One of the things that the filmmakers behind DC movies love to do is include a ton of cameos. With comics dating back all the way to 1934, they have a huge roster to choose from, and it’s always fun for the fans. While there have been a ton a great cameos, there have also been a decent number that have missed the mark in some way.
RELATED: 15 MCU Cameos That Were Wasted
These cameos are all wasted for various reasons. Some take a great character and reduce them to just a visual gag or cheap plot device. In other examples, the character’s inclusion in the film might be a nice nod to the fans, but completely ignores a much more interesting story from the comics. Sometimes, a background character is just given a name from the comics, but bears no resemblance to their comic book counterpart. Here are 15 wasted cameos in DC movies.
15. CAROL/CARRIE FERRIS (MAN OF STEEL)
After the response to “Green Lantern” (2011), it wasn’t surprising that Warner Brothers decided not to include it in their extended universe. Instead, they used “Man of Steel” (2013) to launch the series, completely ignoring the Ryan Reynolds movie that came before it. In what might have been an attempt to drive the point home, a character named Carrie Ferris appears towards the end, which is an obvious reference to Carol Ferris from the Green Lantern comics.
Carol first appeared in “Showcase” #22 (1959) by John Broome and Gil Kane, and served as Hal Jordan’s love interest. Blake Lively played the character in the 2011 movie, but when the movie underperformed, it seemed highly unlikely that she would return to the roll in future DC movies. Including “Carrie” Ferris could have been a great way to send the message that WB had moved on from “Green Lantern.” Unfortunately, the character’s inclusion was too subtle, so most audience members missed it. Instead of making it clear where “Green Lantern” stood, it just added to the confusion.
14. ROBIN (DARK KNIGHT RISES)
While a lot of fans would have liked to have seen Robin in the “Dark Knight Trilogy,” it made sense not to include to boy wonder. Based on the “realistic” tone of the movies, having Batman bring a child along to fight crime in a brightly colored costume doesn’t really fit. When the last scene of “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) revealed that John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was actually named Robin, it was probably meant to be a nice nod to the fans. Instead, it just felt like a slap to the face.
While John Blake was a main character in the movie, he’s only revealed to be Robin at the very end. Throughout the movie, he doesn’t do anything that would make the audience think that he’s Robin, either. For fans, it’s not like they got a whole movie watching Batman and Robin team up to take back Gotham. Instead, they got a brief mention of Robin at the very end, which is just enough time to get briefly excited and then disappointed about the character’s inclusion.
13. JIMMY OLSEN (BVS)
Even though Superman doesn’t have a sidekick, he does have a best pal. Jimmy Olsen, a young photographer from the Daily Planet, first began making appearances in “Action Comics” #6 (1938) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. He was even the star of his own series, appropriately titled “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen,” which ran from 1954 until 1974. When DC relaunched the Superman movies with “Man of Steel” (2013), Jimmy Olsen was the only major supporting character not to make an appearance.
He didn’t show up until the follow up, “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), played by Michael Cassidy. This version reimagined him as an undercover CIA agent, posing as a photographer on assignment with Lois Lane in Africa, where he is promptly killed off. Even worse, he wasn’t even identified as Jimmy Olsen until the extended cut was released on home video. The ultimate insult was that he was never shown to be pals with Superman in any way at all.
12. VICTOR ZSASZ (BATMAN BEGINS)
When Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise with “Batman Begins” (2005), he brought a more realistic approach to the caped crusader’s mythos. This meant that many of Batman’s over the top villains, like Mr Freeze or Clayface, were off the table. Luckily, Batman has plenty of realistic villains to choose from, like Victor Zsasz. A serial killer who first appeared in “Batman: Shadow of the Bat” (1992) by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Zsasz is notable for keeping count of his victims by carving a tally mark somewhere on his body.
He appears early on “Batman Begins” played by Tim Booth, as a hitman for Carmine Falcone and wearing his characteristic scars. He’s later shown escaping from Arkham Asylum when the League of Shadows begins their assault on the city, which makes it seem like he might play an important part in the film’s finale. Instead, he’s shown approaching Rachel Dawes before Batman shows up and takes him out.
11. CONDUIT (MAN OF STEEL)
On the same night that Kal-el’s spaceship crashed on Earth in Smallville, Kenny Braverman was born. His exposure to the Kryptonian radiation affected his body, giving him powers but also making him sick from time to time. He first appeared in “Superman: The Man of Steel” #0 (1994) by Dan Jurgens and Louise Simonson, and was shown to be jealous of both Clark and Superman. As an adult, he began wearing a high tech suit in order to handle his super powers. He was eventually killed in “Action Comics” #711 (1995), and remains dead to this day.
While a relatively minor villain, he still made an appearance in “Man of Steel” (2013) during a flashback to Clark’s childhood. He’s simply one of the bullies who gets caught picking on Clark by Pa Kent. It seems like a wasted opportunity to include the character but not anything at all about his complicated relationship with Clark. In the movies, he’s just a mean kid that will probably never be seen again.
10. AMANDA WALLER (GREEN LANTERN)
It was clear that DC hoped that “Green Lantern” (2011) would open the door to a universe of connected movies the same way “Iron Man” (2008) did for Marvel. That was actually one of the movie’s problems, that it seemed more concerned with setting up those future movies than focusing on its current plot. A perfect example of this is the inclusion of Amanda Waller, played by Angela Bassett.
Waller first appeared in “Legends” #1 (1986) by John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne. She is a cutthroat and brilliant government official who, despite not having any superpowers, is often able to force her will upon the metahumans. She’s served as both an antagonist and an ally for the heroes, and has proven time and time again that she is not someone to be messed with. So, it was a little confusing when she appeared in “Green Lantern” as a scientist for the Department of Extranormal Operations, appearing only to lead the autopsy of Abin Sur’s body. This version of the character showed none of the ruthlessness or cunning of the comic version, and was basically an appearance in name only for Amanda Waller.
9. DAGGETT (DARK KNIGHT RISES)
Originally appearing in the “Batman: The Animated Series” episode “Feat of Clay,” Roland Daggett became a recurring protagonist for the caped crusader. As a corrupt businessman, he typically wasn’t involved directly in any crimes, and usually played a behind the scenes role. His biggest contribution to the series was being responsible for the creation of Clayface, one of Batman’s most monstrous foes. Daggett returned a few other times, but he was known mostly for his part in Clayface’s origin.
Ben Mendelsohn portrayed a character named John Daggett in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Like his cartoon inspiration, he is a corrupt businessman, this time working with Bane and the League of Shadows. Unlike his cartoon counterpart, he isn’t involved with the creation of Clayface. Like a lot of the cameos in “The Dark Knight” movies, this one just served as a reminder of a great Batman villain that would never appear in those movies.
8. SLIPKNOT (SUICIDE SQUAD)
Even though the marketing materials for the movie made it seem like Slipknot was going to be a major character in “Suicide Squad” (2016), his appearance was only very brief. When the squad is first deployed, they are all informed that an explosive has been implanted in their neck to keep them in line. Boomerang, wanting to test to see if the bombs are real, convinces Slipknot to try and run away. Flagg notices the villain’s escape, and quickly activates the explosive, killing Slipknot. Adam Beach played the character for the few minutes of screen time that he received.
Slipknot first appeared in “The Fury of Firestorm” #28 (1984) by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan, where he worked at a chemical company until he developed a formula for super durable ropes. He joined the Suicide Squad, and like the movie, was used as a test dummy for the explosives. The main difference between the comic and movie is that the comic explosives were planted on the team members’ arms, making the result much less fatal.
7. YELLOW SINESTRO (GREEN LANTERN)
When making a movie, it’s never a good idea to plan on getting a sequel. “Green Lantern” (2011) is a perfect example of this. The movie introduces Hal Jordan’s arch nemesis Sinestro, played by Mark Strong, a character that first appeared in “Green Lantern” #7 (1961) by John Broome and Gil Kane. Instead of making him the villain of the movie, however, Sinestro was portrayed as a senior member of the Green Lantern corps.
This was true to the comics, where he had also been a member of the Green Lantern corps until it was discovered that he was ruling over his sector of space with an iron fist, as opposed to protecting it. Eventually, Sinestro replaced his lost green ring with a yellow one powered by fear. This version of the character made an appearance during the film, but not until an end credits scene, in an obvious attempt to set up a sequel. The problem, of course, is that “Green Lantern 2” was never made, leaving this the only appearance of the most prominent iteration of this character.
6. KGBEAST (BVS)
Whenever people mention that Batman doesn’t kill, someone always brings up KGBeast, and with good reason. A Russian assassin, KGBeast first appeared in “Batman” #417 (1988) by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, where he was sent on a mission to kill 10 US officials in order to keep the two countries from developing better relations. A physical and mental match for Batman, he was only defeated when Bats locked him in an underground room, essentially burying him alive (later retcons would reveal that Batman hadn’t left the villain to starve, however).
Callan Mulvey plays the villain in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), although he is never named KGBeast. He’s Lex Luthor’s main henchman, and is notable for being killed by Batman when the hero rescues Martha Kent. While the scene might have come across as a nice nod to comic fans, they would have to be aware of an older Batman story and also be able to recognize a lesser known villain by his real name as opposed to his code name. For most, it just seemed like Batman killed a random guy (and also a bunch of other people as well).
5. COMMISSIONER GORDON’S DAUGHTER (DARK KNIGHT)
To explain the title of this entry, James Gordon’s daughter is never officially named in “The Dark Knight” (2008). His family only appears sporadically throughout the film, but they do play a big part in the finale where Harvey Dent kidnaps them and threatens to kill the person Gordon loves the most, who ends up being his son. The Gordons’ daughter is only briefly shown and never given any real part to play in the plot.
In the comics, his daughter is Barbara Gordon, who is also known as Batgirl. She first appeared in “Detective Comics” #359 (1967) by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, and she’s been a major character in the Bat family ever since. So, it was confusing for the “Dark Knight” movies to show that Gordon had a daughter, but never even name her. Obviously, she was too young to become Batgirl in the movies, but not even giving her a name is almost insulting to fans of the character.
4. RA’S AL GHUL (DARK KNIGHT RISES)
One of the main characteristics of Ra’s al Ghul is his access to Lazarus Pits, which essentially grant him immortality. The regenerative powers of the pits have bestowed upon Ra’s an incredibly long lifespan, and have allowed him to come back from near death several times. While the Ra’s al Ghul from “Batman Begins” (2005) was fairly similar to the character who first appeared in “Batman” #232 (1971) by Dennis O’Neal and Neal Adams, it was pretty obvious that the Lazarus Pits would not be making an appearance in the more realistic movies.
Then, it was revealed that Liam Neeson would be reprising the role in “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). The character, who died during the finale of “Batman Begins,” wasn’t resurrected however. Instead, he merely appeared as a hallucination while Bruce Wayne was recovering from severe injuries. If it had been any other character, then it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Based on Ra’s al Guhl’s comic book history, however, this appearance just seemed like a big tease.
3. TOLLIVER (SUICIDE SQUAD)
During the opening scenes of “Suicide Squad” (2016), Amanda Waller has to first get approval to assemble the members of Task Force X, and then get further approval to deploy them. Considering that her plan is to take a group of supervillains and put them in the field with explosives around their necks, she obviously faces some resistance. One of her biggest allies in putting her plan into motion is Dexter Tolliver, played by David Harbour.
He’s based on a character from the comics, who first appeared in “Firestorm” #64 (1987) by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski. There, he was a government liaison who attempted to use his authority to force the team into helping a corrupt senator get reelected. Amanda Waller was able to dig up some dirt on him, while Tolliver and the senator are both killed by members of Task Force X, proving that it’s never a good idea to mess with any of these people, especially Amanda Waller.
2. BANE (BATMAN AND ROBIN)
When it comes to superhero movies, not every villain is going to get equal treatment. Not all villains can carry an entire movie by themselves, so as a treat for fans, filmmakers will add a C-level bad guy to the cast, and have them serve as a glorified henchman or side character. It’s usually ok, but what happened to Bane in “Batman and Robin” (1997) was unforgivable. Despite being a relatively new character at the time (he had only first appeared in “Batman: Vengeance of Bane” #1 in 1993, by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan), he had made a big splash by breaking Batman’s back in the “Knightfall” storyline.
The original film version, however, was turned into a nameless thug who, while physically threatening, is nothing more than a bodyguard for Poison Ivy. Despite the comic version being an articulate and intelligent mastermind, the film version only grunts. Add on the fact that he only appears in a handful of scenes, and is defeated by Robin and Batgirl, instead of Batman, and the result was a huge disappointment for both comic book fans and general audience members.
1. HARVEY DENT (BATMAN ’89)
As the Gotham District Attorney, Harvey Dent made a lot of enemies. When he first appeared in “Detective Comics” #66 (1942) by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Dent (or Kent, as he was originally called before his name was changed) was turned into Two-Face immediately. In later retcons of Batman’s early days, however, Harvey and Batman’s relationship was expanded, often having Harvey introduced several appearances before being turned into Two-Face. In fact, Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1989) decided to go this route as well by introducing Harvey Dent, played by Billy Dee Williams.
Williams signed on for the roll with the expectation that he would play the villain in later movies. Unfortunately, Tim Burton decided to take the sequel “Batman Returns” (1992) in a different direction, and then the roll was recast for “Batman Forever” (1995) with Tommy Lee Jones stepping in. This leaves Billy Dee Williams’ brief appearance in the original “Batman” a sad reminder of what could have been.
The next DC Comics movie, “Wonder Woman,” will be released to theaters on June 2, 2017