Can fictional characters really die?

Are fictional characters ever truly dead? I just came across this Guardian article about Rowan Atkinson no longer wanting to play Mr. Bean, and Sasha Baron Cohen being bored of playing Borat. As the article itself says, it’s not hard to see where both men are coming from. Atkinson has been playing Bean since I was young, and there’s only so far you can go with a mute, slapstick clown. As we know from programs like Blackadder, Atkinson has much more to say; the same applies to Baron Cohen. At the same time, though, I don’t think you can rule anything out these days. Everyone thought we had seen the last of Monty Python in 1988, only for them to get back together in 2014. I think the most awesome thing about art is that you can never rule anything out, so when their creators say Mr. Bean and Borat have been laid to rest, who knows where that might lead? After all, we have heard others make similar statements before.

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