10 Great Actors Who've Played Multiple Comic Book Characters in Film, Part I

Have you noticed some actors working on both sides of the Comic Book Neutral Zone? More and more actors including A-listers are chasing after beloved roles in our realm of CBM's. Hit the Jump for Part I of this editorial series.

Follow E.F. "Manny":
By E.F. "Manny" Camacho - 8/16/2014
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Comic fans should rejoice, this is almost a time that can be called a renaissance for our fandom. Between the MCU, the DCU, the DCAU, various live actio television series, animated series, current & contuining comic books, indie comics and fandom conventions. We have a lot of material to entertain our escapes into super-heroism (or Villainy for those inclined). We're not even considered a niche nerd-based pass-time anymore. We're mainstream baby! 

This time is ours! So let's take a look at how Hollywood has used some extremely popular actors and actresses in films representing beloved characters. From some of the best representations to some of the weirdest and worst, even some entries of obscurity. 

Enjoy.
 



Chris Evans 
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Curtis, Human Torch, Lucas Lee, Jensen, & Captain America
 

Chris Evans has had a lot of success in the realm of CBM's. He single handedly stole the show during the Fantastic Four films, even if mostly we wish to forget those films. His Human Torch and the Doug Jones' Silver Surfer were great additions to the silver screen. 

Evans would get yet another character in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe, disconnected from the Fantastic Four failure, and give us a shining example of how Captain America, with some old fashioned style, could flourish. While context clues in the films connecting to various source comics hint that his impending death is yet again on the horizon, Expect to see Evans continue his role as the man out of time (which has multiple meanins) in Avengers 2 (possibly 3) and Captain America 3.
 

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EDIT: Lucas Lee (Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World) & Jensen (The Losers) & a nod to his vocal work as Casey Jones in TMNT (2007) -- Thank you CBM Community!

 



Mickey Rourke
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Death Row Marv & Whiplash

Rourke has always been an intense actor and was interesting to watch during Iron Man 2. He himself complained his disdain for how his role was treated and how he'd probably never work for Marvel again. Frankly speaking, I thought he was wasted in the film as Whiplash and thought he would have made a much better Omega Red. Truth be told I had wondered if Marvel was somehow courting the idea of not killing him off and leading him toward becoming Omega Red, based on how his character appeared during the end of the film. But this was wild speculation on my part and I think I started a minor rumor mill issue because of my statements. 

Mickey was an amazing Death Row Marv. As far as CBM's go, he was almost born to play this particular role. His Gravitas, his attention to detail, his forceful style was almost so good it was cheesy and reminded me of Pacino in Dick Tracy - thankfully it wasn't cheesy, it was pure comic book love. I'm sure we'll see him in other CBM's down the road. Next week he'll be reliving the role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Though technically isn't that what Marv had and did in the first film...A Dame to Kill for?)



Ben Affleck
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Superman, Batman & Daredevil

The internet was alive with the sound of raging nerd music when Affleck was cast as the next Batman. Many (if not most of us) chimed in on the madness. Myself included HERE & HERE also (indirectly) HEREHERE. But most folks at that time didn't even realize (or just forgot) that he had also (technically) played a wonderful representation of George Reeve's gaining and performing as Superman in the film Hollywoodland. Most fixated on his role as Daredevil. While that movie was not really that great, Affleck was excellent as Matt Murdock. Pesonally I'd only recommend the Director's Cut of that film.

So far, the little we've seen of Affleck in the new batsuit, the new batmobile, that appears similarly to the Arkham Knight Video Game variation, appears to be phenomenal! I, like most, can't wait to see this new Batman take flight along side the birth (finally) of a Justice League film and the DCU's continuation.



Josh brolin
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Thanos, Dwight , Jonah Hex & Agent K

Josh Brolin is an excellent actor that has had a lot of experience playing Comic based characters. From his hysterically uncanny representation of Agent K in his younger years, to his excellent upcoming works in the MCU as its singularly principal villain; with an ending that bares to be an epic clash of characters.

Brolin is now the new face of Dwight in Sin City, which was previously Clive Owen, and is premiering next week. He also played a near perfect live action version of Jonah Hex. While that movie was not the best example of Brolin's work, for that matter of DC's, it was still an entertaining film for a smaller more obscure DC character. Someone Batman encounters in the Brave and Bold continuity. 



Jessica Alba
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Sue Storm & Nancy

Singularly one of the greatest beauties on earth with talented acting chops, Jessica Alba mesmerized CBM fans in her role as Nancy. Did she really do a number on us as Susan Storm...I'm not so sure. But then again (in my opnion) Fantastic Four wasn't weakened by the actors, they mostly did a decent job. Short of Micheal Chiklis, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd the film was horrifically cast, and the story was simply awful. Let me not get started, I might start ripping into the dumb scenario coming from the reboot. 

Back to the lovely Alba, We'll be seeing Nancy again next week and I'm curious to see if DC or Marvel will look to her for other roles in the future. 


Nick Cage

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Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider, Big Daddy & Almost Superman

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Nick Cage is an interesting actor, he has moments of genius and many others that are so historically off the wall he is almost a mainstay go-to-guy for outlandish memes and jokes. His role as Big Daddy was excellent, even the strange break in his voice during a scene where he was burning. Everything from shooting his daughter in the chest to his wonderful and vicious fight scenes. He was great in the quirky role that seemed to combine Batman and the Punisher and represented the Comic character very well.

His representation of Johnny Blaze was a completely different story. How he was able to get a second film as the Rider is still a mystery to me. What was intended to be a return to the source became a larger focus on the wildman himself (himself being Cage). From his ridiculous transformation scene to some of the more awkward and cheesy delivery of his lines. The second Ghost Rider film was almost unwatchable when Blaze was on the screen, instead of Ghost Rider himself.

Thankfully Tim Burton never got to make his version of Superman in Superman Lives and the studio ended up making Superman Returns, with Brandon Routh many years later. While Entertaining and long awaited, not much to speak of either.
 


Halle Berry

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Catwoman & Storm

Halle Berry is one of Hollywoods most capable actresses. It was odd to see her playing Storm with the most horrendously fake wig and equally repulsing accent. Thankfully she (or someone on the production) learned from this mistake and fixed both issues and slowly evolved her in every subsequent X-Men film where she'd have an appearance. A testament to her will to adapt and succeed. 

She wouldn't get the same opportunity for growth with the Catwoman film bombing. She looked hot, she was interesting, CG Berry was weird, and she tried to give the audience a modern version of Eartha Kitt's style from the 60's Batman series. But we'd soon learn that we hated it with a bloody passion that would melt suns. We will (hopefully) be seeing her again in X-Men: Apocalypse. Any one else get all "Nooooo!" when she died in X-Men: Days of Future Past? Don't bullshit me, I know some of you teared up for a moment! Even if that moment happened to be watching the trailer, which revealed way to much.



Paul Bettany

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J.A.R.V.I.S., Vision & Priest
 
We've been hearing his voice in Iron Man's head since 2008. We rumored if his voice was also going to be used as Ultron for a time. Thankfully we now know he is the amazingly powerful Vision in the next Avengers film. Paul Bettany has played a variety of characters in his career and has had a lot of experience in the CBM world. A lesser known film was a not-so-well-received CBM that amazingly flopped at the Box Office, Priest

The world was just not ready for you to be a super-ninja vampire-killing machine mate. Maybe a Super-Ninja-like Rambo version of an angel in Legion? Nope, not that one either. But at least there is a series being carried on from that film. 



Doug Jones

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Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four), Hellboy, Tank Girl, Contortionist (Tales from the Crypt), Batman Returns

Doug Jones is among the most prolific of character actors, more so when you account that the bulk of his work you never see his actual face. He has had (possibly the most) work in the CBM world than anyone else. From a random character in the old-school Tales From the Crypt to special hencman in Penguins gang in Batman Returns. What he is most currently known for are various characters in Pan's Labyrinth, but for us CBM fans, He was an excellent Silver Surfer (which is probably the only reason I saw that movie) and a wonderful Abe Sapien in Hellboy. Short of Ron Perlman who practically lives in a make-up and effects trailer on the sets of his films Doug Jones is quite possibly the most prolific costumed and character actor in CBM history.
 


Ryan Reynolds
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Hannibal King,  Wade Wilson/Weapon XI/Deadpool, Green Lantern & Nick Walker, The Outer Limits

Ryan Reynolds is a controversial actor himself as far as CBM's are involved. The fandom seems to be divided if he is at fault for some of the characters he's protrayed failing at the box office. Mainly his role as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern. Then came his more recent role in the film R.I.P.D. which bombed similarly to Green Lantern. His earliest turn taking a journey into the realm of CBM's was with The Outer Limits and eventually Blade's third and arguably worst film, Blade Trinity. Chances are still high that when Deadpool finally gets made...*crosses fingers*... Reynolds will be playing Wade Wilson. Whatever needs to be done to erase the memory of the awkward interpretation from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Even though that was mostly Scott Adkins performing all of the martial arts and sequences. Still, most of us would rather forget the ending of that film. 
 


Did you enjoy this article? There are many other actors who've brought many of our favorite characters to life. More of them to come! Share, pin, comment, tweet, you know the deal!? Maybe you don't? Click that giant red thumb, this little Cuban Editor will be grateful to you for it. If not, tell me what else you'd like me to write about. Join the conversation, here or at any of my social media networks.

By @EmanuelFCamacho
 



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BIGBMH - 8/16/2014, 7:58 AM
Nicely done. Evans also played Jensen in The Losers and Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim.
Doopie - 8/16/2014, 7:59 AM
nice article. Chris Evans was also in The Losers and Scott Pilgrim. Think he may have the record for most different CBM parts. It's him or Reynolds I think
efcamachopmp - 8/16/2014, 8:06 AM
Ah Thank you! :)
TheDuck - 8/16/2014, 8:10 AM
Ray Stevenson was Volstagg in Thor and the Punisher
efcamachopmp - 8/16/2014, 8:12 AM
This is Part I Duck...I have enough material for 3-4 articles :)

If I missed any on this list, totally throw it out :)
anthonok - 8/16/2014, 8:13 AM
I hate the double even triple casting more than anything. Just pick different actors for fnck sake.
chacha07 - 8/16/2014, 8:26 AM
It's amazing how many people have hated on Chris Evans before they saw him as Cap. He was just signed and people were like nooooooooo. That's why I won't judge anyone until I see the role on the big screen. your allowed to play two movie roles.

Btw. You missed WILL SMITH. (Handcock and j in MIB)
ShellHead - 8/16/2014, 8:26 AM
Every Superhero Origin Story Ever - Image 1
ShinjaTurtle - 8/16/2014, 8:27 AM
Though it's not live action, I think Chris Evans voicing Casey Jones in TMNT is at least worth a mention.

TheDudeRusty - 8/16/2014, 8:29 AM
Halle Berry's Catwoman doesn't count as a CBM.
DrKinsolving - 8/16/2014, 8:29 AM
Nice Article. Were mainstream!! haha.... Nice mention to Doug Jones too, it's really amazing how much these films have evolved the past few years
Asrchele - 8/16/2014, 8:30 AM
I was about to point Ray Stevenson as well. Make sure to include Zoe Saldana in a possible second part article. She was in Guardians of the Galaxy, The Losers and Star Trek, if we count that as a comicbook. Plus she is hot.

DrunkenNukem - 8/16/2014, 8:33 AM
oh man i love Doug Jones...i don't mind him returning as Silver Surfer
MantiniumBorn - 8/16/2014, 8:37 AM
DrunkenNukem

Doug Jones was dope as Silver Surfer voiced by perry white/Morpheus/ aka Mr Fishburne.

DrunkenNukem - 8/16/2014, 8:37 AM
Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Ed Blake aka The Comedian, Clay and Thomas Wayne

lsc2222 - 8/16/2014, 8:37 AM
None of these actors are "great".With the likely exception to Rourke, Brolin, Cage and Affleck.

And how can you list these actors first instead of the truly great actors like Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Spacey, Gene Hackman, etc.?

They may have not been the main character, but each had a role in a CBM and they can actually be considered "great".
DrunkenNukem - 8/16/2014, 8:39 AM
@Is

dude it says PART I...obviously there will be more of this articles featuring those other actors you just listed
MantiniumBorn - 8/16/2014, 8:40 AM
Part 1 was a nice article...
Asrchele - 8/16/2014, 8:40 AM
@lsc2222

This are "Actors Who've Played Multiple Comic Book Characters in Film".
DrunkenNukem - 8/16/2014, 8:42 AM
@MantiniuManyeah Silver Surfer was one of the few good things from the FF movies
lsc2222 - 8/16/2014, 8:44 AM
Evans is a good actor, but what has he done that was notable outside of a CBM? Ryan Reynolds has more non-CBM cred than Evans, an he's a passable actor at best.
DrunkenNukem - 8/16/2014, 8:46 AM
Jim Carrey

E. Nygma aka the Riddler and colonel Stars and Stripes....
lsc2222 - 8/16/2014, 8:48 AM
I'll give a nod to Carrey. He's done some good stuff.

And if we're doing "great" actors in "multiple" CBMs then this list should be pretty small. Only within the last few filma have CBMs began casting really "great" actors for roles.
l0rdleg0las - 8/16/2014, 8:59 AM
You title the article Great Actors and you name, Reynolds, Alba, Cage and Berry. A little bit of a reach on the great actors there.

Cage used to be a really awesome actor, but by the time his comic movies came to be, he was basically just hamming it up on camera for a check.

Reynolds is an ok actor, but typecast as a good looking smartass. Not a lot of acting involved.

Alba looks good in her costumes but is severely lacking in acting prowess.

Barry has had 1 truly good acting performance in her career and it was NOT in a comic role.
KidGoku - 8/16/2014, 9:00 AM
James McCavoy - Wanted, X-Men
Morgan Freeman - Wanted, TDK Trilogy
Joseph Gordon Levit - Sin City, TDK Trilogy
Pasto - 8/16/2014, 9:18 AM
MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYY!
TheAbaryMan369 - 8/16/2014, 9:23 AM
Nice article, I'm looking forward to the other parts.

It's actually very interesting how many actors are in multiple comic book movies. Some of my favorites (that you didn't list) are Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Patton Oswald, Jon Favreau, and Colm Feore.
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:28 AM
So Ryan Reynolds with revolver in RIPD is Barry Allen?
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:29 AM
If Sunshine was marketed properly, you could say "comic property"?
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:31 AM
Imagine Pinbacker in a corridor, backlit as the poster? Changes the overall setup and execution. I'm all for "less, is more," but this is one of the rare occasions where promotion would have actually helped this one out. Avoid the "3rd act let down" if you will.
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:34 AM
Chris, like needed to be said.., is Steve "fvckin," Rogers!

JDeezNuts - 8/16/2014, 9:34 AM
I agree fully about Reynolds. Reynolds used to be an actor I was excited to see, i figured he would be the next big thing and now i feel so badly for the guy. I truly, truly believe that if Deadpool goes back on track Reynolds will go back to the top.
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:36 AM
Reynolds never let up.., his projects did. He is Barry Allen(RIPD for reference), but his Hal was solid!
SuperCat - 8/16/2014, 9:36 AM
Well written article. I remember being upset when Evans was cast as Cap. My reaction was "No! He's already Johnny Storm!" I was totally wrong. Great casting.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 8/16/2014, 9:41 AM
Good article : )
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:41 AM
^^
I'm swingin' on this articles nutz like I'm Jeff Goldblum post T-Rex scenerio in The Lost World.., and stuff!
Hexagram - 8/16/2014, 9:42 AM
"..just ask my grandson Spalding!"
breakUbatman - 8/16/2014, 9:48 AM
Hugo Weaving: Transformers, First Avenger, V for Vendetta

that's one classy kid.
NeoBaggins - 8/16/2014, 9:53 AM
Evans was a better Johnny Storm than he is Steve Rodgers. I'm use to Evans in the role but were still waiting for Captain America to actually show up. Winter Soldier was a start.
JorL5150 - 8/16/2014, 10:01 AM
Chris Evans was in "PUSH"
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