The comic book world was in turmoil with the announcement that Aaron Taylor-Johnson would play longtime Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter. This is the third time the actor has played a leading role in a live-action comic, having starred in Kick ass and as Quicksilver’s version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
He joins an elite but surprisingly robust club of actors who have played three or more characters in live-action comic projects. The others are growing in importance and include some of the biggest actors working today, and ten of the most prolific are listed below, in order of how many relevant roles they’ve played from least to most.
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10. Michael Jai White – 3 roles
White is an avowed comic book fan with numerous animated voiceover characters to his credit in addition to his live roles. He first rose to prominence playing the main character in 1997. Spawn, although his best-known appearance is probably Gambol, one of Gotham City’s crime lords killed by the Joker in 2008 The black Knight. Most recently he had a recurring role as Bronze Tiger on the CW. Arrow – appearing 10 times during the series.
9. Tommy Lee Jones – 3 roles
Jones started his comic with a dud, playing Harvey Dent in 1995 Batman forever. The film made some money, but it has since been vilified, and Jones’ hammered and over-the-top portrayal of Two-Face is one of the few poor performances in his long and successful career. He rebounded quickly in 1997 Men in black, as the irascible Agent K in perfect opposition to Will Smith’s Agent J. He also graced the MCU’s debut as Colonel Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger, and his performance quietly became one of the strongest elements of the film.
8. Jim Carrey – 3 roles
Carrey was also unlucky to star in Batman forever, although his version of the Riddler played to his strengths, and he went through the experience in better shape than his co-villain. He notoriously disowned his performance as Colonel Stars and Stripes in Kick Ass 2, calling the film too violent following a mass shooting shortly before the opening of the film. His first and best comic book performance more than made up for the two with Stanley Ipkiss and his Tex-Avery-steeped alter ego in 1994. The mask. Along with Ace Ventura, the role helped make Carrey a star, and he still remains a highlight of his resume.
7. Samuel L. Jackson – 3 roles
Looks like Jackson should have a number greater than three, and in some ways he does, but at least one of his “comic book” roles – Elijah “Mr. Glass” Price in Unbreakable films – was an original creation written directly for the screen. The same applies to his hero Frozone in The Incredibles. That leaves three legitimate comic book characters: the 2008s The mind in which he played the villainous Octopus, 2014 Kingsman: Secret Service where he played the equally sinister Valentine and Nick Fury in a considerable number of MCU films.
6. Brandon Routh – 4 roles
Routh starred as The Man of Steel in 2006 Superman Returns, and while this film continues to spark debate among DC fans, the actor’s turn was strong and memorable. He has since returned to DC in the Arrowverse, including Legends of tomorrow as another staple on their list: The Atom. At the level of independent comics, he emerged as the leader in the 2010s Dylan Dog: Death of the Night based on the Italian comic, and it almost stole the show in Scott Pilgrim vs the world as Evil Ex with vegan powers, Todd Ingram.
5. Ryan Reynolds – 4 roles
Reynolds was so perfect for Marvel’s Deadpool that he played the role twice, first in 2009. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that inexplicably sewed up her mouth for most of her screen time. It bounced back admirably with the 2016 dead Pool, which not only reset the character, but also gave Reynolds a chance to poke fun at the previous incarnation. He also tore up his infamous leading role in 2011 The Green Lantern, one of DC’s most notable flops. It was also in 2013 RIPD, where he played Nick, a detective brought back from the dead, and he was in Blade trinity as the Hannibal King vampire hunter.
4. Scarlett Johansson – 4 roles
Black Widow may end up being Scarlett Johansson’s signature role, but her turn in comic book adaptations began at a very different time in her career. 2001 Ghost world came in the middle of her period as an independent sweetheart, and her turn as the insane Rebecca hastened her rise to the top of the A-list. His other endeavors in the comedy genre range from deeply regrettable to simply forgettable. The latter, Silken Floss in 2008 The mind, disappeared without a trace. The first, the heroine Major in 2017 Ghost in the shell, arrived in the midst of credible play-whitening claims and was considered unworthy of the manga that inspired it.
3. Doug Jones – 5 roles
The versatile Doug Jones has found his way into a number of notable comic book movies. The first two were hard to spot, as he played one of the Penguin’s henchmen in 1992. Batman Returns, as well as Pencil Head, one of the potential heroes of the 1999 satire Mystery men. He caused a lot more sensation in an equally brief role as Joey Ramone in Men in Black II, followed by the Silver Surfer in the second The Fantastic Four film, in which her physical performance was added to the voice of Laurence Fishburne. The same happened on one of his best roles: Abe Sapien in 2004 Hellboy. His vocal performance was also deleted there, in favor of that of David Hyde Pierce. Del Toro corrected the overshoot, and Jones got to voice and perform Abe in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
2. Josh Brolin – 5 roles
Like most of the artists on the list, Brolin is a veteran with a wide range of roles spanning decades. He made an indelible impression as Thanos in the MCU’s Infinity Saga, as well as appearing as the mutant Cable in Fox’s. Deadpool 2. On the DC side, he starred as Jonah Hex in the 2010 film of the same name: A Critical Bomb and at the box office. On top of that, he played a younger version of K in 2012 Men in Black III and Dwight in 2014 Sin City: a lady to kill.
1. Chris Evans – 6 roles
It’s hard to imagine now, but when Evans was first cast as Captain America, some fans were concerned because he was already playing Human Torch in two. The Fantastic Four movies. Evans was no stranger to comic book roles and assembled a number of them ahead of his iconic turn as Steve Rogers. This includes Scott Pilgrim vs the world, where he played a skateboarding Evil Ex, Lucas Lee. He was also Jensen in 2010 Losers and Curtis in the famous Snowpiercer. Finally, he was Nick Gant, the leader of a group of overpowered runaways in 2009. Push, which was released in conjunction with a Wildstorm comic.
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