(This is an updated list because I forgot several actors who have played multiple characters in different superhero movies.)
Over the years I have watched dozens of superhero movies. Some are lame and mostly forgettable, others are utterly fantastic and downright riveting. Today, I’m sharing with you a list of actors who have managed to cross superhero franchises, sometimes in the to play multiple roles. Enjoy!
19. Randall Park
Randall Park, known for his role on ABC comedy Fresh off the Boat, has just recently hit the superhero movie scene, appearing in both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Aquaman in 2018. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, he plays Agent Jimmy Woo, becoming yet another comedic aspect to the story. In Aquaman, he plays a menial role as Dr. Stephen Shin but will probably play a larger role in the Aquaman sequel.
18. Zoe Kravitz
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Zoe Kravitz voices Mary Jane Watson and next year she will make her live-action superhero debut as Selina Kyle a.k.a Catwoman in The Batman. That should be pretty cool.
17. Willem Dafoe
In 2002’s Spider-Man Willem Dafoe portrays Newman Osborn/Green Goblin. In Aquaman, Dafoe returned on the protagonist’s side of things, portraying Aquaman’s mentor, Vulko of the Atlanteans.
16. Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage, known for his numerous roles in cinema as well as his most popular role on Game of Thrones, would play small roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Infinity War as Dr. Bolivar Trask and the giant dwarf, Eitri. I loved him as Eitri. It was quite a surprise that I wasn’t expecting.
15. Gemma Chan
Gemma Chan is having some serious luck with Marvel Studios. She was afforded a role in Captain Marvel as Kree sniper, Minn-Erva but she clearly was too cool for such a small role. So, it was announced late last year that she would be joining Eternals as Sersi, one of the lead characters in the film. That’s exciting considering that she will be the franchise’s first Asian-female lead.
14. Djimon Hounsou
Djimon Hounsou is one of the most recognizable actors for his small but memorable roles in tons of different films. He’s also managed to cross franchises, playing Kree warrior Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel and the all-knowing Wizard in Shazam!
13. Zazie Beetz
Zazie Beetz has become a rising star in Hollywood due to her Emmy-nominated role as Vanessa “Van” Walker on FX’s hit series, Atlanta. And when you’re a rising star, it’s kind of an even bigger deal if you land a spot in a superhero movie. She landed a spot in two comic book movies.
She played mutant Domino in Deadpool 2 and Sophie Dumond in Joker. Both R-rated films would go on to make history at the box-office; Deadpool 2 would make roughly $800 million and Joker would become the first R-rated film to make over $1 billion. Amazing.
12. Michael B. Jordan
In 2015, there was that awful Fantastic Four reboot. And yes, Michael B. Jordan played Johnny Storm in the film which would be remembered not for a good story but its blistering reviews. Three years later, he would return as Erik Killmonger in the first superhero movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture: Black Panther. Not only was the film deemed Oscar-worthy by fans but Erik Killmonger was heralded as one of the greatest comic book villains of all time. He was even compared to Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Talk about a turnaround.
11. Christian Bale
Christian Bale is well-known for playing serious roles that can be quite unforgettable. Of course, one of his biggest roles was portraying Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. The trilogy would go on to make Batman legendary onscreen in ways that we had never really seen before and Christian Bale is considered, by many, to be the best actor to don the mask and cape of the Dark Knight.
Now, he will return to the comic book world in a new arena, Marvel Studios, as the primary villain in Thor: Love and Thunder. How awesome is that?!
10. Josh Brolin
In the same year, Josh Brolin would play two comic book villains, Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Cable in Deadpool 2. The man is undoubtedly one of my favorite actors for his various roles but his role as Thanos put him over the top for me. I haven’t seen him in Deadpool 2 but I’m sure he did a great job in that movie as well. All in all, Brolin is a heck of a villain.
9. Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali voices Uncle Aaron a.k.a The Prowler in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (He does a great job too.) He has been cast in Marvel Studios as the new actor to portray Blade, the vampiric superhero and I. Can’t. Wait!
8. Brian Tyree Henry
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Brian Tyree Henry voices Miles Morales’ father, Jefferson Davis, and boy does he do a great job at it. He brings such power to Davis but at times he’s also really vulnerable and could potentially bring you to tears too. In Eternals, he will portray the first openly gay character as Phastos, thus making history in the MCU.
7. Nicole Kidman
In Batman Forever, Nicole Kidman plays ravishing Dr. Chase Meridian, kissing up on Valk Kilmer’s Batman and being your classic damsel-in-distress. She returned to the superhero world as Queen Atlanna, mother of Arthur Curry/Aquaman and bonafide heroine. She’s one of the reasons I’m intrigued by seeing the Aquaman sequel.
6. Chris Pine
Whether he’s portraying Wonder Woman’s iconic love interest Steve Trevor in both Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 or voicing Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Chris Pine has definitely cemented his place in the superhero world in the last few years.
5. Ryan Reynolds
Nine years ago there was that horrible Green Lantern movie. Remember that movie? Well, Ryan Reynolds played Green Lantern in that film and his portrayal of the character is only memorable because he did such a terrible job.
Five years later, he would return to the comic book movie world masked in a red bodysuit, wielding swords, guns, and a foul-mouthed, no-care attitude that people fell in love with. He rose to Hollywood prominence in the blink of an eye, becoming iconic for this role. And even now to this day, it’s truly an exciting prospect of Deadpool joining the MCU with his hilarious banter. Can’t you imagine the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting this character? That would be something worth remembering.
4. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck, nearly two decades ago, played Daredevil and it wasn’t great. I remember one day trying to watch it. I didn’t make it very far and for good reason. The movie was awful! He returned to grace his presence in another superhero film that has been met with less-than-excited reviews and was welcomed with open arms. Ben Affleck played Batman and surprisingly, he did a pretty good job. He wasn’t as likable in Justice League but he definitely wore the Bruce Wayne persona well.
3. Chris Evans
Chris Evans first played Johnny Storm in 2005’s Fantastic Four and honestly, I didn’t remember him. As much as I enjoyed the film as a child and could distinctly recall Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and The Thing, Chris Evan’s Johnny Storm felt non-descript and was ultimately forgettable. He would go on to become a character I will never forget, Captain America, and boy was that awesome.
I personally own a shirt with a Captain America shield on it, that’s how much I love this character. Chris Evans personified the role of Captain America so well that he will, most likely, remain an icon for the rest of his life.
2. Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton would become the first Batman to be dubbed as an epic rendition of the character. For many, he is and will always be the greatest Batman of all time even despite the fact that the films he graced were, overall, pretty mediocre. Nearly three decades later, he would return to the comic book world to play Spider-Man villain, Adrian Toomes/Vulture and it’s no surprise, he did a great job. He was one of the first antagonists in the MCU who had an understandable reason for being a villain.
He wasn’t an “I’m going to take over the world” kind of antagonist. He was simply making money he felt The Avengers were taking from him to support the family he loved so much. Now he’s still a villain, of course, but at least his reasoning for villainy was far more interesting than the many villains before him.
1. Michelle Pfeiffer
And last but not least there’s Hollywood legend, Michelle Pfeiffer, who played Catwoman in Batman Returns. Her rendition of the feline villainess/reluctant hero is one of my favorite female characters in a comic book movie because she can come across as harmless yet as soon as she puts on that tight catsuit she turns into this erotic yet lethal woman who you don’t want to fool around with. To have her play a role in Ant-Man and the Wasp was really special and I hope she plays a larger role moving forward in the MCU. Especially considering that she possesses this really cool power from her time in the Quantum Realm.
So, yeah, that’s all of the actors that I know who have been in more than comic book movies as two different characters. If you can think of anyone else, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.