Big budget franchises seem to be one of the only consistent options for Hollywood's top talent. And while it's no shock to see the industry's young, hot actors called upon to play young, hot heroes in popcorn fare, the trend has even spread to a venerable list of Academy Award winning actors.
We live in a world where Helen Mirren will be in The Fast and the Furious franchise while Anthony Hopkins stars in Transformers: The Last Knight. Cate Blanchett will play the villain in Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, joining Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley in the ranks of Marvel's Oscar winning villains. The trend shows no signs of stopping, so we're running through some Oscar winners we'd like to see join big franchises.
Ideally, Daniel Day-Lewis would already be part of a series as the MCU's Doctor Strange. That's sadly not the case, but we'd still love to see the actor join a Hollywood franchise. Day-Lewis is a superb performer, but he's almost always featured in prestige dramas and Oscar fare.
A franchise movie would give the actor a chance to cut loose and apply his method acting style in new ways. Day-Lewis would basically be free to do whatever he wanted, and while he basically already does that we'd love to see the final results alongside some big budget action.
If the existence of Nine Lives proves anything, it's that Kevin Spacey is willing to be in almost any movie. With that in mind, it only makes sense for the two-time Oscar winner to join a franchise. Given his ruthless, power-hungry portrayal of President Frank Underwood on House of Cards, we could easily see Spacey as a big screen bad guy.
He may have had the chance to bring Lex Luthor to life in Superman Returns, but we think Spacey deserves another shot at super-villainy. And considering Hollywood's neverending flow of superhero movies, there are plenty of opportunities.
Many consider Meryl Streep to be our greatest living actress, and for good reason. She's received 19 Oscar nominations — more than any other performer in history — with three wins, and has earned rave reviews for basically ever role she's played.
Streep doesn't need more awards, and she could use a break from the rigors of serious dramatic acting. Personally, we want to see Meryl Streep join the cast of the upcoming female-centric Ocean's Eight, filling out the heist crew as a master thief.
Cher will always be known as a singer first, actress second, so it's easy to forget that she actually won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in 1987's Moonstruck. She voiced a talking zebra in 2011's Zookeeper and hasn't appeared on the big screen since.
For her triumphant return to cinema, we want to see Cher take on a big franchise role. Cher has built her career on being a larger-than-life character, and while we've never doubted her diva status she'd cement her stardom for another generation by joining a Hollywood franchise.
Patricia Arquette is a vocal proponent of women's rights in Hollywood and beyond, having used her acceptance speech at the 2015 Academy Awards to call for wage equality across the nation.
A lead role in a big franchise film would give Arquette the opportunity to bring a strong, complex female character to the masses — furthering her fight for equal rights through film.
Joe Pesci is one of Hollywood's most underrated actors, which makes it seriously disappointing that he's essentially retired from performing. But Pesci isn't out of the game completely. He's lent his talents to three films since 1998, meaning there's at least a chance he'd make a big screen comeback.
And it's only natural he mount that comeback with a high profile franchise role. At best it launches a new era of Joe Pesci's career, and at worst Pesci provides one more killer performance and cashes in a fat check before going back into retirement.
Jamie Foxx may have played a part in Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but now that the series is officially dead we think the actor needs a franchise all his own. He proved he could do drama with an Oscar-winning lead performance as Ray Charles in Ray, and then proved once and for all he could carry an action film with 2012's Django Unchained.
Foxx brought believability to the over-the-top story of gunslinging ex-slave Django, and we were ready to see Django's further adventures as soon as the film ended. While a Django series would be pretty cool, we'd be happy to see Foxx embody a new character in a series of continued adventures. If Tom Cruise can anchor multiple franchises in 2016, there's no reason Jamie Foxx can't star in one.
Who are some Oscar winners you'd like to see join Hollywood franchises? Let us know in the comments.