Which Actors Have Played More Than One MCU Roles?

Gemma Chan – Sersi and Minn-Erva

As the MCU continues to grow, the powers-that-be seem less and less worried about double-casting performers. Case in point: Gemma Chan, who was featured in two prominent roles on opposite ends of the Marvel galaxy. It is no surprise why Marvel wanted Chan in the franchise, as the fast-growing star has landed some major projects in recent years, including “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Chan was cast in 2019’s “Captain Marvel” as the formidable Minn-Erva, the Starforce sniper working under Jude Law’s antagonist character Yon-Rogg. However, with Minn-Erva shot down by Maria Rambeau in that film, Marvel Studios was not going to let a great actress pass them by and gave Chan a starring role in 2021’s “Eternals.” Portraying Sersi the matter manipulator, Chan had the most significant character arc of the title team, developing a relationship with Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman and ending the film as the new leader of the near-immortal supergroup. With an “Eternals” sequel still in the cards, Chan is expected to play a significant role in the MCU moving forward.

Sean Gunn – Rocket and Kraglin

Being related to a big-time filmmaker has paid off for Sean Gunn, who has appeared in a slew of brother James Gunn’s movies. Sean has been involved in every one of James’ MCU projects and even switched sides when the latter crafted “The Suicide Squad” for the DCEU. Fittingly, Sean is one of the few actors to portray more than one character in a DC movie, playing both Weasel and Calendar Man in the 2021 film. But doing double duty was a practice that Sean started in the MCU, as he has more than one credit in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.

Most notably, Sean plays the part of Kraglin Obfonteri, a member of the Ravagers and former right hand man to Yondu. More recently, Kraglin has aligned himself with the Guardians, joining the group for “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” and the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3.” However, Sean is also responsible for the motion capture performance of Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and sometimes for Groot, who is voiced by Vin Diesel. As such, Sean has played more than one character in multiple MCU outings, including the “Guardians” trilogy and “Avengers: Endgame.”

Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange and Dormammu

The talented Benedict Cumberbatch may be known for playing heroic roles such as the title detective in the “Sherlock” television series and Doctor Strange in the MCU, but the British actor has also played some formidable antagonists, including the dragon Smaug in “The Hobbit” films and Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” So it’s hardly a shock that upon joining the MCU, Cumberbatch not only played the Sorceror Supreme in “Doctor Strange,” but also his own villain, the classic comic book baddie Dormammu.

Doctor Strange’s ‘Cloak of Levitation’.

“It was sort of my idea,” Cumberbatch told CinemaBlend. “I went, ‘Look, if this is going to work, rather than being a big ghoulish monster, if it’s some kind of reflection of [Strange] — if it’s something that he’s giving that’s coming back at him in a really horrific way, that would be fun! And I’d be happy to do the voice for it. Any facial capture.'” The filmmakers were pleased to oblige Cumberbatch’s request, and the actor played dual parts for the film’s climax: “It’s not immediately noticeable,” he added, “but a lot of the animation is sort of like a mirror reflection, a rippled mirror reflection, of him, of Strange.” Interestingly, Cumberbatch would again play his own enemy in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” portraying a darker version of the Master of the Mystic Arts from an alternate dimension.

Paul Bettany – JARVIS and Vision

Out of all the actors to play more than one character in the MCU, Paul Bettany had one of the more interesting transitions into his new roles. The British actor is one of the few performers to have ties all the way back to the MCU’s humble beginnings in 2008’s “Iron Man.” Bettany started his MCU journey in the relatively small but vital role of voicing Tony Stark’s AI computer system JARVIS. Bettany told GQ that the position was jokingly pitched to him by director Jon Favreau with a phone call saying, “I need the voice of a personality-less robot and I thought of you immediately.” Bettany took the part and was in Stark’s earpiece through all three “Iron Man” films and the first two “Avengers” entries.

Will Paul Bettany Return As White Vision?

Things took a significant turn for Bettany’s character in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” as the computer program was given sentience in the form of the synthetic superhero Vision. Bettany would continue as Vision through “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” where the character was destroyed. But Vision returned, via the powerful magic of his girlfriend Wanda Maximoff, in the Disney+ series “WandaVision,” where the character would evolve again into another form, White Vision, landing Bettany a third role in the MCU as a robot that will seemingly never die.

Stan Lee – multiple cameos

Stan Lee, one of the masterminds of the Marvel comic book universe and many of its greatest superheroes, was the voice and face of the publishing company for decades. As a legendary pop culture icon, it was no wonder that nearly every movie based on a Marvel character included an appearance by Stan the Man. The comic book creator built a collection of cameos in superhero films long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was conceived, ranging from 1989’s “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk” to more recent projects outside the Marvel Studios umbrella, like “Deadpool” and “Venom.”

When the MCU took its first steps with 2008’s “Iron Man,” Lee was there to make his personal favorite cameo appearance — a scene that has Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark mistake him for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Following that, Lee managed to appear in every MCU movie through 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which was filmed before his passing in November 2018. Lee even managed to cameo in every MCU television series to that point, including “Agent Carter,” “Runaways,” and all six Netflix series. From appearing as a delivery man to an astronaut and sometimes even himself, Stan Lee has appeared in more Marvel films than any other actor, and it’s a record that will likely never be broken.

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