Actors & Actresses Who've Starred in Multiple Superhero Properties
Haven't I Seen Him/ Her in Another Comic Book Adaptation?
You can't swing a cat in Hollywood without hitting someone who's been in a comic book adaptation (film or TV series). Below are some actors and actresses who have starred or featured as different characters in more than one comic book/ graphic novel adaptation.
In the late 1990s, a movie based on a barely-known comic book character kicked off the modern era of superhero films. Blade starring Wesley Snipes predates all of the mega-blockbusters of the 2000s. In the third installment, Blade Trinity, a young Canadian actor played a vampire-hunter named Hannibal King.
Years later, Reynolds featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as the Merc with a Mouth Deadpool. Then he starred in a flop called Green Lantern. Of course, now everyone knows him as the on-screen incarnation of Deadpool from DP's two standalone films..
Honsou has been featured as Korath the Pursuer in the Marvel Universe (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel). However, he's also had roles in two recent DC movies - the wizard Shazam in Shazam! and the Fisherman King (voice only) in Aquaman.
Before he was the First Avenger, and one of the world’s biggest film stars, Captain America was Johnny Storm/ The Human Torch in Fox’s first mediocre attempt at the Fantastic Four (honestly, those old FF movies are still painful to watch).
Thankfully, Evans got a second shot at a comic adaptation. Now, I don't think I could ever accept another on-screen version of Cap! Not only that, but Evans starred in 2013's Snowpiercer, an adaptation of the graphic novel Le Transperceneige.
The 'almost Superman' played Ghost Rider but also starred as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass. But did you know that Cage voiced the Spider-Man Noir character in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse?.
Elba is one of the great modern English actors. He brings a fully developed dramatic pedigree to comic book adaptations. However, before playing Thor’s friend, the Asgardian, Heimdall, in the MCU, Elba featured as Moreau alongside Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
After playing Batman for Tim Burton three decades ago, Keaton hung up his cape. Yet he returned to the superhero genre as the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Along with Chris Evans, Berry got a second shot at a comic book adaptation after a bomb. After Catwoman, Berry put together a string of great performances as Storm in the X-Men universe.
Perlman has been a genre mainstay for decades. He also happens to be one of my favorite actors of all time. He starred in one of my favorite childhood TV show, Beauty and the Beast, alongside Linda Hamilton (Terminator). What's more, he was on one of my favorite shows from adulthood - Sons of Anarchy.
In the early 2000s, Perlman featured in Guillermo Del Toro's Blade II. Not only that, but Perlman went on to star as one of my favorite characters, that beloved cheeky, quirky demon, Hellboy. AND he starred in Del Toro's Kaiju smash-em-up, Pacific Rim.
Brandon from The Goonies has come a long way over the years. He's come so far that he's done something not many people can say: Brolin played two major superhero roles almost at the same time. He starred as Thanos in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But he also played Cable in Deadpool 2.
Samuel L. Jackson
Although he's mostly known as the MCU's Nick Fury, Jackson has also starred or featured in several adaptations including The Spirit (a comic strip adaptation) and Kingsmen. If that wasn't enough, he's also a part of the Star Wars universe, the Terminator universe and voiced Frozone in both of Disney's Incredibles films.
Although heavy prosthetics may have kept you from recognizing Mr. Echo from Lost, Akinnuoye-Agbaje starred in Thor: Dark World as Algrim the Strong / Kurse and in Suicide Squad as Waylon Jones / Killer Croc. AND he had a role on Game of Thrones!
Did you know that the star of Shazam! was also in Thor: Dark World? He was!
The Fresh Prince starred in both Suicide Squad and Men in Black. And although it wasn’t based on a comic book, he also starred in the superhero film, Hancock.
Karl Urban has some serious genre cred. Having featured in Thor: Ragnorak, Urban was also the star of Dredd. And although they aren't comic book or graphic novel adaptations, Urban also featured as Éomer in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and as Dr. McCoy in the latest Star Trek reboots, cementing himself forever into the annals of geekdom!
He was the star of Kick-Ass, but he also played Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. What's more, he will also feature in Kingsman: The Great Game, a prequel to Matthew Vaughn's two previous adaptations of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' The Secret Service series.
And many others...
Below are other performers who have starred or featured in multiple adaptations:
- Tilda Swinton - Constantine, Doctor Strange, Snowpiercer
- Mark Strong - Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Shazam!
- James Marsden - X-Men, Superman Returns
- John Hurt - Hellboy, Snowpiercer
- Michael B. Jordan - Fantastic Four, Black Panther
- Lawrence Fishburne - Man of Steel, Ant-Man & the Wasp
- Ben Affleck - Daredevil, Batman
- Michelle Pfeiffer - Batman, Ant-Man & the Wasp
- Randall Park - Ant-Man & the Wasp, Aquaman
- Willem Defoe - Spider-Man, Aquaman
- Natalie Portman - Thor, V for Vendetta
- James McAvoy - Wanted, X-Men
- Patrick Wilson - Aquaman, Watchmen
- Billy Crudup - Watchmen, Justice League
- Common - Wanted, Suicide Squad
How about the cast of The Walking Dead?
This zombie apocalypse thriller is one of the world’s most popular TV shows. And apart from being based on the comic by Robert Kirkman, many of The Walking Dead cast members have featured in other comic book adaptations:
Danai Gurira (Michonne)- Okoye, Black Panther’s warrior-general
Norman Reedus (Darryl) - The double-crossing Scud in Blade II
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Neagan) - The Comedian in Watchmen
Khary Payton (King Ezekiel) - Apart from his TWD live-action role, Payton is a prolific voice actor. Although he currently, voices Cyborg on Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go!, in the past he has also voiced other incarnations of Cyborg, And he has voiced other D.C. characters on Teen Titans, Justice League, Young Justice, and several other animated adaptations.
- Cooper Andrews (Jerry) - A supporting role in Shazam!
Having had a recurring role on Gotham, seasoned actor B.D. Wong recently crossed over from one D.C. show to another, The Flash.
And speaking of TV shows...
A few actors and actresses have even crossed over from film to a TV series (or vice versa):
- Morena Baccarin - Deadpool 1 & 2, Gotham
- Reg Cathay - Fantastic Four, Luke Cage
Brandon Routh - Superman Returns, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
- Alfre Woodard - Captain America: Civil War, Luke Cage