Here's to Sam Elliott!

With his role as the Caretaker in the upcoming Ghost Rider movie, Sam Elliott has joined a small but growing club: actors who have been in two comicbook films. He also played General "Thunderbolt" Ross in The Hulk. So who else is in those ranks?

  • Well, there must be something about General Ross, because the other man to play him, Incredible Hulk's William Hurt, was also in A History of Violence.
  • One of the only other ones who's been in two from the same company is Rebecca Romjin - she played Mystique in X-Men and Joan in The Punisher.
  • Amazingly, one of the others was in the same two movies. Ben Foster was Angel in X-Men 3 and Spacker Dave in The Punisher (plus he was "the stranger" in 30 Days of Night).
  • Hugh Jackman got his big break as Wolverine in X-Men, and was the male lead of recent sci-fi epic The Fountain. The female lead was Rachel Weisz, who played two roles in DC's Constantine.

  • Halle Berry commented that there were no good roles for black women, which is why she had to settle for playing X-Men's Storm, but in that case, what's her excuse for Catwoman?
  • Kelly Hu, Lady Deathstrike in X-Men 2, is also the assassin "China White" in Arrow.
  • Michael Reid MacKay, the ectomorphic, wheelchair-bound Jason in X-Men 2, was also the skinny "pre-venom" body of Bane in Batman & Robin!
  • X-Men 2's William Stryker was Brian Cox. He also played the Russian guy in RED!
  • James Marsden, X-Men's Cyclops, was also Lois Lane's new love interest, Richard White, in Superman Returns (but we can probably forgive him for that).
  • Continuing to play "six degrees of separation," James Marsden was in Superman Returns with Parker Posey, who was record exec Fiona in Josie and the Pussycats, and the lead bitch vampire Danica Talos in Blade: Trinity.
  • Dominic Purcell played Dracula in Blade: Trinity, and Heatwave on The Flash.
  • Also in Blade: Trinity was Ryan Reynolds, who had a part in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch tv movie, though that may be a bit tenuous for this list. Lucky for us, he played Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie, and the young new recruit in RIPD.
  • Green Lantern's nemesis, Sinestro, was played by Mark Strong, who was also Frank D'Amico, the main mobster in Kick-Ass. Plus, he was in Kingsman as Merlin, the recruits' trainer.
  • Frank D'Amico's widow in Kick-Ass 2 was Yancy Butler, formerly of Witchblade.
  • Similarly, John Leguizamo was in Kick-Ass 2, and played the Clown in Spawn.
  • And we mustn't forget Nicolas Cage, who not only named himself after a comic character, but was Big Daddy in Kick-Ass and Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider.
  • Kick-Ass himself, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is Quicksilver in Avengers 2. And because life is weird, Kick-Ass's friend Todd was played by Evan Peters, who's Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Jon Favreau has played two superhero second bananas: he was Foggy Nelson in Daredevil and cast himself as Happy Hogan when he directed Iron Man.
  • Iron Man had Jeff Bridges as its villain, and RIPD uses him as a hero.
  • RIPD also has Kevin Bacon, who played Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class.
  • Considering how huge the ensemble cast of Sin City is, it's no surprise that they have a lot of these "double" actors:
    • We'll start with Mickey Rourke, who started as Marv, but was also Whiplash in Iron Man 2.
    • Jessica Alba played skinny little Nancy Callahan, and was Sue Storm in Fantastic Four.
    • Benicio Del Toro was the creepy Jackie Boy, and also plays The Collector for Marvel, in films like Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Rosario Dawson was the gun-toting Gail, but was also bassist Valerie Brown in Josie and the Pussycats. Plus, if you want to count it, she was in Men In Black II. More importantly, she plays Night Nurse in Netflix's Daredevil.
    • Michael Clarke Duncan's Manute didn't have a lot to do in the first Sin City movie, but as the Kingpin in the unfairly maligned Daredevil, he kicked much butt. His Kilowog was also one of the only redeeming things about Green Lantern.
    • Carla Gugino was Marv's caseworker, Lucille, and she's also the Golden Age Silk Spectre in Watchmen.
    • Josh Hartnett played the Ladykiller in the pre-credit sequence that was used to pitch the movie to everyone else, and is also the sheriff in vampire movie 30 Days of Night.
    • Jaime King played both Goldie and Wendy (depending on the coloring) and was also Jade in Bulletproof Monk and Lorelei in The Spirit.
    • Bruce Willis was grizzled old cop Hartigan, and grizzled old detective Tom Greer in Surrogates. Yes, that was a comicbook movie. And come to think of it, so is RED.
    • Clark Middleton (Schutz) is more recognizable for his small stature than his name, but that's why we know he's been in Snowpiercer and Gotham.
    • Powers Boothe, Senator Roark, is one of the shadowy members of Marvel's World Security Council, as seen in films like Avengers.
    • Rutger Hauer, the corrupt Cardinal Roark, has actually been in two DC properties: he was in Batman Begins as the head of Wayne Corp, and in Smallville as mobster Morgan Edge.
  • Speaking of Morgans, Morgan Freeman was Lucius Fox in Batman Begins, and played Sloan, the ersatz Lex Luthor role in Wanted. And he was in RED as well!
  • Terrence Stamp is in Wanted, as well; he was Zod in Superman II and Stick in Elektra.
  • The other Zod (from Man of Steel), Michael Shannon, probably escaped your notice as Doc Cross Williams in Jonah Hex.
  • In Man of Steel, Superman's mother Lara Lor-Van was played by Ayelet Zurer, who was linked to another powerful man as Vanessa in Daredevil.
  • Man of Steel Zod's scientist Jax-Ur was played by Mackenzie Gray, who voices Obadiah Stane on Iron Man: Armored Adventures, but we're not counting voice acting for this list. However, he also played two different characters on Smallville: Dr. Alistair Kreig, the scientist who created Cyborg, and an adult clone of Lex Luthor.
  • Poor Adrianne Palicki has mad mixed luck: in Smallville Season 3, she was "Kara from Krypton," which turned out to be misdirection; she was set to play a siren named Nadia in the Aquaman TV show, but that got cancelled; she was going to be TV's Wonder Woman, but that also got cancelled; she's Agents of SHIELD's Mockingbird, but got written off as part of a backdoor pilot for her own series - hopefully it doesn't get cancelled.
  • Smallville Season 8 introduced Winslow Schott, the Toyman. He was played by Chris Gauthier, who was also Seymour, the slovenly copyboy at the end of Watchmen.
  • Seymour wouldn't even matter in Watchmen if not for Rorschach's journal. In the movie, Walter Kovacs was brough to life by Jackie Earle Haley, also Guerrero in Human Target.
  • Ciaran Hinds played Finn McGovern in Road to Perdition, and was the new body of the devil in Ghost Rider 2.
  • Road to Perdition also featured Daniel Craig, who was in Cowboys and Aliens, and also in the animated-but-mocapped Adventures of Tintin.
  • Someone else who appeared in Cowboys and Aliens had also been in Iron Man 2 and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - it's Sam Rockwell!
  • The younger William Stryker (from Wolverine: Origins) was Danny Huston, who was main vampire Marlow in 30 Days of Night.
  • 30 Days of Night also had Mark Boone Jr, whose name you probably don't recognize, but you'd recognize him as Detective Flass (Gordon's corrupt partner) in Batman Begins.
  • Manu Bennett appeared in 30 Days of Night as Billy Kitka, and is now Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in Arrow.
  • We first saw Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark in Captain America and Agent Carter, but after that he became Jesse Custer in Preacher.
  • Fittingly, Jesse's girlfriend Tulip O' Hare is played by Ruth Negga, who was also Raina on Agents of SHIELD.
  • James McAvoy was Wesley in Wanted, and young Charles Xavier in X-Men First Class.
  • Similarly, Michael Fassbender played Magneto in First Class, appeared as a minion in Jonah Hex and was Stelios (the "we'll fight in the shade" guy) in 300.
  • The smokin' hot Eva Mendes was in Ghost Rider, which was good, and then in The Spirit, which wasn't so much.
  • The Spirit himself, Gabriel Macht, was also the main love interest in Whiteout.
  • Scarlet Johansson was in The Spirit as Silken Floss, working for Samuel L. Jackson's Octopus. Then she was Black Widow in Iron Man 2, where she worked for Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. However, Sam did not appear in Scarlet's first comics movie, Ghost World, and she did not appear in his third, Kingsman.
  • Jennifer Connelly has been two heroes' girlfriends: Jenny Blake in The Rocketeer and Betty Ross in The Hulk.
  • In Batman Forever, Tommy Lee Jones was the villainous Two-Face. Two years later he was the heroic Agent K in Men In Black, and in 2011 he appeared in Captain America.
  • One of Vincent D'Onofrio's first roles was as Thor, but not for Marvel - rather, it was in Adventures in Babysitting. He got to the real stuff with Edgar in Men In Black, and Kingpin in Daredevil.
  • Kingpin got his suits from Melvin Potter, aka The Gladiator. The character was played by Matt Gerald, who was the endearingly named White Power Dave in the Marvel one-shot All Hail the King.
  • Kick-Ass 2 has Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes. He also played the titular role in The Mask, and the Riddler in Batman Forever.
  • Will Yun Lee is that Asian actor who's in everything, including Elektra (as the main Hand ninja), Witchblade (as Sara Pezzini's dead partner) and The Wolverine (as the main Hand ninja).
  • When he's busy or too expensive, there's always Chin Han, who you'd know as Lau (the banker) in Dark Knight, Frank Chen on Arrow, and Councilman Yen in The Winter Soldier.
  • Doug Jones is the man behind both the Silver Surfer and Hellboy's Abe Sapien - as well as quite a few other monsters in Hellboy 2, such as the Angel of Death. To say nothing of "Thin Clown" in Batman Returns, Ripper in Tank Girl, and Pencilhead in Mystery Men (and a role in Men In Black II, if you want to count that).
  • You'd never recognize him, but Brian Steele was the guy in the suits for both Sammael and Mr. Wink.
  • And of course, we can't forget Ron Perlman, who was Fiery Blaze in The Tick, Reinhardt in Blade 2 and the big red guy in Hellboy.
  • Blade 2's gadget-maker Scud was played by Norman Reedus, who later became the fan-favorite Daryl in The Walking Dead.
  • Also in Blade 2 we saw Tony Curran, but we didn't see him in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - he was the invisible man. We could kind of see part of him in Thor 2 - since he was playing Thor's grandfather Bor, most of his face was obscured by a large horned helmet.
  • Jason Flemyng was Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde) in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Add to that his role as the driver in From Hell, the doorman in Kick-Ass and Azazel in X-Men: First Class, and the guy gets around.
  • It may not be a career highlight to have been in Spawn, but Michael Jai White was also in Dark Knight as one of the mob bosses, and is Bronze Tiger on Arrow.
  • The main villain in Spawn was Martin Sheen as Jason Wynn. Sheen played a much friendlier figure as Amazing Spider-Man's Uncle Ben.
  • One of the villains of Amazing Spider-Man 2 was Paul Giamatti's Rhino - but he had a much more substantial role as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor.
  • Brandon Routh became famous when he landed the main role in Superman Returns. He's since been in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. But more importantly, a flying hero who wears red and blue - The Atom in The Flash!
  • Thomas Jane was part of the Vegan police in Scott Pilgrim and, of course, the Punisher in The Punisher.
  • This one is sort of a stretch, but Kevin Nash played the Russian in The Punisher, and was also inside the Super-Shredder suit in TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze.
  • Karl Urban is in the vampire movie Priest, the hitman movie RED, and is also under the helmet of the new Judge Dredd.
  • Similarly, Paul Bettany played the title role in Priest, voiced JARVIS in Iron Man, and was Vision in Avengers 2.
  • David Anders will always be Alias' Mr. Sark, but on Arrow he was Cyrus Vanch, and on iZombie he's Blaine DeBeers.
  • Who could forget when Michael Keaton grabbed that thug and declared "I'm Batman"? He was played by Christopher Fairbank and grew up to be The Broker in Guardians of the Galaxy!
  • Michael Rooker was The Walking Dead's Merle Dixon, and Guardians of the Galaxy's Yondu.
  • Do you recognize Donal Logue more as Quinn from Blade, as Mack from Ghost Rider, or as Harvey Bullock from Gotham?
  • You don't know the name of Scott Wilson, but you'd recognize him as Herschel in The Walking Dead. He was also Pa Angel in the 1995 version of Judge Dredd.
  • As far as "recognizable actors whose name you don't know" goes, Pruitt Taylor Vince has to be near the top of the list. He appeared in Constantine and as Otis in The Walking Dead.
  • "Hey, it's that guy!" His name is Jeff Kober, and not only was he Booga in Tank Girl, he was in Walking Dead Season 4.
  • Lauren Cohan, The Walking Dead's Maggie Greene, had a cameo as Martha Wayne in Batman v. Superman.
  • When it comes to Walking Dead, Shane lasted longer on TV than he did in the comics, but he was still gone in time for Jon Bernthal to become the Punisher on Daredevil Season 2.
  • He's not an actor, but Hines Ward has been in Walking Dead Season 3 and Dark Knight Rises.
  • Long before becoming the legendary Star-Lord, Chris Pratt was getting clobbered in the face with a keyboard in Wanted.
  • After becoming famous for Avatar, Zoe Saldana appeared as Aisha in The Losers, and as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan was nobody before playing the Comedian in Watchmen, and he followed that up by playing Clay in The Losers and the son of the villain in Jonah Hex. Then he cameoed as Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman shortly before appearing as Walking Dead's Negan.
  • The actual villain in Jonah Hex was John Malkovich. He's also been in Art School Confidential and RED.
  • Moving from Jonah Hex to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Will Arnett was Lieutenant Grass in the former and Vernon Fenwick in the latter.
  • And keeping with the same movies, Megan Fox was Lilah in Jonah Hex and April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • You may not know the name William Fichtner, but he's TMNT's "not-Shredder," and was the bank manager in the beginning of Dark Knight.
  • Michael Caine played Alfred Pennyworth three times before appearing in Kingsman.
  • In Constantine, she was super androgynous. In Snowpiercer, she was super frumpy. In Dr. Strange, she's super ancient. She's Tilda Swinton!
  • Now here's a weird one. On October 21, 2014, Anthony Carrigan played The Mist on The Flash. On November 3, he played Mr. Zsasz on Gotham!
  • Gotham's Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Morena Baccarin, is also Deadpool's girlfriend Vanessa (as well as voicing the computer Gideon on The Flash).
  • Michael Chiklis played Ben Grimm in the not-awful version of Fantastic Four, and is Jim Gordon's captain on Gotham.
  • Long ago, Lori Petty was the titular Tank Girl. More recently, she was a proto-Harley Quinn on Gotham.
  • In Wanted, Kristen Hager was the main character's girlfriend - in Gotham, she's Mr. Freeze's wife.
  • Flash's version of General Wade Eiling is Clancy Brown, who's best known for voicing Lex Luthor in the DCAU. However, he's also in Daredevil Season 2 as Frank Castle's former commanding officer.
  • Rila Fukushima is a martial arts master in two realities: Yukio in The Wolverine, and Katana on Arrow.
  • Yukio was the only friend Mariko Yashida had, but her actress, Tao Okamoto, also appeared in Batman v. Superman as Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves.
  • Kevin Durand was unrecognizable as Blob in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but gets to be his usual fit self as Vasily Fet in The Strain.
  • You'd have to watch the mainland China version of Iron Man 3 to catch more than a glimpse of Fan Bingbing, but she was much more memorable as Blink in Days of Future Past.
  • Sin City 2 includes a lot of returning actors, but a lot of the new ones also fit this list:
    • Eva Green, the titular Dame to Kill For, is famous for Casino Royale, but is also in 300: Rise of an Empire.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Johnny, was made up for the movie. The same is true for John Blake, his character in Dark Knight Rises.
    • Speaking of Dark Knight Rises, Juno Temple (Sally) played Catwoman's friend Holly Jen.
    • Christopher Meloni (Mort) was Man of Steel's Col. Hardy.
    • Since Michael Clarke Duncan died, Manute had to be recast. He's now being played by Dennis Haysbert, who also appeared as a security guard in a 1980 episode of The Incredible Hulk.
    • Josh Brolin is replacing Clive Owen as the pre-plastic-surgery Dwight, and was also the in-need-of-plastic-surgery Jonah Hex. He voices Thanos for Marvel, but who knows if that will require any make-up/motion capture, or if it's just him in a booth - we will, however, count Oldboy, which is based on a South Korean film which was itself based on a manga.
  • Ben Affleck did a good job in Daredevil, and will probably also do a good job in Batman vs. Superman. And this is a bit of a stretch, but he also starred in Hollywoodland, which isn't technically a comicbook movie, but he did play George Reeves playing Clark Kent playing Superman, so it's not entirely unrelated, either.
  • In Edge of Tomorrow, Franz Drameh played Ford, one of the soldiers in J Squad. In Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, he plays half of Firestorm.
  • Edge of Tomorrow also had a role for Bill Paxton, who's also John Garrett on Agents of SHIELD.
  • 300 introduced Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo. She was also the villainous villainess Mama in Dredd.
  • In 300, Dominic West was one of the Spartans, but he put on a lot more clothing to play Jigsaw in Punisher War Zone.
  • On that note, Ray Stevenson was Frank Castle in Punisher War Zone, and plays Volstagg the Voluminous in Thor.
  • Idris Elba, Thor's Heimdall, was also Roque, The Losers' demo and tactical man, and played... somebody in Ghost Rider 2.
  • Similarly, Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster in Thor, was also Evey in V For Vendetta.
  • Of course, John Hurt, V For Vendetta's Adam Sutler, was also Hellboy's dad, Professor Bruttenholm. Then he was in Snowpiercer, and also in The Rock's version of Hercules.
  • Hugo Weaving, who played V For Vendetta's titular anarchist, is the Red Skull in Captain America.
  • FX's new series The Strain gives Argus Filch/Walder Frey himself, David Bradley, the rare chance to be a good guy. He was also the man hiding the tesseract in Captain America.
  • Captain America's Dum-Dum Dugan, Neal McDonough, is also Arrow's Damien Darhk.
  • The king of them all, though, has to be Chris Evans. He began as just Johnny Storm in both Fantastic Four movies, but has since been in The Losers, in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and is Steve Rogers in Captain America. After that he played the hero in Snowpiercer. Wow!

So that's a pretty impressive list, and it doesn't even touch on voiceover work, which would probably triple the list. There are more comic movies coming out all the time, so the list is sure to keep growing. Know anyone else who belongs on here already?

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27 Responses to Here's to Sam Elliott!

  1. Rustin Parr says:

    Jason Flemyng was also in FROM HELL.

  2. Benjamin says:

    Hallie Barry was both Storm in the X-men movies and Catwoman in the movie Catwoman.

    But I can understand how you might not (want to) remember the movie Catwoman.

    Rosario Dawnson was in MIB II.

    • OAFE says:

      MIB2 is an odd beastie - the original was already pretty far removed from the comic, so the connection for the sequel was even more tenuous.

      I can't believe we forgot Catwoman! Must have accidentally edited it off the list when I was moving stuff around. D'oh!

  3. Mangifera Furiotank says:

    Ghost Rider was good?


  4. Pete says:

    Terrence Stamp also voiced Jor-El in Smallville, if that counts.

  5. Don't forget Jason Flemyng's minor roll as 'the doorman' in Kickass!

    "You're looking sharp! Lookit all those buttons!"

  6. Soundwinder says:

    ... I have learned so many of these were comic book adaptations.

    MIB I knew, but I keep forgetting. But Josie and the Pussycats? Bulletproof Monk? Priest? All news to me.

  7. Pollex Christi says:

    You left out Jim Carrey as the Riddler in Batman Forever.

    If only Joel Schumacher had done the same...

  8. Flint Paper says:

    Jackie Earle Haley was Rorshach in Watchmen, then Guerrero in Human Target. I don't remember if the character was in any iteration of the comic, and the show had only a very tenuous connection with the comic anyway, but that must count if anything from Arrow counts, right?

  9. Sparrowsabre7 says:

    Powers Boothe is another Sin City alum (as the other Roark) who was part of the security council in the Avengers.

  10. Soundwave says:

    A couple more:
    Michael Jai White was Gambol in The Dark Knight and Bronze Tiger on Arrow.

    Chin Han was Lau in The Dark Knight, Frank on Arrow, and the Chinese council member in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

    • yo go re says:

      Michael Jai White is already on there. The others... not so much. We'll have to add them next time there's an update...

  11. michaelismaus says:

    John Hurt was also in A History of Violence...

  12. Robbby says:

    Don't forget Josh Brolin as Younger J in MIB 3, Oldboy, and of course THANOS in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 3 later on.

    • OAFE says:

      Thanos is up there. And if MIB2 was too far removed from the comics to count for the list, MIB3 definitely is. I've heard they're rebooting the series, though - mayhap that one will count?

  13. Friginator says:

    Tim Robbins has been in TWO terrible comic book films--Howard the Duck AND Green Lantern.

    Also, John Glover played Doctor Woodrue (the would-be Floronic Man in Batman & Robin) and Lionel Luthor on Smallville.

    You should also probably mention that Anthony Michael Hall was in "Weird Science", which was for legal reasons was based on the comic, and was on the TV show versions of Tales From the Crypt and The Crow, and had a cameo in The Dark Knight.

  14. Evil Monkey Pope says:

    Your picture of Juno Temple in Sin City 2 is actually of her costar, Julia Garner.

  15. Evil Monkey Pope says:

    Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnite in Constatine & Korath the Pursuer in GOTG

    Since you've counted Stardust, Michelle Pfeiffer was in that as well as Batman Returns. Stardust also had Henry Cavill & Charlie Cox (Netflix's Daredevil).

  16. Colt says:

    Michael Jai White was also in the Toxic Avenger 2.

  17. yo go re says:

    That Irish guy with the scar is on Gotham and in Sin City...

  18. Snemei says:

    Robin Lord Taylor is penguin in Gotham and was in the walking dead

  19. DukeNukem 2417 says:

    Any chance we can replace Dudepeel from X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Ryan Reynolds' role as the ACTUAL Deadpool, now?

  20. Peter says:

    David Dastmalchian was in The Dark Knight and Ant-Man (and The Wasp), aaaand looking at his IMDB he's also been in Gotham, The Flash, and coming up in Suicide Squad 2.

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