With movies that make hundreds of millions of dollars — if not billions, in certain cases — the money train that is comprised of Star Wars and superhero movies is unlikely to slow down any time soon.
Boasting impressive talent both in front of and behind the cameras, Star Wars, Marvel, and DC films all can also lay claim to undeniably passionate fanbases who would go to bat for them whenever asked.
While everyone has their preferences, fans may be surprised to find just how much their preferred fandoms have in common — most notably, their casting choices.
As two of the biggest cultural phenomena in the world right now, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Star Wars and superhero movies tend to tap the same pool of casting. However, do you remember all of the most noteworthy cases in which this happened?
Here are yjr 15 Actors Who Appeared In Superhero And Star Wars Movies.
15. Natalie Portman
No matter how talented an actress like Natalie Portman may be, she has had the unfortunate experience of being cast as two female characters who have been largely unappreciated.
Padme Amidala is a truly impressive woman. As a queen, a rebel, and a senator, her legacy would already be amazing if she wouldn’t then go on to give birth to two of the greatest heroes the galaxy ever knew.
Yet no matter her own accomplishments, Padme is summarily killed off and often ignored in discussions of Star Wars women since she doesn’t conform to traditional representations of strength.
Similarly, Dr. Jane Foster is an incredibly intelligent and accomplished woman who is nevertheless shoehorned into the role of damsel and love interest in the two Thor movies that she appeared in.
Adding insult to injury, her disappearance from the narrative is brushed off as almost nothing, with Thor callously pointing out that he dumped her in Thor: Ragnarok.
14. Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac has stolen the hearts of fans everywhere in his turn as the roguish and cocky Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but to fans of superhero films, it’s his wasted performance in the X-Men franchise as the villainous Apocalypse that likely comes to mind.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Isaac was an early scene stealer, despite having little screentime to begin with – and despite Poe having been intended as a character who would be killed off early in the action to boot.
However, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Poe gets his own substantial storyline, developing from hotshot flyboy to a slowly maturing leader in times of crisis.
Between his turns as the Resistance pilot/commander/captain, Isaac also starred in the middling X-Men: Apocalypse as that titular villain, only to have his considerable acting talent wasted on a dull plot and far too much heavy makeup.
13. Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany has been an actor of esteem for quite some time now, but recently, he’s also become famous with a new audience for his involvement in works of fantasy and science fiction.
While we don’t know a whole lot about Bettany’s involvement in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but a few details have finally started to come to light in recent weeks.
Bettany’s character is reported to be named Dryden Vos, and he’ll be a crime boss of some sort that the young Han Solo encounters over the course of his rag tag adventures throughout the galaxy.
Bettany has also appeared in a few movies within the MCU so far as the vibranium bodied android, Vision.
Purely logical and not totally comfortable with human experiences and emotion, Vision will soon be receiving an appearance overhaul, as promotional footage for Avengers: Infinity War reveals him taking on a humanoid form.
12. Temuera Morrison
In the supporting role of Jango Fett in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Temuera Morrison had already secured for himself a noteworthy role in the Star Wars canon — the father of the similarly iconic Boba Fett.
However, Morrison’s role would become increasingly influential on the whole of the franchise, as he served as the model for all of the clone troopers in the prequels, voicing Commander Cody as well.
The Star Wars prequels may not be everyone’s favorite movies, but they can at least claim to be better regarded than the universally acknowledged DC flop Green Lantern.
11. Riz Ahmed
In recent years, Riz Ahmed has shown himself to be a truly exciting up and coming actor, racking up award nominations and wins in spades for some of his performances.
To Star Wars fans, he will always be remembered as Bodhi Rook, the onetime pilot for the Empire whose impressive knowledge of technology is put to excellent use within the fledgling Rebellion.
Deceptively quiet and anxious, Bodhi’s acts of heroism allow the squadron known as Rogue One — a designation he himself came up with — to save the day and deliver the Death Star plans to the Rebellion.
When it comes to his reputation in the realm of superheroes, however, not much is known so far.
Ahmed will be appearing in the forthcoming Venom movie, reportedly as Dr. Carlton Drake, the uncompromising head of the unnerving organization known as the Life Foundation.
10. Andy Serkis
When it comes to the motion capture industry, Andy Serkis is basically a legend. Giving life to iconic characters ranging from Gollum to Caesar, Serkis is essentially the industry’s foremost performer.
In Star Wars, he further cements his status as a mo-cap icon, portraying the dastardly (but sort of confusing) Supreme Leader Snoke.
While Snoke may have been nothing more than a smoke screen, a cartoonish villain that needed to be dealt with for the real story to begin, Serkis’s performance of him is entirely compelling, and displays his true talents in motion capture.
In the Marvel world, however, Serkis gets to show just how good an actor he can be without all the artifice, portraying the callous and hardened arms dealer Ulysses Klaue.
9. Benicio del Toro
As one of the most versatile actors working right now, Benicio del Toro is always showing up in the places you’d least expect him to be.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, del Toro appears in the supporting role of the enigmatically named DJ — a character whose name is not, in fact, a name at all, but rather a nickname assigned because of his trademark motto: “Don’t join.”
As shifty and money-hungry as they get in the world of Star Wars, DJ is constantly looking out for himself and no one beyond that, as he feels that he knows the way the game is played and he wants no part of it.
His character in the MCU has so far been similarly enigmatic.
As Taneleer Tivan, known to most as The Collector, del Toro portrays one of the quirkiest and yet most knowledgeable character in the entire Marvel universe.
8. Mads Mikkelsen
Just as del Toro is one of the most fascinating actors out there today, so too is former Hannibal himself Mads Mikkelsen. Unnerving and captivating in equal measure, you can always count on Mikkelsen to deliver a truly memorable performance.
In Rogue One, Mikkelsen stars as the ill-fated Galen Erso, one of the most gifted scientists in the galaxy who finds himself forced into partaking in the creation and construction of the Death Star.
Through his connection to his daughter, fledgling rebel Jyn Erso, Galen is actually able to ensure the future destruction of the Death Star through its fail safe, heroically sacrificing himself for the greater good and ensuring his daughter would carry on with the mission.
While he may have played a troubled good guy in Star Wars, however, Mikkelsen’s MCU character is anything but good.
In 2016’s Doctor Strange, Mikkelsen stars as the villainous Kaecilius, an evil sorcerer of the Mystic Arts whose arrogance and ambition stand in direct opposition with everything that the Ancient One believes in.
7. Felicity Jones
As the leading lady of a Star Wars movie, Felicity Jones’ level of recognition immediately skyrocketed. To be sure, she had a certain level of fame prior to portraying the mercurial Jyn Erso in Rogue One, but following her performance in the contained solo film, she was all but guaranteed to become a household name in the science fiction and fantasy world.
Prior to starring as Jyn, Jones had already begun to make a name for herself in the overlap of superhero and science fiction media.
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Jones had a small role as Felicia Hardy, known to comics fans everywhere as Black Cat.
Originally, the TASM franchise had been planned to include a film focusing on her character. However, as the franchise was cancelled, and Spider-Man folded back into the MCU, Jones will likely never return to her portrayal of the feline foe.
6. Forest Whitaker
Rogue One underwent many reshoots and changes late in the game, and a character who underwent a complete transformation was Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera.
The former Clone Wars hero from the animated series made the leap from animation to live action through Whitaker’s emotional performance. As Jyn Erso’s mentor, he fostered the spirit of rebellion within her, setting much of the movie in action as a result of it.
Gerrera isn’t the only inspirational character Whitaker has played in recent movies, however, as he currently stars in the smash hit phenomenon Black Panther as Zuri, an adviser to the King of Wakanda.
5. Billy Dee Williams
If you tried to think of an actor who radiates charm in every role they take on, you’d be hard pressed to think of a better example than the legendary Billy Dee Williams.
As Lando Calrissian, Williams brought a new spark and excitement to an already thrilling franchise. Dangerous, smooth, and stylish beyond measure, Lando was one of the first characters in Star Wars to receive a redemption arc, transforming from traitor to fearless leader through a completely compelling and believable performance by Williams.
His skill at playing charming but dangerous characters would be further utilized in 1989’s Batman movie, in which he appeared as the District Attorney Harvey Dent.
4. Mark Hamill
Without question, Star Wars is filled with characters who have stood the test of time, icons in their own right who epitomize what the franchise stands for on both the dark and light sides of the Force.
Perhaps more than almost any other character, Luke Skywalker embodies what the light side of the Force was meant to be: idealism and compassion and hope. T
hrough Mark Hamill’s winningly earnest portrayal of Luke, in times of hope and failure in equal measure, Luke is one of the best characters to come out of Star Wars, and always will be.
Just because Hamill is so skilled at playing a hero doesn’t mean that he is unable to tap into that darkness, however. For much of his career, Hamill has provided a voice to the legendary comics villain The Joker, including in the particularly bracing and disturbing 2016 adaptation of The Killing Joke.
As Batman’s greatest nemesis, Hamill embodies exactly every component of what it means to portray an iconic villain, further cementing his own status as an actor worthy of legendary status both in front of the camera and behind it.
3. Samuel L. Jackson
When it comes to playing no nonsense kick-butt characters, Samuel L. Jackson is basically the first name on the list of perfect casting.
In the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, Jackson stars as the wise and sharp-edged Mace Windu, the franchise’s iconic purple lightsaber wielder.
As a strong voice of opposition to Obi-Wan and Yoda, he provides a voice of reason and yet conflict, his willingness to speak his mind leading to his tragic — yet iconic — death scene in which he is maimed, then thrown out a window by the newly formed team of Palpatine and Vader.
While Mace Windu couldn’t cheat death, Jackson’s Marvel alter ego has done that and so much more.
As Nick Fury, the commanding leader of the organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D., Jackon’s performance is everything the stoic yet compassionate leader needs to be. In many ways the glue that holds the tenuous MCU together, Fury’s presence in any movie is always a welcome one.
2. Liam Neeson
Perhaps more than any other character in the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, Qui Gon Jinn was the most wasted character.
Boasting Liam Neeson’s impressive acting talent, genuine compassion, and an earnest form of leadership unseen in many other Jedi masters, Qui Gon represented the best of the Jedi order, only to have his life cut tragically short in order to hasten the events of future movies.
Just as Hamill has succeeded in embracing both the light and dark sides, Neeson is also quite skilled in showing his menacing side — and likewise as one of Batman’s most menacing foes.
As the fearsome Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, Neeson consistently imparts credible fear and ruthless terror in the name of fixing the world into what he wishes it to be. Unlike The Joker, Ra’s al Ghul is almost an understandable threat, which makes Neeson’s portrayal all the more terrifying.
1. Lupita Nyong’o
It’s not every day that either Star Wars or movies within the canon of comics can boast that they have an Oscar winning actress among their ranks. With Lupita Nyong’o, however, both Star Wars and the MCU can rightfully boast that.
In the sequel trilogy of Star Wars, Nyong’o appears through motion capture as the wonderfully unique and lively Maz Kanata, a Force-sensitive being who has been alive for over a thousand years.
Able to recall with perfect clarity the failures and tragedies of the past, and capable of reading people better than they are able to understand themselves, Kanata is the sequel trilogy’s clearest voice of reason, and also a renowned collector of antiquities.
Nyong’o’s role in the MCU could not be more different.
In the highly acclaimed Black Panther, Nyong’o stars as Nakia, a Wakandan spy whose bravery and fighting prowess are unparalleled within the undeniably strong female presence of Wakanda. She is also the onetime love of future King of Wakanda, T’Challa.
What is your favorite overlap of Star Wars and superhero movie casting? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!