How Superheroes Are Hollywood's Super Givers

11:00 AM 8/19/2016

by Rebecca Ford

Heroic Hollywood characters from Disney's 'Star Wars,' Marvel, DC and Fox duke it out on the charitable front when it comes to kids.

Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilms

  • Warner Bros. & DC

    Warner Brothers/Photofest

    For Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. and DC created a PSA for National Save the Bats Week. The production also built 150 bat houses, using reclaimed set materials, that were auctioned off for charity. Tied to 2017's Justice League, DC joined forces with Children's Hospital L.A. to launch a Superhero Challenge as part of CHLA's Make March Matter program. An Omaze campaign with prizes like a helicopter ride with Henry Cavill to the BvS premiere raised funds for Ben Affleck's Eastern Congo Initiative, The SEED Project (chosen by Jesse Eisenberg) and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (chosen by Cavill). The campaign raised 1,500 4-year college scholarships for former child soldiers (for Eastern Congo Initiative), 8,423 days of food for a silverback gorilla (for the Durrell Wildlife Conservative Trust) and 650 scholarships for students who grew up in poverty (SEED Project).

  • Disney & Marvel

    Zade Rosenthal/Marvel 2016

    The Super Bowl bet between Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and Captain America's Chris Evans (after which both ended up visiting a children's hospital in character) was just the start of good deeds done by the Marvel clan. The latest: This September, tied to the release of Doctor Strange, Disney and Marvel are launching the Marvel Studios: Hero Acts initiative, which will coordinate all Marvel characters for a focus on helping kids around the world.

    "Marvel has been telling extraordinary stories about Super Heroes for decades, but here in the real world we believe that everyone has extraordinary abilities that only need to be discovered. At Marvel Studios we’re dedicated to unveiling the Super Hero in everyone and bringing generations of fans together to help make our world a better place for kids. We can’t wait to share more about Hero Acts in September," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige tells THR.

    Plus, Wish Kids have been invited to the movies' sets and world premieres (The Walt Disney Co. is involved in approximately half of all Make-A-Wish grants, which topped 14,800 in 2015). Since 2013, every Marvel film has been involved with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project. The most recent, for Captain America: Civil War, challenged more than 1,000 girls between 15 and 18 to submit an innovation that would better the world; the grand prize winner received an internship with Marvel Studios.

  • Disney & Lucasfilm

    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

    Star Wars' global Force for Change initiative has raised $12 million in less than two years. That includes $7.5 million
    raised for UNICEF’s programs for children. In November, The Force Awakens stars raised more than $1.2 million for their charities of choice (15 in total). Plus, eight Make-A-Wish kids attended the film's world premiere in December, meeting stars like Daisy Ridley and director J.J. Abrams. John Boyega dressed as Finn to visit children at the Royal London Hospital, and Han Solo's jacket was auctioned by star Harrison Ford, raising $191,000 for epilepsy treatment and research (Ford's daughter Georgia has epilepsy).

  • Fox

    Joe Lederer/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

    Ballsy Ryan Reynolds' irreverent Deadpool character starred in a PSA tied to the U.K.-based charity Ballboys that spreads awareness of testicular cancer, encouraging men to "start touching yourself" for early detection. Reynolds also visited a hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, to give a young fan with cancer an early copy of the film.