Most people will hardly find someone they have never seen before in this movie.
"Would it have been faster to say who
isn't in this movie? Jesus, it's like the Super Smash Bros. of Hollywood!"
Any show, movie, etc., where the majority of the lead roles are played by big-name actors. They don't have to be A list. B, C, and even D will do, although in that case, relying on their talents is preferable to relying on their names. If the character list is really
big, this can spill over into supporting roles as well.
In the days of the studio system, this was easy to do, but once actors' salaries started rising, this practice gradually declined. Compare the casts at the beginning of the Disaster Movie
Era with those at the end of it.
These days, you'd either need a lot of money to pull this off, convince the actors that this is just a fun breather film or be willing to settle for loads of cameos
. The exception is animated films, where stars are willing to get paid a lot less just to do voice work.
A good way of being able to tell if it is an all star cast is by an examination of the theatrical poster, if it has more than five names listed on it it is usually big
referred to films with All-Star Casts as "Box Pictures" due to the tendency (at least in the '70s) to display headshots of the cast in little boxes on the poster.
Compare Massive Multiplayer Crossover
, Celebrity Voice Actor
, Dream Team
. Contrast Amateur Cast
open/close all folders
- Disney's Studio Ghibli dubs are probably the best example of this, in that they cast well known Hollywood actors to do the voices. Among the actors featured in Studio Ghibli films are Christian Bale, Shia LaBeouf, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Patrick Stewart, Ron Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tim Curry, Amy Poehler, Tina Fay, Matt Damon, Molly Shannon, Lauren Bacall, Dakota Fanning, Phil Hartman, Uma Thurman, Debbie Reynolds, Brad Garrett, Michael Keaton, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Brittany Snow, Ashley Tisdale, Claire Danes, Jada Pinkett Smith, Billy Bob Thornton, Andy Dick, Jim Belushi, John Ratzenberger, Emily Mortimer, Josh Hutcherson, Billy Crystal, Timothy Dalton, Cate Blanchett, and Christina Hendricks.
- A lot of anime dubs done by Studiopolis (Bleach, Tiger & Bunny, Naruto, Zatch Bell!, and Blood+) usually have top veteran voice actors that are highly recognizable by many anime and cartoon fans. They even did this in a yaoi title as well.
- Saki, where majority of the Japanese voice actors are well-known and are in a "higher tier" in terms of popularity and skill. Famous seiyuu in Saki include: Rie Kugimiya, Shizuka Ito, Jun Fukuyama, Kana Ueda, Ami Koshimizu, Yui Horie, Minori Chihara, Daisuke Ono, Mai Nakahara, Natsuko Kuwatani, Ryōko Shiraishi, Yuu Kobayashi, and Ryōko Shintani.
The spinoff Saki Achigahen continues the trend with Aoi Yuuki, Kana Hanazawa, Mako, Nao Touyama, Satomi Arai, and the entirety of StylipS.
- Queen's Blade, where every female character is voiced by someone famous, eg. Rie Kugimiya, Mamiko Noto, Aya Hirano... Someone at the Anime News Network forum even described it as "its like having all the A-list Hollywood Actress starring in a porn film".
- Pani Poni Dash! has both dubs as this. The Japanese version has the whole class of 1-C as this already, even Sayaka Suzuki's vocie actress, who's next successful role wouldn't be until the infamous Yosuga no Sora anime. While the dub version for class 1-C had notable VA's such as Hilary Haag and Monica Rial, it did have 3 notable breakthrough debuts for Melissa Davis, Brittney Karbowski and Maggie Flecknoe. Brittney Karbowski already had a lead role months before in Jinki:Extend. Although she's been in dubs since at least Ganz, where she had some small roles.
- Dog Days has Norio Wakamoto, Nana Mizuki, Yōko Hikasa, Yui Horie, Tetsuya Kakihara, Kana Hanazawa and more.
- A Certain Magical Index features the voice talents of Satoshi Hino, Rina Sato, Hitomi Nabatame, Yoshihisa Kawahara, Mamiko Noto, Junji Majima, Yukari Tamura, Toshihiko Seki, Keiji Fujiwara, Atsuko Tanaka, Sayaka Ohara, Yumi Touma, Kana Ueda, Ami Koshimizu, Yuka Iguchi, Ayako Kawasumi, Kissho Taniyama, Shizuka Ito, Kosuke Toriumi, Rie Kugimiya, Norio Wakamoto, Tomokazu Sugita, Joji Nakata, Kenji Nomura, Kikuko Inoue, and Kenta Miyake.
- K: One of the few things known in advance despite the mystery during the promotional stage was that the voices would be done by a lot of notable voice actors. Daisuke Namikawa, Miyuki Sawashiro, Mamoru Miyano, Tomokazu Sugita, Takahiro Sakurai, Jun Fukuyama, Yui Horie, Yuuki Kaji, Tetsuya Kakihara, to name a few.
For the English Dub; Sam Riegel, Matthew Mercer, Stephanie Sheh, Keith Silverstein, Patrick Seitz, Ben Diskin, Todd Haberkorn, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Tara Platt, Johnny Yong Bosch, Carrie Savage and Grant George among others. Of course, the dub was done by Studiopolis as mentioned above.
- Attack on Titan features many of Funimation's staple voice acting talent, including J. Michael Tatum, Caitlin Glass, Christopher Sabat, Trina Nishimura, and others, including two big name voice actors from California who aren't regular members of Funimation: Bryce Papenbrook as Eren Jaegar, and Matthew Mercer as Levi.
- Kamisama Kiss features the voice talents of Junichi Suwabe, Hiroki Takahashi, Akira Ishida, Hyo-sei, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yui Horie, Satomi Sato and more.
The English dub features Monica Rial, Robert McCollum, Josh Grelle, Jad Saxton, J. Michael Tatum, Micah Solusod, Alexis Tipton, and Tia Ballard.
- Saint Seiya Omega: Only in the main cast we have the likes of Hikaru Midorikawa, Katsuyuki Konishi, Satsuki Yukino, Tetsuya Kakihara and Mamiko Noto. Not counting the minor appearances of even more famous ones, like Toshio Furukawa, Yukana, Tomokazu Seki, Aya Hisakawa, Akira Ishida, Mamoru Miyano, Hiroshi Kamiya and Tōru Furuya once again voicing the titular character.
- Space Battleship Yamato 2199: A legendary cast to remake a legendary series: Daisuke Ono, Houko Kuwashima, Kenichi Suzumura, Akio Ohtsuka, Aya Hisakawa, Keiji Fujiwara, Kikuko Inoue, Koichi Yamadera, Rie Tanaka, Joji Nakata, Shigeru Chiba and the list goes on. Some of them have at least 15 years of experience with famous anime series under their belts.
- The English dub of the two-season anime adaptation of ef - a fairy tale of the two. is full of well-known veterans — even Sentai Filmworks declares so in its marketing materials. We have Greg Ayres, Luci Christian, Chris Patton, Brittney Karbowski, Monica Rial, Hilary Haag, Illich Guardiola, and David Matranga.
- More recently, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. The main cast of the show contains the voices of Yuuichi Nakamura, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yuki Ono, Miyuki Sawashiro, Ryōhei Kimura and Mai Nakahara (Who is also Playing Against Type here). The supporting cast contains Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Ono, Ayako Kawasumi and Kenta Miyake.
- The dub of Princess Mononoke, with Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Keith David, Minnie Driver, Jada Pinkett Smith and Billy Bob Thornton.
- Elvis Shrugged: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Sinéad O'Connor, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Roy Orbison, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Elvis Costello, Mojo Nixon, Sammy Davis Jr, Axl Rose, Spike Lee, Paul Schaffer, Regis Philbin, James Brown, Paul Simon, Jodie Foster, Sean Penn, Mary Hart and John Tesh, Sean Young, Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric..... And the disembodied, animate heads of Cole Porter and Col. Tom Parker.
Films — Animation
- Any animated movie by Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks, really. Especially Dreamworks.
- Atlantis The Lost Empire, save for the Princess, who is voiced by veteran voice actor Cree Summer.
- Kung Fu Panda features the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Seth Rogen, Ian Mc Shane, and Michael Clarke Duncan.
- The Thief and the Cobbler: Richard Williams, director of the film, went to great lengths to secure not only the greatest voice cast of all time for a cartoon (Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence, Anthony Quayle to name a few) but also the greatest team of animators:
- himself. Richard not only directed, he drew quite a significant chunk. His crowning scene is Zig-Zag's card shuffling display for the One-Eyes.
- Art Babbitt, responsible for Zeus and the Chinese mushrooms in Fantasia, and infamous for organizing the 1941 strike against Walt Disney. For Thief he drew King Nod and the vulture Phido.
- Ken Harris, number one animator in the Chuck Jones unit during production on the original golden-era batch of Warner Brothers cartoons. Ken's animation of the Thief is similar to his work on Wile E. Coyote.
- Emery Hawkins, who worked for every single cartoon studio that existed in Hollywood between the 30s and the 50s. It is not exactly known what he animated on Thief (many animation buffs guess he drew the ogre-prince who isn't in the Recobbled Cut).
- Grim Natwick, responsible for Krazy Kat, Betty Boop, Snow White and Mr. Magoo, and was in fact 90 years old when he tackled the drawings for the Mad Witch.
- For many of these actors and artists, Thief and the Cobbler was their final film; they poured in every ounce of blood and sweat they had left.
- The Prince of Egypt includes the voice talents of Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. Phew!
- Antz includes the likes of Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Walken, Anne Bancroft, Dan Aykroyd, and Danny Glover.
- Hoodwinked has the likes of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, David Ogden Stiers, and Andy Dick.
- Epic features Amanda Seyfried as MK, Josh Hutcherson as Nod, Colin Farrell as Ronin, Beyoncé as Queen Tara, Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu, Christoph Waltz as Mandrake, Pitbull as Bufo, and so on.
- The LEGO Movie features Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Creator/Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, and Nick Offerman in main roles, with cameos by Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Cobie Smulders, Will Forte, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Keegan Michael Key, Jorma Taccone, and Shaquille O'Neal. There are also spoilery cameos from Keith Ferguson, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, and a live-action Will Ferrell.
Films — Live-Action
- The Cornelius Ryan books The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far both became films with all-star casts:
- The Longest Day (1962) - Paul Anka, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery (pre-Bond, and a very small role), Mel Ferrer, Henry Fonda, Leo Genn, Jeffrey Hunter, Alexander Knox, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, George Segal, Rod Steiger, Richard Todd (actually playing the Captain he served under on D-Day), Robert Wagner (again, pre-fame) and John Wayne, in addition to a number of French and German/Austrian actors who were already household names in their own countries, including future Bond villains Gerd "Goldfinger" Frobe and Curd "Stromberg" Jürgens.
- A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Hardy Krüger, Ryan ONeal, Robert Redford, Laurence Olivier, Maximilan Schell, Liv Ullmann, Denholm Elliott and minor roles for John Ratzenberger and Garrick "Biggs"
- How the West Was Won: Jimmy Stewart, Karl Malden, Debbie Reynolds, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Carroll Baker, George Peppard, John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach just to name a few.
- Ocean's 11, its remake, and the Steven Soderbergh-directed sequels.
- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The tagline was "Everybody who's ever been funny is in it!"
- Rat Race continued this with John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth Green, Jon Lovitz,and Wayne Knight.
- Pulp Fiction features, among others: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Walken.
- The 1964 film The Yellow Rolls-Royce featured Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine, Omar Sharif, Alain Delon, Art Carney, George C Scott and Jeanne Moreau.
- Also from 1964, What A Way To Go! starred Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly and Dick Van Dyke.
- The Towering Inferno with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Robert Vaughn, OJ Simpson, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner and Richard Chamberlain.
- The Poseidon Adventure with Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters, Leslie Nielsen and Pamela Sue Martin among others.
- National Treasure: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight, and Christopher Plummer.
- The Batman movies got gradually more into this as they went on, until the Continuity Reboot.
- The Dark Knight Saga became probably the best modern use of this. Like Pixar, he was concerned with casting talent over name. It just happened that a lot of the talent cast were seasoned name actors. Scarecrow and Two-Face probably had the least famous actors cast in the major roles (Cillian Murphy and Aaron Eckhart, respectively), but again, it was their talent.
- Batman Begins: Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson, Morgan Freeman;
- The Dark Knight: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman;
- The Dark Knight Rises: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Burn Gorman, Cillian Murphy.
- Likewise, the X-Men films. Easier to do than Batman due to Loads and Loads of Characters.
- Most adaptations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in part because there are so many characters to work with and most don't appear onscreen for extended periods of time.
- Bobby: Harry Belafonte, Emilio Estevez (also directed), Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Nick Cannon, Christian Slater, Martin Sheen, Joshua Jackson and Elijah Wood.
- Several Agatha Christie adaptations, such as Murder on the Orient Express (1974), which had the Tagline "The Who's Who in the Whodunit!"
- Murder by Death
- Clue has Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull, Leslie Ann Warren, Michael Mc Kean, Eileen Brennan, Lee Ving, Colleen Camp, and a cameo by Jane Wiedlin.
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) is an interesting case: most of the A and B-list actors are in supporting and cameo roles, many because they asked to be in the film in some capacity. Most infamously, John Wayne appears as a Roman centurion at the crucifixion.
- On the Biblical theme, Jesus of Nazareth, which has a cast list that would make your eyes spin: Laurence Olivier, Anne Bancroft, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm, Ian Mc Shane, Michael York, Ernst Borgnine, Rod Steiger.
- Gosford Park has quite an impressive cast: Dame Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Northam, Bob Balaban, Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Fry, Kelly Macdonald, Clive Owen, Dame Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins, Emily Watson, Alan Bates, Richard E. Grant, and Sir Derek Jacobi. And those are just SOME of the characters.
- In a slight inversion of this, the main characters of The Magnificent Seven included Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Eli Wallach and Robert Vaughn — but at the time the film was made, only Yul Brynner was really an established star.
- The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn. Oh and of course Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasence, James Garner and many more...
- Just about every adult in the Harry Potter films is played by a renowned British character actor. Try to find a decently-budgeted, British movie made within the last twenty years which doesn't include at least one actor who appeared in the Potter series. In fact, actor Bill Nighy once quipped that he played Rufus Scrimgeour in the seventh film was because he didn't want to be the only actor in England to not appear in a Harry Potter film.
- Several pop/rock musicals of the 1970s went out of their way to bring in as many music and/or movie stars as possible, even if many of them only got one song/scene as a result: see Tommy, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Wiz.
- The Blues Brothers and The Blues Brothers 2000 played this trope for blues musicians.
- To most of the world, Baz Luhrman's Australia stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, supported by David Wenham, Ben Mendelsohn and a bunch of nobodies. Inside Australia itself, it is considered an amazing star-studded extravaganza, where even tiny roles are filled by locally-renowned stars such as Bruce Spence and John Jarrat.
- True Romance manages to cram Patricia Arquette, Brad Pitt, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, and Tom Sizemore into its cast, with James Gandolfini, Samuel L. Jackson and Saul Rubinek playing backup. There were also roles for D-list actors Christian Slater and Val Kilmer.
- Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare films:
- Hamlet threw in a bunch of flashbacks and imagine spots in order to have more parts to cast stars in. Apart from Branagh himself: Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Timothy Spall, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, BRIAN BLESSED, Gérard Depardieu, John Gielgud, Judi Dench, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, and Sir Richard Attenborough.
- Much Ado About Nothing has (besides Branagh himself) Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Beckinsale and BRIAN BLESSED.
- Henry V has Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Robert Stephens, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm, Christian Bale and BRIAN BLESSED.
- The remake of The Stepford Wives has Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Christopher Walken and Faith Hill.
- Mars Attacks! is an almost ridiculous example. Jack Nicholson (who gets two major roles), Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Tom Jones as himself, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Pam Grier, Jack Black, Christina Applegate — and Frank Welker voicing the Martians.
- Love Actually has been described as heaven for Anglophiles.
- Suprisingly, both of the Steve Martin Pink Panther films are dripping with name talent: Martin himself, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin, Jean Reno, Beyonce ... in fact love interest Nicole Nuveau is probably the only major character played by a non-name.
- Paul Thomas Anderson's earlier movies. Boogie Nights and Magnolia both feature large casts with lots of big names. Some of the supporting players (John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, and most notably Phillip Seymour Hoffman) have even become bankable (or at the very least, highly respected) leading men since.
- Basquiat: Jeffrey Wright, Benicio Del Toro, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Willem Dafoe, David Bowie (as Andy Warhol!), Claire Forlani, Christopher Walken, Courtney Love, Parker Posey, and Tatum O'Neal. For the character-actor inclined among us, there's also Michael Wincott, Rockets Redglare, Michael Badalucco and a cameo from pre-name Sam Rockwell.
- Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula does sport an amazing array of big names. Gary Oldman as the Count is just the tip of the iceberg. Anthony Hopkins plays vampire slayer Van Helsing, with Winona Ryder as Mina Harker, and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker (a part that Coppola planned to give Johnny Depp before the studio intervened). The supporting cast has Cary Elwes, Tom Waits, Richard E. Grant, Billy Campbell, and a brief appearance by a VERY nude Monica Bellucci.
- In 1983, The Outsiders was a pretty big deal, what with C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Leif Garrett, Tom Waits, a twelve year-old Sofia Coppola, S.E. Hinton herself as a nurse and Diane Lane as Cherry Valance!
- Milage may vary on this. For most of those first 7, it was very early in their careers, so this is much more of a Retroactive recognition , but many of them weren't that famous at the time (Howell and Cruise - 2 prior total appearances, bit parts for Swayze). Actually the best known (of the first seven) may have been Macchio for his role in Eight is Enough.
- The movie adaptation of the musical 9: The lead male role was originally offered to Javier Bardem, who turned it down and was subsequently replaced by Daniel Day-Lewis, thus providing perhaps the only instances were NOT putting Javier Bardem in your movie was the better choice. It also stars Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren, and... Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.
- The Scream movies certainly count, particularly the second one, which features performances by Jada Pinkett-Smith, Omar Epps, Liev Schreiber, Courteney Cox, Buffy Summers herself, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Timothy Olyphant, Portia de Rossi, Laurie Metcalf, Jerry O'Connell and of course Jamie Kennedy.
- Scream 3 has well known actors in even the relatively small roles (Carrie Fisher, Patrick Dempsey, Lance Henriksen, Kevin Smith, Parker Posey, Jenny McCarthy, Patrick Warburton) along side the already star-studded main cast.
- The House of the Spirits has Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder, Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close, Vanessa Redgrave and Maria Conchita Alonso.
- And then there's The Shootist. When word got out that John Wayne was doing what everyone assumed would be his final movie, people were nearly begging for parts. Wayne personally selected Lauren Bacall for the female lead, with Ron Howard and Jimmy Stewart in the two main supporting roles. Presumably the director was too scared of John Carradine to ask him to leave. Harry Morgan shows up for two scenes, Scatman Crothers for one. Richard Boone and Hugh O'Brian were also smuggled onto the set. Ricky Nelson is also shown briefly in flashback (actually a clip from a previous film).
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. *Deep breath* Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael McShane. Less highly billed were BRIAN BLESSED, Michael Wincott, and Sean Connery (in a cameo that stole the movie).
- The Night at the Museum films.
- Mamma Mia! starred Sophie Zawistowska, James Bond, Molly Weasley, Bootstrap Bill Turner and Mr Darcy.
- The Monuments Men: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett
- The Thin Red Line, because Terrence Malick spent 20 years away, and almost any male in Hollywood wanted to be a part of his new movie. Many (Gary Oldman, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen...) even had to be cut!
- Saving Private Ryan has many famous faces, and others who became famous after the movie (such as Vin Diesel, Daniel Faraday, and Malcolm Reynolds).
- The Expendables: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, and cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Most of the trailers didn't even show any hint of the premise - listing the male leads with brief shots of them in action was enough. The sequel also includes Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Liam Hemsworth, and the third movie includes Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, and Kelsey Grammer, along with professional boxer Victor Ortiz and UFC champion Ronda Rousey.
- The Hairspray musical movie. Zac Efron, Christopher Walken, John Travolta, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden... in short, every major character, with the ironic exception of the main charcter, played by Nikki Blonsky.
- Anaconda, with Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz, Kari Wuhrer, Jonathan Hyde, and a cameo by Danny Trejo, with only one or two other actors in the whole thing.
- Millionaire's Express (aka. Shanghai Express) starred a plethora of Hong Kong cinema stars, such as Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Rosamund Kwan, Mei-sheng Fan and Hwang Jang Lee.
- The little-known superhero move The Meteor Man features a wide list of famous African-American actors.
- The 1994 remake of The Little Rascals showcased tons of cameos of well known child and adult actors.
- Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back certainly counts. Not counting Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, you have Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Will Ferrell, Ali Larter, George Carlin, Chris Rock, Jamie Kennedy, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Deidrich Bader, Alanis Morrissette, Seann William Scott, Judd Nelson, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Jon Stewart, Tracy Morgan, directors Gus Van Sant and Wes Craven, Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson returning as Dante and Randal from Clerks, Adam Corolla cameos in a deleted scene, and Jason Lee, Ben Affleck AND Matt Damon all pulling double duty. Hell, Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada even cameos as a horny pizza delivery guy!
- Black Hawk Down: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Sam Shepard, Jason Isaacs, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy.
- Possibly because it's a Biopic incorporating several Real Life all-stars, The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers had Geoffrey Rush in the title role, with Emily Watson (as Sellers' first wife), Charlize Theron (as Britt Ekland), Stanley Tucci (as Stanley Kubrick), John Lithgow (as Blake Edwards), Stephen Fry (as a medium Sellers frequently consulted), and Miriam Margolyes (as Sellers' mother) in the key supporting parts. Steve Pemberton and Edward Tudor-Pole had minor roles as his fellow Goons, and supermodel Heidi Klum had a cameo as Ursula Andress.
- Glengarry Glen Ross features Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, and Jonathan Pryce. Every single actor is a name.
- The HBO miniseries version of Angels In America, with (among others) Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Mary-Louise Parker and Emma Thompson.
- Species: Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Natasha Henstridge and a very young Michelle Williams.
- The 1956 film version of Around the World in 80 Days featured David Niven and Shirley MacLaine in the lead roles, and many cameos by celebrities, such as Marlene Dietrich, Buster Keaton, Peter Lorre, Edward R. Murrow, Cesar Romero and Frank Sinatra. This was back when cameo appearances were still a novelty and a big deal.
- The 1942 anthology film Tales of Manhattan features Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Robeson, Elsa Lanchaster and Cesar Romero.
- The underknown British gangster flick The Hit stars John Hurt and Terence Stamp, features Jim Broadbent in small role, and marks the first film role of Tim Roth, who received a BAFTA nomination for Most Outstanding Newcomer to Film.
- Judgement At Nuremberg. Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Maximilian Schell, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Werner Klemperer, Judy Garland, William Shatner, and Montgomery Clift.
- Troy. Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Sean Bean, Julie Christie and Peter O'Toole. Seriously, it's incredible the star power in it.
- The obscure 1976 made-for-TV movie Victory at Entebbe features Anthony Hopkins, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Dreyfuss, Kirk Douglas and Linda Blair.
- The 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, starring such British powerhouses as Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Greg Wise, Imelda Staunton, and Hugh Laurie.
- Armageddon : Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Steve Buscemi, Keith David and William Fichtner.
- Hook: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, and Bob Hoskins in the major roles. Dame Maggie Smith has a minor role. Phil Collins, a then-unknown named Gwyneth Paltrow, David Crosby, and Glenn Close (in drag) make cameos, while George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, and Jimmy Buffett play extras.
- The 2010 film Valentine's Day has Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, and about a dozen more.
- Tropic Thunder parodied this in its script, while playing it straight with the casting. Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr.., Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise all had a great time lampooning the things that go along with this.
- The Lord of the Rings. Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, plus a reboot for Sean Astin. Oh, plus actors like Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortensen, who became A-list after the movie.
- The 1982 film adaptation of Annie cast its net wide for stage and screen stars to fill the adult roles: Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, Albert Finney as Oliver Warbucks, Ann Reinking as Grace, Tim Curry as Rooster, Bernadette Peters as Lily, and Edward Herrmann as FDR (who had already played that president in two acclaimed TV movies in the late 1970s).
- The Prestige is headed by Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis and David Bowie.
- The Departed: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin.
- Infernal Affairs contains an star-studded cast of Hong Kong actors, with Tony Leung, Andy Lau, Anthony Wong, and Eric Tsang.
- Uwe Boll's versions of BloodRayne and Dungeon Siege. Sadly, neither achieved the same goal as the rest of the movies listed here.
- The Continuity Reboot of the Spyro the Dragon series actually billed itself on its name talent, which included people like Elijah Wood, Gary Oldman, David Spade and Wayne Brady in its primary roles. Even the minor roles tended to be filled with well-known (among voice acting afficionados) cartoon voice actors.
- Iron Man: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges star in the first. Don Cheadle (replacing Howard), Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke star in the second — oh, and there's Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. This film series has the highest Academy Award count for any superhero cast.
- The 1978 Superman. Apart from the stars Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, there's Gene Hackman, Jackie Cooper, Ned Beatty, Valerie Perrine, and Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter (as the Kents). Susannah York, a pretty well-known British name in the '70s, appears as his mom. And of course, in perhaps the biggest cameo ever, Marlon Brando got top billing as his dad. Terence Stamp has a cameo as General Zod just to set up his role as the primary villain in the second film. Quite a few of these actors have received Oscar nominations and wins.
- This continues into later installments. Superman III features topflight comedian Richard Pryor as a computer programmer who falls in with a Corrupt Corporate Executive played by Robert Vaughn, aka The Man From UNCLE. The spinoff Supergirl surrounds then-newcomer Helen Slater with Faye Dunaway, Peter O'Toole, Brenda Vaccaro, Peter Cook, and Mia Farrow, all performers comparable to ones in the main franchise.
- The Quick and the Dead. It's damn full of stars, including Sharon Stone as the lead, Gene Hackman as the Big Bad, then Russell Crowe, Lance Henriksen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Sinise and Keith David.
- Inception: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, and Tom Berenger.
- By this point, it's pretty much a given that Christopher Nolan will find some role for Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Ken Watanabe in almost anything he directs. He has his repertory and he's happy with it.
- Cloud Atlas. Holy crap. Possibly one of the first movies with an international All-Star Cast, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, James D'arcy, Hugh Grant, Bae Doona, Zhou Xun, and Keith David. Maybe the only main actor who's not at least well known in his country of origin is David Gyasi.
- The movie adaptation of Red: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, John C. Reilly, James Remar, Helen Mirren, Julian McMahon, Brian Cox, Ernest Borgnine, Karl Urban and Richard Dreyfuss.
- The First Wives Club. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Stockard Channing, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heather Locklear, Bronson Pinchot, Victor Garber, Stephen Collins, Maggie Smith, Marcia Gay Harden and Elizabeth Berkley}}.
- Grown Ups starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Kevin James, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph.
- The documentary America: The Story of the U.S. interviewed various celebrities from Meryl Streep to Bill Gates to Brian Williams to the co-founder of Wikipedia.
- Sneakers , to an almost ridiculous extent. Robert Redford as the lead, Ben Kingsley as the Anti-Villain, and a supporting cast featuring Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, and River Phoenix — plus a One-Scene Wonder appearance by James Earl Jones.
- Hot Fuzz has roughly as many famous British and Irish actors as the average Harry Potter movie (indeed, with much crossover between them). Throw in Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett for good measure.
- Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, Angela Bassett, and Loretta Devine. Also features Dennis Haysbert, Gregory Hines, and Wesley Snipes (in an uncredited role). Also directed by Forest Whitaker.
- Shanghai, which features a mix of big-name actors from both Hollywood and Asian cinema, including John Cusack, Chow Yun Fatt, Gong Li, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Franka Potente and David Morse.
- Yellowbeard (1983), a pirate comedy, had Graham Chapman in the title role, and a colorful lineup of comic and character actors supporting him: in alphabetical order, Peter Boyle, Cheech & Chong, John Cleese, Peter Cook, Marty Feldman, Michael Hordern, Eric Idle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, James Mason, Spike Milligan, and Beryl Reid. And an unbilled cameo by David Bowie!
- The Faculty provides a strange example. Several of the adult actors were already well-known at the time, including Jon Stewart, Robert Patrick, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth, Creator/Mc Donald, and Daniel von Bargen. The students' actors were largely unknown at this point, but many went on to bigger and better things, such as Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Usher Raymond, Jordana Brewster, Clea Duvall, and Laura Harris.
- Most, if not all of Tyler Perry's movies, have quite a few stars in them, even if they are just cameo roles.
- The 1988 comedy Working Girl has an All-Star Cast retroactively. The only big stars in the film at the time were Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver, but the movie also has Melanie Griffith as the lead, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, David Duchovny, Ricki Lake, Olympia Dukakis, and Saturday Night Live alumna Joan Cusack and Nora Dunn, in roles of varying size.
- Machete: We got Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan.
- The Raven: Vincent Price and Peter Lorre battle Boris Karloff. Retroactively, Peter Lorre's son is Jack Nicholson. This being a Roger Corman film, that's literally a 40% star cast.
- Eve's Bayou has Samuel L. Jackson, Lynn Whitfield and Meagan Good in starring roles, as well as minor roles for Diahann Carroll and Victoria Rowell.
- Outbreak is Dustin Hoffman - assisted by Cuba Gooding Jr, and formerly married to Rene Russo who's now with Kevin Spacey - vs Donald Sutherland and Morgan Freeman (who eventually switches sides and has Sutherland arrested by Dale Dye) in trying to manage a virus brought into the country by Patrick Dempsey.
- Heat: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Natalie Portman, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Hank Azaria, Jeremy Piven and Henry Rollins. In the recognizable faces category, there's William Fitcher, Wes Studi, Danny Trejo, Tone Loc and Ted Levine.
- Ed Wood : Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lisa Marie, George "The Animal" Steele, Patricia Arquette.
- Grand Hotel, which had Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, and Jean Hersholt.
- Dinner at Eight (1933) had Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Billie Burke and Jean Hersholt.
- Noises Off starring Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Marilu Henner, Julie Hagerty, Denholm Elliott, Mark-Linn Baker and Nicollette Sheridan.
- The 2007 movie version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street boasted Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
- There is a Disney Channel Original Movie called Dadnapped, featuring Emily Osment, Jason Earles and Moises Arias from Hannah Montana, Jennifer Stone and David Henrie from Wizards of Waverly Place, and Phill Lewis from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
- The French comedy Papy fait de la Résistance, down to the extras. The tagline said that it had cost more than the Normandy landings.
- Damages has Glenn Close, Ted Danson, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Campbell Scott, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin and John Goodman as part of the regular cast at one point or another along with up and comer Rose Byrne. That roster is enough to make the one off Stunt Casting guest list of some series blush.
- The 1964 concert film The T.A.M.I. Show had a lineup of the biggest musical artists at the time perform one right after another on the same stage including: Chuck Berry, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Marvin Gaye, Lesley Gore, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, James Brown and the Famous Flames and The Rolling Stones. A young Teri Garr is even one of the go go dancers in the back.
- Small Soldiers: David Cross, Jay Mohr, Denis Leary, Kirsten Dunst, and Phil Hartman all appear live, plus Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christina Ricci and all three members of Spinal Tap (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) do voice work.
- The cast list of 2011 film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy boasts Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciaran Hinds, not to mention Konstantin Khabensky who's very well known in Russia. The star power is almost blinding.
- In the 2011 film Contagion, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, and Marion Cotillard all play large roles. On top of that, there are several Hey, It's That Guy! moments, including appearances by Demetri Martin, Bryan Cranston, John Hawkes, Enrico Colantoni and Elliot Gould.
- The movie New Years Eve New has Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Cary Elwes, Katherine Heigl, Alyssa Milano, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lea Michele, Til Schweiger and many more.
- Think Like A Man, Based on an Advice Book by Steve Harvey called Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, stars Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union and Chris Brown.
- The Stolen Jools, a 1931 crime spoof that featured cameos from the likes of Edward G. Robinson, Joan Crawford, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, The Little Rascals, Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and about 30-40 other big name actors.
- 13, the American remake of 13 Tzameti, features a surprising number of recognizable faces: Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, Ben Gazarra, Alexander Skarsgard, 50 Cent, Dexters David Zayas, Entourages Emmanuelle Chriqui and MMA fighters Don Frye and Forrest Griffin.
- North included the likes of Elijah Wood, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Lovitz, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Reba McEntire, Lauren Tom, Kathy Bates, Abe Vigoda (?!), John Ritter, and Bruce Willis. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson in her film debut.
- Queens Logic has Joe Mantegna, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Fiorentino, John Malkovich, Ken Olin, Chloe Webb, Tony Spiridakis and Tom Waits.
- Parodied in the Real Trailer, Fake Movie Jimmy Kimmel put together called "Movie: The Movie". It's a film meant to have a piece of every popular genre, with the trailer featuring many celebrities such as Samuel L. Jackson and Cameron Diaz.
- Timeline features the likes of Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Neal Mc Donough, Matt Craven, Ethan Embry, Michael Sheen, Lambert Wilson, Marton Csokas and Rossif Sutherland.
- The Man in the Iron Mask has Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Laurie, Peter Sarsgaard, and french Gérard Depardieu, Anne Parillaud and Judith Godrèche.
- Movie 43. Many of which regret it now.
- After Hours features Griffin Dunne as the lead, along with Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara and Cheech And Chong.
- Four Rooms has Tim Roth as the main character, as well as containing Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Beals, Valeria Golino, Madonna, Ione Skye, Quentin Tarantino, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Tamlyn Tomita, Alicia Witt and Bruce Willis in an uncredited role.
- Now You See Me, featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Dave Franco and Mark Ruffalo.
- The Wizard of Oz is one of the earliest examples of this. Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow), Jack Haley (the Tin Man), Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch), Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion), and Frank Morgan (the Wizard)note were some of the foremost actors in the early days of blockbuster talkies. Bolger, Haley, and Lahr in particular were also noted vaudeville performers.note
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, in addition to Abbott and Costello themselves, includes a Who's Who of Universal Horror stars: Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's Monster, Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man, and Vincent Price as The Invisible Man. (Notably, this is the only other time Bela Lugosi reprised his most famous role.)
- Pain and Gain features Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, and even Peter Stormare as One-Scene Wonder.
- Kill Your Darlings stars Kyra Sedgwick, as Lucien Carr's mother, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, David Cross as Allen Ginsberg's father, Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer, and Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg.
- Gone in Sixty Seconds, the 2000 car heist movie, features a fairly loaded cast given the plot: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Scott Caan, Vinnie Jones, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Olyphant, Christopher Eccleston, Robert Duvall, and Chi Mc Bride.
- Wes Anderson frequently pulls ensemble casts, but The Grand Budapest Hotel takes it to extreme measures: led by Ralph Fiennes, the cast features Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Alamric, F Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann, Owen Wilson, and even George Clooney in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo.
- The Big Wedding contains Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried and Ben Barnes.
- The Hungarian version of Carrie has this; Kata Csondor as Carrie White, Tamara Zsigmond as Sue Snell, Peter Bozso as Tommy Ross, Edina Somlai as Chris Hargensen, Attila Kiraly as Billy Nolan, among others.
- The Aviator: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, John C. Reily, Jude Law, Alan Alda, Danny Huston.
- Paddington: Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton.
- Into the Woods features Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and much more, along with Broadway players Christina Baranski, Mackenzie Mauzy, Lilla Crawford, and Billy Magnusson. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres pokes fun at the film's star studded cast by creating her own trailer for the film, which lists a comical assortment of celebrities as members of the cast.
Live Action TV
- Many British costume dramas fulfil this trope to the letter, though occasionally the names are unknown in Hollywood but considered major stars in Britain.
- The 2005 version of Bleak House starred, among others, Gillian Anderson, Denis "Wedge Antilles" Lawson, Charles Dance, Alun Armstrong, Pauline Collins, Ian Richardson and Anne Reid.
- The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice has Colin Firth, Alison Steadman, Julia Sawalha and Emilia Fox.
- The 2007 Cranford has Dame Judi Dench, Simon Woods, Michael Gambon, Imelda Staunton, Julia Sawalha, Philip Glenister and Eileen Atkins, not to mention a host of beloved British character actors in supporting roles, among them Emma Fielding, Jim Carter, Deborah Findlay, Barbara Flynn, Greg Wise, and Francesca Annis. Return to Cranford upped the ante, adding names like Celia Imrie, Tim Curry, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Dockery, and a pre-The Avengers Tom Hiddleston.
- Deadwood has a pretty blinding cast for a TV show - Timothy Olyphant, Ian Mc Shane, Powers Boothe, John Hawkes, Brad Dourif, Keith Carradine, Jeffrey Jones and Titus Welliver, with Brian Cox, Stephen Tobolowsky and Garret Dillahunt appearing as guest stars.
- Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre featured many well-known actors and actresses. There's Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Paul Reubens, Mick Jagger, Howie Mandel, Peter Weller, Billy Crystal, and Vincent Price, to name a few. Directors of individual episodes included Francis Ford Coppola and Tim Burton.
- Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme is practically filled with name talent, most of them in cameos: Shelley Duvall (the female lead), Cyndi Lauper, Bobby Brown, Woody Harrelson, Little Richard, Howie Mandel, Cheech Marin... In fact, protagonist Gordon seems to be the only major character to be played by a nobody (albeit in a role that was turned down by Jim Varney).
- Casting for Criminal Minds tends to go this way. In the first two seasons, the cast had the drawing power of noted TV actors Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore (well-known in the soap world as Malcolm on The Young and the Restless). The second season saw the addition of TV veteran Paget Brewster, with the third season seeing Patinkin replaced by Joe Mantegna, with the eighth season seeing Brewster replaced by veteran actress Jeanne Tripplehorn (most famous previously for Basic Instinct). The show has also become a Star-Making Role for Matthew Gray Gubler. A lot of guest stars on the show- especially lately- are name actors, with Wil Wheaton, Jason Alexander, Teri Polo and Michelle Trachtenberg, among others, all making appearances.
- This is the entire point of a posse cut in hip-hop. Some well-known examples:
- "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest & Leaders of the New School
- "Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)" the original was by Craig Mack, but the remix featured The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes.
- DJ Khaled is known for these; some examples are "All I Do is Win", "We Takin' Over", and "Out Here Grindin'"
- The intersection of films and songs is of course concert movies, and Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz, which documented and celebrated the last performance of The Band, assembled a murderer's row of talent. Aside from the group themselves, there were performances from Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, and Bobby Charles (Neil Diamond too, but we don't like to talk about him)—and of course, a set by Bob Dylan, who brought The Band to prominence as his backing group before they went solo. Oh, and just for completeness sake, the last song adds in Ringo Starr and Ron Wood as backing musicians.
- It's very common in jazz as the genre relies on the skill of their protagonists.
- Famous example is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue from 1959 that features high-profile players like saxophonists John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and pianist Bill Evans. Bitches Brew from 1970 collected an impressive cast as well: guitarist John McLaughlin, pianists Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul as well drummer Jack DeJohnette. A bonus track from a reissue even had Billy Cobham! His two legendary quintets weren't far behind, so Miles definitly had a taste for a Cast of Snowflakes.
- Cannonball Adderley's 1958 album Somethin' Else had drummer Art Blakey, the "two Jones" Sam and Hank Jones (not related) and Miles Davis.
- This trope is the Raison d'être of the Supergroup, which assembles a group of famous musicians (or members of famous bands) and draws in fans with the promise of awesomeness by amalgamation. A special mention needs to go to The Traveling Wilburys, who assembled an utterly unbelievable amount of talent (to quote its own trope page," Bob Dylan. Roy Orbison. Tom Petty. George Harrison and Jeff Lynne. Holy Shit.")— and then released the entire thing under a Stage Name, with no reference to who they really were, because they were doing it to have fun and work with each other.
- Chickenfoot is composed of Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith.
- This is a staple of the Charity Motivation Song genre, as seen in "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World", and the charity benefit concert, as in the case of Live Aid.
- Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, especially on All of the Lights.
- Jamie Foxx's video for "Blame It" both parodies this with its opening and plays it straight when you realize just how many famous people are in the video.
- Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" which was literally just all his famous friends walking around a set talking and waiting for Michael to show up to the video shoot while the song plays in the background. That's the whole point.
- Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna cut You Down".
- The song and video for "Bed Rock" by Young Money features everybody in the Young Money group(and a few others) including Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Birdman and Lloyd.
- Jay-Z's "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)..." video is packed with famous faces, some predictable (Diddy, Roc-a-Fella artists Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss, Freeway, Tru Life, and Young Gunz), some unexpected ones (rapper Rick Ross, singers Mariah Carey, and Cassie, rap producers Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, The-Dream, DJ Clue, and Irv Gotti, and America's Next Top Model alum Yaya Dacosta), and a few downright surprising ones (former adversary Nas, Rock Of Love contestant Kristia Krueger, actors Drew Sidora and Tristan Wilds, athletes Zab Judah and Larry Johnson). Of this group, only Diddy and Cassie had a hand in creating the song. Ironically, the track's most famous contributors, Kanye West and background vocalist Beyoncé Knowles, are both absent.
- David Bowie's second and third videos from The Next Day (2013) attracted some name acting talent to shore him up: Tilda Swinton plays his wife in "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", while Gary Oldman plays a Catholic priest and Marion Cotillard a prostitute in "The Next Day". (No links because neither clip is safe for work.)
- Slash's debut album was made on the theory that the guitarist would write whatever he wants in any genre he wants, then contacts the singer best suited for it when he's got a basic song laid down (most of them friends he's made throughout the years). This session ended up including Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell, Lemmy Kilmister, Kid Rock, an instrumental with Dave Grohl and his old Guns N' Roses band-mate Duff McKagen, and Alice Cooper doing a duet with Nicole Scherzinger among others. Two of the only names he wasn't able to get for various reasons were Dave Mustaine and Jack White.
- Megadeth's 2013 Gigantour already included several bands with celebrity members, except they were playing in smaller or less famous bands. Then one night in Texas they all got on stage together to perform "Cold Sweat" by Thin Lizzy while Slash was in the building. This ended up becoming a jam of David Ellefson and Jason Newsted on bass, Vinnie Paul on drums, Mustaine, Chad Gray and David Draiman on vocals, and Mustaine, Chris Broderick, Shawn Drover off his kit, Slash and Zakk Wylde on guitar. So basically, a number of famous names in metal (and then the fellow from Death Division). For a metalhead, Dave Mustaine announcing these names quickly became Serial Escalation.
- Disney's Friends for Change's inaugural song "Send It On" features Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and The Jonas Brothers.
- Sam Kinisons video for his cover of "Wild Thing" was a who's-who of 80's metal and rock stars. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Billy Idol, the entire line-up of Ratt, Slash and Steven Adler, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, C.C. Deville and Tommy Lee. All there to mostly get blitzed and sing back-up.
- The studio album version of Here Lies Love. The music and lyrics were a collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. The guest talent they brought in to sing the album included Florence Welch, Candie Payne, St Vincent, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Nelly Mc Kay, Steve Earle, Cyndie Lauper, Allison Moorer, Charmaine Clamor, Roisin Murphy, Camille, Theresa Andersson, Sharon Jones, Alice Russell, Kate Pierson, Sia Furler, Santigold, Nicole Atkins, Natalie Merchant, and Shara Worden.
- Many Muppet films from The Muppet Movie onwards have a variation: the Muppets themselves are the stars, but most of the human supporting characters and cameos are name performers. And the first three films even work in cameos from Sesame Street characters!
- A New York production of The Seagull featured Meryl Streep as Irina, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Konstantin, Natalie Portman as Nina, Kevin Kline as Trigorin, Christopher Walken as Sorin, Marcia Gay Harden as Masha, Stephen Spinella as Medviedenko, Debra Monk as Polina, John Goodman as Shamraev and Morena Baccarin was Nina's understudy.
- 8, a play which recreates the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial about the legality of gay marriage in California, features an incredible cast of George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Christine Lahti, Jamie Lee Curtis, Yeardley Smith, John C. Reilly, George Takei, Jane Lynch and more.
- The Kingdom Hearts series sports an impressive cast, featuring Haley Joel Osment, David Gallagher, Hayden Panettiere, Jesse McCartney, Brittany Snow, Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy and Mark Hamill. And that's not even getting into the crossover characters.
- Mitsumete Knight, then aimed by Konami as the next Tokimeki Memorial-like Cash Cow Franchise, benefitted of such a voice actor cast: among the main heroines can be found Hiroko Konishi, Yumi Touma, Mariko Kouda, Kikuko Inoue, Junko Iwao, Michiko Neya, Yuka Imai, Houko Kuwashima, Shiho Niiyama, Yuko Mizutani, Yuko Minaguchi, and Wakana Yamazaki; the enemy characters count Daisuke Gōri, Takeshi Aono, Nobutoshi Canna, and Yasunori Masutani in their ranks; and the secondary characters have Kazuya Nakai and Hideo Ishikawa as well.
- Fallout: New Vegas's voice cast includes Danny Trejo, Yuri Lowenthal, Laura Bailey, Roger Cross, Zachary Levi, Felicia Day, Steve Blum, Michael Hogan, Kris Kristofferson, Debra Wilson, Courtenay Taylor, Keith Szarabajka, etc.
- Playstation All Stars Battle Royale goes to great lengths to maintain its cast's more iconic voices, pulling in actors from across 3 continents at times. The main roster includes Nolan North, Sean Pertwee, Tara Strong, James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Josh Keaton, Quinton Flynn, Corey Burton, Sanae Kobayashi, Unshō Ishizuka and Jennifer Hale in the game's only Darrin (of Nariko). Secondary NPCs include Stephen Fry, Dan Green, Armin Shimerman, Grey DeLisle, Jason Donovan and Clancy Brown.
- The Halo series has definitely got an all star cast. For example, the overall voice cast includes Robin Atkin Downes, Keith David, Terrence Stamp, Orlando Jones, Jennifer Hale, Michael Wincott, Michelle Rodriguez, Ron Perlman, Zachary Levi, Ron Livingston, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Steve Blum, Adam Baldwin, Nolan North, Jonathan Ross, Tricia Helfer, Mark Rolston, Keith Szarabajka, Yuri Lowenthal, Gideon Emery, Conan O'Brien, etc. Live action adaptations also add Anna Popplewell, Daniel Cudmore, and Ty Olsson, among others.
- The Elder Scrolls Online has big names like John Cleese, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, Michael Gambon, and Jim Cummings.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising has big-time voice-acting talent behind its colorful cast of characters, including Cree Summer, Ali Hillis, Nika Futterman, Kari Wahlgren, Troy Baker, and Fred Tatasciore, among other talented voice actors.
- Fire Emblem Awakening features voice acting by big names in the anime dubbing industry, with Matthew Mercer frontlining as Chrom. He is joined by David Vincent, Michelle Ruff, Laura Bailey, Yuri Lowenthal, Kyle Hebert, Cindy Robinson, Karen Strassman, and many others.
- Corpse Party has the following: Hiro Shimono, Rina Sato, Yuuichi Nakamura, Asami Imai, Eri Kitamura, Miyuki Sawashiro, Tomokazu Sugita, Satomi Arai, Ikue Otani and more.
- Kanon's English dub has Chris Patton, Brittney Karbowski, Jessica Boone, Melissa Davis, Maggie Flecknoe, Tiffany Terrell, Greg Ayres, Natalie Arneson, Joanne Bonasso, Caitlin Glass and Colleen Clinkenbeard. The latter two being FUNimation actors certainly surprised people that they would be featured in an ADV Films release.
- Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has an All Star Cast of Japanese seiyuu working together on an Eroge and its subsequent anime adaptation.
- Umineko: When They Cry: The cast is huge, but is filled with famous and experienced seiyuu. It features the talents of Sayaka Ohara, Yuu Kobayashi, Rie Kugimiya, Yui Horie, Daisuke Ono, Kenichi Suzumura, Marina Inoue, Rina Sato, Rikiya Koyama, Atsuko Tanaka, Yukari Tamura, Kikuko Inoue, Tomokazu Sugita, Minori Chihara, Yōko Hikasa, Aki Toyosaki, Eri Kitamura, Miki Itō, Ami Koshimizu, and Emi Shinohara. The PS3 version of Chiru adds Miyuki Sawashiro, Natsuko Kuwatani, Shizuka Ito, Mitsuki Saiga, Michiko Neya and Ayako Kawasumi for good measure.
- The Scarlet Pumpernickel features Daffy, Sylvester, Porky, Elmer, Melissa Duck, Mama Bear, Henery Hawk, and J.L. Warner, an unusually large cast for the era.
- Carrotblanca tops that by including Bugs, Daffy, Yosemite Sam, Tweety, Sylvester, Penelope Pussycat, Foghorn Leghorn, and Pepe Le Pew. Plus, cameos by Pete Puma, Giovanni Jones, the Crusher, Porky Pig, Sam Sheepdog, Spike and Chester, Granny, Beaky Buzzard, Elmer Fudd, Rocky and Mugsy, and Gossamer.
- Xiaolin Showdown has some of Western Animation's most famous voice acting names as well as some lesser-known but still-recognizable voices, including but not limited to: Tom Kenny as Raimundo and Hannibal Roy Bean (and many other characters), Jeff Bennett as Clay and Master Monk Guan, Tara Strong as Omi, Grey DeLisle as Kimiko, Wayne Knight as Dojo, Danny Cooksey as Jack Spicer, Maurice LaMarche as Master Fung and Tubbimura, Jason Marsden as Chase Young, Jennifer Hale as Katnappe, Kevin Michael Richardson as Pandabubba, and even Susan Silo as Wuya.
- A good chuck of the talent in Green Lantern: The Animated Series includes Josh Keaton, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey DeLisle, Jennifer Hale, Tom Kenny, Brian George, Corey Burton, Jeff Bennett, Rob Paulsen, Clancy Brown, Dee Bradley Baker, Diedrich Bader, Ian Abercrombie, John DiMaggio, Jonathan Adams, Kurtwood Smith, Ron Perlman, Tara Strong, and Will Friedle.
- Most of the historical figures in Libertys Kids were played by well known actors. The most notable example is Walter Cronkite as Benjamin Franklin. Others stars on the show included Billy Crystal, Ben Stiller, Annette Bening, Sylvester Stallone, Michael York, Dustin Hoffman, Aaron Carter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Whoopi Goldberg.
- Rabbit Ears Productions had created many stories for VHS that were narrated by well known Hollywood actors and actresses which included Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Winters, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Jeremy Irons, Meg Ryan, Jack Nicholson, Sigourney Weaver, and John Hurt.
- Total Drama in spades!
- The original English version (USA/Canada/Australia/NZ) has Christian Potenza, Megan Falhenbock, Stephanie Anne Mills, Scott McCord, Novie Edwards, Annick Obonsawin, and others to name.
- In Brazil, we have Mariana Torres, Marco Ribeiro, Luisa Palomanes, Charles Emmanuel, Clecio Souto, Silvia Goiabeira, Marisa Leal, Renan Freitas, Gabriela Bicalho, Rodrigo Antas, Wirley Contaifer, Felipe Drummond and many more.