Ryan Reynolds's new movie, Paper Man, in which he plays Jeff Daniels's imaginary friend, a superhero named Captain Excellent, opens today. Last year Reynolds played the comic-book superhero Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and in 2011 he'll star as Green Lantern in a big-budget adaptation of the comic book of the same name. (Six years ago he costarred with Wesley Snipes and Jessica Biel in Blade: Trinity, his first foray into movies adapted from comic books.) Reynolds may also reprise his role as Deadpool in a spin-off of Wolverine, which itself is a spin-off of the first three X-Men movies.
Chris Evans's new movie, The Losers, also opens today. It's based on a comic book, albeit one in which the good guys don't possess superpowers, but Evans did play a man with telekinetic powers in last year's Push, which, at first glance, looked like another X-Men spin-off. He also starred as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and now he's set to play Captain America in a big-budget adaptation of the comic book of the same name. He'll also be playing Captain America in a big-budget adaptation of the "supergroup" comic book The Avengers.
Ryan Reynolds is married to Scarlett Johansson. She plays Black Widow, who's something of a superhero, in Iron Man 2, opening May 7, and she'll be in The Avengers with Evans and Robert Downey Jr., a.k.a. Iron Man.
With great power comes great responsibility, or so the Spider-Man movies reminded us again and again. And with great paychecks come great anxiety, I presume, about being a talented actor faced with the prospect of playing comic-book superheroes again and again for the rest of your career.