10 Times MCU Actors Showed Up As Their Marvel Characters NOT In The Movies Or On Disney+

The MCU continues to expand on film and TV, but there have been some rare occasions where actors have reprised their respective roles outside of in-canon projects. These are the ten best and most obscure!

Since 2008's Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded in ways we could have never possibly imagined all those years ago. As well as dominating theaters as the most successful franchise of all time, these heroes are now making their mark on television thanks to Disney+. 

The Multiverse promises to make this world even crazier over the next few years, but many MCU characters have already made non-canon appearances in different realities. 

From tie-in commercials to short films and even theme park rides, the MCU's biggest and best heroes have made some unexpected cameos in all manner of places, and it's those we're taking a look at below. Just recently, Peter Parker went on the run in a Spider-Man: No Way Home promo for Hyundai, but this feature goes a little further back than that. 

There are some big surprises here, and a few that even do appear to have a place in continuity. Along with a look at how that might work, we've also included the videos for you...
 

10. Peter Parker, Happy Hogan, And Tony Stark

Iron Man played a supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming - largely to drive up interest in the franchise again after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underwhelmed - as did his trusty right-hand man, Happy Hogan. What we didn't expect was his relationship with Peter Parker to become so endearing, and the seeds may have been sown in this commercial for the NBA Finals.

Robert Downey Jr. also appears in this promo, but the bulk of it revolves around Peter arriving at Avengers Tower and being tasked with running an errand for Happy. Tim Duncan, DJ Khaled, Magic Johnson, and even the late Stan Lee pop up, making this one of the most star-studded efforts here and a true delight to watch.

We're not entirely sure where this is supposed to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe's continuity (you could probably struggle to squeeze it in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Homecoming), but that shouldn't distract from just how much fun it is.

Perhaps this is where Marvel Studios realised how much chemistry Tom Holland and Jon Favreau have?
 

9. Ant-Man And The Hulk

If you're a die-hard comic book fan but hate sports, it's still worth tuning into the Super Bowl every year. Marvel Studios is among the studios that rarely disappoint when it comes to new trailers and TV spots, but way back in 2016, we received an unexpected surprise in the form of a Coca-Cola tie-in.

A fair bit of money was spent on this one, as a fully CG Ant-Man (voiced by Paul Rudd) is shown stealing a mini Coke from Bruce Banner's lab before being pursued by The Hulk. Mark Ruffalo was nowhere to be seen, unfortunately, but the Jade Giant looked great, and it was a blast watching these two causing chaos across the Big Apple.

This isn't canon as Ant-Man and The Hulk had never met at this point (in fact, the Green Goliath would have still been on Sakaar when Scott first suited up), but it's a fun team-up that has never really been touched on in the MCU itself.

The two heroes did finally cross paths in Avengers: Endgame, but not for anything as bonkers as this!
 

8. Loki

Thor: The Dark World wasn't great, but the way Marvel Studios went about promoting it certainly was. Their Hall H presentations at the San Diego Comic-Con have always been phenomenal, but dimming the lights and kicking things off with a Loki voiceover sent fans into a frenzy, especially when the God of Mischief himself then showed up on stage.

Staying in character the entire time, Tom Hiddleston ordered the crowd to knee before him, taunting those in attendance with a speech that started off with, "Humanity, look how far you've fallen. Lining up in the sweltering heat for hours. Huddling together in the dark like beasts!"

That sounds like an accurate description of lining up to get into Hall H, to be fair, and this served as a jaw-dropping way to reveal the first footage from the hit-and-miss Thor sequel. It's a shame the movie didn't live up to expectations, of course, but this was a phenomenal stunt, and one that is unlikely to ever be forgotten by those in attendance.

Of course, it goes without saying this wasn't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon...
 

7. Thor

Sadly, Marvel Studios stopped developing these One-Shot short films on their Blu-rays a while back, but the whole collection was recently added to Disney+. This effort was filmed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi and is undeniably hilarious.

Originally revealed during the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, it picks up with the God of Thunder living in Australia with his gormless new housemate Darryl. As Thor struggles to come to terms with both being left out of the recent "Civil War" and his new life on Earth, there are plenty of gags on offer courtesy of Waititi's unique sense of humour.

From Thor trying to pay his share of the rent with Asgardian money to an awkward meeting with Bruce Banner, this exists somewhere outside the official Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, but who really cares when it's so funny?

This ultimately transformed into a trilogy, and while the final instalment - revolving around The Grandmaster - wasn't quite as riotously funny, all three parts are worth tracking down to watch.
 

6. Peter Parker

Another Audi tie-in, this Spider-Man: Homecoming promotion certainly didn't disappoint when it came to delivering some big laughs. Featuring Peter Parker nervously taking his driver's test under the watchful eye of his examiner (played by comedian J.B. Smoove), this commercial actually ended up adding a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Smoove made such a lasting impact here that Marvel Studios brought him back for Spider-Man: Far From Home as one of the chaperones who accompanied Peter and his classmates on their trip abroad (he also made a cameo appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home). This was an amazing tie-in and fits perfectly within the tone of the reboot.

There are some spectacular nods to the wider MCU, with a mention of Tony Stark and Spider-Man's theft of Flash Thompson's ride in Homecoming (also an Audi).

While the main purpose of this commercial was to sell cars, it's a cute chapter in the life of the web-slinger. Plus, we'll always be grateful to this for giving us Smoove's Julius Dell.
 

5. Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers was absent from Earth for a good thirty years by the time she returned in Avengers: Infinity War's mid-credits scene, and things had changed a lot in that time. Nick Fury had become Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (only to later be forced into early "retirement" by HYDRA's sinister infiltration) and Earth's Mightiest Heroes had assembled to become The Avengers.

In this commercial promoting Audi, Captain Marvel is briefed by a mysterious organisation about everything she's missed since 1995. As well as being given a rundown on superheroes, Carol is also brought up to speed on everything from Snapchat to iPhones.

While it's obviously unlikely that this actually took place between Infinity War and Endgame, it's never less than amusing to see how Captain Marvel reacts not only to the existence of The Avengers, but the fact that everyone takes photos of their food now (yeah, we don't get that either).

We never got to see the hero introduce herself to the team, so this is as good as it's ever going to get in terms of explaining how she got so quickly accustomed to 2019.
 

4. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Unfortunately, a deal between Marvel and Universal means Marvel superheroes are unlikely to ever have a major presence in Disney World, but there are no such restrictions in place on the West Coast. Avengers Campus opened last year, but before that, it was "Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!" that gave fans in Disneyland their MCU fix.

A replacement for "Tower of Terror," it follows Rocket attempting to break his fellow Guardians out of The Collector's collection, and Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, and Benicio del Toro all reprised their big screen roles for an experience that was also directed by James Gunn.

There's no reason to believe this couldn't have happened prior to, or shortly after, the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but we've since learned Avengers Campus operates on its own continuity.

It's a great experience and one that require multiple rides because there are a number of alternate storylines and layouts.
 

3. Scott Lang, Darren Cross, And Christine Everheart

This is actually fully in continuity, but was surprisingly easy to miss back in 2015. Released as part of a partnership between Marvel Studios and Google, Iron Man star Leslie Bibb returned as Christine Everheart for a series of WHIH Newsfront promos referencing various events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It was a fun idea, but not one that really connected with fans. However, this effort does stand out, mostly because it so cleverly tied into Ant-Man. Set just days before that movie takes place, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is interviewed by Everheart and attempts to justify why he decided to break into VistaCorp. Pym Tech CEO Darren Cross also appears courtesy of a Wired interview.

While this didn't necessarily make for essential viewing, it did cleverly shed some light on Scott Lang's motivations, explaining why he did what he did to land in prison. It also nicely set the stage for him becoming Ant-Man, and helped make it clear what an asshat Cross actually is.

It's a pity these didn't live on, but they're no doubt a nightmare to co-ordinate for Marvel Studios.
 

2. Nick Fury

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was initially a hit for ABC, but the series struggled to find its footing during that first season, and viewership quickly dropped. As ratings reduced, so too did the number of tie-ins to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the show ultimately benefited from this by becoming more standalone in nature.

During those early years, characters like Maria Hill, Sif, and Peggy Carter all made cameo appearances, but by far the most memorable was Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

His first appearance came at the end of the second episode, but the most noteworthy was when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started tying into the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Handing the Directorship of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Agent Coulson, this felt like a true changing of the guard, and it's a shame the series was never really able to capitalise. The series doesn't appear to be MCU canon, but for an A-List star like this to give the show and these characters his approval meant a lot at the time.
 

1. The Ravagers

2016's Marvel Studios panel in Hall H was another star-studded affair, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a huge part of the event. Kevin Feige introduced James Gunn and the sequel's cast, but found himself overshadowed by the unexpected arrival of the Ravagers.

They entered through the crowd (Chris Sullivan's Taserface included) and made a mess of the stage, while criticising what they didn't like about the 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. They left, but it was then that Michael Rooker showed up in full costume and makeup as the leader of the Ravagers, Yondu.

He stuck around for the entire panel, and was clearly having a blast. This was definitely a gimmick, and didn't really have any major ramifications for the sequel, but it did get fans talking.

Sadly, Yondu's time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would reach its end after Vol. 2, making this surprise appearance all the more special and bittersweet for those in Hall H that day.
 

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