While comic juggernauts Marvel and DC have had a long, storied rivalry and many fans have taken a ‘one or the other’ stance when it comes to picking their favourite, either in print or on the big screen, many actors have no problem double-dipping into franchises from both companies. The draw of working with wonderful filmmakers and playing iconic characters has become too hard to resist, even for some of the most celebrated actors and actresses in the industry. Here is a look at some of the people you’ll find on both sides of the line.
#1 – Tao Okamoto
Appeared In: The Wolverine (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Okamoto’s first acting credit was in The Wolverine, playing Mariko, granddaughter of Ichiro and love interest to Logan in the film. Three years later, the Westworld actress appeared in a smaller role as Lex Luthor’s Personal Assistant/Bodyguard, Mercy Graves in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
#2 – Wunmi Mosaku
Appeared In: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Loki (2021)
One of the stars of Lovecraft Country, Wunmi Mosaku appeared as Kahina Ziri in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. More recently, she played Hunter B-15 in the hit Disney+ show, Loki.
#3 – Florence Kasumba
Appeared In: Captain America: Civil War (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021).
Upcoming In: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The Ugandan-born, German-raised actress has made multiple appearances in comic-based movies. She made her first appearance as Ayo in Captain America: Civil War and has revisited the role several times. In 2017, however, she made her DC debut as Senator Acantha in Wonder Woman. You can see her return to Marvel in the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
#4 – Steve Agee
Appeared In: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), The Suicide Squad (2021), Peacemaker (2022)
The comedian appeared in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ravager, Gef. His working relationship with director James Gunn must have been productive, because Gunn brought him on board for his own trip across the Marvel/DC border when he cast him as John Economos in The Suicide Squad (He also played the on-set King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), and again in the HBO Max series Peacemaker.
#5 – David Dastmalchian
Appeared In: The Dark Knight (2008), Ant-Man (2015), Gotham (2017), The Flash (TV Series – 2017), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Batman: The Long Halloween (2021), The Suicide Squad (2021), Marvel’s What If? (2021)
Dastmalchian first appeared in The Dark Knight as one of The Joker’s thugs (one of his first credited performances). Seven years later, he went on to warn us of Baba Yaga in his role of Kurt in Ant-Man, which he reprised in the sequel and an episode of Marvel’s What If? He is one of the more prolific members of the Marvel and DC universes with multiple appearances in DC-based TV and animation.
#6 – Sean Gunn
Appeared in: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Suicide Squad (2021), Marvel’s What If? (2021)
Upcoming In: Thor Love and Thunder (2022), The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Gilmore Girls alum and brother to director James Gunn, Sean Gunn has made a number of appearances in the MCU, starting with the role of Kraglin (as well as being the on-set Rocket Racoon) in Guardians of the Galaxy. He has reprised the role multiple times in the MCU and crossed over to DC with his brother in 2021’s The Suicide Squad, playing Weasel.
#7 – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Appeared In: Thor: The Dark World (2013), Suicide Squad (2016)
The Lost and Oz alum appeared as the Dark Elf Algrim (Kurse) in Thor: The Dark World in heavy makeup. He appeared in his first DC film three years later when he played the role of Killer Croc in 2016’s Suicide Squad.
#8 – Danny Huston
Appeared In: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), Wonder Woman (2017)
The prolific actor first dipped his toes into superhero movies in 2009 playing the younger version of Brian Cox’s William Stryker in the poorly received X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He delved back into the world, playing the German Officer Ludendorff in DC’s Wonder Woman. Between those two, he did some voice work in the DC animated film, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
#9 – Randall Park
Appeared In: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Aquaman (2018), WandaVision (2021).
Upcoming In: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023).
The comedian has made a big name for himself, appearing in a number of hilarious film and TV projects over the years, but made his superhero movie debut as the scene stealing Agent Jimmy Woo in Ant-Man and the Wasp. The same year, he made his DC debut as Dr. Stephen Shin in Aquaman. Park reprised his role as Agent Woo in the Marvel Series WandaVision and is gearing up to return to the Aquaman franchise next year.
#10 – Zachary Levi
Appeared In: Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Shazam! (2019)
Upcoming In: Shazam!: Fury of the Gods (2022)
The former Chuck star was an early choice to play Fandral in Thor but had to drop out due to other commitments. The role ended up going to actor Josh Dallas. When Dallas couldn’t reprise the role in the sequel, it went to the original choice, Zachary Levi, who played Fandral in both Thor sequels. He also plays the titular role in DC’s Shazam! and has already shot his part for the sequel.
#11 – Geoffrey Wright
Appeared In: Marvel’s What If? (2021), The Batman (2022).
Geoffrey Wright is no stranger to franchises as he’s appeared in multiple James Bond and The Hunger Games films in the past. Wright only recently made his debut in the comic world, first appearing as The Watcher in Marvel’s animated What If? And, most recently, has taken on the iconic role of James Gordon in The Batman.
#12 – Djimon Hounsou
Appeared In: Black Panther (TV Series – 2010), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Aquaman (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Shazam! (2019), Marvel’s What If? (2021)
Djimon Hounsou has been in a number of epic films, but his entrance into the superhero universe started with a voice acting job as the voice of T’Challa in an animated miniseries of Black Panther. He plays the Kree character of Korath in two MCU movies and an episode of What If? On the DC side, he’s been in both Aquaman and Shazam!
#13 – Tommy Lee Jones
Appeared in: Batman Forever (1995), Men In Black (1997), Men In Black 2 (2002), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Men In Black 3 (2012)
Jones made his first appearance with DC’s Batman Forever, playing Harvey “Two-Face” Dent (no doubt upsetting poor Billy Dee Williams who played Dent in the previous films). His biggest, and probably most surprising appearance is as Agent K in Men in Black, which, while it was created by a different comic book company, was bought by Marvel prior to the film being made. In addition to that and its two sequels, Jones appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as Colonel Chester Phillips, one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D.
#14 – Ben Mendelsohn
Appeared In: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain Marvel (2019), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Upcoming In: Secret Invasion (2022)
Mendelsohn made his splash in Hollywood playing a lot of bureaucratic characters, one of which being in the final movie of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, playing Daggett. Since then, he has jumped over to Marvel to play the Skrull, Talos, in Captain Marvel, a brief cameo in Spider-Man: Far From Home and the upcoming series, Secret Invasion.
#15 – Terrence Stamp
Appeared In: Superman (1978), Superman 2 (1980), Smallville (2003), Elektra (2005)
The legendary actor played the role of General Zod in the first two Superman films and, ironically, voiced Jor-El, the father of Superman in Smallville. He also appeared as the trainer, Stick, in the Jennifer Garner-led Marvel film, Elektra.
#16 – Michelle Pfeiffer
Appeared In: Batman Returns (1992), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Upcoming In: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
Michelle Pfeiffer played an amazing version of Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. 26 years later, she made her next super appearance as the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp. She’ll be appearing next in an expected larger role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
#17 – Angela Bassett
Appeared In: Green Lantern (2011). Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Upcoming in: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The legendary actress made her first superhero movie appearance as Amanda Waller (before Viola Davis took on the role in Suicide Squad) in the underwhelming Green Lantern. In 2018, she took the role as the Matriarch of the Wakandan Royal Family in Black Panther and has recurred in Avengers: Endgame and the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
#18 – Laurence Fishburne
Appeared In: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Upcoming in: Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2022)
Laurence Fishburne has been in a lot of legendary movies, but it wasn’t until thirty years into his storied career that he made his first appearance in a superhero movie, lending his voice to Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He later took on the role of Perry White in the DCEU and returned to Marvel in Ant-Man and the Wasp. He voices The Beyonder in the upcoming animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
#19 – JK Simmons
Appeared In: Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Justice League Unlimited (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Avengers Assemble (2013), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013), Ultimate Spider-Man (2015), Justice League (2017), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), The Daily Bugle (2019), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Upcoming In: Batgirl (2022)
The multiple-time Oscar contender arguably has the most movies for the least amount of characters in this list, having played every iteration of The Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson since playing it pitch perfectly in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man film. He has since also joined the DCEU as Gotham City’s Commissioner Gordon, which he will reprise in the upcoming Batgirl movie.
#20 – Taika Waititi
Appeared In: Green Lantern (2011), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Suicide Squad (2021), Marvel’s What If? (2021)
Upcoming In: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
People are well aware of Taika Waititi’s Contributions to the MCU, both as an actor and director, but some may forget that his first comic book movie was as Hal’s friend, Tom, in Green Lantern. It wasn’t his only dip into DC, though. He also appeared in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad as Ratcatcher.
#21 – Tom Hardy
Appeared In: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Venom (2018), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Tom Hardy has managed to procure the roles of a major character in both comic companies, first playing the infamous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, then taking on the anti-hero Venom in Sony’s Marvel movies of the same name, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
#22 – Idris Elba
Appeared In: The Losers (2010), Thor (2011), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), The Suicide Squad (2021)
The versatile actor’s comic book appearances are bookended in DC roles, including The Losers (published under DC’s Vertigo Imprint) and the reboot The Suicide Squad. In Marvel, he played the all-seeing Heimdall in multiple movies, as well as Moreau in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
#23 – Willem Dafoe
Appeared In: Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Aquaman (2017), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
As one of the OG villains in the film that helped start the superhero craze, Willem Dafoe has played Norman Osborne on multiple occasions. In the DCEU, he plays Vulko in Aquaman and had a subsequent role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
#24 – Halle Berry
Appeared In: X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), Catwoman (2004), X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The Oscar winning actress who got her start in a spinoff of Who’s the Boss, Halle Berry was one of the stars of X-Men, playing Ororo Monroe (Storm) in four different movies. The follow-up to her Oscar win, however, was a Razzie for her titular role as Catwoman. But tons of respect to her for showing up to accept the award.
#25 – Sylvester Stallone
Appears In: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), The Suicide Squad (2021)
Upcoming In: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
The Legendary Action Hero took a very long time to do a Marvel or DC film, or did he? Technically speaking, Judge Dredd was briefly licensed by DC, but we aren’t counting it here as it was never actually owned by the company. He did, however, join the James Gunn stable of regulars and appeared in a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Stakar Ogord and later voicing King Shark in The Suicide Squad.
#26 – Natalie Portman
Appeared In: V For Vendetta (2005), Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Marvel’s What If? (2021)
Upcoming In: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Another Oscar winner in our midst, Natalie Portman made her comic debut in V for Vendetta, published by DC in the US. She played the scientist Jane Foster in the Thor series prior to her exit after the sequel. But Jane Foster will make a worthy return in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
#27 – Chris Evans
Appeared In: Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), The Losers (2010), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Marvel’s Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spiderman: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Before he was Captain America, he was the Human Torch. The Fantastic Four didn’t see the success of his later Marvel movies, but Chris Evans managed to make an early mark. He also made his DC debut before donning the shield in The Losers. He also notably appeared in the comic-based film, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as well as the animated TMNT. Neither fall under the Marvel or DC banners, though.
#28 – Ryan Reynolds
Appeared In: Blade: Trinity (2004), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Green Lantern (2011), Deadpool (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018)
Upcoming In: Deadpool 3 (Date TBD)
Ryan Reynolds appeared in some less than desirable comic book movies in the early going, including the one that he mocks the most, Green Lantern. He did find his spirit character in one of those films, however, when he played Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It would take several years, but he managed to get his pet project of Deadpool off the ground and we are going to be getting a second sequel to the film (officially part of the MCU, but still rated R) in the future.
#29 – Ben Affleck
Appeared In: Daredevil (2003), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Upcoming In: The Flash (2023)
Ben Affleck has been in some divisive comic book films, to say the least. After claiming he would never play another hero after his turn at Marvel’s Daredevil, he agreed to play Batman in the DCEU. While Batfleck has received a lot of fan support, the movies received very mixed reactions. After swearing never to play a hero (again), he has agreed to don the cape and cowl once again in the upcoming Flash movie.
#30 – Michael Keaton
Appeared In: Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Upcoming In: Morbius (2022), Batgirl (2022), The Flash (2023)
The legend who showed the world that a comic book movie could look different than what we saw in the older Superman films, he had a gap of 25 years between comic-based films when he turned villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He’s set to reprise his role of the Vulture in Morbius, but so much more importantly, HE’S BATMAN AGAIN! We’ll see him in back-to-back films as the Dark Knight in the upcoming Batgirl and The Flash movies.
#31 – Christian Bale
Appeared In: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Upcoming In: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Another Batman? They all seem to have identity issues. Bale appeared as the world’s greatest and most hoarse detective in Christopher Nolan’s (mostly) popular Batman trilogy, but is only now coming to the MCU as Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder.