Forbes Magazine has release its list of most powerful celebrities, and several actors and directors from comic book movies made the cut, including Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Lawrence, Joss Whedon and Ben Affleck.
While pop music superstar Beyonce Knowles topped Forbes’ list, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., rounded out the top ten with the magazine calling him the “driving force” behind Marvel’s biggest hits, including the Avengers.
Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past, follows just two spots behind Downey at #12. While Days of Future Past was a success, most of Lawrence’s earnings have come from her leading role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, which is the most successful young adult series since Twilight.
Two score spots later, we find Bradley Cooper at #47. Cooper is about to be introduced to the realm of comic book movies as the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but is probably best known for The Hangover series and his successful back-to-back teaming with director David O. Russell in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
Fifteen years as Wolverine has done well for Hugh Jackman, most recently with X-Men: Days of Future Past. Jackman comes in at #63 on the list.
Bradley Cooper’s CG partner in crime, Vin Diesel, comes in at #66. The star of the Fast and Furious and Riddick franchises will be voicing Groot, Rocket’s partner, in Guardians of the Galaxy.
At little less than two years ahead of his debut as cinema’s next Batman, Ben Affleck comes in at #67 on the list largely thanks to the potential (and paycheck) that goes along with such a high profile role.
Just behind Batman is Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon at #68. While being the director of the third highest grossing movie of all time, The Avengers, and “consigliere” for all of the films made by one of the hottest studios in Hollywood is obviously what landed Whedon on this list, he’s still found time his busy schedule to make smaller films like Much Ado About Nothing and In Your Eyes, as well as oversee the continuing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Serenity comics.
Marvel’s Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, made #76 on the list, both due to her role in The Avenger and several high-dollar endorsement deals.
Five-time Oscar nominee and Man of Steel’s Lois Lane, Amy Adams, ranks at #81. She’s working with the potential of her continued role as Lane in the expanding DC film universe, but also with her versatility as an actress, appearing in superhero action movies, comedies, dramas, and independents.
Iron Man’s Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow, comes in at #89. It will be interesting to see if she has a continued involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with no official plans for another Iron Man film on the horizon.
Round out the list at #100 is Natalie Portman, who played Jane Foster in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. Her success with Marvel has allowed her the opportunity to take a shot at writing and directed in the upcoming film adaptation of Amos Oz’ book, A Tale of Love and Darkness.
An interesting pattern here is how many superhero love interests or female supporting cast members made the cut while their leading men were left off of the list. Adams, Portman, and Johansson are all present while Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans are all absent. Downey far outranks his onscreen love interest, but Paltrow is still present, and Lawrence similarly outranks the X-Men franchise’s poster boy, Hugh Jackman. I’m not sure what all that amounts to, but it’s certainly an interesting trend.
Other notable name for fans of genre films include Amblin Entertainment’s Steven Spielberg (11), Hercules’ Dwayne Johnson (23), The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit’s Peter Jackson (48), 75: Age of Extinctions’ Michael Bay (50) and Mark Wahlberg (60), Star Wars Episode VII’s J.J. Abrams (71), Superman Returns’ Kevin Spacey (74), and Independence Day and Men in Black’s Will Smith (75).
That means roughly one-fifth of the list have some tie to genre-oriented or superhero cinema. A pretty impressive show of power from that corner of pop culture.