pretty quickly as Katee Sackhoff’s performance in the role became one of the most complex and compelling aspects of a complex and compelling show. Sackhoff’s version of Starbuck, a.k.a. Kara Thrace, is now the definitive version of the character, and one of the most popular science fiction characters of all time.
5. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
It’s practically public knowledge that the epic saga of a galaxy far, far away didn’t pop fully-formed into George Lucas’ head. It took a lot of planning, failures, and countless drafts before Star Wars finally took shape.
One of the earliest drafts had the lead character as a woman. Of course, Mark Hamill went on to become Luke Skywalker, but how different would film history be if Luke was cast as a woman? It wasn’t until The Force Awakens that a Star Wars film was led by a woman: Daisy Ridley’s Rey.