All-Star Cast

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 names.

Roger Ebert 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.


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    Films — Animation 

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    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-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.
  • Zig-zagged with Glee. When the show started most of the main actors were mainly unknown, but as time went on they all became hugely popular. They've been flanked by a respectable supporting cast (mainly musical theatre people) that includes Mike O'Malley, Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg, Kristin Chenoweth, Ken Jeong, Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin.


    Puppet Shows 
  • 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!


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