As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow, it makes sense that so many Hollywood stars want their moment in the Marvel spotlight. Marvel made celebrities into rising stars. However, existing Hollywood stars have also played vital roles in the MCU. Celebrity appearances in Marvel projects have either been teased for ages before a release, or have come out of nowhere entirely, without warning.
Some cameos are off-screen, like Miley Cyrus‘ voice in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Some, like Harry Styles‘Starfox, are set to be key players in future Marvel entries. Celebrity cameos can come as a surprise, especially in the early days of the MCU. Even early appearances often add another layer of hype to films and series from a well-watched franchise. At best, celebrity appearances can add a layer of fun to any MCU entry.
Harry Styles – “The Eternals”
Harry Styles is no stranger to television appearances. The singer joined the MCU as Thanos’ brother Starfox in a post-credits scene from The Eternals. Styles’ acting career had been relatively limited until now. In fact, his only feature had been Dunkirk.
Although social media spoiled the surprise that he showed up here, it was no less delicious. Its almost elven-like appearance lent itself perfectly to this otherworldly creature. This appearance played on Styles’ undeniable charisma.
Matt Damon – “Thor: Ragnarok”
Thor: Ragnarok was best known for harnessing the chaotic energy of the MCU. What only added to the chaos was a play depicting the events of Thor: The Dark World. Walk in Matt Damon and its motley crew of Asgardian players. Recap of one of Loki’s many deaths, it was a parody for the ages.
This cameo was so great because of how much it poked fun at the source material. This excerpt from a play perfectly sums up the melodrama of Thor: The Dark World. The fact that Matt Damon was leading the charge made this whole sequence that much more hilarious. The reprisals in Thor: Love and Thundercontinued the bit in the best possible way.
Melissa McCarthy, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’
There were a lot of Thor: Love and Thunder spoilers ahead of the movie’s release. Melissa McCarthyappearance was not one of them. Joining the Asgard Players, McCarthy gives a hilarious take on Cate Blanchettis the sinister Hela. Join Luke Hemsworth and Matt Damon, she joined the cast to take down the Asgardian aristocracy with humor.
McCarthy’s cameo made the whole concept of Asgardian players both more hilarious and ridiculous. The passion and heart she brought to poke fun at this MCU villain was a testament to McCarthy’s talent. This cameo was a perfect way to incorporate Marvel’s signature self-referential humor.
Kenneth Branagh—”Avengers: Infinity War”
Kenneth Branagh has indeed done it all in his long and storied career. The multi-talented Thespian realized Thor, so he’s no stranger to the MCU. Branagh was the voice of the Asgardian distress call in Avengers: Infinity War. It was a heartbreaking moment in the wake of Thanos’ destruction.
Arguably what made this cameo so shocking was that Branagh has yet to appear onscreen, even though he made his directorial debut in the MCU. Of course, his gravity makes him a natural choice to be the voice of such a critical moment.
Howard the Duck – “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Although he’s not a star like Matt Damon or Joan Rivers, howard the duck has gained something of a cult following since the mayhem of the 1986 film. However, the character was given new life in the MCU in the end credits scene. guardians of the galaxy. The character has had several appearances in Marvel, including Ultimate Spider-Man and And if… ?
It became one of the most iconic post-credits scenes in the MCU. That’s when it became clear that the MCU really could do anything and bring in any character from the comic book canon and make them part of the franchise. It was so shocking that Marvel managed to reintroduce one of its weakest characters for this still iconic cameo.
Miley Cyrus – ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’
Former Disney star Miley Cyrus is another celeb who had an MCU moment. She was the voice of Mainframe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This is the artificial intelligence built into the Ravager Clan ship.
This cameo certainly makes sense with the Disney-Marvel partnership. Perhaps what made this appearance surprising was how natural and understated she was. Certainly, Cyrus is a spectacularly talented artist. She took advantage of every moment her voice could be heard.
Joan Rivers – ‘Iron Man 3’
iron man 3 was filled with celebrity cameos, mostly criticizing the film from the inside. The legendary Joan Rivers was a stand-out. She mainly commented on the renaming of War Machine to Iron Patriot. His segment, The Fashion Police, was a place to critique the overall look of the costume.
Frankly, Joan Rivers was among the last people who should have appeared in an MCU project, even briefly. She belonged to another era, long before the fandom the MCU cultivated. However, in true Joan Rivers fashion, she made her brief appearance work in spectacular fashion. This self-deprecating humor has done wonders for Marvel.
Trevor Noah – “Black Panther”
Black Panther gave fans a fantasy world that we would all love to visit. It also presented a who’s-who of black talent and excellence. A talent featured here was Trevor Noah. The late-night comedian lent his voice to the role of Griot, the AI system in Everett Ross’ (Martin Freeman) flight simulator.
What shouldn’t have been shocking about this cameo was how hilarious Noah made his role. Even though you couldn’t see his face, his comedic chops were clear. The flight simulator scenes were some of the film’s most memorable.
Charlie Cox – “Spider-Man: No Coming Home”
daredevil star Charlie Cox was always going to come back to the MCU. This appearance in Spider-Man: No Coming Home as Peter Parker’s lawyer served as the official introduction of this character, which was featured in his own Netflix series.
Even though fans knew this appearance was coming, it was still quite shocking to see it unfold. There was the question of how similar this character would be to the Netflix iteration. However, that didn’t even matter because it was such a delightful moment of fan service and a reminder of what made Matt Murdoch such a great character.
Megan Thee Stallion – ‘She-Hulk: Lawyer at Law’
In She-Hulk: Lawyer sseason 1, episode 3, end credits scene features Jennifer Walters, in the form of the Hulk, twerking with Megan you stallion. It’s a joyful moment in a series that makes a point of commenting on and satirizing popular culture.
It was perhaps one of the more random cameos in the MCU, which may have made it one of the greatest. Among She-HulkMegan Thee Stallion’s cast of stacked characters shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering what this show tried to do.
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