The film industry has seen its fair share of popular trends throughout the years. From sparkling vampires to dystopian features, the box office is no stranger to all types of movie genres. While movies trends come and go, there is one that will always remain as a fan favorite; comic book movies.
With the likes of the Marvel and DC universes, there are an array of live-action features that experience tremendous success among box offices all over the world. While the pictures are headlined by some of the most beloved Hollywood stars such as Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., there have been times where other stars have flown under the radar with their appearance in the films. And these actors are a far cry from being anything less than famous. While they may not have been at the height of their career as they are experiencing now, it does come as a nice surprise to realize that many actors who are taking the film and television world by storm starred in infamous comic book movies.
Whether it be minor, major, or even cameo appearances, these 15 actors are just some of the many who have been forgotten for starring in comic book inspired films by audiences.
Keep reading to see if you remember these Hollywood actors’ roles in Marvel and DC universe live action feature films.
15 Seth Green's Howard The Duck Cameo Post-Credits In Guardians (2014)
With the amount of success the comic book movies receive in the box offices, both DC and Marvel do all that they can to produce new feature films as quickly as possible. Following the credits of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, the movie’s director, James Gunn, brought Howard the Duck to life. The beloved Marvel comics character can be seen in the additional scene as he makes snide comments. Comments that are being voiced by Seth Green, who created and produced, Robot Chicken. With both Green’s background in voice acting and the cameo appearance of Howard, it had some audience thinking that perhaps that comic book would be the next Marvel debut on the big screen. However, others who failed to stick around following the credits would be unknown to the fact that Green ever had a brief role in the film.
14 Ty Burrell In The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Best known for his patriarch role as Phil Dunphy in the hilarious ABC sitcom Modern Family, Ty Burrel stepped outside of his television work to star in The Incredible Hulk. The 2008 Marvel live-action film was based on the comics, Hulk, which starred Edward Norton as the movies’ title character. Portraying the opposite of his fun loving character on television, Burrell played the role of Leonard Samson, a bitter psychotherapist gunning to bring down Bruce Banner once he returned from hiding and back into Betty Ross’ life. Ross, played by Liv Tyler was in a relationship with the doctor, despite still having strong feeling for Banner. Seeing as he had more concerns for capturing the Hulk and not his suppose girlfriend, Betty, Phil quickly became alone at the end of the movie for his actions.
13 Josh Dallas In Thor (2011)
Before he was Prince Charming, Josh Dallas was starring as Fandral in the Marvel live-action franchise film, Thor, in 2011. However, following filming, his show Once Upon a Time continued to receive glowing reviews and was renewed for more seasons. As a result, Dallas was unable to renew his role as Fandral in the 2013 sequel, Thor: The Dark World due to demanding filming schedules for his show. The role was the ultimately re-casted by Zachary Levi. Seeing as his time in the comic world universe was entirely brief, it’s no wonder that fans often forget that he once starred alongside Chris Hemsworth and company in the widely popular Thor franchise. Rather than continuing to appear in the comic book universe, Dallas is finding success in the fairy tale world instead.
12 Zachery Levi In Thor (2013)
Portraying Josh Dallas’ re-casted role of Fandral in Thor: The Dark World, Zachary Levi is sometimes forgotten as starring in the infamous Thor franchise live-action series. Despite the fact that Dallas played the role in the first film, Levi was originally the first-choice for the character, but couldn’t commit to the film due to scheduling conflicts with his series Chuck. After playing the beloved Chuck Bartowski for many years on television, many audience overlook that the funny many appeared in such an action packed comic book film. Chances are they don’t however forget that he voiced Flynn Rider from Disney’s prominent Tangled film. With a possibility of making a return as Fandral in the next Thor instalment, perhaps by then fans will remember Levi’s role in the Marvel universe.
11 Nathan Fillion In Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
In 2014, Marvel released another widely successful live-action comic book franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy. With the leading role of Chris Pratt and voice actors of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, the film was bound to be a blockbuster hit. Prior to the film’s release many fans were wondering who Nathan Fillion would be playing in the movie seeing as audiences were pre-warned that if they blinked they were sure to miss his appearance. Which many did. During the prison scene which starred Pratt, the big large monster in the jail with him was voiced by none other than Fillion. His uncredited guest appearance as the blue inmate that does a lot of beating up, was a brief cameo that often goes on as being forgotten due to its short amount of screen time.
10 Natalie Dormer In Captain America (2011)
Best known for her work on The Tudors and Game of Thrones, Natalie Dormer had a small role in the beloved Captain America: The First Avenger film. Her 2011 role in the Marvel film had her portraying Private Lorraine, a soldier from the U.S. army. During one particular scene, her character tries to put the moves on Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, by seducing him with a kiss. Slyly trying to play off her plans to tempt the future Captain America, she alludes that the kiss was a way of thanking him on behalf of all the women in the country for his bravery. As the secretary of Colonel Chester Philips, she had many run-ins with Steve, much to the dismay of his true love, Agent Peggy Carter.
9 Stanley Tucci In Captain America (2011)
Emmy Award winning actor Stanley Tucci has many impressive credits to his resume. Beloved for his comedic delivery in the films such as Easy A and in The Hunger Games series as Ceasar Flickerman, Tucci isn’t an actor that flies below the radar due in part to his ability to perform either a serious or comedic role. However, his small role is Captain America can often be forgetful. While he delivered an impressive performance, as always, his role as Dr. Abraham Erskine is a portrayal that is easily missed when it goes up against other action packed performances of the movie franchise. His role as the German physicist and biochemist is greatly responsible for the transformation of Steve Rogers going from an ordinary World War II soldier to a super soldier known as Captain America.
8 Kate Mara In Iron Man 2 (2010) And Fantastic Four (2015)
Kate Mara is no stranger to the comic book movie world for she has starred, unforgettably, in two different live-action films within the Marvel realm. In 2010, the actress had a small role as a U.S. Marshal in Marvel’s Iron Man 2. Her cameo appearance consisted of delivering Tony Stark a subpoena. But that wouldn’t be the last of the thirty-three-year-old in a Marvel franchise movie. Five years following her brief role in the Tony Stark film, Mara was cast as Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four. Despite being a relaunch of the 2005 and 2007 films, the movie was a complete flop at the box office. The comprised cast of Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell wasn’t enough to gather glowing reviews, or even remember that she starred in the movie.
7 Tommy Lee Jones In Captain America (2011)
While it’s no secret that Chris Evans is the star of the Captain America film franchise, especially to the female audience members, there are several additional prominent actors that have credited roles in the film. However, Tommy Lee Jones’ role of Chester Phillips is one that is often forgotten amongst the quest of saving the world through the superpowers of the Avengers. As the United States Army colonel who headed the project of creating super soldiers, the Jones portrayal offers an updated characterization than what the comics originally provides. Nonetheless, his character’s participation of such a life-changing event in Steve Rogers' life is quite significant, despite audiences often forgetting that the Man In Black actor has played a role in the extremely popular Marvel franchise.
6 James Marsden In Superman Returns (2006)
Batman live-action adaptations are no strangers in the comic book film universe and the 2006 film Superman Returns, may just be the worst addition yet. While the movie didn’t fly with many fans of the DC universe, it comes as no surprise that James Marsden’s role in the film was a component that was easily forgotten. Yeah, that’s right, he had a small role in the live-action 2006 release as Richard White, Lois Lane’s current fiancé. Not only did his character act as an emotional challenge for Clark Kent, he also wasn’t a well-received addition to the comic universe for many Lois and Superman shippers. No matter the reasons, the 27 Dresses star has many more well-known roles padding his resume. Needless to say, the film ended much like his role in The Notebook; he doesn’t get the girl.
5 Drew Barrymore In Batman Forever (1995)
Over the course of her acting career, Drew Barrymore has starred in a number of films, both box office successes and failures alike. Portraying the love interest of the Harvey Dent side of Two-Face, Barrymore’s role of Sugar in Batman Forever is one that slips through the minds of many comic book fans. Despite wearing a white lacy corset and feather boa with thigh-high lace sheer socks, Barrymore’s performance was still not enough to be widely remembered as the comic book universe franchise continues to grow in popularity. With her bleach blonde perm and cleavage barring top, the Never Been Kissed actress almost appeared unrecognizable as she hangs on the arm of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones throughout the film. Perhaps that plays a part for why this role is often overlooked.
4 Jon Cryer In Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
It goes without saying that Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is an embarrassing addition to the DC live action film world. And Jon Cryer would agree. Following the success he found as Ducky in Pretty In Pink, the actor starred in the 1987 Man of Steel franchise film. But due in part to the negative feedback of the film, it comes as no surprise that many would have forgotten that the funny man ever appeared in the film. His portrayal as Luthor’s nephew, Lenny, was once again able to show his comedic talents, but his acting chops alone wasn’t able to carry the film. According to the actor, prior to the film’s release, everyone was adamant that it was going to be a terrible film. There’s no denying that Cryer has no complaints about not being remembered for starring in such a disappointing film.
3 Olivia Munn In Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Iron Man movie franchise is notorious for having A-List actors take on the roles of infamous Marvel Universe characters. And the 2010 sequel was different when it cast Olivia Munn in a small role. In Iron Man 2, the actress played the comics character, Chess Roberts, a reporter in the popular Tony Stark universe. This role actually happens to be the second character Munn has portrayed in the film. In the first movie, Munn originally played one of Tony’s conquests, but the scene was later deleted but still appears in the DVD extras. While her first involvement was ultimately cut, the films’ director, Jon Favreau, called up the former model to invite her to sign on in a different role. Here’s to hoping Aaron Rogers doesn’t cut her next.
2 Kerry Washington In Fantastic Four (2005)
Before she was handling things in Washington, D.C. as Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington portrayed the fictional Marvel character, Alicia Reiss Masters in The Fantastic Four. In the 2005 film, Washington became Ben Grimm’s, also known as The Thing, love interest. Her role as the blind sculptor may have been more heavily focused on being Grimm’s significant other, but there were many nods toward her comic book character's supervillain stepfather, The Puppet Master, that expanded during the first film and its 2007 sequel. While the Scandal actress wasn’t experiencing the same level of fame as she is now over a decade ago in the comic book film, it makes sense why many would forget that the forty-year-old actress is linked to the Marvel universe. Or it could just be because the films were a total flop.
1 Josh Brolin In Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
After appearing in his first film, The Goonies, in 1985, Josh Brolin grew in his prominent film career. With movies such as True Grit and No Country for Old Men, the American actor has made quite the name for himself in Hollywood, which is why it would come as a surprise that many forget he appeared in a comic book film. In the 2014 superhero picture, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Brolin had an uncredited role in the sci-fi adventure. Through voice acting and performance capture, the forty-eight-year-old actor portrayed Thanos, a supervillain that appeared in the Marvel Comics. The superhuman performance may not have been featured in the credits, but Brolin was able to reprise the role in the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron and its upcoming sequel.