A proliferation of comic book movies means it's difficult to find a major actor who hasn't appeared in a live action comic book adaptation. Prior to the recent surge in the genre's success, it was almost unheard of for a genuine A-list performer to associate themselves with superheroes and villains, but now it seems as if everybody who's anybody wants a piece of the comic book movie pie.
Movies based on comic books were sporadic prior to the turn of the millennium and it was incredibly rare to see any of them garner any real critical or box office success - the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie, the two Michael Keaton Batman movies and the first Blade movie were once rare examples of successful comic book movies. Now, Hollywood is seeing at least three or four blockbuster examples every single year, thanks to the resounding success of the likes of the Blade trilogy and the X-Men movies.
Even more recently, there has been a huge boom in live action television based on comic book stories and, in the case of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, live action television that is a direct spin-off from the movies themselves.
With all of that in mind, inevitably lots of serious actors have found themselves portraying multiple characters in live action comic book adaptations. The following are twenty five acting talents who've cashed in on comic book adaptations on numerous occasions.
25 Tao Okamoto
Tao Okamoto is a Japanese model and actress who was born in Chiba 1985. Her modelling career started when she was 14 and she worked in campaigns for the likes of Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent, but she made the transition to film in 2013, with her very first role being the lead female - Mariko Yashida - in the X-Men franchise instalment The Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman. The movie was generally received quite positively and Okamoto received praise for her performance.
24 Morgan Freeman
Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1937, the brilliant and legendary Morgan Freeman is perhaps best known for his performances in movies like 1989's Driving Miss Daisy, 1994's The Shawshank Redemption, 2004's Million Dollar Baby and 2009's Invictus (and for his very distinctive voice) - but he has also appeared in a number of movies based on comic books.
23 Brian Cox
Born in Dundee in 1946, Scottish actor Brian Cox is perhaps best known for his stage acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company and for being the first man to portray Hannibal Lecter on screen in the 1986 movie Manhunter (although it was spelled "Lecktor" for that particular production).
22 Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor who was born in Port Talbot in 1937. A classically trained actor, Hopkins graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1957, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and was spotted by Laurence Olivier himself, who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre.
21 Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba was born in California in 1981 and has gone on to become a successful actress, model and businesswoman. She rose to prominence in the role that she is perhaps still best known for - as Max Guevara AKA X5-452 in the hit cyberpunk science fiction television show Dark Angel in the year 2000.
20 Michael Clark Duncan
The late, great Michael Clark Duncan was an actor who was born in Chicago in 1957. His most famous role was undoubtedly his breakout performance as the gentle and wrongly convicted giant John Coffey in 1999's The Green Mile, in which he so brilliantly played opposite Tom Hanks.
19 Jim Carrey
Wacky actor Jim Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada in 1962. He is undoubtedly best known for his role as Lloyd Christmas in 1994's Dumb and Dumber - a role he reprised in 2014's sequel Dumb and Dumber To. He has played equally crazy roles in the likes of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty.
18 Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke was born in New York in 1952. He is an actor, screenwriter and former undefeated amateur and professional boxer whose most notable movie roles include 1982's cult classic Diner, drama Rumble Fish one year later and the year 2000 remake of Get Carter.
17 Michael Fassbender
German-Irish actor and producer Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1977. He is perhaps best known for his role as Technical Sergeant Burton "Pat" Christenson in the 2001 television series Band of Brothers and for roles in movies like Inglourious Basterds and 2012's Prometheus.
16 Scarlett Johansson
Born in New York in 1984, the beautiful Scarlett Johansson is an actress, model and singer. Having made her movie debut as a child in 1994's North, she has gone on to appear in the like of 1998's The Horse Whisperer, 2001's Ghost World, and Girl with a Pearl Earring and Lost in Translation, both in 2003.
15 Samuel L. Jackson
Bona fide bad-ass Samuel L. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948. He's an actor and producer whose film credits include likes of 1992's Patriot Games, 1993's True Romance and Jurassic Park, 1994's Pulp Fiction, 1997's Jackie Brown and 2000's Shaft.
14 Mark Strong
Mark Strong is an English actor who was born in London in 1963. He made his acting debut in 1989, but made his name in the television series Our Friends in the North in 1996. He has gone on to star in movies like 2008's Body of Lies, 2009's Sherlock Holmes, 2011's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and 2014's The Imitation Game.
13 Michael Shannon
American actor and musician Michael Shannon was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1974. He had a low key start in his career, appearing in minor roles in television films, but appeared in his first big movie in 1993 when had a role in Groundhog Day. He has since appeared in the likes of 2006's World Trade Centre, 2010's The Runaways, 2011's Take Shelter and 2012's The Iceman. He is also a regular on Boardwalk Empire.
12 Nicolas Cage
Zany actor and producer Nicolas Cage was born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1964. His choosing of roles has been questionable at best over the years, but he does have some great films on his résumé, including 1987's Raising Arizona, 1995's Leaving Las Vegas, 1996's The Rock and 2005's Lord of War.
11 Idris Elba
Born in Hackney, London in 1972, the awesome Idris Elba is an incredibly talented actor, producer, singer, rapper and DJ. A prominent television star, his first acting appearance was in 1995 in the drama Bramwell and he has since appeared in shows like The Wire and Luther. His film credits include the likes of 2007's American Gangster, 2012's Prometheus and 2013's Pacific Rim and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - the latter of which he played Nelson Mandela himself.
10 Tommy Lee Jones
Veteran Academy Award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas in 1946. His first role was way back in 1970, when he had a minor role in the film Love Story, but he has gone on to have many prominent roles in film and television. He starred as former Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call in the 1989 television mini-series Lonesome Dove and has appeared in films like 1992's Under Siege, 1994's Natural Born Killers and 2007's No Country for Old Men.
9 Halle Berry
Halle Berry is an actress and former fashion model who was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966. In 2003, she was voted the sexiest woman in the world by FHM. Her breakthrough movie role was in 1992's Boomerang and she has gone on to star in the likes of 1994's The Flintstones, 2001's Swordfish and Monster's Ball, 2002's Die Another Day and 2012's Cloud Atlas.
8 Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is an Israeli-American actress, producer and director who was born in Jerusalem in 1981. She first appeared on screen in 1994's Léon: The Professional and has gone on to appear in movies like those in the Star Wars prequel in 1999, 2002 and 2005 respectively, 2008's The Other Boleyn Girl and 2010's Black Swan.
7 Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English actor who was born in High Wycombe in 1990. He started acting at just six years of age, but his first notable role was in 2002's Tom and Thomas. He has since appeared in movies like 2003's Shanghai Knights, 2006's The Illusionist, 2008's Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and 2014's Godzilla.
6 Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is an actor and filmmaker who was born in Berkeley, California in 1972. Starting life out as a child actor, his first role was in the educational 1980's television series The Voyage of the Mimi. He has notably gone on to appear in the likes of 1998's Armageddon, 1999's Dogma, 2012's Argo and 2014's Gone Girl.
5 Ron Perlman
Bad-ass actor Ron Perlman was born in New York in 1950. Having performed his first acting role in 1979, it wasn't really until 1987 when he truly rose to prominence as Vincent in the television series Beauty and the Beast - a role he held until 1990. Since then, he has appeared prominently in shows like Sons of Anarchy (2008-2013) and films like 1993's Cronos and 2013's Pacific Rim.
4 Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin was born in Santa Monica, California in 1968. He is a prolific actor whose first notable role is still one of his most memorable - as Brandon "Brand" Walsh in the 1985 adventure The Goonies - and he has gone on to appear in movies like 1996's Bed of Roses, 1997's Mimic, 2000's Hollow Man and 2013's Gangster Squad.
3 Hugo Weaving
Born in Sydney in 1960, Hugo Weaving is an Australian-British actor of film and stage. He is best known for his work as Agent Smith in all three Matrix movies between 1999 and 2003, his role as Elrond in all three Lord of the Rings movies between 2001 and 2003, and his reprisal of the latter role in two of the three Hobbit movies in 2012 and 2014.
2 Chris Evans
Chris Evans is an actor and, more recently, a director who was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981. His acting career began in the year 2000 on the television show Opposite Sex, and he made the move to films a year later with Not Another Teen Movie.
1 Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds is the likeable Canadian actor who was born in Vancouver in 1976. He starred as Billy Simpson in the YTV Canadian teen soap opera Hillside for two years starting in 1991 and has gone on to forge a movie career that has included the likes of 2002's Van Wilder, 2005's The Amityville Horror and 2010's Buried.
He is also a relatively prolific comic book movie actor and has portrayed Hannibal King in 2004's Blade: Trinity, Wade Wilson in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hal Jordan in 2011's Green Lantern and will portray Deadpool in the Merc with a Mouth's 2016 solo movie.
Can you name any other actors who have appeared in multiple live action comic book adaptations? Let us know in the comments below.
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