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Harry Styles in Dunkirk? Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder? The A-list movie appearances you weren't expecting to see


You may have heard that Dark Knight and Interstellar director Christopher Nolan will again be storming the big screen in 2017 with his long-awaited Dunkirk, a factual World War II drama devoid of the superheroes and fantastical trappings so prevalent in his career.

However there is a significant curveball being thrown at us in the form of Harry Styles – yes, him out of One Direction – who will be playing one of the Allied soldiers central to the plot. Whilst you process that, and before we bring you the epic Dunkirk trailer once again, we've rounded up some of our most unexpected A-list movie appearances.

Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder

Arguably the biggest star in Hollywood, Cruise's casting in this raucous Ben Stiller war movie spoof was kept under wraps so effectively that many got to the end credits without even realising it was him. Of course the brilliant makeup – fatsuit, balding head, hairy arms, glasses and all – helped maintain the illusion, but really it's the fact we've never seen Cruise play a role like the hilariously profane movie mogul Les Grossman before.

Bill Murray – Zombieland

This razor-sharp zombie spoof has already been deliriously funny and inventive up to the moment where the Ghostbusters star appears as himself; Murray's self-deprecating cameo however, is what tips it over the edge into greatness. In fact, it's one of the great 'is that who I think it is' moments in recent film history.

David Bowie – Zoolander

Whilst we lament the loss of Ziggy himself, there are still plenty of great movie appearances to chew over. Bowie's greatest WTF appearance was in this classic Ben Stiller fashion spoof, judging the catwalk competition between Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson). At the time, it was hard to believe Bowie was actually in the movie, so awesomely off-the-scale was his cameo.

Michael Jackson – Men in Black II

It's perhaps easy to forget the king of pop's fleeting appearance in the Men in Black sequel, playing Agent M. He only appears on a video screen and only for a limited time, but any Michael Jackson is better than no Michael Jackson, right?

Will Smith – Jersey Girl

This misfiring Kevin Smith/Ben Affleck comedy is a pretty maudlin affair, but Smith's bolt-from-the-blue performance at the very end at least gives us something to remember.