Superhero films are the dominant form of entertainment at the box office these days, which means just about everyone is interested in doing a Marvel or DC movie. The shared universes have scooped up numerous talents, ranging from rising stars to established A-listers to Academy Award winners. Landing a coveted role in just one of these projects can be a dream come true for an actor, but there are those that are lucky enough to play in both worlds. Typically, one endeavor is more successful than the other, but it’s still impressive to have that on your résumé. Here are 10 famous actors who have been in Marvel and DC films.
In the early days of the superhero boom, Ben Affleck tried to jump in by taking the lead role in Daredevil. Unfortunately, it was far from a hit thanks to its mixed reviews and only took in $179 million worldwide in 2003. Many years later after turning his career around, Affleck got a chance at comic book redemption, signing on to play Bruce Wayne in the highly anticipated Batman V Superman. The announcement of his casting was met with criticism, but Affleck’s performance was one of the most praised elements of the film. Now that he’s locked in to direct a solo Batman movie and help produce Justice League, Affleck is the clear face of the DCEU.
Reynolds first dived into the comic book realm with roles in Marvel adaptations Blade: Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Neither struck a chord with fans, and the latter of those two was particularly maligned for its portrayal of the Deadpool character. Reynolds figured that jumping to the DC side of things might lead to better results, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. Green Lantern was a disaster, bombing at the box office and with critics. It took a while, but Reynolds has finally carved out a spot for himself in the pantheon of great superhero performances. The standalone Deadpool movie received widespread praise and shattered records. A sequel is now on the way.
Chris Evans & Idris Elba
Evans and Elba are two of the most famous faces in the MCU, having lent their talents to multiple installments in the Captain America, Thor, and Avengers series. To many, they’re Marvel royalty, but they’ve also worked with the fine folks at DC. They both starred in the Vertigo adaptation The Losers in 2010, but that film failed to make much impact in the zeitgeist. Coincidentally enough, Evans and Elba has also appeared in Marvel titles that are not associated with Disney’s brand. Evens played the Human Torch in two Fantastic Four films, while Elba was in the second Ghost Rider movie.
Tommy Lee Jones
Jones has one of the most varied filmographies in all of Hollywood, so it’s no surprise he’s done his fair share of comic book movies. His first appearance was as the villainous Two Face in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever, delivering a campy and over-the-top performance. Years later, he had a more subdued turn in Captain America: The First Avenger as Colonel Phillips, Steve Rogers’ commanding officer in the U.S. Army. He provided a sense of gravitas to that role and proved to be a memorable supporting character. It’s a shame his time in the MCU is complete, but maybe there’s some room for him in the DCEU somehow.
By now, everyone knows that Will Smith played Deadshot in Suicide Squad, turning in a strong performance as the assassin with a heart of gold. Many can’t wait to see to see the character return in future DCEU installments. But years before Smith played Floyd Lawton, he was in a Marvel Comics adaptation. It’s a little known fact, but Men in Black was an obscure comic book before it was turned into an entertaining summer blockbuster. There, Smith displayed excellent chemistry with co-star Tommy Lee Jones in a part that firmly established his place among the Hollywood’s elite. Smith headlined a trilogy, but now with Deadshot he seems to be fully committed to DC.