Storytellers love to point out that living forever sounds fantastic until you really do it. To be included on this list, a character must have been born a human and then become eternal, which is why there are no gods (unless Phil Connors counts).
9) Doctor Parnassus, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) initially found the prospect of eternal life appealing. Later in life, when asked about immortality, he frequently utters phrases like “immortality is a horrible curse” and “eternal suffering.” After winning a bet with the Devil (Tom Waits)—a gamble he subsequently realized was rigged, by the way—his immortality came about, and “Mr. Nick” has been popping up regularly throughout his unending life, tormenting him with new wagers to make his own everlasting existence more fun.
8) Adaline Bowman, The Age of Adaline
Adaline (Blake Lively), an aristocratic San Francisco woman, is “immune to the ravages of time” after a near-death experience in 1937. Later, when her youthful appearance doesn’t match the birthday on her driver’s license, as well as her daughter, who was born before the accident and now seems older than her mother. In order to keep her secret safe, Adaline has to accept a life of disguises—fretting when her daughter (Ellen Burstyn) considers moving to a retirement community, and slamming the brakes when she falls for a persistent suitor (The Haunting of Hill House’s Michiel Huisman) who only appears to be her age.
7) Miles Tuck, Tuck Everlasting
This Disney film is based on Natalie Babbitt”s famous novel, and the Tucks don’t particularly enjoy being immortal—they’ve had it since sipping from the Fountain of Youth, some 90 years before to the start of this movie based on the book. “What we have, you can’t call it living,” Angus Tuck (William Hurt) tells his children. Miles (Scott Bairstow) and Jesse (Jonathan Jackson) are stranded like boulders along the side of the stream, while Miles’ younger brother Jesse (Jonathan Jackson) is still young enough to fall in love.
6) Claudia, Interview With the Vampire
Only Lovers Left Alive’s undead rock n’ roller, Tom Hiddleston’s undead vampire in What We Do in the Shadows, or the What We Do in the Shadows roommates are just two examples of disgruntled vampires that are simply bored of eternity. In Interview With the Vampire, Kirsten Dunst’s Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) is a full-blown adult (and a pleasure-seeking, vampire-type adult) stuck in the body of a frilly little princess, despite the fact that she’s a full-on adult (and a vampire-type adult at that).
5) The Eternals, Zardoz
What comes to mind when you think of 1974’s oddity Zardoz is the “floating stone head” and “Sean Connery in an orange loincloth.” Zardoz also shows us a futuristic world where humans are either mortal “Brutals” or immortal “Eternals,” the latter of whom live in a sealed-off, idyllic “Vortex” and receive their power from an AI called “the Tabernacle”—including the capacity to regenerate if they do (briefly) perish. Connery’s brutal character interrupts the monotony of existence in the Vortex and is met with humor by a bored and near-catatonic “Apathetic” population, which is why he is greeted with a chuckle.
4) Helen and Madeline, Death Becomes Her
“Mad” (Meryl Streep) and “Hel” (Goldie Hawn) are introduced in Robert Zemeckis’ 1992 camp classic, a unique blend of black comedy and body horror. Their romantic competition over a schlubby plastic surgeon (Bruce Willis) becomes fatal, at least momentarily. A Beverly Hills socialite/sorceress named Isabella Rossellini provides a potion that reverses aging and grants perpetual life to her clients because both of them are fascinated with looking younger.
3) Connor MacLeod, Highlander
This is the story of an international cabal of immortals, fueled by the idea that whomever beheads everyone else will claim the “Prize,” becoming an even more supreme being with godlike powers over the whole human race, and thereby claiming the “Prize.” However, there is no closure for Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), who must ensure that he outlives his deadliest nemesis, the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), who intends to exploit the “Prize” for pure evil.
2) Phil Connors, Groundhog Day
To live the same day again and over in a loop that appears to be tailored to emphasize all of your flaws is a genuinely beautiful misery. Even after numerous suicide attempts, he still wakes up in the same cold bed on the same frosty morning, and he accepts that this will be his fate for the rest of time. If you think you’re a god and your coworker isn’t, you must be crazy. “I am not the god… I don’t believe.””
1) Deadpool, Deadpool 2
Immortality is a desirable characteristic for superheroes since it helps them fight bad guys and/or cancer, as the case may be. At first, not being able to die is a nightmare for Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) when his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is killed by stray bullets during their anniversary celebration interrupted by an assassin who Wade was meant to have killed earlier that day. She died because of him on every level and even after he blows himself up, his superpower prohibits him from joining her in the hereafter.
The jokey mercenary’s suffering is nonetheless palpable in Deadpool 2 despite the film’s slapstick approach. Deadpool’s pulverized body pieces are gathered by Colossus so that Wade can heal, but comic-book magic also manages to bring back the non-superpowered Vanessa.