You may know them best from Westworld, but the show’s stars have also made their mark on the superhero genre as well.
From the beginning, Westworld had a major connection to superhero films with showrunner Jonathan Nolan. The Dark Knight is widely considered to be the greatest superhero film of all time, its screenplay co-written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan. The two brothers also co-wrote the screenplay for The Dark Knight Rises.
Jonathan Nolan has spoken about how there’s currently an excess of superhero films and he hopes people tire of them soon. Nolan may have that opinion, but some key members of his Westworld cast probably don’t feel that way given their fun, memorable appearances in popular superhero films.
Let’s take a look at five of Westworld‘s most talented stars who’ve appeared in superhero films.
Chris Hemsworth is the one well-known for playing Thor in superhero films, but his brother Luke also had a chance to join in on the Asgardian adventures. When the God of Thunder returns to Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok, he finds a gluttonous Odin–actually Loki in disguise–watching a play commemorating Loki’s “noble sacrifice” from Thor: The Dark World.
Matt Damon famously portrays Loki in this scene, but it’s actually Luke Hemsworth who portrays Thor in the play.
Unlike Matt Damon as Loki, this one’s easier to miss as Luke Hemsworth actually looks a lot like Thor in the scene, right down to the facial hair and luxurious hair.
Despite having a much more significant role as Ashley Stubbs on Westworld–a character that became even more fascinating in the season 2 finale–it’s hard to say whether Stubbs or his Thor: Ragnarok cameo is more special.
Few Westworld characters are more villainous than Charlotte Hale, brilliantly played by Tessa Thompson. As one of the most talented actresses out there, Thompson tackled a completely different role by playing Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok.
Once part of an elite female warrior force on Asgard that was defeated by Hela, Valkyrie has placed herself in a self-imposed exile on Sakaar, spending most of her time as a heavy-drinking bounty hunter.
After Loki caused her to finally confront the fear and guilt she’d tried to bury all those years on Sakaar, Valkyrie found her old strength. She helped Thor and Hulk escape and would go on to play an integral role in saving the people of Asgard from Hela.
Many fans were disappointed that Valkyrie didn’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War, but it’s heavily rumored and seems inevitable that Thompson will reprise the role in Avengers 4.
More than a decade before Westworld ever aired, James Marsden captured countless hearts and imaginations with his role as Cyclops/Scott Summers in the original live-action X-Men film trilogy. Cyclops was among the first mutants Wolverine/Logan met in the 2000 X-Men film.
He was already second-in-command to Charles Xavier and a teacher at his mentor’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Perhaps most importantly, Cyclops was in love and engaged to Jean Grey.
It’s crazy to think this was long enough ago that a new, younger Cyclops has already made it to the big screen with Tye Sheridan playing the character in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Sheridan is also reprising the role in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, releasing February of 2019. Sheridan did nicely as Cyclops in Apocalypse and will undoubtedly do so again in Dark Phoenix.
Still, it’s difficult not to associate Marsden as the definitive live-action Cyclops.
When it comes to Westworld stars and superhero films, they really seem to like the Thor trilogy. Unlike Tessa Thompson and Luke Hemsworth who didn’t get in on the fun until Ragnarok, Anthony Hopkins was involved from the very beginning, playing the All-Father Odin himself.
Much like Robert Ford on Westworld, Odin is wise, cunning, and at times rather manipulative. Just as Ford has built an empire through Westworld, Odin has made Asgard an empire. They are ultimately most concerned and focused on their children–Thor and Loki for Odin, the hosts for Ford.
Both Ford and Odin grapple with how to help their children be the best or freest they can be. This is particularly complicated in light of past mistakes made by Odin and Ford, and the corruption beneath the facade of their glorious empires.
As one of the all-time best actors, Hopkins naturally excels in both roles. Odin and Ford certainly have their fair share of differences as well–such Odin having a quicker temper–but Hopkins has made both characters an absolute delight to watch.
Westworld can’t get enough of the Thor movies. Before playing Angela–a host who introduces William to Westworld and later becomes a fiercely loyal soldier for Dolores–Talulah Riley was a nurse in Thor: The Dark World. Riley wasn’t just any ordinary nurse, though.
She was a nurse on Asgard who helps Jane Foster, whose body at the time was possessed by the Aether–later revealed to be the Reality Stone. She also let Thor know what exactly was happening with Jane, which helped Thor begin putting a plan in action to save Jane.
We hope to see even more Westworld stars joining the superhero genre as time goes on–as long as it doesn’t interfere with starring on Westworld. Thandie Newton already became part of Star Wars by playing Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Maybe she can be the first to complete the Westworld–Star Wars-superhero trifecta.
Which Westworld stars would you like to see in future superhero films? Let us know in the comments!