Juror #2 (John Fiedler & Ossie Davis) - There was a tonal change with this casting. Though it is perhaps not the original's fault, #2 ended up being more of a comic character in the original. Fiedler, who recently passed away, will forever be known as the voice of Piglet in the "Winnie the Pooh" cartoons. Piglet's voice is not an affectation either, but rather Fiedler's own. So when we hear this voice amongst the chorus of jurors in the midst of deliberations, we cannot help but smile a little. Other than this detail, Fiedler effectively plays the role of the wimpy little guy that nobody listens to.
The also recently deceased Davis, on the other hand, plays the role more as the "easily dismissed old man", which is the role ostensibly for #9. Of course, Davis is over forty years older in this film than Fiedler was in 1957, so one cannot help but notice the age difference when comparing the two. It should also be noted that Davis exhibits a timidity that Cronyn does not, so there is that distinction between the old timers. Yet as good as Davis is, I have to wonder how much better it would have been to keep the original character concept by casting, perhaps, "Mr. Cellophane" himself, John C. Reilly.
Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb & George C. Scott) - It seems that when it came to this pivotal character, the directors and actors had different opinions on how to approach him. In a stroke that seems to be drawn from the modern mentality that audiences need things spelled out for them, Scott's character is very vocal about his estrangement from his son in the beginning. Cobb, on the other hand, reveals this detail quietly in a conversation with #2. Director Lumet lets this information kind of float out and merge with all the other character development that is done in these small preliminary conversations before the first vote. Director Friedkin, on the other hand, emphasizes this moment as Scott bellows louder than Cobb. It is a strong declaration that practically screams at the audience "THIS WILL BE SIGNIFICANT LATER!".
The final moment for #3, and for the film, is handled much in the same way. Scott is a little over the top in his performance. Cobb, even while raging, is understated. So is Lumet, as we get a nice shot of the picture that falls on the table as Cobb empties his pockets of notes. He rips up the picture in anger and then is immediately regretful of his action. Friedkin decides not to emphasize the photograph, perhaps from fear that he would be accused of too closely following the original. I suppose it may be unfair to ask even greats such as Scott and Friedkin to match the power of Lumet and Cobb's work, but one cannot help but see their update as a pale imitation of the original.