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The Three MCU Legends You Didn't Realize Starred In DC's The Batman

Everyone knows Batman as one of the flagship DC Comics characters. The Dark Knight himself has consistently ranked as one of the world's most popular superheroes, rivaling — and often completely outperforming — most of the major figures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, Bats often becomes part of a much larger rivalry between two comic book giants, but it's worth noting that this conflict exists more in the heads of fans than it does behind the scenes — where actors, creators, and other talent often feel free to hop between the DC and Marvel universes with ease.

For instance, the upcoming Warner Bros film  "The Batman," which reimagines the Gotham City legend in an even darker light than before, contains a number of actors you will recognize. In fact, while you might not realize it at first, three major actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be shifting their gaze over to DC in this film, proving once and for all that actors — and fans, for that matter — are not beholden to one comic book franchise over another.

Andy Serkis is both a butler and an arms dealer

The first of Marvel's movie-hopping mega-stars actually didn't appear until midway through the "Infinity Saga," and that's former Gollum actor Andy Serkis, who is the newest actor to portray Bruce Wayne's (Robert Pattinson) butler, Alfred Pennyworth in "The Batman." 

In the MCU, Serkis' character is a lot more villainous, as he played Ulysses Klaue. Originally appearing in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" before making his way into "Black Panther," Klaue is the underground arms dealer responsible for stealing vibranium from Wakanda. While initially framed as the primary antagonist of "Black Panther," a plot twist seems him murdered by his associate, Erik Killmonger, who betrays Klaue as a means of entering Wakanda so that he may challenge T'Challa and overthrow his rule.

Amazingly, the MCU isn't the only Marvel movie property that Serkis is tied to. He was also the director of "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." As such, he is the only actor on this list that has direct connections to both DC and the MCU, while also having a role to play in Sony's line of "Spider-Man"-adjacent films.

Berry Keoghan is an Eternal moonlighting as a cop

Along with Serkis, Irish actor Berry Keoghan also appears in both "The Batman" and the MCU, though his entry into the latter occurred much later than that of Serkis.

In "The Batman," he plays Officer Stanley Merkel, a lesser-known comics character who will be making his film debut. In the comics, the Frank Miller-created Merkel was introduced in "Batman: The Dark Knight" #1 as a Gotham City police officer and the original partner of future Police Commissioner James Gordon (more on him later). However, he meets his bloody end at the hands of the Hangman in "Batman: Dark Victory #6.

While it's currently in the air whether Merkel will meet a similar end in "The Batman," we do know that his MCU character, the Eternal known as Druig, is poised to continue appearing in future films. In "Eternals," Druig — with his power of mind control — becomes one of the few Eternals to rebel against his Celestial creators, though it remains to be seen how he and his surviving family may be punished for their rebellion.

Jeffrey Wright's James Gordon has the voice of Uatu

Finally, when it comes to joint actors shared between the MCU and "The Batman," there is Jeffrey Wright, who plays the famous James Gordon in the latter. In most Batman fiction, James Gordon is well known as the Gotham City Police Commissioner and father of Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl). He is one of Batman's closest and most trustworthy collaborators, and the main reason why the GCPD is often depicted as having a working relationship with the Bat. Gordon is an instantly recognizable role, to be sure, most famously embodied in past films by Gary Oldman in the "Dark Knight" trilogy.

On the MCU side of things, however, Wright's role is deceptively difficult to pick out, if you don't pay attention. That's because unlike the other actors listed, Wright's role in the MCU is entirely done by voice, and he (so far) has not appeared in any movies. Instead, Wright's character of Uatu, aka the Watcher — a cosmic being that observes events across the multiverse — only occurs in the animated Disney+ series, "What If...?" Despite Uatu's efforts to remain impartial, the series shows him eventually realizing that the growing threat posed by one particular variant of Ultron, armed with all six Infinity Stones, requires his intervention. Thus, he assembles various heroes across many universes to make The Guardians of the Multiverse, in order to combat Ultron and save reality as we know it.

With "The Batman," however, we will finally see Wright in a mainline, live-action comic book film. It's an exciting step to see the actor take, and it will hopefully lead to more big roles for the actor.