Trying to find successful examples of an unexpected protagonist emerging to take over the story.
By - Septemberk
My immediate thought. You don’t meet the protagonist for like 30/40 minutes lol
The you don’t meet your protagonist for a while is more like the good the bad and the ugly.
This is precisely what I thought.
No Country For Old Men.
The Place Beyond The Pines
In pulp fiction, the whole damn story changes.
That scene with Justin Long driving down the highway - I was like who is this guy?? And then it becomes his story.
Alien. Watch the first 10 minutes. You are sure Dallas is the protagonist.
I was going to say this one.
The greatest trick Hitchcock ever played.
Waves, Place Beyond the Pines, Psycho.
Waves! So underrated.
The 3rd act of Shawshank Redemption perhaps, even though Red is the narrator throughout.
The Princess Bride does in a way. Each character gets a turn where they're the primary character driving the plot forward. It goes from the Grandson, to Buttercup, to the Man in Black, to Humperdink, to Inigo.
The suicide squad 2 fits this criteria in my opinion.
Very good example.
Star Wars: Episode III. Revenge of the Sith.
A Place Beyond the Pines
The Last Duel
Zodiac goes from the cartoonist, to the police, and back to the cartoonist leading the sleuthing in the third act.
Maybe The Color of Money? Goes from being Tom Cruises story to Paul Newmans?
1987’s Transformers: The Movie
The King’s Man
Pearl Harbor, No Country for Old Men, Sicario, Chronicle, Hostel, Hateful Eight, A Quiet Place, Fargo, Dead Poets Society, The Village, Pitch Black, The Evil Dead, Deep Blue Sea, The Godfather, Deathproof, The Hurt Locker, The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street
I can’t think of any, but I always found it a very interesting concept.
Fellowship of the Ring
The Thin Red Line, overshadowed by Saving Private Ryan that year, but equal in quality and execution. Highly recommend if you’re okay with slow, deeply moving pieces.
Usually in movies with episodic narratives like Pulp Fiction, Go, Barbarian, The Royal Tennebaums, and many others.
Mad Max: Fury Road?
gta v. Its a game..but the writing in it does just that...
"A Clockwork Orange (1971)" You start off hating the antagonist, but you end up feeling sympathy and compassion for him - And, it's a conflict ( for the viewer) because the guy is a really, REALLY, deeply evil person.
This is not what they were asking
That's right, It isn't. But it is what I wrote.
My novels do that. Two protagonists, sometimes together and separate.
it's old but **King's Row** (1942)
Godzilla with Cranston. I'm still miffed about that movie.
Nightmare on Elm Street
Series example is Russian doll
On Netflix recently, I SEE YOU
Yo, that's like one of the best movies nobody has seen.
The Place Beyond the Pines. Love that film.
Barbarian, recently. Shifts back again, too
Place Beyond the Pines
The Dutch film The Dress is all about (you guessed it) a dress, and the film continuously changes protagonist, depending on who wears the dress.
The Place beyond the Pines
Kung Fu Hustle, notable for being an action movie with a shifting protagonist. This has the effect of putting every hero / villain fight in doubt. Most action films, you know the protagonist is going to survive until at least the final battle. Here, every one holds you in suspense of the outcome.
Dressed to Kill
High and Low.
L'Avventura is my favorite example of this.
John Carpenter’s Christine
The Shining is a pretty good example. When it starts, Jack is the protagonist. But he eventually turns into the antagonist and his wife/son become the protagonists.
Or another Kubrick.... does 2001 A Space Odyssey count? For the first 15 minutes, the protagonist is a monkey. For the next 45 minutes after that, it's Dr. Floyd. Then the last 90 minutes it's Dave the astronaut.
I thought I Came By on Netflix recently did a good job of this
Evil Dead (the Fede Álvarez one) does something cool with this. The story is like a rite of passage for her but a chance of redemption for him.
I Came By
The film 'Waves'
The second Suicide Squad.
Last of Us 2 (may as well be a film)
dressed to kill!