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Famous Actors You Forgot Were In DC Movies

Most big actors in superhero movies end up playing a certain role for so long that there's no way people could ever forget they were in "Iron Man" or "Wonder Woman." This isn't just true of leading stars like Margot Robbie or Tobey Maguire, but also for supporting performers like Tilda Swinton or Michelle Williams who've shown up in multiple superhero films. The serialized nature of these projects, not to mention the ubiquity of the genre, has made it difficult to ever forget certain actors who've dipped their toes in to play wizards, assassins, cosmic cops, or any other wacky archetypes.

But this isn't true for every actor. In fact, numerous recognizable stars have shown up in various comic book movies, yet are rarely associated with them. That includes performers who would later go on to anchor much more famous superhero titles. This phenomenon is especially true for film adaptations of DC Comics characters. Given how long the DC film franchise has existed, it's no surprise that many famous figures have popped up in it, only to be quickly forgotten. Admittedly, some of these performances and films aren't exactly the kinds of things you'd want in a career retrospective video. However, it's still worth looking back and appreciating their work. Here are some famous actors you may have forgotten have appeared in DC movies.

Peter O'Toole in Supergirl

In his lifetime, Peter O'Toole was an indisputable cinema legend. That's what happens when you anchor a movie as endlessly influential and acclaimed as "Lawrence of Arabia." After that feature, O'Toole continued to have a prosperous career in motion pictures like "The Lion in Winter" and "The Stunt Man." He even reinforced his prolific stature well into the 21st century thanks to his unforgettable voice work as Anton Ego in "Ratatouille." But even for devout O'Toole fanatics, it's easy to forget that he also showed up in a DC Comics movie adaptation. The project that secured the talents of such a well-known and beloved actor was none other than the 1984 misfire "Supergirl."

A mentor figure to the film's titular superhero, Zaltar is also connected to the mighty Omegahedron, an object that functions as the MacGuffin of "Supergirl's" plot. There's not much to O'Toole's version of Zaltar to make him an especially memorable character. Plus, both Zaltar's definitive demise and the unpopularity of this feature haven't done much to help the character's memorability. In his expansive career, O'Toole had no shortage of iconic performances, so it's no wonder his throwaway role in "Supergirl" has ended up slipping through the cracks.

Jim Broadbent in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Jim Broadbent's esteemed career as an actor has taken him to some incredible places, including working with auteurs like Mike Leigh and Baz Luhrmann. Naturally, Broadbent has also shown up in his fair share of peculiar projects. It's the nature of the beast when it comes to being an actor; you're bound to show up in some duds whenever you're acting regularly. One of the more notable critical misfires in Broadbent's career was the DC Comics movie "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," in which he plays a nuclear arms dealer by the name of Jean Pierre Dubois.

On paper, a guy selling nukes with that sort of wacky name sounds like the sort of stylized character Broadbent has become famous for nailing. Unfortunately, the actor barely appears in "The Quest for Peace." His minimal screen time alone should make it obvious why he isn't deeply associated with the film. The other big reason, of course, is that "Quest for Peace" is detested by comic book geeks and general moviegoers alike. There are few who really like to stew over this movie and appreciate its finer nuances. This has had the advantage of making sure Broadbent is far more remembered for movies like "Another Year" than "Quest for Peace."

Richard Roundtree in Steel

The idea of Richard Roundtree featuring in a DC movie is an extremely compelling one. After all, Roundtree and his portrayal of Shaft had a seismic impact on the world of cinema, and especially action films. It's impossible to detach Roundtree from the decades of pop culture "Shaft" informed. In the right context, Roundtree appearing in a DC movie would be a lovely tip of the hat to a trailblazer.

Unfortunately, Roundtree had the misfortune of showing up in "Steel," a 1997 box office bomb that hasn't developed any kind of following in the years since it tanked. NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal's leading turn largely overshadows the rest of the cast, leaving Roundtree's role as Uncle Joe utterly forgotten by history. This was a crushing missed opportunity to pay tribute to a silver screen icon through a larger-than-life DC Comics story. Then again, it's not like Roundtree needs any help solidifying his mythic status in movies.

Benjamin Bratt in Catwoman

"Catwoman" wasn't about to let its titular protagonist fight crime without also giving her a man to be infatuated with. That's where Benjamin Bratt's Detective Tom Lone comes into play. Bratt's character has a warm dynamic with the everyday alter-ego of Catwoman, Patience Phillips (Halle Berry), while also investigating her superhero persona. It's not news that "Catwoman" is an extremely bad movie — a poorly-executed attempt at capturing camp that's neither as fun nor as subversive as it should be. Not even the presence of a talented supporting actor like Bratt can salvage this mess.

Thankfully for this actor, Bratt hasn't really been connected to or even associated with "Catwoman" in the years since its release. Since her name was on the poster, Berry is the one who's had to walk around dealing with the ripple effects of the film. It helps too that Tom Lone has no real discernible personality traits to speak of. Even viral clips from "Catwoman" that technically involve his character, like that infamous basketball scene, never feature Bratt doing anything remarkable or humorously inexplicable. No wonder his presence in this misguided DC movie has vanished from the minds of comic book geeks everywhere.

Rutger Hauer in Batman Begins

One of the most enjoyable parts of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy is the eclectic cast. These movies are anchored by incredibly famous actors who are considered some of the finest folks in their profession, like Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. They also feature enjoyable supporting turns from veteran character actors who are also extremely talented. Through the three films, the likes of Eric Roberts, Mark Boone Junior, and William Devane have brief but memorable roles, among many others. Firmly in this camp as well is the late Rutger Hauer, who portrayed Wayne Enterprises CEO William Earle in "Batman Begins."

While other character actors in the "Dark Knight" trilogy have endured in people's memories, Hauer's work in "Batman Begins" hasn't been especially remembered. This is no slam on the talents of the legendary actor, but rather a note on the film itself. "Batman Begins" has been greatly overshadowed in the years since its release by its two sequels, particularly "The Dark Knight." Therefore, Hauer showing up as one of the more grounded antagonists of this particular film was bound to slip people's minds.

Ernest Borgnine in Red

Many of the actors on this list are beloved performers who unfortunately wound up in the nadir of DC Comics adaptations. The late Ernest Borgnine in "Red," however, is a horse of a different color. Borgnine isn't generally associated with having been in a DC film simply because "Red" isn't usually thought of as such. But this 2010 Bruce Willis action vehicle is indeed based on characters from the DC Comics imprint Homage Comics, and both installments feature the DC logo in their respective opening credits. They totally count as DC features, and that means Ernest Borgnine got to appear in a strain of cinema dominated by Superman and Batman.

Borgnine doesn't have a massive role in "Red," though he does get some memorable lines in his minimal amount of screen time as Henry, a protector of records for the CIA. Whenever Borgnine shows up, he still demonstrates the affable personality that made him such an icon to begin with. Of course, his small role in the feature, not to mention the deluge of much more prominent Borgnine movies out there (like the Oscar darling "Marty"), makes it no surprise that his work in "Red" hasn't become a pop culture touchstone. Still, it's nifty to see that in one of his very last acting roles in a motion picture, Borgnine managed to clinch a part in a big-screen DC Comics adaptation.

Chris Evans in The Losers

Before he joined the MCU in "Captain America: The First Avengers," Chris Evans took a detour into the world of DC Comics adaptations with "The Losers." Though he's now known for being a hunk with a shapely and patriotic posterior, Evans left the beefcake fight scenes to leading men Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba in this feature. Instead, he took on the role of Captain Jake Jensen, the master hacker for the titular team of black-ops mercenaries. It's a part that lets Evans flex his comedy muscles, while also giving him the chance to play a relatively geeky guy — an archetype he doesn't usually inhabit.

Evans is quite fun in "The Losers," particularly in a scene where he gets to miraculously "shoot" evildoers with the help of a far-away sniper comrade. However, it isn't one of his more beloved or iconic roles, which is understandable. "The Losers" died away at the box office the moment it hit theaters in April 2010, and unlike "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," another 2010 box office dud Evans appeared in, there hasn't been much of a resurgence for it in the public eye since then. Plus, Jake being so different from typical Evans roles has likely kept the film from resonating with the actor's modern fanbase. Though now largely forgotten, Evans' turn in "The Losers" provided the actor with a pretty entertaining part just before he took on a certain shield.

Michael Fassbender in Jonah Hex

In 2011, Michael Fassbender cemented himself on the radar of the general public with his idiosyncratic turn as young Magneto in "X-Men: First Class." At once alluring, tormented, and intimidating, Fassbender's version of the supervillain is captivating to watch. It's so distinctive and unforgettable that one would be forgiven for thinking it was his first comic book role. But just one year before "First Class," Fassbender played another comic book movie villain in the DC dud "Jonah Hex."

In the film, Fassbender plays Burke, a vicious man who functions as the main henchman to the movie's villain, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Adorned with an Irish brogue and a bowler hat, Burke isn't someone you want to cross paths with, just as "Jonah Hex" isn't a movie you want to watch. It isn't the only DC movie to get bad reviews, but other lackluster adaptations have at least stayed in the public conversation as memes. "Jonah Hex" just tanked right away and sank without a trace from the memories of the general public. As a result, most performances from the movie, including Fassbender's turn as Burke, are easy to forget. Plus, why would anyone spend time thinking about Fassbender's Burke when you could swoon over his performance as Magneto?

Tim Robbins in Green Lantern

Sometimes, all you need is one iconic movie to cement yourself as a star. Tim Robbins has appeared in many famous films, but all he had to do was be the lead of "The Shawshank Redemption" to make himself an acting legend. Combine that role with his work in movies like "Mystic River," and it's clear Robbins is in a class of his own as a performer. If he were ever going to show up in a DC Comics movie, one would imagine he'd have a sizeable role, or at least an incredibly memorable part to play. Unfortunately, his big foray into comic book movies came with "Green Lantern."

While many aspects of "Green Lantern" have become legendary for how bad they are (like that CG suit), Robbins' performance as Robert Hammond — the father of the movie's main baddie — has faded from most viewers' memory. That's no surprise since Robbins barely does anything in the final film and is quickly dispatched by his son after he acquires incredible cosmic powers. It's a shockingly flat role for such an iconic actor. No wonder people have opted to remember other, more distinctive credits in Robbins' filmography like that "Shawshank Redemption" performance, rather than this disposable "Green Lantern" part.

Ben Mendelsohn in The Dark Knight Rises

Before his work on Netflix's "Bloodline" rocketed him to a new level of fame, Ben Mendelsohn showed up in "The Dark Knight Rises." Like so many of his big-screen roles, Mendelsohn plays a baddie in the film named John Daggett. The character is a wealthy Gotham businessman working with Bane who eventually meets a grisly fate at the hands of the masked villain. It's a performance that makes fun use of Mendelsohn's gift for playing smarmy characters, but it's also a role that isn't especially remembered in the actor's filmography.

Part of the issue is that this performance happened before Mendelsohn peaked in fame. While he had much more prominent roles in the years after, "The Dark Knight Rises" was just one of several 2012 films in which Mendelsohn appeared as a supporting player. It's easy for his "Dark Knight Rises" work to get lost in the shuffle among other titles like "Killing Them Softly." Plus, this isn't Mendelsohn's only foray into comic book movies. Years after "The Dark Knight Rises," Mendelsohn scored a much more prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with "Captain Marvel." That later part has largely overshadowed his stint as one of the many evildoers in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Juno Temple in The Dark Knight Rises

Ben Mendelsohn wasn't the only future streaming TV star to make a brief appearance in "The Dark Knight Rises." Eventual "Ted Lasso" leading lady Juno Temple appears in the film as well in the role of Jen, roommate and best friend to Selina Kyle. Jen shows up a few times in "The Dark Knight Rises," including one moment where she snuggles up on Selina's shoulder as the cat burglar expresses mixed feelings over Bane ruling Gotham. Otherwise, Jen doesn't play much of a role in the movie, and she never gets to participate in any of the action scenes. The character isn't even from the DC comics, which makes her all the more forgettable.

Most of all, though, Temple's role in "The Dark Knight Rises" isn't memorable because it doesn't utilize her particular talents. Temple is gifted at portraying boisterous characters while also injecting them with humanity and realness. This is perfect for "Ted Lasso" and the various indie films she's excelled in, but Temple doesn't get to shine in the same way in the Christopher Nolan movie. It's no wonder, then, that Temple's "Dark Knight Rises" turn isn't one of her most-remembered performances.

Wunmi Mosaku in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

While Wunmi Mosaku's most high-profile role to date is probably Hunter B-15 in "Loki" Season 1, she really established her dramatic chops in the lead role of the thoughtful horror movie "His House." Before either of those parts, though, she played the role of Kahina Ziri in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," a woman who testifies against Superman for the negative way he impacts foreign countries.

Mosaku's role in the theatrical cut of "Dawn of Justice" is so brief that it's no surprise the character has been largely forgotten. While the extended cut of "Dawn of Justice" gives Kahina a bit more to do — revealing she was blackmailed into testifying against Superman and giving her a gruesome death scene — it's doubtful that those elements would've helped make the character much more memorable. In a movie dominated by costumed DC icons, it's just hard for any of the supporting characters to stand out, even when they're played by talented actors like Mosaku. Luckily, she's found much more notable roles since that have garnered her far more attention.

David Harbour in Suicide Squad

In July 2016, David Harbour's career changed forever. Season 1 of "Stranger Things" debuted, featuring Harbour in a leading capacity as Sheriff Jim Hopper. Harbour had done noteworthy work in many projects before "Stranger Things," but the sci-fi series put him on the map as someone who could really serve as a leading man. Just a few weeks after "Stranger Things" premiered, Harbour showed up in another big 2016 pop culture property, "Suicide Squad." However, his work in the DC movie is far less remembered than his portrayal of Hopper.

That's not too surprising, though, since Harbour's role in "Suicide Squad" is only as a security advisor to the President of the United States named Dexter Tolliver. In a movie full of famous comic book icons, Harbour's role as just an ordinary guy isn't too memorable. Harbour doesn't even get any kind of flashy death to cement him in people's minds, with Tolliver surviving the events of "Suicide Squad" and just vanishing from the movie at a certain point. No wonder the actor's foray into the world of DC Comics hasn't been as widely remembered as so many of his other performances.

Common in Suicide Squad

Though mostly known as a musician, Common is also a very prominent actor, headlining movies like "Just Wright" and even getting cast as the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern for George Miller's proposed "Justice League" movie in the late 2000s. When news broke about him being in the supporting cast for "Suicide Squad," the internet began endlessly speculating on who he could be, with popular choices including Black Manta. Unfortunately, Common barely appears in the final cut of "Suicide Squad," in which he plays a gangster named Monster T.

Decked out in a bevy of tattoos and a nose ring, Common only appears in a flashback sequence showing how erratic Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn can be. In the scene, Monster T's conversation with the Joker is interrupted by him becoming enamored with a nearby Harley. Jealous and upset, Joker toys with Monster T for a moment before murdering him. It's a strangely truncated role for Common, especially since he's demonstrated chops in action movies like "Run All Night." You'd think "Suicide Squad" would've offered up more for Common to do than get quickly slaughtered.