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No role in Hollywood is more scrutinized, and few can offer the type of onscreen immortality (or notoriety, depending on how the movie turns out). Michael Keaton's casting in 1989's Batman inspired nerd outrage before the Internet was a thing. Angry message board comments plastered the web when Heath Ledger was announced as the new Joker, and Ryan Reynolds' first outing as Deadpool in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine appeared to have doomed the character's big screen prospects forever. But they all prevailed.
With Hugh Jackman's ninth and final time playing X-Men mutant Wolverine in Logan, it's time to look back at 50 roles (some heroic, some villainous, but all of them super) that have helped show that even movies that rake in box office billions have room for complex characters and inspired acting choices.
Some of the actors on this list have played multiple comic book characters (but only one appears on this list twice). Many accomplished the impossible by taking on a role no one thought they were right for, while others took characters no one cared about and made them household names. Bonus points have been granted for actors who've managed to keep a character interesting over multiple movies (and sometimes, multiple decades).
"Perhaps the most important thing you have to learn from this is how to sustain the character over that time," says Sir Patrick Stewart, who plays Prof. Charles Xavier for a seventh time in 17 years in Logan. "The best way of doing that … is finding development, progress in the character so you are not just repeating a formula with every movie."
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