The Best Cameos Of 2017

Blade Runner 2049 - Sean Young

by Owen Williams |
Published on

In the digital age it's harder and harder to keep secrets, but the movies of 2017 still managed to sneak some surprises into their casts. A few of our favourites follow, but be warned, there are spoilers ahead...

Blade Runner: 2049

Surprise appearance: Sean Young

Well, it isn’t really Sean Young – although she was on set as an advisor. The actress is actually Loren Peta, but in the same way that Rogue One revived Peter Cushing and the 1977-vintage Carrie Fisher last year, she’s been given a digital makeover to turn her into the original Blade Runner’s replicant Rachael. In a surprise reveal, she’s trotted out in a scene at the Tyrell Corporation.

Girls Trip

Surprise appearance: P. Diddy

Girls Trip

Director Malcolm D. Lee called in a tonne of cameo favours to populate his crowd scenes at New Orleans’ Essence festival: keep your eyes peeled for Mariah Carey, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Ava DuVernay and Morris Chestnut. But it was the club scene with Diddy that got star Tiffany Haddish going off-script. “I forgot everything they told me and I was like, ‘This is my chance!’” she laughed. “I was dancing with him and I was like, ‘Yeah bitches, you see me dancing with Diddy!’ Nobody was doper than me in that whole room.”

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2

Surprise appearance: David Hasselhoff, Sylvester Stallone

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - David Hasselhoff

There was a time (around the SpongeBob movie) when The Hoff said he was going to stop doing cameos like this. But on the evidence of Baywatch and Guardians 2 this year alone, he seems to enjoy them too much. In Guardians we learn that the emotionally vulnerable Star Lord viewed him as a surrogate father through watching him on Knight Rider. Cue a scene where his real father, Kurt Russell, turns into The Hoff in an attempt to win over his estranged son (and simultaneously to take the piss). If that wasn’t enough, there’s a joyfully mad Hoff anthem over the end credits. Stallone, meanwhile, got a slightly bigger role and a proper character, as Yondu's erstwhile Ravager mentor Stakar Ogord.

Justice League

Surprise appearance: Joe Manganiello


Relenting on their vow not to do end-credits sting scenes, DC gave us a doozy in Justice League, with Manganiello turning up as Deathstroke to offer his services to Lex Luthor. The ‘Stroke is a super-assassin, mega-skilled in martial arts, combat strategy, swordplay and other weaponry, and boasting enhanced strength, speed and agility. His real name is Slade Wilson (and if you think all that makes him sound rather like Wade “Deadpool” Wilson, that’s because Deadpool started out as a parody of Deathstroke). The Raid’s Gareth Evans is currently attached to direct a solo Deathstroke movie.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge

Surprise appearance: Keira Knightley, Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney in Salazar's Revenge

Orlando Bloom was back, so it wouldn’t have been fair if Keira Knightley didn’t also get to at least show her face. She turned up for a family reunion towards the end, but only after test audiences had objected to her not originally being there. “People wanted to see the whole band back together,” explained co-director Espen Sandberg.” Paul McCartney, meanwhile, was a late-stage replacement for Keith Richards. Keef had previously played Captain Jack’s father, but couldn’t make the shoot due to scheduling problems. When Macca stepped in, the scene was rewritten to make him Jack’s uncle. So Jack’s family now includes a Beatle and a Stone.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Surprise appearance: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly

Spider-Man Homecoming - Gwyneth Paltrow

Back before the Marvel Cinematic Universe we now know, Jennifer Connelly was Betsy Ross to Eric Bana’s Bruce Banner in Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk. Homecoming then, was sort of a Marvel comeback for her, even though we don’t see her on screen. She’s the voice of the Stark-designed Spidey suit: its Jarvis, if you will, although she turns out actually to be its “training wheels”. Gwyneth Paltrow, meanwhile, made a welcome comeback as Pepper Potts for the first time since 2013’s Iron Man 3. Pepper and Tony announced their engagement as a press distraction. Bless!


Surprise appearance: Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in Split

Known for his rug-pulling twists, M. Night Shyamalan reserved the mother of all surprises for the very end of his virtuoso James McAvoy multiple-personality shocker. Split, it turned out, was paving the way for an Unbreakable sequel: setting up a potential new antagonist for Bruce Willis’ blue collar superhero David Dunn. A third film in the series, Glass, will feature Dunn, Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass, and McAvoy’s “The Horde”, and is due in January, 2019.

Thor: Ragnarok

Surprise appearance: Sam Neill, Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, Stan Lee

Sam Neill & Jeff Goldblum - Jurassic Park

Early in the solo Thor threequel, Loki is disguised as Odin, thoroughly enjoying an Asgardian play that portrays him as the hero of all Thor’s recent adventures. And the players? Matt Damon is the altruistic and selfless Loki, Luke Hemsworth (Chris’ brother) is Thor, and Sam Neill is Odin. Director Taika Waititi gleefully pointed out to press that it’s the first time Neill and Jeff Goldblum have been in the same film since Jurassic Park: "This is cross universe stuff here!" In his own customary Marvel movie cameo, meanwhile, Marvel godfather Stan Lee showed up as "Barber": the Edward-Scissorhanded madman (or “creepy old guy” in Thor’s words) who cuts off Thor’s flowing locks in preparation for the Contest of Champions.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Surprise appearance: Stanley Tucci

Transformers: The Last Knight - Stanley Tucci

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword wasn’t the only Arthurian epic this year. To the stupefied disbelief of most, Transformers 5 opened with a sequence set in the year 484 AD, featuring Arthur (Liam Garrigan), his knights, and Merlin. Merlin gets a magic alien staff and some help in a big battle from a group of 12 transformers who can combine into a dragon. And the actor playing Merlin is an unrecognisable Stanley Tucci. He was previously the dastardly corporate CEO Joshua Joyce in Transformers: Age Of Extinction. If you recognised him this time you were doing well.

Kong: Skull Island

Surprise appearance: Godzilla

Kong Skull Island - Godzilla

Like Bruce Willis in Split, this post-credits cameo clues you into the fact that you’re watching part of a series, when you might have thought Skull Island was a standalone movie. In a secret facility back on the mainland, Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson are shown evidence that Kong is far from the only ancient behemoth still on Earth. They’re shown cave paintings depicting Mothra, Rodan, Ghidora and Gojira himself, while that ear-splitting Godzilla roar shakes the soundtrack. Godzilla Vs Kong, directed by Adam Wingard, is due in 2020, following Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla sequel King Of The Monsters in 2019.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Surprise appearance: Justin Theroux, Edgar Wright, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gareth Edwards, Gary Fisher and more

As expected, Episode VIII was chock-full of cameos. Justin Theroux popped up alongside Lily Cole and Warwick Davis in Canto Bight. Edgar Wright, Gareth Edwards and Joe Cornish were members of the Resistance. Carrie Fisher's dog Gary was even present in the casino scenes! Long-time Rian Johnson collaborators Noah Segan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were also involved, voicing a Canto Bight resident and flying an X-wing, respectively. Frank Oz also returned to voice Yoda.

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