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These Actors Starred in Both Marvel & DC Movies

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Written by Publishing team

When it comes to DC and Marvel, there is no need for an introduction. These comic industry giants have been going neck and neck with their productions nearly since the foundation of both companies. Moreover, for over half a century, the two have also been engaged in a rivalry of sorts that has even brought their own fans into confrontation that continues to this day, with feuds within their own comics and cartoonists moving from one company to the other. Not to go any further, but, in 2018, the production of Roku Original Slugfest was announced, a docuseries by The Russo Brothers that will explore the rivalry between Marvel and DC.

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Some say that you can’t enjoy both companies’ cinematic universes simultaneously, and that you need to pick a side. But while a large part of the audience already has its favorite company, others enjoy both universes equally. This situation of having to take sides is also true for actors: those who are part of the MCU are contractually banned from appearing in DCEU films. Nevertheless, more than one actor took part in movies belonging to both companies, some of them even playing leading roles. Therefore, here’ a look at eight actors who have appeared in both Marvel and DC movies.

Related: Best Non-Marvel or DC Superhero Movies Ranked

Chris Evans

chris evans

It’s hard to detach Chris Evans from his most legendary role as Captain America, but his first blockbusters in the comics cinematic universe came playing the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and its sequel, both of which are Marvel movies. It was not until 2011 that he rose to fame playing Steve Rogers, the incredible American superhero in Captain America: The First Avengerand subsequently in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and all four avengers movies. Nevertheless, a year before becoming Captain America in the MCU, Evans portrayed Jake Jensen in The Losersa silver screen adaptation of a DC Vertigo comic.


Christian Bale

Christian Bale

This is probably one of the most striking names on this list. Christian Bale is known worldwide for many spectacular leading roles, among them his portrayal of Batman, the DC superhero, in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. 17 years after Nolan’s trilogy was launched, the renowned actor will join the MCU in as Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love And Thunder. While some images of Bale’s role in this new film were filtered, the production is being very cautious in order to maintain the mystery until the release of the film.

David Harbor

david harbor

David Harbor became world-famous for his role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things. He entered the MCU in 2021, when he portrayed super soldier Alexei Shostakov, aka Red Guardian, in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. There are currently discussions about giving this character more depth in a film of his own, something the actor said he would thoroughly enjoy. Prior to all that, however, Harbor was part of the DC universe portraying Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad, the 2016 DC movie. Dexter is a national security advisor to the President who ends up helping Amanda Waller get Task Force X approved. These are not the only superhero movies in which Harbor starred, as he also took the lead role in the 2019 Hellboy reboot, embodying the fictional superhero who has also appeared in two other films, crossovers and miniseries. In both the 2004 and 2008 movies, Hellboy was played by Ron Perlman.


JK Simmons

jk simons

Best known for his brilliant supporting roles, JK Simmons was able to shine in both universes. Within Marvel, he took part in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy, more in the MCU films Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: No Way Home, as John Jonah Jameson. This character, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, is the boss of the Daily Bugle newspaper. With a particular style and a prominent mustache, Jameson conducts a smear campaign against Spider-Man, unaware that the superhero works for him under his identity of Peter Parker.

In 2017, Simmons was hired by DC to step into the shoes of Commissioner James Gordon in Justice League and will return to the role in the upcoming Batgirl. As part of the Gotham City police force, Gordon shares Batman’s deep commitment to making the city crime-free. This role was previously portrayed by Gary Oldman in director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and most recently by Jeffrey Wright in Matt Reeves’ The Batman.


Related: These Are the Best One-on-One Fight Scenes in the MCU, Ranked

Jon Favreau

jon favreau

The director, actor and writer has been an essential part of the MCU for years, both as an actor and as one of its creators. Jon Favreau directed Iron Man in 2008, kicking off this billion-dollar universe, and from then on, the rest is history. In addition to directing some of the films, Favreau has also played Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s assistant, who has also appeared in other MCU films, assuming a significant role in Tom Holland’s Spiderman movies. Still, before he became a household name associated with Marvel, Favreau had a small role as one of Bruce Wayne’s assistants in the 1995 movie batman forever.

Michael Keaton

keaton

Ever since Tim Burton accepted directing his 1989 movie Batmanhe knew very clearly who he wanted to star in it: Michael Keaton. At the time, this decision was questioned due to Keaton’s past as a comedian, but the actor amazed with his acting skills and, alongside a stellar cast that also featured Jack Nicholson as The Joker, the film was critically acclaimed. After taking part in this film and Batman Returns, Keaton stayed away from superhero movies for a while. In 2017, he came back, only this time within the Marvel team, in order to play Adrian Toomes, better known as the Vulture, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was recently announced that the actor would be returning to play Batman, the DC superhero, in the movie The Flash, which has fans very excited. More than that, Keaton will reprise his role as Vulture in the upcoming Jared Leto-led movie Morbus.


Ryan Reynolds

ryan reynolds

Ryan Reynolds‘ time in the DC Cinematic Universe did not go as expected. In 2011, he played Hal in the movie Green Lantern, inspired by the DC comic book of the same name. The film, directed by Martin Campbell, was not well received by audiences nor critics, and garnered mostly negative reviews, scoring a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fortunately, five years later, his redemption would come, along with the opportunity to play another superhero, but this time for Marvel. In 2016, Dead Pool was released, a movie inspired by the Marvel Comics superhero and directed by Tim Miller. Although Reynolds starred in this film and its sequel, his first appearance as Deadpool was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In 2021, and due to the success of the first two films, a third Deadpool movie was announced, although the release date has not yet been revealed.

Tom Hardy

tom hardy

Tom Hardy co-starred with Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, the movie inspired by the DC Comics superhero. In this film, the actor played a villain named Bane, one of Batman’s most evil rivals and considered one of the best villains of all time. To embody Bane, Hardy had to undergo a significant body transformation. His transfer to Marvel would come in 2018 with his role as Eddie Brock in Venomtea Spiderman spin-off in which he would bond with an alien symbiote. The anti-hero appeared in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: No Way Homeleading the writers to discuss Venom’s future in the MCU.

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Publishing team