Since the MCU and World of DC were created, they have been in competition with one another and actors are under strict rules to not star in any content with their competitors. Once they sign with Marvel or DC, they are contracted to that Universe only.
Before there was ever an MCU or World of DC though, DC and Marvel were creating content based off all our favorite comic book characters. Many big-time actors were chosen to star in these movies, sometimes the same actors for different roles. Sometimes they would go from villain to superhero, or vice versa, and sometimes they would go from a supporting role to a lead. There were no boundaries for them, they just went where the paychecks were.
Here are 20 actors who played roles in both DC and Marvel films.
20 Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips In Captain America: The First Avenger & Two-Face In Batman Forever)
Tommy Lee Jones is an actor who does better at roles where he gets to yell and boss people around.
According to screencrush.com, Tommy played one of Batman’s arch nemesis, Two-Face in Batman Forever. His portrayal of the villain was a bit over-the-top and ridiculous. Years later, he was chosen for the role as Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger, a role that made for him.
19 Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman In Batman Returns & Janet Van Dyne In Ant-Man And The Wasp)
Michelle Pfeiffer has starred in two comic book films.
According to screencrush.com, her first role came in the Tim Burton film Batman Returns as the thief Catwoman. Her second appearance was as Janet Van Dyne in the movie Ant-Man and the Wasp, a role that some say was better than her Catwoman role.
18 Taika Waititi (Korg In Thor: Ragnarok & Tom In Green Lantern)
A few years back, Taika Waititi starred as Hal Jordan’s friend Tom in the Green Lantern flop.
According to screencrush.com, Taika was the director in charge of the Thor: Ragnarok movie. He also starred as the big pile of rocks known as Korg, who was a huge comical relief in a film that was already full of hilarious moments.
17 Zachary Levi (Fandral In Thor: The Dark World & Thor: Ragnarok & Shazam In Shazam)
Many don’t know this, but Zachary Levi was actually in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok as the good looking Fandral. After his role ended, he decided to take up a new role, on the DC side.
According to cbr.com, Levi has is now the lead in Shazam! Big step up and it looks like he had a lot more fun with this role.
16 Michael Fassbender (Magneto In X-Men & Burke In Jonah Hex)
Michael Fassbender is a talented actor who got sattled with a sinking ship when he was casted for the role of Burke in Jonah Hex.
According to screencrush.com, he was able to make up for it though as the younger version of Magneto in the new X-Men film series, a role that he has truly brought to life.
15 Hugo Weaving (Red Skull In Captain America & V In V For Vendetta)
There is no denying that Hugo Weaving played his role of Red Skull incredibly. It was actually sad when he didn’t reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War.
According to cbr.com though, his role as V in V for Vendetta was magical. Having his face covered for most of the movie and having to rely solely on physicality instead of facial expressions, it’s not an easy task.
14 Michael Keaton (Batman In Batman & Adrian Toomes In Spiderman: Homecoming)
For years, Michael Keaton was known for two roles, Beetlejuice and Batman.
According to screencrush.com, although there was quite a lot of hate at first when he was cast as Batman, it all changed when he proved to the world that he was made for the role. However, his role as Adrian Toomes in Spider-Man: Homecoming was a thing of beauty and some even say better than Batman.
13 Idris Elba (Heimdall In Thor & Roque In The Losers)
Idris Elba has starred in five different MCU films, but the roles were so meniscal, that it was kind of a waste of his talent.
According to cbr.com, Idris part as Roque in The Losers, was a bigger opportunity than his role as Heimdall. He got more time to shine and it was obvious that he loved playing the villain.
12 Halle Berry (Catwoman In Catwoman & Storm In X-Men)
So far, DC has not had that much luck with Catwoman films.
According to screencrush.com, Halle Berry was just plain awful as Catwoman. There was just something about her that didn’t fit the role. However, she was amazing as Storm in the original X-Men films, well once she ditched the accent that she had in the first film.
11 Natalie Portman (Jane Foster In Thor & Evey In V For Vendetta)
Many will agree that the role of Jane Foster in the Thor films was a horrible one, and an A-lister like Natalie Portman deserved a lot better.
According to cbr.com, Natalie’s role as Evey in V for Vendetta was a lot better than her role as Jane Foster. She truly stepped out of her comfort zone and dug deep for this role.
10 Laurence Fishburne (Perry White In Batman VS Superman & Bill Foster In Ant-Man And The Wasp)
Laurence Fishburne is another actor who does better at boss roles such as Morpheus in The Matrix.
According to screencrush.com, his role as Perry White in Batman VS Superman was so meniscal that he was basically a background actor. His role as Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp though was a whole other ball game. He looked like he truly had fun and he got a bigger role.
9 Ciaran Hinds (Steppenwolf In Justice League & Roarke In Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance)
Ciaran Hinds dawned so much makeup for his role as Steppenwolf in Justice League that he was barely recognizable. Unfortunately, even though he gave it his all, he still got criticized for the role being uninteresting and lacking.
According to cbr.com, the same can’t be said about his role as Roarke in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. His performance was too over-the-top, and he just didn’t click with the role.
8 Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern In Green Lantern & Deadpool In The Deadpool Series)
Ryan Reynolds had the bad luck of staring in the Green Lantern flop back in 2011, a film that did so poorly it put a halt on plans for a DC shared cinematic universe.
According to screencrush.com, Ryan was able to make up for that role for a role in Deadpool, a role that he was born to play. A role that he played twice, the first time in the much-disliked X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
7 Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One In Doctor Strange & Gabriel In Constantine)
When Tilda Swinton accepts a role, she doesn’t take it lightly. She puts all of herself into and truly tries to become the part she is playing.
According to cbr.com, Tilda’s role as the Ancient One in Dr. Strange was done with an air of respect, and lightheartedness. Many might agree though that she does better at roles that let her move over to the dark side a bit, like her role as Gabriel in Constantine.
6 JK Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson In Spiderman & Commissioner Gordan In Justice League)
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man wasn’t as big of a hit as Jon Watt’s version of Spider-Man, but it did have one perk the other didn’t, JK Simmons playing the role of J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle.
According to screencrush.com, once his time as JJ was over, he moved on to another epic role, the role of Commissioner Gordon in Justice League, yet another role he was born to do.
5 Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Kurse In Thor: The Dark World & Killer Croc In Suicide Squad)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has had two big villain parts in the comic book world, each which had him dawn so much makeup he was unrecognizable.
According to cbr.com, Adweale has played both Kurse in Thor: The Dark World and Killer Croc in Suicide Squad. Both roles he did great at, but it looked like he was having more fun playing Killer Croc than Kurse.
4 Chris Evans (Human Torch In Fantastic Four & Captain America In The Captain America Series)
Chris Evans has had a few roles in the comic book world.
According to cbr.com, Chris first starred in the Fantastic Four movies as the Human Torch. He later appeared in the movie The Losers as communication specialist Jensen, a role that didn’t give him much to work on. Many will agree though that his best role to date is as Captain America, a role he was born to do.
3 Tom Hardy (Eddie Brock In Venom & Bane In The Dark Knight Rises)
Venom is an AMAZING movie and Tom Hardy rocked his role as Eddie Brock.
According to cbr.com though, his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises totally trumps his role as Eddie Brock though. Like Hugo Weaving, Tom Hardy had to act while wearing a mask that covered, well most of his face. This meant that he relied a lot on his eyes to portray his emotions and such, which is not an easy task.
2 Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex In Jonah Hex & Thanos In Avengers)
Like Green Lantern, Jonah Hex was an absolute disaster. We are just happy that it didn’t ruin Josh Brolin from ever wanting to do a comic book film ever again.
According to cbr.com, after the movie tanked hard at the box office, Josh moved on to bigger fish and became X-Men character Cable in Deadpool 2, and Thanos in Avengers, a role that he will go down in history for.
1 Ben Affleck (Batman In Batman & Daredevil In Daredevil)
Not many people were happy with Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman in the DCEU, but there is one thing that they can’t deny, it was better than his role in Daredevil.
According to cbr.com, Daredevil might not have done as well as everyone hoped, and its defiantly a role Ben Affleck wishes he could take back, but it was what lit a fire under Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige to finally make Marvel’s own movie studio.
Sources: cbr.com & screencrush.com