Samuel L. Jackson, like fellow actors Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, came late to superstardom. Jackson was in his mid-40s when his career began to skyrocket with roles in Jurassic Park and his first of six partnerships with Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction. Despite the late start, Jackson quickly became known as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. His filmography has over 100 movies on it as Jackson continues to make several film appearances every year. A huge comic book fan himself, Jackson’s Nick Fury was the backbone of the early MCU. His Nick Fury was so popular that the character in the comics was redesigned to bear his likeness. His plus-sized personality and range continue to grow (practice, if nothing else, makes perfect) and heading into his 70s, Jackson is as big a star as he ever was.
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Paul Bettany broke out in 2001 when he stole A Knight’s Tale as a very unorthodox Geoffery Chaucer, co-starred with future MCU partner Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang), and was part of the stellar ensemble for the year’s Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind. Since then, he has established himself as one of the most dependable character actors in Hollywood in films like Master & Commander, Margin Call, and The Young Victoria. Bettany is most popularly known for his work in the MCU since the franchise’s first film: Iron Man. He voiced Tony Stark’s AI suit companion, JARVIS, in all three Iron Man solo films and the first Avengers film before JARVIS became Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He would reprise Vision in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Bettany’s recent career renaissance also includes a stellar performance as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, in The Discovery Channel’s Manhunt: Unabomber, as well as putting his mark on the Star Wars Universe as the main villain in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Bettany has been married to actress Jennifer Connelly since 2003.
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Chris Evans is an actor who has made a career about either being the best part of bad comic book adaptations (Fantastic Four), or one of the best things about ones you instantly recognize (MCU) or ones you may now know are comic book adaptations (Scott Pilgrim, The Losers and Snowpiercer). Evans is certainly most recognizable for his seven appearances as Steve Rogers/Captain America. The Captain America films have been the best individual trilogy of any Marvel Cinematic Universe solo hero, and Evans’s principled, evolving Rogers has been the moral fulcrum of the Avengers. The actor tends to make smaller films when not in superhero mode, the best of which (Gifted) really show both the humor and talented dramatic skills Evans brings to every film in which he takes part.
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Hard as it is to believe, preview night viewers will be watching Avengers: Infinity War in just 22 days. What began with Iron Man in 2008 and has continued through Black Panther earlier this year, is an interconnected 18-film tapestry that has introduced the Marvel Universe to the entire world and created a host of indelible moments. Some of the best have been the fights (these are comic book films after all) and WatchMojo has put together a list of their 10 best.
The best fights have either been the ones that were deeply personal (Tony, Cap, and Bucky in Civil War or Cap and Bucky in Winter Solider) or were just flat-out battles your inner nerdgeekdork wanted to see (Thor and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok). The villains in MCU films are rarely the point, but this list was published before Black Panther was released, and I wonder if the Panther/Killmonger fight would have made the list if they had to do it over. WM also considered the MCU’s TV entries and, as no surprise, there’s an iconic fight from each season of Daredevil that justly makes the list. It’s rare in the MCU that the heroes fighting each other isn’t more interesting than a villain showdown. I doubt that’s going to be the case when the entire MCU comes for Thanos and his Black Order, but we’ve only got to wait 3 weeks to find out. So were there any glaring throwdown omissions for you on WM’s list?
This video from WatchMojo is a few years old, so it can be forgiven some of the glaring omissions in their list and the weird inclusion of things like the Thomas Jane Punisher film or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 style). Obviously things like Civil War, Man of Steel and Thor: Ragnarok should now be on this list. I’m a little baffled as to even from the Reeve years, how a Superman III entry made this list. To be honest, though I normally hail WatchMojo’s lists, this one is kind of a puzzle to me, and I would probably only include three or four of their picks on my list. The film, again, that definitely is missing is Captain America: Civil War in which you could pick the brawl at the airport or the final fight between Cap and Iron Man or BOTH. What’s missing from here for you? Ok, what’s MOST OBVIOUSLY missing here for you.