7 Musicians Who Starred in the MCU
Pop music and comic book fans alike united in October thanks to rumors that Harry Styles will make a cameo in the latest installment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A film editor for Variety alleged that the "Watermelon Sugar" crooner appears as the mercurial and mighty Eros in an after-credits scene for Marvel's Eternals, which premieres Nov. 5. If true, he'll star alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani.
Although his role within the film has not been officially confirmed, it is undeniably exciting news.
If he joins the franchise, Styles will be one of the most successful musicians on the team of heroes. However, he is far from the only actor involved with the MCU that also has a background in music.
Read on for a list of multi-talented superstars, including Scarlett Johansson, and musically inclined newcomers, such as Hailee Steinfeld, who have shown off their impressive vocal abilities before and after putting on their supersuits.
Scarlett Johansson, a.k.a. Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson made her MCU debut as Black Widow, a deadly assassin turned super-spy, in 2010's Iron Man 2. Although her role was relatively small, she stole the show with a gymnastic fighting style and witty lines.
Johansson reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff in multiple films including The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Endgame. The actor became one of the first women to front a film in the franchise after her stand-alone film Black Widow debuted in 2021.
Before putting on her iconic supersuit, Johansson had two indie/dream-pop albums under her belt, released in the 2000s. She's continued to drop folksy tracks over the years. In 2018 she collaborated with Pete Yorn on an album called Apart. Her last entry on Spotify is a throwback from the archives titled "Yesterday Is Here."
No word yet on whether she'll focus more on music since her time in the MCU appears to have come to a close.
Jeremy Renner, a.k.a. Hawkeye
Like Johansson, Jeremy Renner made his MCU debut in a stand-alone film about another hero. Only, he introduced viewers to Hawkeye, an eagle-eyed archer and very capable spy, in 2011's Thor. The character played a significantly larger role in The Avengers the following year.
Renner's take on Clint Barton became a staple. He, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow built out the original team of heroes.
While he's yet to receive a stand-alone film, Renner will reprise Hawkeye in an upcoming Disney+ series named after the nimble character.
It turns out the actor is every bit as versatile as the hero he plays on screen. He may not be a real-life crime fighter, but Renner is a multi-instrumental musician who dropped two Coldplay-esque rock EPs in 2020. Renner also contributed songs to the soundtracks of several acting projects he's been involved in, including 2005's North County.
How cool would it be if he showed off his pipes in Hawkeye later this year?
Brie Larson, a.k.a. Captain Marvel
Brie Larson made history as the first woman to lead a film in the MCU when she portrayed the titular hero in 2019's Captain Marvel. The hero, who also answers to Carol Danvers, is regarded as one of the mightiest in the franchise.
Captain Marvel helped save the day in Avengers: Endgame. She will also return for a sequel to her debut film, according to Deadline.
Before introducing herself to Marvel fans as the super-powered character, Larson toyed with pursuing a music career. Her debut (and currently only) album is a bubblegum pop-rock delight that arrived in 2005. Although she didn't pursue pop stardom for long, she also landed on the soundtrack of 2015's Room.
Zendaya, a.k.a. MJ
Zendaya's dry sense of humor as MJ makes her a brilliant foil to Tom Holland's mega-earnest Spider-Man in the hero's stand-alone films. The duo are on fire every time they appear on screen together. Of course, their enviable chemistry is likely fueled by their alleged off-screen romance.
While her role within the MCU is still relatively small, Zendaya possesses no shortage of talents that could be explored in future films. Chiefly, the actor has some serious pipes. Seriously, she could have been a major pop star contender had she not focused on acting work.
The hit-maker went Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her breakout hit "Replay" in 2013. She also dropped a self-titled electro-pop and R&B album. That was the end of her solo pop music career. However, she hasn't shied away from using her voice for various acting projects.
Zendaya famously starred alongside Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman. She also performed a song for Euphoria.
Awkwafina, a.k.a. Katy Chen
Awkwafina played witty best friend to the hero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Her take on the character Katy delivered great chemistry with Simu Liu's Shang-Chi on screen.
While she's a household name now, Awkwafina got her start as a comedy rapper in the 2010s. Her debut album, Yellow Ranger, dropped in 2014. A second effort followed in 2018.
Like many of her fellow MCU musicians, the hit-maker has lent her voice to the soundtracks of projects she's appeared in.
Awkwafina sings on the soundtrack for 2018's Crazy Rich Asians. Hopefully she'll also sing as Scuttle in the upcoming live-action take on The Little Mermaid.
Hailee Steinfeld, a.k.a. Kate Bishop
Hailee Steinfeld appears ready to accept the mantle of Hawkeye from Renner. She'll make her debut in the MCU as Kate Bishop alongside Renner's Clint Barton in the upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye this winter.
And it appears that the duo have more in common than just their expert aim. We've already established that Renner has a growing music career on his hands. Steinfeld, of course, has already tackled the charts several times.
Steinfeld dropped her debut dance-pop single "Love Myself" in 2015. That's the same year she starred in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2. Since then, the pop star and actor has unleashed a multitude of bops, arguably making her one of the most commercially successful musicians in Marvel's universe.
Harry Styles, a.k.a. Eros (rumored)
If the rumors are true, Harry Styles will become the latest musician to join the MCU. His voice and discography are without a doubt the most recognizable of the bunch.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Styles debuted as one-fifth of the U.K. boy band One Direction. After conquering the globe with Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, he pursued a solo career.
Style's self-titled debut album arrived in 2017, and his sophomore effort Fine Line followed in 2019. He is one of the only 1D members to secure a coveted number one on the Billboard Hot 100, which he pulled off with the inescapable bop "Watermelon Sugar."
The hit-maker made his acting debut in 2017's Dunkirk and has another film role in the works outside the MCU.