This April, we welcome the latest DC Extended Universe (DCEU) blockbuster onto the big screen: Shazam!
The movie is relatively unique in that lead actor Zachary Levi, who plays the titular superhero Shazam, has straddled two separate superhero shared universes: the DCEU and its rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Fans of the MCU – and, namely, the Thor series – will recognise Levi (who replaced Josh Dallas in both The Dark World and Ragnarok) as playing Fandral: Thor's friend and loyal follower who meets a rather unfortunate end at the hands of Cate Blanchett's wicked Asgardian goddess of death, Hela.
Of course, the notion of a shared universe on the silver screen is hardly a new phenomenon. Long before DC's Batman took on Superman or the likes of Marvel's Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Black Widow and Captain America (and his beard) felt the full effect of a universe-shattering finger snap, a band of Universal monsters – Dracula; Frankenstein; The Invisible Man; The Wolf Man – sat atop the pedestal of cinematic universes, with a series of interconnected films throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
There is an exclusive sub-set of performers who can lay claim to the fact they have appeared in both the MCU and DCEU. They may not have always bagged the big-name roles, or occupied a huge amount of screen time, but they can nevertheless state, and state with pride, that they have donned both the red and white of Marvel and the blue and white of DC in their time.
In addition to Zachary Levi, here are four other actors to have done the same…
1. Laurence Fishburne
Perhaps known best for his portrayal of Morpheus in the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi meme-magnet The Matrix, Laurence Fishburne has had a long and illustrious career, with roles in such hard-hitting classics as Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now and John Singleton's gritty Boyz N The Hood.
But Fishburne has also dabbled in several comic book superhero adaptations in his time. Beginning in the DCEU as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White in both Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fishburne then turned up in Marvel's 20th MCU film Ant-Man and The Wasp. This was the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, and Fishburne played Bill Foster: the estranged partner of Michael Douglas' Hank Pym.
2. Florence Kasumba
From a fierce Themysciran warrior in DC's Wonder Woman to Wakandan special forces agent Ayo in Marvel's Black Panther, Florence Kasumba has, quite literally, had the best of both worlds.
She also appeared in as Ayo in Captain America: Civil War (memorably squaring off against Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow) and Avengers: Infinity War. On both sides of the comic book border, she's a serious force to be reckoned with.
3. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Fans of the J.J. Abrams TV sensation Lost will have fond memories of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The British actor is perhaps best known for portraying Mr. Eko in the desert island drama in the mid-2000s. He also played Malko for two episodes in season five of Game of Thrones.
But did you know he has also appeared in the DC and Marvel superhero universes too? Well, if you didn't, you'd easily be forgiven. That's because, on both occasions, he's been so caked in impressive make-up and prosthetics that he's barely recognisable.
First gracing the MCU in 2013 as the Dark Elf Algrim/Kurse in Thor: Dark World, Akinnuoye-Agbaje then later popped up in DC's Suicide Squad as Waylon Jones (A.K.A. Killer Croc).
4. Djimon Hounsou
The versatility of Beninese-American actor Djimon Hounsou is reflected in his diverse filmography, which ranges from Steven Spielberg's Amistad to Blood Diamond to Furious 7. And he's also made multiple forays into DC and Marvel superhero movies.
Having played the Fisherman King in last year's DC smash Aquaman, the Oscar-nominated actor will next appear in the DCEU's newest instalment as the wizard Shazam: an ancient sorcerer who grants young orphan Billy Batson (Asher Angel) the power to transform into a superhero.
Hounsou has also graced the MCU where, in 2014, he portrayed Korath the Pursuer in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie – a role he is set to reprise in the widely-anticipated Captain Marvel, released this week.
George Nash is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.