Not every piece of character development is achieved over time. Though ideally, it should happen gradually, being organically worked into the plot, this isn’t always the case. Some movie characters simply changed drastically between movies.

Whenever this happens, it’s usually pretty noticeable. Even within a larger franchise, such a drastic change is pretty easy to spot, particularly when characters return for a sequel with their personality transformed. Sometimes, though, the changes are subtle, and can slip past us undetected.

Whether or not we noticed straight away, it happens all too frequently. Whether it’s a case of a new actor trying to make the character their own or of the writers altering their propensities in order to suit the plot, it’s actually far more common than one might think. Though we’d like to think we’d always notice if our favorite movie characters changed suddenly, the regularity of the phenomenon is actually a little alarming.

9. Alfred Pennyworth – The Dark Knight Trilogy

Movie characters who changed between movies - Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

When it comes to the Batman mythos, there are very few elements that haven’t been subject to at least some change. Alfred Pennyworth is by no means an exception: though he’s primarily Bruce Wayne’s butler, he’s also so much more. Over the years, he’s been a guardian, a sidekick, an actor, a spy, a soldier, and more. He’s quite the chameleon, apparently.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is perhaps the most well-respected adaption of the Caped Crusader of all time. However, between the second and final film, Alfred changes quite drastically. In The Dark Knight, he’s a hardened and stoic emotional sounding post for Bruce Wayne who occasionally offsets mounting tension with moments of levity. By the time The Dark Knight Rises comes around, he’s a different man entirely.

The final film in the trilogy sees Alfred become far more emotional and sentimental. Gone is the pragmatic advisor from the previous film, and in his place stands an aging father figure worrying about the fate of his surrogate son. Touching though it may be, it’s still pretty jarring to see, especially from a filmmaker as detail-oriented as Nolan.