Elite Actors in Pop Culture Movies

By now you may have heard that Robert Redford has been cast in the superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I enjoy seeing A-list actors lend their talent to pop culture, mainstream movies, legitimizing the comicbook-inspired genre even further. It would have been even more impactful decades ago, probably, if during his youthful peak Redford starred as the lead Steve Rogers who becomes the patriotic hero. Alas, superhero flicks weren't the trendy attractions and moneymakers they are today. Still, having the esteemed, award winning celebrity appear in the film, even in a cameo role, is definitely a coup.

It's not the first time this has happened. Marlon Brando was paid millions to play the part of Jor-El, the father of the future Man of Steel, in Superman: The Movie. He may have been reading his lines from cue cards, but he still was an excellent addition to the now classic film.

Are these examples of actors selling out?  Is it evidence that there aren't too many quality, "serious" productions being developed in Hollywood? Personally, I like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they're having fun and still working their butts off to offer audiences great bits of quality entertainment.

I thoroughly enjoyed Laurence Olivier as Zeus in Clash of the Titans and Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice in Dick Tracy. I know they're doing it for the paycheck. It's their profession, after all, and they're entitled to it if they can deliver. As long as they're not simply phoning in a lousy performance (such as Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch in the terrible Dungeons and Dragons) I have no objection. 

Let's hope Redford's appearance in Captain America 2 will bring some class to the story instead of being a cheesy embarrassment.