We’ve seen a lot of people defend the DCEU from most, if not all, the major criticisms it has received in the past four years. Regardless of whether you think it’s a great cinematic universe or a bad one, there’s no denying that it hasn’t been very successful for Warner Bros. One would think making one billion dollars from a team-up like Justice League would be a slam dunk, but the film isn’t anywhere close to that number.
This has led to Warner Bros restructuring their current DCEU movie slate. Aquaman and Flashpoint are still happening, but a lot of the other stuff is up in the air at this point. While this has negative consequences for the company and DC Comics as a whole, it has also had some serious repercussions on the actors too. From Man of Steel to Suicide Squad, there are several DCEU actors who haven’t been seen in Hollywood since (this could be due to the poor quality of the films of their specific performances). They might’ve been in some small movies or TV shows, but nothing that would make them seriously recognizable. To be honest, we feel bad for these 15 DCEU actors that Hollywood refuses to cast these days.
15. WILL SMITH
Will Smith had a lot of great movies back in the day. I Am Legend, Men in Black, and iRobot are just a few of the films that remain some of his most memorable work. Unfortunately, he’s been in a steady decline for a few years. Appearing in films like After Earth have tarnished his Hollywood presence, but he had a shot to gain stardom back when he was cast as Deadshot in Suicide Squad.
His performance was among some of the best in the movie, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Even his eclectic mannerisms weren’t enough to save the movie from what a misfire it was. Since then, he isn’t tied up in anything big, though he’s presumably in Suicide Squad 2.
14. RUSSELL CROWE
Russell Crowe is a classic actor. Appearing in the famous Gladiator film, he was a face that was here to stay in Hollywood as a leading man. Unfortunately, his downfall in popularity started with Man of Steel. Being the static Jor-El (father of Superman), his performance wasn’t bad, but the mixed reviews of the movie knocked him down a few pegs.
However, it wasn’t the DCEU that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin. He was tied up as Dr. Jekyll in The Mummy and was supposed to start off the new Dark Universe. That movie was a failure overall, and Crowe hasn’t been linked to any big projects since then. He could still be used for upcoming films, but nothing serious has been announced yet.
13. JAI COURTNEY
Oh, where to begin with Jai Courtney? For some reason, he’s managed to play a part in some fairly big projects. He was featured in the Divergent series, Terminator: Genisys, and then Suicide Squad. In each of those roles (the latter to a lesser extent), he was fairly panned as an actor. Many people have criticized him not being able to act well, being fairly robotic in every movie where he has a part.
Since the failure of Suicide Squad, old Jai hasn’t really been seen. He’d likely be around for the sequel to Suicide Squad if it falls through, but he’s up in the air at this point. Some people wonder how he was even able to maintain such a popular screen presence in the first place. Now, though, it seems his days are declining.
12. MICHAEL SHANNON
The first DCEU villain that we saw was General Zod. Being a longtime adversary of Jor-El, he was determined to bring an end to the infant Kal-El after he was sent to Earth. Eventually, Zod found the Superman and brought with him an invasion of other Kryptonian soldiers. Played by Michael Shannon, it wasn’t hard to see how much hatred he had for the Man of Steel.
Since then, though, what has Michael Shannon done? Sure, his body showed up during Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he hasn’t been in much since then. He’s been in a series of smaller, independent films, but nothing on the level of being in the DCEU. We’ll see if he makes a bigger comeback in the future.
11. BEN AFFLECK
Ben Affleck is the newest live-action Batman to hit the big screen, but it’s been a weird situation from the very start. After audiences criticized the gruff interpretation of the Dark Knight, he’s gone back and forth on his involvement in the DCEU. He was originally going to direct the solo Batman film, but then he dropped out. Now, he’s not even going to be the actor in the movie.
Nowadays, Affleck hasn’t had a lot of acting work. He’s directed and produced several films to his name, but he’s not lined up to act in anything outside of the upcoming Flashpoint movie. Things might’ve changed if Batman V Superman and Justice League were better received, but now the future of live-action Bruce Wayne is up in the air.
10. KEVIN COSTNER
Kevin Costner is a fairly big actor. Having won two Oscars, there’s a lot of potential for his involvement in Hollywood going forward. That said, some blemishes on his very lengthy and storied career are with his two DCEU appearances in both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman. It’s not even due to his performance — it was more because of the direction that the writers took with his character.
Playing Jonathan Kent, Costner seemed to convey conflicting and murky ideals to the young Superman before he died in a tornado. Furthermore, he came back in Batman V Superman as some sort of weird vision that was never properly explained. He’s been in other movies since then, like Hidden Figures, but nothing major outside of that.
9. DIANE LANE
Diane Lane has had a very sizable acting career and is beloved by a lot of filmgoers. She also did a fine enough job as Martha Kent in Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Justice League. What tainted her image was being associated with the name “Martha.” We don’t have to go into much detail at this point, but her existence alone was enough to make Batman and Superman friends.
Lane hasn’t been cast in anything major that is not DCEU-related after that point. Some projects that she’s supposed to be in are still in pre-production (jury’s still out on whether they’ll make it through or not). While she may not be completely out of the picture, she’s not been announced for anything major in the movie industry. Here’s hoping that will change in the coming years.
8. RAY FISHER
Ever since his appearance in the Teen Titans TV series, fans of DC have been wondering what Victor Stone would like on the big screen. Thankfully, the higher-ups at Warner Bros wanted him in their movie version of the Justice League and they wanted to give him his own film. Ray Fisher, a fairly unknown actor, was called on to play the technological superhero.
To be fair to Fisher, he hasn’t had a lot of experience before his part in Justice League. It makes sense that he wouldn’t be getting a whole lot of work now, considering the reception of the film. He’s still attached to a few upcoming DCEU projects, but nothing outside of that is set in stone. We hope that Fisher’s career goes well for him and he gets the chance to showcase what he can do.
7. MICHAEL CASSIDY
Michael Cassidy may not look familiar to you, and that’s because of how little he was involved in the DCEU. He was the poor soul cast to play Jimmy Olsen in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Being in the movie for only a few minutes, he was quickly gunned down by KGBeast. Needless to say, fans and critics lost their minds over this (and in a bad way).
As you might imagine, Cassidy hasn’t really found a role in anything major. There are a few minor projects that he’s tied with, but nothing that will catch the attention of major reviewers. What’s worse about this is that his performance wasn’t bad in Batman V Superman — it just had everything to do with how the writers used his character.
6. ELENA ANAYA
Wonder Woman is easily the best movie the DCEU has in its roster (feel free to disagree with that statement). However, one of its criticisms was how it handled its villains. Both Ares and Doctor Poison were fairly generic bad guys that didn’t have a whole lot of weight in the story. They just provided a (barely) challenge for Diana Prince to overcome.
Elena Anaya was the woman who played Doctor Poison. Despite some great makeup and art work, she was fairly forgettable. Since then, she’s only been in one other movie (The Summit) and has no projects lined up for next year. Considering that she was a one-off villain who appeared in the past, there’s almost no chance she’ll be appearing for any Wonder Woman sequels.
5. KAREN FUKUHARA
There can be too much of a good thing and Suicide Squad is a perfect example of that. It had a lot of great characters in one film, but it was so bloated that it never gave any of its cast members the opportunity to stand out. Perhaps the actress who was least served as a result of this was Karen Fukuhara. You might better know her as Katana: the girl whose sword steals the souls of its victims.
Katana was extremely pointless in the film. She served little to no purpose in the plot and the film wouldn’t have changed had she been absent. Fukuhara hasn’t played a part in any major film since then. She’s rumored to be in Suicide Squad 2 if it lands real production, but she’s not tied with anything else other than a movie called Stray. We’ll see if she acts in anything else.
4. JAY HERNANDEZ
What was weird about Suicide Squad was how David Ayer brought in several actors who hadn’t been in a big movie before to play alongside veterans Margot Robbie and Will Smith. Among them was Jay Hernandez, who was assigned the role of Diablo. The movie desperately tried to make him an important character but, ultimately, he fell flat with the rest of the film when it was over.
Since then (and even before), Hernandez hasn’t been seen in any big movies. Sure, like most actors, he is currently wrapped up in a few side projects, but nothing that’s going to turn heads. It’s unfortunate that a lot of these actors who were starting out didn’t get great recognition because of how poorly Suicide Squad was received in the end.
3. ADAM BEACH
What’s the one thing worse than adding a character who serves no purpose? Adding a character solely to kill them off. From the starting moments of Suicide Squad, the film gives us a highlight reel of all the villains who will be serving on the team save for one: Slipknot. This character didn’t get a cute title card and comes in the movie a bit later than the rest of the cast.
Some of Adam Beach’s other highlighted works include Cowboys and Aliens, Flags of Our Fathers, and Joe Dirt. If you haven’t heard of these movies, then don’t beat yourself up over it (most of us haven’t either). Beach has been snagged for upcoming projects, but nothing that you’ll go out of your way to see. If only he had a better chance on screen.
2. DAVID THEWLIS
David Thewlis is an excellent and much respected actor in Hollywood. Having made a massive appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he was a British actor that was guaranteed to stick around for quite some time. He would later have a part in other notable films like The Theory of Everything and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
He was selected as the villain for Wonder Woman as Ares, the God of War. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given a whole lot to do in the film other than put on a big CGI suit of metal. Thewlis currently doesn’t anything on the schedule for 2018, and the only movie he appeared in after the aforementioned DCEU success was a title called The Mercy.
1. ANTJE TRAUE
When it comes to the villains of the DCEU, Faora is among the best. Despite being the right-hand of the main antagonist in Man of Steel, Faora still made a terrifying presence and was a dangerous foe that Clark Kent had to face. She was solely responsible for much of the destruction that took place in Smallville.
Antje Traue was praised for her portrayal of the female villain, but she’s slowly been getting less work since then. She hasn’t even reprised her role as Faora in any subsequent DCEU movie. She’s been attached to movies like Woman in Gold and Criminal, but she there hasn’t been anything big in recent years. The projects she’s currently tied up in are foreign as well. Time will tell if she returns to mainstream popularity.
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