17 Oscar Winners Who Were Also Superhero Stars
They have to get paid one way or another.
Actors and actresses across all film genres have turned to comic book movies to make big bucks – despite Hollywood heavy hitters denouncing the genre as a lowbrow.
The comic book blockbuster’s appeal over the past two decades has grown steadily, with growing production budgets and an increasingly impressive roster of A-listers in coveted hero roles.
Marvel and DC Comics have been two companies at war for decades with their unique, action-packed superhero stories and crime-fighting characters. In February, the Marvel Cinematic Universe produced 27 films while the DC Extended Universe only premiered 11 films. DC projects have enlarged over $5.8 billion and the MCU Mark biggest dollars with 25 billion dollars.
At the same time, acclaimed directors such as Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese denounced the genre. Scorsese, the filmmaker of “The Irishman,” told Empire magazine in 2019 that he views Marvel films as “theme parks” and “no cinema”.
” I do not see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese said, “Honestly what I can think of them, however well done, with actors doing their best under the circumstances, it’s theme parks . It is not the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional and psychological experiences to another human being.
When asked why he doesn’t like superhero movies, Scott didn’t hesitate.
“Their scripts aren’t good at all,” the “Exodus: Gods and Kings” director told Deadline last year in an expletive-filled statement. “I narrowed it down to that. Almost always the best movies are character-driven, and we’ll get to superheroes after that if you will, because I’m going to crush it. I’ll f-king smash it. They’re f-king boring like st.
And of course, while stars like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Henry Cavill have had their careers defined by the shiny armor and tight spandex they wear for their superhero roles, many Oscar-winning actors have shown that they could also play action roles.
Here are the celebrities who have both won an Oscar and starred in films about a guy (or girl) with a cape.
Bale won Best Actor gold for his work in ‘The Fighter’ and is relatively new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He will play the villainous Gorr the God Butcher in the upcoming movie “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
However, its roots are in the world of DC Comics. Bale played Bruce Wayne/Batman himself in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy from 2005 to 2012.
Larson made headlines when she won the gold statuette for ‘Room’ in 2016. Three years later, she portrayed Marvel hero Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in her standalone movie and in ‘Avengers: Endgame. “.
Although Damon’s appearance in a superhero movie was a short appearance, it was still quite memorable. The “Good Will Hunting” star and screenwriter scored an Oscar for the latter in 1998 alongside his friend and frequent collaborator Ben Affleck.
Damon makes an appearance in the MCU’s “Thor: Ragnarok” as an actor playing the god Loki in a play aboard Asgard. He appeared in the comedy scene alongside Sam Neill and star Chris Hemsworth’s brother Luke.
The ‘Gandhi’ star scored actor Trevor Slattery’s role in MCU’s ‘Iron Man 3’ and the recent film ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’.
The British actor won the Best Actor Oscar in 1982 for his role as India’s anti-violent leader.
The MCUs “Ant Man” Movies wouldn’t be the same without Douglas playing scientist Hank Pym. Paul Rudd played his protege and Ant-Man himself, Scott Lang, in the 2015 film and its 2018 sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
The ‘Basic Instinct’ actor has two Oscars to his name – one for his acting in the 1987 drama ‘Wall Street’ and one in 1976 for producing ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.
Hurt has made several appearances in MCU films — starting with 2008’s “Incredible Hulk” — as US General Thaddeus Ross. He later appeared in “Captain America: Civil War”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, and “Avengers: Endgame”.
Hurt, who died March 13 at the age of 71, has four Oscars to his credit, including three consecutive Best Actor awards in 1986 (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), 1987 (“Children of a Lesser God”) and 1988 (“Broadcast News”). He also landed a supporting actor statue in 2006 for his role in “A History of Violence.”
Leto transformed into the terrifyingly creepy Joker in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.” He won the Oscar two years prior for his work in the LGBTQ drama “Dallas Buyers Club.”
The multi-hyphenated star recently portrayed superhero Thena in the Marvel movie “The Eternals.”
Jolie won the Oscar for the drama “Girl, Interrupted” in 2000.
Hackman tapped into his dark side as DC madman and Superman nemesis Lex Luthor in 1978’s “Superman.”
He won two Oscars for the films “The French Connection” and “Unforgiven”.
The three-time winner launched into the superhero movie genre with his portrayal of DC villain the Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 film “Batman”.
Hopkins has been a part of the Marvel family since 2011, when he starred in the Chris Hemsworth-centered movie “Thor.”
The “The Father” star actually played the pop of Thor and Norse god Odin. He reprized the role in two of the franchise’s sequels: “Thor: The Dark World” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Out of six Oscar nominations, the Welsh-born actor won two Best Actor statuettes: one for “The Silence of the Lambs” and one for “The Father.”
Whitaker played alongside the the late Chadwick BosemanAngela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o in Marvel’s groundbreaking action movie “Black Panther.”
Whitaker earned Oscar status with his 2007 win for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the drama ‘The Last King of Scotland’.
Nyong’o was part of the ensemble cast of 2018’s “Black Panther,” playing undercover spy Nakia.
She shone at Oscars 2014, sporting a memorable baby blue dress when she won Best Supporting Actress for her work in ’12 Years a Slave.’
J-Law played the younger version of the shape-shifting X-Men character Mystique in the 2011 Marvel prequel film series “X-Men: First Class”. She reprized the role of original “X-Men” star Rebecca Romijn for three more prequel pictures, ending with “Dark Phoenix” in 2019.
Lawrence became the second-youngest Best Actress winner at 22 when she won 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook” award.
Bay made history in 2002 on the Oscars stage when she became the first black woman to win Best Actress. His role in “Monster’s Ball” alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Sean Combs brought him great success.
The Revlon spokeswoman has gained worldwide recognition for her portrayal of the mutant Ororo Munroe/Storm in the “X-Men” series. Her character rocked icy white hair and the ability to control the weather.
Paquin was just 11 when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1994 for her role in “The Piano.”
In 2000, she made her Marvel debut as mutant thief in the original “X-Men” movie trilogy. Rogue was a staple character in the franchise from 2000 until the drop of “Days of Future Past” in 2014.
This two-time Oscar winner reprized the role of Bruce Wayne and Batman in Zack Snyder’s DC trilogy. The ‘Argo’ star played the hero in 2016’s ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and its sequel, ‘Justice League.’