Over the course of more than two dozen films and a handful of TV series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has featured its fair share of actors.
Many of Hollywood’s best and brightest have featured in the popular superhero franchise, from younger stars such as Florence Pugh and Brian Tyree Henry, to industry veterans including Robert Redford and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.
However, while everyone knows who Robert Downey Jr is, and can remember that Michael Keaton played the Vulture, the MCU has also featured a litany of smaller cameos you may have forgotten – some of which are rather bizarre.
Sometimes, it’s a friend of one of the lead actors, taking on a role as an in-joke.
Other times, it’s a world-famous celebrity, appearing as themselves – Elon Musk being the most egregious example.
If you want to read The Independent’s ranking of every MCU property, click here.
Otherwise, see below for our list of the MCU’s 15 most bizarre cameos.
As well as directing the first Thor film, renowned thespian Kenneth Branagh can be heard in Avengers: Infinity War, as the voice of an Asgardian Distress Call.
The Evil Dead star reunited with repeat collaborator Sam Raimi for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, briefly featuring as a character called “Pizza Poppa”.
The moment in which the character’s hand becomes enchanted and starts attacking him is a direct reference to a famous scene in Evil Dead 2.
Cyrus is no stranger to acting, having made her name through the children’s TV series Hannah Montana and later in dramas such as Black Mirror. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, her role was rather more limited: voicing a robot who appears during a post-credit scene.
The Bourne Identity star featured in Thor: Ragnarok, playing Loki in the play-within-a-film reenactment of Thor: The Dark World.
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It wasn’t just Matt Damon who cameoed in Ragnarok’s little theatre scene. Luke Hemsworth, Chris’s older brother, appeared as an actor playing Thor.
US talk show host Maher is seen presenting a news segment on Don Cheadle’s War Machine character in Iron Man 3.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him capacity in the original Iron Man, playing an anonymous member of the Ten Rings terrorist cell.
The polarising Tesla billionaire appeared as himself in Iron Man 2. Was it a bad scene? Well, yes, but it’s got nothing on his Simpsons episode, or Musk’s infamous hosting stint on Saturday Night Live.
Jurassic Park star Sam Neill also featured during Thor: Ragnarok’s star-studded theatrical scene, playing an am-dram version of Anthony Hopkins’ Odin.
The Daily Show comedian Trevor Noah voiced the artificial intelligence system Griot in Black Panther – the film’s equivalent to Tony Stark’s Jarvis.
The late, great insult comic Joan Rivers played herself for a cameo in Iron Man 3. Immediately after Maher’s appearance, the TV cuts away to Rivers, whom we see for a brief but amusing snippet.
Shandling, the comedian and actor known for his seminal TV comedies It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Larry Sanders Show, appeared in Iron Man 2 as a nefarious US senator. He later reprised the role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Harry Dean Stanton
Paris, Texas star Harry Dean Stanton had an all-too fleeting role in Avengers Assemble, playing a security guard who discovers Bruce Banner.
The Leftovers star Justin Theroux has made a habit of tiny cameos in big blockbusters: his non-speaking appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi still sticks in the mind. In Iron Man 2, Theroux, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, can be seen as a police officer.
Musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, voicing a navigator Raviger who can be heard in the Milano near the beginning of the film.