Who: English actor who played the lead role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Netflix series “Daredevil” — lawyer Matt Murdock by day and titular masked vigilante at night… who also happens to be blind. That series was cancelled in November 2018, despite a passionate — if not huge — audience, who will have been relieved to have seen Cox’s brief cameo appearance as Murdock in last year’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which suggests that Cox (as Daredevil) is likely to feature heavily in MCU projects over the next few years.
Where else you might have seen him: Cox first came to international attention in the 2007 fantasy film “Stardust,” opposite Claire Danes. He had a recurring role in season two of “Boardwalk Empire,” and played Jonathan Hellyer Jones in 2014’s Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything.”
In his own words: “People always think I know more than I do. That’s funny to me, because the people who make these decisions — who know how secretive they need to be — the worst thing they could do is tell actors.”
Who: Bernthal qualifies as an international Comic Con veteran these days, 11 years on from his debut as Shane Walsh in “The Walking Dead.” That character alone was probably enough to keep him on the circuit for the rest of his life, but he then went on to star in Marvel’s “The Punisher,” (a spin-off from Charlie Cox’s “Daredevil” show) as the titular antihero of a dark, gritty show that was cancelled after its second season in 2019. But Bernthal did make a recent cameo appearance as The Punisher in the MCU’s “Hawkeye” mini-series, so perhaps Bernthal will be reunited with his good friend Cox in an upcoming Marvel feature.
Where else you might have seen him: Bernthal has stayed busy ever since his rise to fame in “The Walking Dead.” Some of his movie credits since include “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Baby Driver,” “Ford v Ferrari,” and last year’s “King Richard” with Will Smith and “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”
In his own words: “The criteria in which I decide what I'm doing next is: ‘Does the script move me?’ ‘Who am I working with?’ ‘Who is the filmmaker?’ and ‘Is that somebody I'm dying to work with?’ I never really look at this stuff in terms of career trajectory, it's all about who I’m working with and how good the material is.
Who: One of the finest screen ‘tough guys’ currently working, Rooker is also a “Walking Dead” alumnus, playing Merle Dixon (Daryl’s brother) — a misogynistic, murderous redneck — in early seasons of the AMC show. Comic Con fans will also know him from his portrayal of Ravager leader Yondu Udonta in the MCU’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Though he might look like a caricature baddy, Rooker has a gift for adding ambiguity and humanity to his roles, and can generally be relied on to improve any scene he’s in.
Where else you might have seen him: Rooker made his film debut in 1986’s “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” playing Henry Lee Lucas, a role for which he was widely praised. You might also have heard him in the “Call of Duty” video game franchise, in which he has played himself and the character Mike Harper. In the movies, he’s most commonly seen in action films or thrillers — in 2021 he starred in “The Suicide Squad” as Savant and also joined the “Fast and Furious” franchise in “F9.”
In his own words: “When people leave a movie, if they have more questions than answers, then I’ve done my job. That’s my forte and I like it a lot and I love leaving the audience wanting more and knowing there is more, which is really cool.”
Who: She might not be the biggest name on the MEFCC roster this year, but the English actress was an important part of what was arguably the biggest TV show of all time: “Game of Thrones.” As a former slave turned advisor to Daenerys Targaryen, Emmanuel’s Missandei was an often-isolated voice of wisdom and calm amid the madness of the fight for the Seven Kingdoms. She even made it all the way to the final season, although not the finale, sadly.
Where else you might have seen her: Unless you’re a fan of the UK soap opera “Hollyoaks,” which — let’s face it — is unlikely, then chances are you’ve only seen Emmanuel’s post-“GoT” work, the most prominent roles of which are her appearances in the “Maze Runner” franchise and in the last three “Fast & Furious” films. If you’re more into rom-coms, you might have caught her in the US miniseries “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
In her own words: “Missandei stayed kind and graceful and dignified despite unimaginable pain and suffering. Trauma can make people really unhappy and really angry. And she just wasn’t. But she had a fierceness, a quiet confidence and a quiet strength.”
Who: The Chinese-American actress and model is an official Disney Legend thanks to her voicing of the lead role in 1998’s “Mulan” and its 2004 sequel — a role she has reprised in a TV show (“Sofia the First”), a movie (2018’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet”) and a video game (2005’s “Kingdom Hearts II”).
Where else you might have seen her: Wen is also a regular in “Star Wars”-related shows, including “The Bad Batch” and “The Mandalorian,” in which she stars as Fennec Shand. Further performances of interest to Comic Con fans include starring roles in 1994’s “Street Fighter” movie, animated TV show “The Batman,” “Stargate Universe,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” in which she plays Melinda May/The Cavalry.
In her own words: “The kinds of characters that have always attracted me are like role models for me — they make me realize what I'm capable of doing if I set my mind to it. And I guess that gets translated when it reaches the audience, who in turn get influenced by it.”
Who: The Irish actor joined the MCU last year, playing the mind-controlling superhuman Druig in “Eternals.” He also has a minor role in this year’s “The Batman,” and played a scavenger in last year’s medieval fantasy “The Green Knight.”
Where else you might have seen him: Although he’s recently been seen in several pop-culture hits, Keoghan is an acclaimed dramatic actor — he was nominated for BAFTA Rising Star award in 2019 — with a string of impressive performances behind him, including roles in “Dunkirk,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” and mini-series “Chernobyl.”
In his own words: “I’d mitch off school and go to watch all of these films. I was learning my craft by watching these old movies. I was getting educated and I didn’t even know it.”