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Top 10 Movie Character Cameos You Didn't See Coming

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Now what are THEY doing here??? From Doc Brown to Darth Maul, WatchMojo is counting down the most unexpected movie cameos of all time.

Special thanks to our users Jorge Jorbina, Robert Payes, and Gonzalo Acosta for suggesting this idea! https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Unexpected+Movie%2FTV+Cameos


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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Movie Character Cameos You Didn't See Coming

Now what are THEY doing here??? Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Top 10 Movie Character Cameos You Didn't See Coming.

For this list, we’ll be looking at character cameos – that is characters from different films or franchises – unexpectedly appearing in an otherwise unrelated film. Please note that some of these cameos factor in to the main plot, so there will be spoilers.

#10: Raymond “Ray” Stantz

“Casper” (1995)

The titular spirit might be a “friendly ghost” and this was billed as a family movie, but after seeing founding ghostbuster Ray Stantz come running out of Whipstaff Manor in a panic, well… we were forced to reconsider and quickly prep ourselves for some serious scares. Thankfully, whatever Casper’s Ghostly trio of uncles did to Ray offscreen, they didn’t recreate on-camera for us viewers. As for Mr. Stantz however, we hadn’t seen him since 1989 - so imagine the pleasant reaction of cinemagoers when the pop culture icon suddenly appeared onscreen, fully decked out in Ghostbusters gear, and providing a playful riff on the classic saying no less.

#9: Ray Nicolette

“Out of Sight” (1998)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez and numerous recognizable co-stars, “Out of Sight” was a major critical success. In addition to being a tightly-written crime comedy boasting stellar performances all around and truly honoring author Elmore Leonard, “Out of Sight” also featured a little gift in the form of a cameo by Michael Keaton, who gave us a second taste of Ray Nicolette, a character he'd played the year before in “Jackie Brown” - itself based on Leonards's novel “Rum Punch”. By having Ray pop up in “Out of Sight” Soderbergh and Tarantino created a little Elmore Leonard universe that extended across film studios.

#8: Kane

“Spaceballs” (1987)

Okay, so obviously John Hurt’s executive officer Kane couldn’t actually have survived to appear in Spaceballs because, well… he met a gruesome and iconic fate in “Alien”. But in the wonderful world of filmmaker Mel Brooks, such trivial details don’t matter. Hurt was credited as himself but he’s clearly revisiting his (ahem) breakout sci-fi role. Given his status in sci-fi culture, it was to the delight of fans of the genre when he was spotted at Gus’s Galaxy Grill, where he unfortunately experienced deja vu after eating the special of the day.

#7: Red Skull

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

Sure, we weren't expecting a visit to the planet Vormir, but we really weren’t expecting to see Red Skull after 7 years of being MIA in the MCU. Characters in this universe have a tendency to pop up where you least expect them, but even so… Red Skull’s return was a surprise cameo the likes of which we’d rarely seen up until this point. Though Hugo Weaving did not return to play the role, “The Walking Dead”’s Ross Marquand made it so that it was all but impossible to tell the difference. After so many years in the dark, we finally learned Red Skull’s fate!

#6: Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” (2014)

This live action Seth MacFarlane film largely missed the bulls-eye with … well, everyone, but what it lacked in overall quality, it certainly made up for with cameos! Seeing Jamie Foxx’s beloved Django once again strike out against racism and slavery with a vengeance was a pleasant surprise… but Doc Brown really stole the show. Playing with the fact that his final film implied Doc seemingly settled in 1885 to raise a family, taking little temporal vacations here and there, MacFarlane brought actor Christopher Lloyd on board for this hilarious little moment that surely had Back to the Future fans squealing with delight.

#5: Darth Maul

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018)

Disney’s second stand-alone Star Wars film unfortunately failed to recreate the success of its predecessor, Rogue One, but the space western delivered plenty of fun and fan service - the appearance of Darth Maul being a particularly shocking moment. “The Clone Wars” TV show is considered canon, but many of its story elements, such as the return of Darth Maul, felt firmly entrenched in the animated series. Though the character was a fan favorite from his debut in the Phantom Menace, few of us dared to dream of him returning to films until we saw it with our own eyes. Now that’s how you do a surprise cameo.

#4: Tom Hanson

“21 Jump Street” (2012)

Hollywood has made us sit through a lot of unnecessary reboots that no one asked for. Thankfully… “21 Jump Street” and its sequel proved to be exceptions. While many cinema-goers were unfamiliar with the original property, seeing the film because of its promising young cast rather than out of nostalgia for the late ‘80s series, Johnny Depp’s sudden appearance was still a welcome one. For fans of the original TV show however, seeing original lead Tom Hanson was the perfect knowing wink to say “thanks for coming” - even if he and Doug Penhall quickly met a grisly end.

#3: T-1000

“Wayne’s World” (1992) & “Last Action Hero” (1993)

Honestly, considering how iconic his role as the T-1000 from “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” is, we suspect that Robert Patrick could have made a comfortable living just doing T-1000 cameos. But to date… we’ve only spotted two of them. First, in Wayne’s World, he pulls over our rock and roll loving star, Wayne Campbell. They could’ve kept it subtle by making it a routine traffic stop, but they instead go all in by having Patrick pull out a photo of John Connor. Then, in “Last Action Hero”, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger no less, the T-1000 walks by in a blink and you’ll miss it cameo.

#2: Captain Benjamin L. Willard

“Hot Shots! Part Deux” (1993)

When you consider the respective careers of Martin and Charlie Sheen, it feels safe to say that the apple fell pretty far from the tree. But from the '80s on, Charlie, like his dad, was a bona fide A-lister, working both in dramatic and comedic roles, such as the Rambo spoof “Hot Shots! Part Deux”. It's during this film when Sheen’s internal narration is interrupted by that of another - who just so happens to be his father’s iconic wartime character, Benjamin L. Willard, from “Apocalypse Now”. It’s hilariously meta, especially when they compliment each other on “Wall Street”.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a couple of honorable mentions


“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)

Jay and Silent Bob

“Scream 3” (2000)

#1: David Dunn

“Split” (2016)

M. Night Shyamalan is best known for his twist ending in “The Sixth Sense”, which forces you to reconsider everything you just watched. In “Split”, he once again threw us a major curveball, but this time, it’s more of a big picture zoom out. Having just witnessed the birth of a monster, we see the story through the lens of a newscast being watched by none other than Bruce Willis’ David Dunn from Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable”. The cameo adds a whole new layer of fun to an already excellent movie, along with the promise of an epic crossover sequel, but this wasn't the first time Willis gave us a classic character cameo.


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