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What The Characters In Most Dangerous Game Were Supposed To Look Like

This content was paid for by Quibi and created by Looper.

In 2020, Quibi released a brand new take on one of the most classic man vs. man stories ever written: The Most Dangerous Game. The latest version stars a number of stellar performers, but is centered primarily around Dodge Tynes (Liam Hemsworth) and Miles Sellars (Christoph Waltz) as our primary protagonist and antagonist, respectively.

In Quibi's Most Dangerous Game, Dodge Tynes is the prey, and he must take on a host of hunters. The hunters come from all walks of life, be it upper crust British gentleman Nixon (Chris Webster) or down-to-earth hunter from the American south Reagan (Billy Burke).

There's a wide trench between the original The Most Dangerous Game short story from 1924 (also known as The Hounds of Zaroff) and this latest incarnation. However, it's interesting to look at how some of the original players were envisioned by author Richard Connell and what Quibi's version brings to a modern audience.

Since Connell's story is very brief and written in a first-person narrative (thus eschewing much detailed description of the story's protagonist, Sanger Rainsford), we'll also be comparing the Quibi series with 1932's The Most Dangerous Game film adaptation written by legendary King Kong scriptwriter James Ashmore Creelman. Specifically, we'll be focusing on the two main characters who are present in all three versions.

Dodge Tynes vs. Sanger Rainsford

The closest analogue to Dodge Tynes in the original The Most Dangerous Game is Sanger Rainsford. The only thing we actually know for sure from Connell's story is that Rainsford will fit into General Zaroff's clothing. Zaroff (who will come back to in a moment) is described as an "erect, slender man."

The 1932 film matches this brief description by casting Joel McCrea in the role of Rainsford. McCrea would've been around 27 years old during filming. McCrea was about two inches above six feet tall, and was a classic white hat hero in a lot of western pictures of that era. Interestingly, Liam Hemsworth is almost exactly the same height as McCrea.

One important difference in adaptation, at least narratively, is that the original Rainsford was not as heroic as either McCrea's or Hemsworth's versions. Connell's vision of Rainsford is much more similar to the villainous Zaroff. Rainsford is a hunter too, and early in the story (denying that jaguars have feelings), he says, "The world is made up of two classes — the hunters and the huntees."

The original short story closes with Rainsford killing Zaroff in cold blood. We can infer, based on these details, that Connell likely did not imagine Rainsford as the clean-faced, bright-eyed idealist that we see in McCrea or Hemsworth.

Miles Sellars vs. General Zaroff

While Miles Sellars never actually sullies his hands with hunting Dodge Tynes, it's still safe to say that as the organizer of the hunt, he is the closest analogue Quibi's Most Dangerous Game has to General Zaroff, the man who hunts Rainsford for most of the duration of the original short story. In both the story and the first film adaptation, Zaroff has his servants and his hounds to help him in the hunt. In the Quibi adaptation, Sellars has hunters carrying out his dirty business as well.

Connell is much more specific about Zaroff than he is Rainsford, describing the man as, "singularly handsome," but moreover, that there's an "almost bizarre quality about the general's face." Connell specifcies that Zaroff is a Russian descended from the aristocracy. "He was a tall man past middle age," writes Connell, "for his hair was a vivid white; but his thick eyebrows and pointed military mustache were as black as the night from which Rainsford had come. His eyes, too, were black and very bright. He had high cheekbones, a sharpcut nose, a spare, dark face — the face of a man used to giving orders, the face of an aristocrat."

Interestingly, if we combine the 1932 movie's version of Zaroff, played by Leslie Banks, with Christoph Waltz's Miles Sellars, we wind up with the short story's depiction. Banks has the dark eyebrows and goatee, while Waltz has the white hair. Both actors have an air of the aristocracy blended with a surface kindness that barely contains the sinister intent underneath.

Despite the changes in names, it's interesting to see that, all these years later, both Dodge and Miles retain many of the most important looks and motivations as their counterparts in the Connell short story and the 1932 original film. The entire Most Dangerous Game series is available now to stream on Quibi.