It's hard to imagine that the target audience of the family-oriented Journey 2: The Mysterious Island will be bothered by the major casting change. But New Line Cinema's willingness to go ahead with a Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel without Fraser & company is just the latest example of one of Hollywood's stranger phenomena: the common, sometimes-awkward necessity of recasting major roles in a film for its sequel.
Recasting has long been a staple in television, where the production of dozens and sometimes hundreds of episodes of one series means that the same actors may not always be around to play their parts.
It feels less like a line of dialogue and more like a studio executive whispering in your ear, trying to convince you that a movie called The Bourne Legacy movie doesn't need to star .
In a cinematic world of sequels and reboots, just how much recasting will audiences accept?
Two of this coming summer's biggest blockbusters do it: The Avengers subs in Mark Ruffalo for Edward Norton as the Incredible Hulk and The Bourne Legacy dispenses with Matt Damon.
"Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg," Norton says in a recent trailer for The Bourne Legacy.
—but it's a essentially a SINO (Sequel In Name Only): the only returning actor from the first film is Josh Hutcherson, who played Fraser's son.
Fraser has been replaced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who lends the movie his not-inconsiderable talents (straightforward dialogue recitation, flexing, and raising one of his eyebrows really high).