Downey and Reynolds both brought an enormous amount of character to their respective interpretations of Iron Man and Green Lantern. Specifically, they both played their characters as much more sarcastic than any presentation of Tony Stark and Hal Jordan I've ever seen in any comic. I think the general concensus would be that Downey did a massively better job of bringing his character to life, even considering the liberties he took, then Reynolds, but that's not really the point of this blog.
My main question is whether or not screenwriters, directors, and actors must add so much to the characters in order to make them appealing to contemporary audiences. In my opinion, there are a lot of very generic archetype hero characters in both DC and Marvel that have still not been deeply developed over the decades. No offense to Stan Lee, but Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Dr. Strange are almost indistinguishable. They're all formerly arrogant men obsessed with making up for their one huge mistake. On the DC side, I have never been able to detect a discernible difference between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. They are both square-jawed upright heroes straight out of central casting. You could probably throw in Captain Atom and Captain Marvel into that group.
All these characters, personality-wise, are incredibly boring. It's their special powers and wild adventures and crazy villians they face that provide the interest in their stories. Can any of you imagine what kind of music these characters listen to? What kind or art and knick knacks do they have to decorate their homes? What are their views on controversial political topics? Where do they like to take a girl on a first date? It's hard to answer these questions based on the comics. Does it bug you as a comic fan when movies add personality on principle or are you open to the interpretations depending on how well it's done?