Blink and youll miss em
The core of Marvels Cinematic Universe revolves around the Avengers. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye are front and centre of their own standalone movies and Marvels ensemble blockbusters. With the spotlight firmly shining on those staple characters across a dozen titles - and more in the coming years - its easy to lose track of the supporting cast who have made passing appearances. Aside from Marvel comics legend Stan Lee, who pops up for a cameo in each Marvel movie, theres a surprising number of recognisable names who take part in this chaptered superhero story. Read on for our rundown of the top twelve you may have forgotten about...
David Bradley (Captain America: The First Avenger)
The role: Simply listed as Tower Keeper in the official credits, David Bradley plays one of the sentries tasked with guarding the tesseract in Norway. During the films opening sequence the church he protects is breached by the Red Skull, who finds the coveted item without much difficulty.
Will they return? On the basis of his explosive fate moments after his introduction, its unlikely.
Coming attractions: After stints in the Harry Potter verse and on FXs vampire series The Strain, Bradley is expected to turn up in season 6 of Game Of Thrones as the duplicitous Walder Frey.
Lizzy Caplan (One Shot: Item 47)
The role: In the post-Avengers short film, Caplan plays one half of a struggling couple who happen upon a Chitauri gun in the ruins of New York. The pair use the weapon to rob banks, which attracts the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. who choose to employ the criminal duo.
Will they return? The short is cited as having influenced the TV spinoff Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so its possible that Caplan could make a cameo in the future. A catch-up lunch break with former boss Agent Blake, perhaps?
Coming attractions: Set to reprise her role on Showtimes Masters Of Sex, Caplan will be pulling rabbits from hats in Now You See Me 2: The Second Act thats out later this year.
Adam Pally (Iron Man 3)
The role: Pally crops up as a small-town TV cameraman called Gary, who not only meets his hero Tony Stark but is later put to work by Iron Man to help him bring down the Mandarin.
Will they return? He didnt perish in Iron Man 3, so theres the chance he could make a future appearance as a throwback to his part in Starks plan. Possibly enlisted as one of his lab technicians? After Pally himself lobbied - and was turned down - for a part in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we wouldnt count on it.
Coming attractions: The former Happy Endings star will next appear in romantic comedy Slow Learners, along with next summers Robert DeNiro-Zac Efron chucklefest Dirty Grandpa.
Danny Pudi (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The role: Once Cap and Black Widow out HYDRA, the whole of S.H.I.E.L.D. lurches into action, including Pudis Com Tech operator who barks out orders and twiddles some very important knobs.
Will they return? Its highly likely considering the films directorial duo Anthony and Joe Russo previously worked with Pudi on Community. And with the siblings currently at work on pre-production for Captain America: Civil War before they helm the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, wed say theres a strong chance he will be back.
Coming attractions: In addition to his regular recurring role on the recently-revived Community, Pudis next release is a 1970s comedy alongside Jon Heder called The Tiger Hunter.
Gary Sinise (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The role: Those with sharp ears may have detected Gary Sinises unmistakable voice as Cap gloomily makes his way through his own dedicated exhibit at the Smithsonian. While he doesnt appear onscreen, he did provide the voice of the narrator guiding folks through Caps journey.
Will they return? Its not out of the question for Marvel to recycle their voice-only actors. After Paul Bettany was upgraded from the vocal booth to a full-blown role in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we can definitely see Sinise stepping up as an museum tour guide gone bad.
Coming attractions: After a lengthy run on CSI Sinise jumped ship to crime procedural Criminal Minds, which has now cast him in the shows upcoming spinoff due to arrive in 2016.
Ty Burrell (The Incredible Hulk)
The role: Even though the bulk of his work wound up on the cutting room floor, Ty Burrell did make it into a few scenes as Betsy Ross boyfriend, psychoanalyst Dr. Leonard Samson.
Will they return? If theres a Hulk sequel, and theres talk of another in the distant future, then Dr. Samson could pop up. Especially considering his chequered comic book history (he too is subjected to a gamma blast).
Coming attractions: You can still see Burrells bumbling Phil Dunphy in the TV comedy Modern Family, and theres also a small Pixar sequel called Finding Dory due next summer.
Olivia Munn (Iron Man 2)
The role: Before Iron Man and War Machines tussle with Ivan Vanko at the Stark Expo, Olivia Munn appears briefly as news reporter Chess Roberts to provide coverage of the opening ceremonies.
Will they return? While Munns history with the movie (she originally filmed a bigger part as one of Starks flings which was later cut) suggests that she has a strong relationship with Marvel, its not expected.
Look out for them in: Recently announced as Psylocke in Foxs mutant sequel X-Men: Apocalypse thats due to arrive in May 2016, Munns next big screen outing Ride Along 2 opens in January.
Natalie Dormer (Captain America: The First Avenger)
The role: The first woman to ever lay a smacker on Steve Rogers following his supersoldier upgrade, Natalie Dormer appears as Private Lorraine who serves under Colonel Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones).
Will they return? Taking the time that Cap was frozen into account, its not highly likely that she will pop up in a movie. Logistically, she could appear in Agent Carter if its granted a second season.
Look out for them in: She can be currently seen in season 5 of Game Of Thrones as the scheming Margaery Tyrell, and has the final part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay due for release in November. After that keep your eyes peeled for zombie thriller Patient Zero.
Alexis Denisof (The Avengers, Guardians Of The Galaxy)
The role: For his recurring role as Thanos lackey The Other, Alexis Denisof is barely recognisable due to a lot of heavy prosthetics and a large hood. But, thats definitely him under there irritating the purple-skinned tyrant.
Will they return? Theres no reason why he shouldnt. Especially as Thanos is touted as the main, show-stopping villain of Avengers: Infinity War.
Coming attractions: A TV fixture in recent years, Denisof has regular parts on Finding Carter and Grimm.
Harry Dean Stanton (The Avengers)
The role: After Bruce Banner wakes in a stupor in a New York warehouse, Harry Dean Stantons patrolling security guard is on hand to offer him some assistance.
Will they return? While his comments about aliens were a nice meta touch (he played Brent in Alien), after all the stress of the Chitauri invasion his security guard has probably retired.
Coming attractions: Since his bit in The Avengers, he had a brief recurring guest spot in the US remake of Getting On and has dabbled with a few short films.
Kate Mara (Iron Man 2)
The role: After speculation that ran amok with fans hoping Mara would play Starks comic girlfriend Bethany Cabe, the actress appeared in one tiny cameo as a U.S. Marshal who cautions Tony Stark outside the Expo.
Will they return? Considering what her next major movie is, we wouldnt count on it...
Coming attractions: Foxs Fantastic Four reboot due in August, the Dito Montiel war drama Man Down, crime drama Captive and Ridley Scotts sci-fi epic The Martian. And thats just this year.
John Slattery (Iron Man 2)
The role: Before Dominic Cooper was brought onboard, the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder and general genius Howard Stark was played by Mad Mens John Slattery. He can be spotted whilst Tony is watching his dads old film reels.
Will they return? Yes! Slattery has taken back the role from its previous incumbent and will once more play Stark Sr. in this summers Ant-Man.
Coming attractions: The final eight episodes of Mad Men are nearly up, and theres Ant-Man this July. After that hell be on Netflix in the long-awaited sequel series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp.