The MCU is filled to the brim with actors and actresses that are Hollywood mainstays after, and often long before, joining the ever-expanding superhero franchise. While fans no doubt love seeing them portray their Marvel characters, many of these talented actors have found plenty of intriguing roles outside of the MCU as well.
With the box office beginning its recovery after its steep drop-off during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plenty of exciting films on the horizon in 2022. Many of the year’s most anticipated films star some of audiences’ favorite actors from the sprawling MCU.
Death On The Nile (Feb. 11)
The second of Kenneth Bragnah’s adaptations of classic Agatha Christie mystery novels, Death on the Nile, is set to release next month. The film promises non-stop intrigue as Inspector Hercule Poirot investigates yet another murder on a mode of transportation, which seems to be his calling in life.
The incredibly star-studded cast that headlines this film includes two MCU alumni in Letitia Wright and Annette Bening. Bening portrayed Mar-Vell and the Supreme Intelligence in 2019’s Captain Marvel, while Wright has had a much more predominant recurring role as Shuri, who is expected to make her return in the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It is also worth noting that Branagh himself has a history with the MCU, having directed the first Thor film and having made an uncredited audio cameo at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War.
Marry Me (Feb. 11)
Marry Me is an upcoming romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. Lopez portrays a pop star who agrees to marry a fan (Wilson) at the spur of the moment after learning she has been cheated on. The film is expected to release in theaters and on Peacock on Feb. 11.
Many MCU fans will remember that Owen Wilson recently made his debut in Marvel’s franchise in Loki, the Disney+ series following the titular god of mischief. In the series, Wilson portrays Agent Mobius of the Time Variance Authority and Loki’s partner for the first few episodes. The character is expected to return in future seasons and is even rumored to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Uncharted (Feb. 18)
The live-action adaptation of Uncharted is finally hitting theaters next month after going through plenty of directors while stuck in development hell. The movie adaptation of the classic adventure video game series of the same name has seen controversy given its unusual casting choices, but may just surprise fans of the games upon its release.
Many fans will recognize the lead actor Tom Holland as the MCU’s Spider-Man. Holland has portrayed the Wallcrawler for the past six years, most recently appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a film that united three generations of Spider-Man fans, all while becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (April 8)
After a rocky marketing campaign in 2020, Sonic The Hedgehog surprised audiences with a strikingly heartfelt take on the classic video game character. This year, Sega and Paramount Pictures hope to repeat their hit with the sequel, which is set to introduce more of the franchise’s classic characters, including Knuckles.
Fans have high expectations for the Sonic sequel, especially for the character of Knuckles, who will be voiced by Idris Elba. Elba is known for many roles throughout his career, not the least of which is that of Heimdall in the Thor films. Heimdall was one of Thor’s closest companions and best friend until his death at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
Lightyear (June 17)
Pixar surprised and confused fans recently after announcing that it would be beginning production on a prequel series following “the real-life Buzz Lightyear.” Fans were hooked, however, after seeing the film’s first trailer, which promises an action-packed space adventure for the beloved Toy Story character, or at least the character that the beloved toy is based on.
Though the character of Buzz Lightyear was voiced by Tim Allen in each installment of the Toy Story franchise, Chris Evans will be taking over the role for the upcoming film. Evans is perhaps best known for his role as Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, in the MCU, which catapulted the actor to stardom. Now, he tests his merits as a voice actor with the quickly-approaching Lightyear.
Don’t Worry Darling (Sept. 23)
From director Olivia Wilde, Don’t Worry Darling is an upcoming psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine. The film follows a married couple (Pugh and Styles) as they live in a utopian experiment, only for the wife to realize that her husband isn’t all he seems.
The film’s three principal actors, Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Gemma Chan, have all recently entered the MCU. Most notably, Pugh has broken ground with her fan-favorite character Yelena Belova, Natasha Romanov’s pseudo-sister introduced in Black Widow. Chan and Styles were both featured in Chloe Zhao’s Eternals as Sersi and Eros respectively, though Chan also made an appearance as Minn-Erva in 2019’s Captain Marvel.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Part 1 (Oct. 7)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was the surprise hit of 2018, with the animated superhero film proving just how much fun the multiverse can be. Now, the highly-anticipated sequel, Across the Spider-Verse Part 1 is only months away from release, promising the same multiversal mayhem of the first.
Fans are already clamoring to see certain Spider-Man variants appear in the film, including Spider-Gwen, who is played by Hailee Steinfeld. Steinfeld recently made her MCU entrance in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, where she portrayed the titular character’s partner and apprentice Kate Bishop. Oscar Isaac will also be appearing in Across the Spider-Verse as Miguel O’Hara, also known as Spider-Man 2099. By the time of the film’s release, he too will have been featured in the MCU as Marc Spector, the Moon Knight.
One True Loves (2022)
One True Loves is an upcoming romance film starring Phillipa Soo, Simu Liu, and Luke Bracey. The film’s main character (Soo), is forced to choose between two lovers (Liu and Bracey), one of whom she thought was long dead.
Simu Liu is another recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having portrayed the titular character in 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This portrayal proved to be a breakout role for Liu, who was catapulted into stardom seemingly overnight following the film’s release.
Knives Out 2 (2022)
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out was a stand-out hit in 2019, reigniting a general appeal in the murder mystery genre. Now, the sequel to the hit film is slated to be released on Netflix later this year, with an equally star-studded cast as the first. Anticipation for the film is high, with fans already speculating as to who Knives Out 2‘s killer might be.
Of the impressively large cast, several have also been featured in the MCU. This cross-section includes Dave Bautista, who portrays Drax in several installments of the Marvel franchise, Katheryn Hahn, who played the wicked Agatha Harkness in WandaVision, Ethan Hawke, who will appear as the cult leader Arthur Harrow in the upcoming Moon Knight series, and Edward Norton, who portrayed the original Bruce Banner/Hulk in The Incredible Hulk. One can only imagine what these four meeting onscreen will eventually look like.
Extraction 2 (2022)
Netflix found success in 2020 with its action thriller film Extraction, which saw Australian actor Chris Hemsworth star as Tyler Rake, a black market mercenary who finds himself in over his head on a mission to save a kidnapped child. The streaming service is expected to release a sequel to Extraction sometime in the coming year, with Hemsworth returning as Rake.
Most audiences will recognize Hemsworth as the thunder god himself in the MCU. The 38-year old actor has portrayed Thor Odinson in a staggering seven films throughout the franchise, and will be making his first appearance since Avengers: Endgame later this year as well, with the Taika Waititi-directed Thor: Love and Thunder. This film will mark the first time that any solo franchise within the MCU has received a fourth installment, marking a milestone for Hemsworth and the rest of his supporting cast.
NEXT: 10 Famous Actors Who Will Be Making Their First Appearance In The MCU In 2022
Kevin Smith Gives Update On The Status Of Clerks 3
About The Author