From Mission Impossible to Alien, 9 Movies Where the Protagonists are Introduced as Side Characters!

From Mission Impossible to Alien, 9 Movies Where the Protagonists are Introduced as Side Characters!

Protagonists are there for stories to have a central character that can drive forward the plot. Without a protagonist, the story can’t function. They are the most important part about the plot. The story can function without an antagonist, but not without a protagonist. Sometimes movies can have multiple protagonists, this has been seen in movies like Place Beyond the Pines or anthology films. Sometimes in a way to subvert expectations movies will usually introduce the protagonist as the side character and from there on out slowly reveal the twist. This brings us to the topic at hand. Moon Knight: Know More About Oscar Isaac’s Marvel Superhero Set to Debut in His Own Disney+ Series!

Movies for long now have been doing this trend where protagonists are usually introduced as side characters. Sometimes you will have a large ensemble of characters, with no clear sight of who the main character is supposed to be, but as the movie slowly goes by, all is revealed. This usually is used a lot in slasher horror movies. You have films like Mission: Impossible and Star Wars: The Force Awakens that do a great job at subverting your expectations and really bring up the reveal as a surprise. So let’s take a look at nine films where the protagonists are introduced as side characters. The Batman: From Michael Giacchino’s Score to Hans Zimmer’s Iconic Soundtrack, 7 Best Themes of the Dark Knight Ranked!

Godzilla (2014)

This was a protagonist switch that was controversial for many. The entire marketing campaign for Godzilla showed Bryan being the protagonist of the film. Well, that’s not exactly the case. For the first 30 minutes of Godzilla it does feel like ’s Joe Brody is the protagonist, and then he dies. That was a huge shock to many who saw the film. The reigns are then picked up by Joe’s son, Ford Brody, who was played by Aaron-Taylor Johsnon.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A classic of the horror slasher genre, A Nightmare on Elm Street does a great job at misleading the audiences. When the movie opens up, we are greeted by Tina Gray. Tina throughout the first act is subjected to Krueger’s horror, which leads the viewer to believe that she is the main character. That’s not until the end of the first act where she is murdered, and the film starts focusing on Nancy’s friend, Marge Thompson, who is introduced as a side character in the beginning.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi’s debut film, The Evil Dead, is a perfect example of how to build up your main character. When watching The Evil Dead, you never expect Ash to be the main character. He is just there in the background, with hardly any lines. Things though kick into overdrive once you get into the actual meat of the plot and Ash takes up the center stage. From there on out, it’s pure and violent horror.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Many might disagree with this entry here, but Mad Max: Fury Road through and throughout is Furiosa’s story. That’s the thing about Mad Max films in general. While Max is usually the prominent lead of the film, it’s the other characters who have a bigger arc around him. Max just finds himself in difficult situations, and has to work to get out of them. With Fury Road, Furiosa is the main character while Max is just in the back helping her.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Sure, Jack Sparrow is the protagonist of the series, but with The Curse of the Black Pearl that wasn’t exactly the case. He is introduced as a side character, whereas so much of the first few minutes are focused on Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. It’s not until Jack and Will band together where our favourite drunken pirate takes the center stage. From there on out, he becomes the protagonist of the series.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Another film where the marketing leads you to believe that a certain character is the protagonist, but that’s not exactly the case. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the marketing had John Boyega’s Finn plastered everywhere holding Luke Skywalker’s iconic lightsaber. This led many fans to believe that he may be a new Jedi or the lead of this new trilogy, nope. We are led to believe for half of the film it’s Finn’s film until Daisy Ridley’s Rey is revealed to be force sensitive. It’s her film from there on out.

Mission: Impossible (1996)

The first Mission: Impossible opens up with a group of IMF agents going into a mission, that’s led by Jim Phelps, the protagonist of the original TV series. For most part of that sequence it feels like Phelps is the protagonist, but once the gears kick in, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt steps into the limelight and becomes the star of the film.

1917 (2019)

A war film shot to look like one take, 1917 was a technological feat in storytelling. Following two soldiers in World War I sent to deliver a message across no man’s land, 1917 introduces our main character, William, as an expendable. Throughout the first half you feel like he will die, but expectations are subverted once William’s partner Thomas dies. It’s a shocking moment in the film that really sinks in the emotional depth for William. From there on out, it becomes his story.

Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror, Alien, is a masterclass in the topic this article is based on. Alien has a bunch of iconic characters right from the beginning. Once the Xenomorph is set loose on Nostromo, characters start dropping like flies. It’s not until the end when only Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley is alive when you realise that she is the main character here.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Jan 23, 2022 02:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website

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Charles writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.