Marvel Movie Multiples: 20 Actors Who Have Played More Than One Marvel Character
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Marvel Movie Multiples: 20 Actors Who Have Played More Than One Marvel Character
The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk back in 2008. However, movie adaptations of Marvel Comics go back much further than that, including a 1944 Captain America serial and live-action TV movies for Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. That means that while the MCU is only 15 years old, Marvel-based cinema is closer to 80. In that time, a number of actors have played more than one Marvel character across different series--sometimes concurrently, while other times we've seen an actor play one character, only to take on another, years later.
The performances also vary in size, with actors sometimes playing bit parts before moving onto superstardom or getting their superhero cinema career going in fits and starts. Josh Brolin dominated 2019 Marvel movies by playing both Infinity Saga villain Thanos and Deadpool 2 antagonist Cable at the same time. Fan-favorite actor Idris Elba played a role in the poorly-received Ghost Rider sequel before going on to the slightly meatier Heimdall in Thor. Vincent D'Onofrio is best known for playing Wilson Fisk in the Daredevil Netflix series, but his first Marvel role was grandfathered in through purchases of smaller labels--keep reading to find out what it is. Everyone knows that Ryan Reynolds had a false start as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but fewer people remember that he played Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity.
What's clear is that it's not unheard of for a single actor to play a variety of characters in Marvel Comics lore. As for who's done it and how many roles they've played, we've mapped out every actor to play multiple Marvel characters. Take a look below and see how many of them you know about. After you check out this list, head over to our other Marvel actors gallery to see which Marvel characters have been played by more than one actor due to recasting.
1. Josh Brolin - Cable & Thanos
2018 was a busy year for Josh Brolin, who is already a busy guy. He was the primary antagonist in not one but two Marvel movies, as two different characters, owned by two different studios. Within just a couple of months of each other, Fox's Deadpool 2 and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity Warhit theaters, both doing huge numbers for their respective studios. In Infinity War, Brolin played Thanos as he executed his plan to erase half of all life across the entire universe--for its own good. In Deadpool 2, meanwhile, things are a bit more personal but no less comic book-y, as Brolin played Cable, a man from the future who has traveled back in time to kill a younger version of Firefist, the man that would later kill his family.
2. Ryan Reynolds - Deadpool, Crappy Deadpool, and Hannibal King
Also from Deadpool 2 is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, star of the first two Deadpool films and the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine picture. What Ryan and Marvel fans alike would prefer to forget, though, is the first time he played Deadpool. Reynolds joined the cast of X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Wade Wilson, who would be given mutant powers later in the movie. In what might be the most "pre-MCU" comic book movie move, though, the filmmakers thought that it might be okay to take the character nicknamed "the Merc with a Mouth" and literally remove his mouth. And also he had eye lasers? It would take only another seven years and a demo tape that Reynolds himself definitely didn't leak for him to bring the character to life the way he and the fans both wanted. Even earlier than that, in 2004, Reynolds appeared in Blade Trinity as Hannibal King.
3. Mahershala Ali - Cottonmouth & Blade
While he hasn't debuted as Blade yet, actor Mahershala Ali is set to follow in the steps of Wesley Snipes, who played the character in 3 early comic book films. This will be his second appearance in a Marvel property, though. His first came in Season 1 of the Marvel-Netflix collaboration Luke Cage. There, he played crime boss Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, an early standout villain in the Defenders series of shows, and one of the few that could really stand alongside Vincent D'onofrio's Wilson Fisk in terms of dramatic performance and quietly menacing demeanor.
4. Alfre Woodard - Mariah Dillard & Miriam Sharpe
Alongside Ali in Luke Cage was Alfre Woodard, who played Cottonmouth's sister, Mariah Dillard, through both seasons of the show, a woman willing to do whatever it takes to survive and thrive following the death of her brother in Season 1. Her other role is more of a cameo--in Captain America: Civil War, she plays a woman whose son was killed during the battle of Sokovia, and helps to convince Tony Stark to side with the Sokovia Accords.
5. Chris Evans - Captain America & Johnny Storm
Evans, one of Hollywood's Top Chrises (see also Hemsworth, Pine), is best known these days for his role as Captain America in three Captain America films and four Avengers films; the role certainly played into his recent crowning as People's Sexiest Man Alive. Probably not contributing to the role was his turn as Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, in two Fantastic Four movies released by Fox.
6. Michael B Jordan - Killmonger & Johnny Storm
Evans isn't the only actor to start out with a disappointing turn as Johnny Storm. Michael B. Jordan stepped into the role of Sue Storm's adopted brother in Josh Trank's critically-panned superhero film Fantastic Four in 2015. His Marvel redemption came more quickly, though, as he had to wait just 3 years to play Killmonger in Black Panther, who is regarded by many MCU fans as one of the very best villains in a series of films with literally dozens of villains.
7. Kenneth Choi - Jim Morita & Principal Morita
While many of these dual castings seem like a matter of pure chance or someone not paying attention, this one was planned for. Kenneth Choi's Jim Morita fought alongside supersoldier Steve Rogers in World War II. Almost 80 years later, his descendant, Principal Morita told Peter Parker to chill out and stay in line. Behind the Principal sits a photo of Jim. This is an awesome way to bring a little bit of that MCU interconnectivity in for eagle-eyed viewers to latch onto.
8. Idris Elba - Heimdall & Moreau
Idris Elba is one of the best-loved actors around these days thanks to movies like The Losers and shows like Luther. Unfortunately, Marvel wasted his talents not once but twice. The Thor movies would try to do better by him as the series went on, especially in Thor: Ragnarok, but the reality is that he was mostly there to open doors for Thor Odinson's adventures and to answer his calls for help from wherever. That's bad enough, but Elba--who seems like a great actor with sometimes terrible taste--joined the cast of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the second Nicholas Cage-led Ghost Rider film. There, he played a drunken monk, but not the Jackie Chan kind. He's always a joy to see in any movie, but this isn't the "good" kind of Nicholas Cage movie.
9. Vincent D'Onofrio, technically - Edgar the alien & Wilson Fisk
Did you know that Men In Black is a Marvel comic? In the most technical sense, anyway--Aircel published Men in Black, and then Malibu bought Aircel, and in 1994 Marvel bought Malibu. By the time the Men in Black movie came out in 1997, then, it counted as a Marvel comic. The film features D'Onofrio as an alien cockroach using the body of a guy named Edgar, and D'onofrio does some excellent physical comedy in the movie.
It was not until 2015, though, that he would become a Marvel icon. The incredible first season of Daredevil introduced us to the first live-action version of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, and gave him a deep inner life guided by noble, misguided ideas, and simmering rage. Even 7 years later, he's still one of the best-loved live-action Marvel villains, and fans rejoiced when he appeared in Hawkeye in 2021.
10. Rebecca Romijn - Mystique & Joan
Many of these stories are glow-up tales, where an actor played a Marvel character in a crappy movie, and then joined the MCU and made a splash. This is not one of them. Rebecca Romijn joined the cast of 2000's X-Men as Mystique, the shape-changing mutant who acted as Magneto's infiltrator. Romijn had hellishly bad make-up sessions for that movie, but she was a major player in it. In 2004, she was a supporting cast member in Tom Jane's Punisher film, where her role was to patch up the drunken Frank Castle and be unloved by him. Tom Jane is enjoyable as the Punisher, but much of the rest of the movie--including the material Romijn was given to work with--leaves something to be desired.
11. Jon Favreau - Foggy Nelson & Happy Hogan
Before Mighty Ducks alumnus Elden Nelson stepped into the shoes of Foggy Nelson for the Netflix Daredevil show, Jon Favreau played the character alongside Ben Affleck's version of Matt Murdock. Favreau was starting to make waves on the other side of the camera around this time, with the now-classic holiday movie Elf debuting in the same year as Daredevil. Favreau began to shift more to directing than acting and helped kick off the MCU with the 2008 Iron Man. In essence, he was one of the very first MCU characters as Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's driver/head of security/best buddy/Spider-Man babysitter, and he played the role in a variety of MCU movies up until 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home, where Dr. Strange's spell erased Peter Parker's identity from his memory. There's no word yet if he'll be reprising the character further, but with Tony dead and Peter effectively erased, Happy may have moved on from the Superhero Concierge business.
12. Gemma Chan - Minn-Erva & Sersi
Gemma Chan first joined the MCU as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel. There, the writers reimagined the Kree geneticist as a tactical sniper. For some reason. Minn-Erva didn't make it to the end of the movie, though, and that opened Chan up for Chloe Zhao to cast her as Sersi in the Eternals. Unfortunately for all that movie's ambition, it ended up falling pretty flat as a result of having too many characters and too much history to wade through, and Chan's Sersi struggled to stand out among the ensemble.
13. Evan Peters - Quicksilver and Ralph Bohner
While Taylor-Johnson moved from playing Wanda's dead brother to getting his own movie, Evan Peters joined the MCU to play a prank on viewers. Peters played Quicksilver, the same character as Taylor-Johnson, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix, though in these movies he was a mutant like all of the other X-Men, instead of an infinity stone experiment. He has some iconic scenes as Quicksilver thanks to some assistance from a very good visual effects team. When he appeared as Wanda's "brother" in the 2020 show WandaVision, it seemed like the MCU was making the X-Men movies a canonical part of the MCU, kicking the doors open to the multiverse. Instead, Peters wasn't actually playing Wanda's brother. He was just Ralph Bohner, an actor whose name sounds like a part of human anatomy. Many fans got the joke, loving the idea that it was all a big prank, while other fans took the joke deadly seriously and felt manipulated.
14. Laurence Fishburne - The Silver Surfer and Goliath/Bill Foster
Laurence Fishburne was one of the primary ant-agonists in Ant-Man and the Wasp. There, he played Hank Pym's old colleague, Dr. Bill Foster. Foster held a grudge against Pym, and was trying to help the daughter of another former colleague escape her quantum-shifting condition. 11 years earlier, though, he had his first Marvel adventure as the voice of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Physical actor Doug Jones provided the bodywork for the character, as he's done in so many other movies, while Fishburne's deep voice gives the Silver Surfer the ethereal quality needed for the intergalactic traveler.
15. Doug Jones - "Joey" and The Silver Surfer
While Fishburne lent his voice to the shiny spaceman in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Doug Jones was, again, the character's physical form. He had a technical Marvel role before that, though, in 2002's Men in Black II, where he played Joey. Jones' contributions to this picture were not as notable as his contributions to Fantastic Four (or any of the many Guillermo del Toro movies he's made a huge impression in). The bigger surprise here is that, with how many comic book and genre films he's appeared in, Rise of the Silver Surfer is his only substantial Marvel appearance. Outside of Marvel, he's appeared in the first two Hellboy films, the Flash and Arrow tv series, and lots of other genre films.
16. Kate Mara - U.S. Marshal and Sue Storm
While Kate Mara's second Marvel outing was undoubtedly higher profile than her first, it's hard to call it an upgrade. Mara first appeared in 2007's Iron Man 2, where she played an unnamed U.S. Marshal. That's about the time when her star began to rise and she started appearing more frequently and in more substantial roles. Her next Marvel role wouldn't be part of the MCU, though. Instead, Mara took on the role of Susan Storm in 2015's critically panned Fantastic Four movie, directed by Josh Trank. The less said about that movie, the better.
17. Olivia Munn - Chess Roberts and Psylocke
Munn's journey with Marvel isn't that different from Mara's. Munn appeared in Iron Man 2 as reporter Chess Roberts, who is covering the Stark Expo in that movie. At least she gets a name, right? In 2016, Munn joined X-Men: Apocalypse as Psylocke, a mutant who can form psychic blades. Her look was the rare comics-perfect transition from page to screen, though like Fantastic Four, the movie, in general, was poorly received by critics and moviegoers alike.
18. Ray Stevenson - Frank Castle and Volstagg of the Warriors Three
Stevenson first appeared in 2008's Punisher: War Zone as Frank Castle, the third actor to step into the role after a forgettable turn by Dolph Lundgren and a much better--but still flawed--film starring Tom Jane. Roger Ebert called the movie "one of the best-made mad movies" he'd ever seen. Later, Stevenson joined the cast of Thor as Volstagg, of Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, and appeared in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok after that.
19. Patton Oswalt - Blade Trinity, Agents of SHIELD, and MODOK
Geeky comedian Patton Oswalt has found his way to Marvel in a variety of ways. Aside from his legendary Parks & Rec rant that has him filibustering the imagined culmination of the Infinity Saga, involving Star Wars and the X-Men, he's popped up in at least 3 Marvel properties. He found continued employment on ABC's Agents of Shield as the Koenig brothers. As Eric, Billy, Sam, Thurston, and their grandfather Ernest, he appeared in ten episodes of the series. Most recently, he starred as MODOK, the Mechanical Organism Designed Only for Killing, on Hulu's series of the same name. The project seems to have been Hulu's attempt at replicating the success of HBO Max's Harley Quinn. The show didn't get much attention and only lasted for ten episodes. In that time though, it managed to accrue a long list of comedy names in its cast list, including Sam Richardson, Beck Bennett, Ben Schwartz, Melissa Fumero, Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Posehn, Chris Parnell, and Eddie Pepitone.
20. Stan Lee: Bus passenger and delivery guy and store clerk and cosmic being and…
You didn't think we were going to leave out Stan the Man, did you? For as many Marvel movies as actors like Chris Evans and Hemsworth have been in, they can't begin to even match the late comic legend's record in terms of sheer appearances. Stan Lee appeared in every MCU movie up through Avengers: Endgame. Even before that, he appeared in Marvel live-action adaptations as far back as 2000's original X-Men film.