20 Police Sketches of Book Characters Show How Spot on Move Casting Is (or Not…)

An author’s character descriptions allow you to quickly paint a picture of the character in your mind and get you invested in them. Stephen King has the rare ability to do it in one sentence, and, despite knowing this, I’m still amazed every time he pulls it off.

Because of that investment, fans often call shenanigans when a film role is cast with actors who don’t fit their vision of how a particular character is supposed to look.

Artist Brian Joseph Davis explores this further with his The Composites series — a collection of police sketches based on the book descriptions of popular characters. 

He uses basic law enforcement sketch software to create eerily-accurate portraits from characters’ book descriptions that we can then use to compare literature’s most-famous faces to their movie counterparts.

So… that’s exactly what we’re gonna do:

1. Jack Torrance, The Shining

Written by Stephen King, portrayed by Jack Nicholson

Photo Credit: Brian Davis, Warner Bros

Looks like Kubrick definitely took some creative license in hiring Jack Nicholson.

2. Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Written by Stieg Larsson, portrayed by Rooney Mara

Actually, Rooney’s portrayal is pretty spot on.

3. The Monster, Frankenstein

Written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, portrayed by Boris Karloff

Seriously? The Monster in the novel looks so normal by comparison!

4. Annie Wilkes, Misery

Written by Stephen King, portrayed by Kathy Bates

Okay, I can see a resemblance here.

5. Carrie White, Carrie

Written by Stephen King, portrayed by Sissy Spacek

Anyone else feel like novel Carrie is a 5-year-old girl?

6. Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey

Written by E. L. James, portrayed by Jamie Dornan

I don’t know about you, but I would NOT follow novel Grey into the Red Room.

7. Clarice Starling, The Silence of the Lambs

Written by Thomas Harris, portrayed by Jodie Foster

Where’s your birthmark, Jodie? Huh?

8.  Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs

Written by Thomas Harris, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins

Honestly, who can imagine any other face as the inimitable Hannibal Lector?

9. Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, portrayed by Carey Mulligan

Photo Credit: Brian Davis, Warner Bros

Now those are some scary similarities!

10. Dallas Winston, The Outsiders

Written by S.E. Hinton, portrayed by Matt Dillon

Matt Dillon’s definitely got a more bad boy vibe going here.

11. Count Dracula, Dracula

Written by Bram Stoker, portrayed by Bela Lugosi

Hard to imagine Dracula with a mustache…

12. Humbert Humbert, Lolita

Written by Vladimir Nabokov, portrayed by James Mason

Yup, both are creepy characters.

13. Javert, Les Misérables

Written by Victor Hugo, portrayed by Russell Crowe

Looks like you’re missing some sideburns there, Mr. Crowe.

14. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

Written by Suzanne Collins, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence

Photo Credit: Brian Davis, Lionsgate

Wow. Did Collins have J-Law in mind when she wrote Katniss??

15. Kurtz, Heart of Darkness

Written by Joseph Conrad, portrayed by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

Here’s another pretty accurate portrayal.

16. Lux Lisbon, The Virgin Suicides

Written by Jeffrey Eugenides, portrayed by Kirsten Dunst

I think Dunst’s long hair fits the 70s era a bit more, don’t you?

17. Marla Singer, Fight Club

Written by Chuck Palahniuk, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter

Again, it’s hard to imagine anyone but HBC as the wild Marla.

18. Norman Bates, Psycho

Written by Robert Bloch, portrayed by Anthony Perkins

Perkins was incredible as Norman Bates, but glasses would’ve definitely made him a bit creepier.

19. Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon

Written by Dashiell Hammett, portrayed by Humphrey Bogart

Photo Credit: Brian Davis, Warner Bros

If it wasn’t for the blonde, these two could be twins.

20. Tom Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley

Written by Patricia Highsmith, portrayed by Matt Damon

Photo Credit: Brian Davis, Miramax

See? Glasses always make characters a million times creepier.

So, what do you think? Did they live up to your standards?