It seems that roughly half the movies out there have been based on literary works - that's just the way it's always been. Books have been around for centuries longer than film and television, leaving behind a wealth of iconic characters that have been revisited on both the big and small screen again and again. 

Here are seven of our favourite literature-to-film icons:

Gene Wilder starred in Young FrankensteinGene Wilder starred in Young Frankenstein

1. Dr. Frankenstein

Considered by many to be the first science fiction novel, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' was published in 1818 when she was just 20-years-old. Two-hundred years later, we still can't get enough of this mad scientist and his volatile monster (who is often mistakenly referred to as 'Frankenstein' rather than 'Frankenstein's monster'.

Notable Portrayals: Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Peter Cushing, Robert Foxworth, Gene Wilder, Kenneth Branagh, Alec Newman, Aden Young, Harry Treadaway and James McAvoy

Peter Cushing played Dracula in the 50sPeter Cushing played Dracula in the 50s

2. Dracula

Similarly, the world's most famous vampire from Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel has been a film and television favourite since cinema began. It was this portrayal of vampires that inspired numerous other similar franchises, and it's often suggested that the character himself was inspired by Vlad the Impaler.

Notable Portrayals: Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Louis Jourdan, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, Gerard Butler, Marc Warren and Luke Evans

Jim Caviezel was Jesus in Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'Jim Caviezel was Jesus in Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'

3. Jesus

Whether or not he's a real person will continue to divide the world until the end of time, but he is technically a 'character' in The Bible. Indeed, his messianic exploits are repeatedly documented in films and TV shows more than 2,000 years since his supposed birth. If he was made up by someone all those years ago, it's safe to say his fandom is the biggest of all time.

Notable Portrayals: Jeffrey Hunter, Max von Sydow, Victor Garber, Ted Neeley, Robert Powell, Willem Dafoe, Jeremy Sisto, Jim Caviezel, Joseph Mawle and Joaquin Phoenix

Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Spectre'Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Spectre'

4. James Bond

Based on the novels by Ian Fleming published between 1953 and 1966, 007 is without doubt the most famous literary and film spy ever created. A British MI6 agent, Bond is best known for his tuxedo, Martinis, his popularity with the ladies and the line: 'The name's Bond. James Bond.' 

Notable Portrayals: Barry Nelson, Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig 

Alastair Sim as Ebenezer ScroogeAlastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge

5. Ebenezer Scrooge

Arguably Charles Dickens' most famous character; indeed, the term 'Scrooge' is still used to describe people who complain about or generally dislike Christmas. He's the protagonist in the 1843 novella 'A Christmas Carol', portrayed as a miser who learns to become a better man after being visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Notable Portrayals: Alastair Sim, Fredric March, Michael Hordern, George C. Scott, Michael Caine, James Earl Jones, Jack Palance, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey and Christopher Plummer

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in season 3 of 'Sherlock'Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in season 3 of 'Sherlock'

6. Sherlock Holmes

Holmes has got to be the most famous fictional detective in history, surpassing Edgar Allen Poe's Auguste Dupin and Agatha Christie's Poirot. With the help of his friend Dr. Watson, he aids the police in their cases while demonstrating a remarkably lax social etiquette.

Notable Portrayals: William Gillette, Eille Norwood, John Barrymore, Arthur Wontner, Basil Rathbone, Ronald Howard, Douglas Wilmer, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch

More: Danny Boyle drops out of Bond 25

Ben Affleck in 'Batman V Superman'Ben Affleck in 'Batman V Superman'

7. Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne AKA Batman has been one of the most popular comic and graphic novel characters in DC Comics' history (and, indeed, the history of superheroes). He first appeared in the 'Detective Comics' series in 1939 and has been adapted to cartoon and live action multiple times.

Notable Portrayals: Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Kevin Conroy, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, David Mazouz and Ben Affleck