9 Blockbusters With Incredible Casts Nobody Thinks About Anymore


When producing big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, it makes sense that studios do everything in their power to help their films be successful. This means ensuring they come out at the right time so they aren’t overshadowed, and spending a fortune on marketing campaigns. One notable way to improve a film’s chance of success is by giving it a stacked cast of famous actors.

It’s normal for the last seconds of a trailer to be a bunch of famous names hitting the screen to sell audiences on a movie. While this can often get butts in seats, it doesn’t guarantee the movies will be well-liked – or even remembered – a few years after release. Even an amazing cast can’t make a lackluster flick into a fan favorite.

1. Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

The modern Star Trek film trilogy has always been a star-studded affair, with the Enterprise crew all portrayed by actors who were either very popular at the time they were cast, or went on to become famous. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban played the big three crew members: Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy, respectively. 

Zoe Saldana played Uhura and Simon Pegg played Scotty, who both had larger roles in this film than in prior ones. John Cho played Sulu, and the late Anton Yelchin played Chekov.

The main crew alone had enough star power to carry a movie, but the supporting cast also had some big names, especially Idris Elba as the film’s villain, Krall. Community‘s Danny Pudi also had a minor role as an alien, though he’s unrecognizable beneath large amounts of prosthetics.

2. Outbreak


Outbreak is a 1995 disaster movie about government scientists attempting to stop the spread of a deadly virus. It also takes time to show what’s going on inside a town quarantined due to the breakout.

Most of the major players in the film were also very popular at the time of its release, including Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman. Some of the supporting roles were also filled by big names like Cuba Gooding Jr., Patrick Dempsey, Donald Sutherland, and Kevin Spacey. 

Although the cast was strong, the film itself was a little too by-the-numbers to make a splash. It has since been overshadowed by the success of 2011’s Contagion, which is essentially “what if Outbreak… but good.”

3. Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans

The 2010 Clash of the Titans film was very much a product of its time. A remake of the 1981 classic, released in 3D and starring Sam Worthington fresh off his Avatar fame, it fit enough trends that it even turned a decent profit and got a sequel, despite its terrible reviews.

This loose retelling of the myth of Perseus featured a number of big stars, with Liam Neeson portraying Zeus, Ralph Fiennes as Hades, and Nicholas Hoult playing a minor role before he became as famous as he is now. The actors are likely happy few people remember it – or its two Golden Raspberry (“Razzie”) nominations.

4. S.W.A.T.


SWAT focuses on a Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team overseeing the transfer of a drug kingpin to prison. The movie itself isn’t all that remarkable, but what is surprising is the number of big names in the cast.

Stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez were not only big at the time, but continue to be successful actors. The film also featured LL Cool J, who was having a moment when the film came out in 2003, and Jeremy Renner, who would go on to gain lots of positive attention from 2008’s The Hurt Locker before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This roster almost makes the movie seem worth revisiting. Almost.

5. Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction is about scientist Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) who helps discover a source of clean energy, only to have that discovery suppressed by the US government. He and some colleagues then find themselves the target of law enforcement agencies bent on keeping them silent.

The 1996 movie stars Reeves, Morgan Freeman, and Rachel Weisz, with stars like Brian Cox, Fred Ward, and Kevin Dunn backing them up in supporting roles. Despite its stellar cast, Chain Reaction received negative reviews, and ultimately ended up being largely forgotten.

6. The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

Adaptations of The Three Musketeers seem to be an excuse for filmmakers to gather a cast of famous or up-and-coming stars and slot them into the roles of Alexander Dumas’s famous swashbucklers. The 2011 version was no exception, with Logan Lerman as D’Artagnan, Milla Jovovich as Milady de Winter, with the titular musketeers played by Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, and the late Ray Stevenson.

The villains are just as well-known, with Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu and Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort. James Corden and Orlando Bloom also make appearances in smaller roles. The film was poorly received, making the sequel bait at the end slightly embarrassing. The franchise never continued, and this first film just slowly disappeared from the public consciousness.

7. Safe House

Safe House

Safe House follows CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), who’s in charge of a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. He gets his first bit of field experience when ex-agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought there to be interrogated. The 2012 movie was fairly successful commercially, but it was also considered pretty average, making it neither good nor bad enough to really stand out.

Apart from Reynolds and Washington, it stars Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and the liquid metal Terminator himself, Robert Patrick. Joel Kinnaman also has a brief appearance before being quickly killed off.

8. Wanted


Wanted tells the tale of anxious office worker Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), who learns he’s destined to become an assassin and is ushered into the Fraternity’s underworld by Mr. Sloan and Fox, played by Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie, respectively. These are the actors most audience members likely remember being in the film, but there are also some surprises in the supporting roles.

Rapper Common played the Fraternity’s weapons trainer, while a pre-Parks and Recreation Chris Pratt played Barry, Gibson’s best friend who sleeps with his girlfriend. The 2008 film was adapted from a comic book by Mark Millar and JG Jones, and was quite successful when it first came out. A sequel was greenlit but then got stuck in development hell; had it been made, perhaps Wanted wouldn’t be as forgotten as it is now.

9. Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy

The comic strip version of Dick Tracy always had a colorful cast of distinctive-looking characters. It only makes sense that the film adaptation would want to capture the same feeling, and what better way to make your characters stand out than by casting big stars for them?

Warren Beatty both directed and starred in the movie as the titular detective. His co-stars run the gamut of Hollywood celebrities from Dick Van Dyke to Kathy Bates to Madonna. Al Pacino was even nominated for an Oscar for his role as “Big Boy” Caprice. It’s hard to say why the 1990 film has been largely forgotten, but it could relate to the fading relevancy of the protagonist, even though all of the stars continue to be big names.