Samuel L. Jackson has over the course of his varied career become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Few actors have grossed as much in total at the box-office, and few faces are more instantly recognizable. He’s so big that Laurence Fishburne even sometimes gets called Sam Jackson on the street. One of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, Jackson appears in several films every year, many of them big-budget blockbusters, but countless more you’ve probably never seen. And of course, he simply doesn’t have the time to appear for very long in every one of them, so this embodiment of cool has received the honorary “and”/”with”/”featuring”-spot more often than probably any other star. A quick look around the web has revealed 23 posters from no less than 12 films bearing this exact feature, so let’s get to it.
ATTENTION: This list contains some spoilers, and each entry includes one poster from each film. For the full gallery, scroll down to the bottom of the post, as many films on the list feature Samuel L. Jackson in more than one poster.
Honorary Mentions: Losing Isaiah (1995) and Jurassic Park (1993)
Losing Isaiah is a film not many have heard about while Jurassic Park is not only one of the most popular films of all time, but a classic in its own right. What they have in common, though, is that their posters sneak in Jackson’s name in a fairly nondescript manner after the “and” marker in the credits slug. At this time, Jackson was up-and-coming in Hollywood, but not exactly mainstream star yet, despite his turn in Pulp Fiction, so his appearance here is indicative of that. Jurassic Park should maybe rank higher, purely on the grounds that this is a legendary poster, but this is an extremely difficult list to rank, and a number of actors appear behind the “and” marker on it, as well.
#10: Fresh (1994)
A typical ’90s poster if there ever was one, here we not only get Sam’s name in the slug as well as the end of the headline (behind such seminal stars as Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito and N’Bushe Wright, no less!), but also his mug at the top of poster. His role in the film is rather limited, but A: This was a Miramax and Lawrence Bender production (the very man who produced Pulp Fiction) and B: even at this stage of his career, his name outshines any other on the poster.
#9: Basic (2003)
I refuse to put the posters for this film higher on the list, purely because of how disastrously awful it is. But we get an “and Sammy Boy” in both the slug and the top billing as well as his face on not one, but two posters. However enticing it looks, though, Do. Not. See. This. Film.
#8: The Spirit (2008)
Another demotion based purely on the paralyzing disappointment at the actual product, but also because of a perplexing internal inconsistency on the posters themselves. We have two posters where we’re duly informed in the slug that this is a film that has a bunch of people “and Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus”, but then the smattering of names across the artwork features his name with no “and” or novelty character name! Your logic confuses me, Poster Makers For A Sinfully Bad Film!
#7: Iron Man 2 (2010)
In Iron Man, we got a surprise uncredited appearance from the eternally cool Jackson as Nick Fury, so as a natural progression, he got “promoted” to not only an “and” appearance for the Iron Man 2 poster, but also had his character name attached. Everybody knew RDJ was the star, but there is still one cool enough to trump him in the eyes of true filmophiliacs.
#6: Trees Lounge (1996)
A Steve Buscemi-centered indie project from the mid-’90s, Trees Lounge not only had Steve Buscemi in the lead, it featured “a special appearance” by Samuel L. Jackson! The film itself is nothing special, and the poster looks laughably dated, but this is the only “special appearance” by SLJ we found, hence the high ranking.
#5: Mother and Child (2009)
It’s an almost comically un-Samuel L. Jackson film, and the posters are a masterclass in bland design for a non-offensive, middle-of-the-road Sunday drama for a family film channel. However, one fact catapults this series of posters all the way up to #5: It teaches you to say “and” in at least four languages (see the full multi-lingual series in the gallery below).
#4: The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers is of course Sam’s biggest film by far. Not only is his role surprisingly large, but he is also among a very select few “and”-credited actors that have had their own character poster. The main poster, where he gets his honorary spot as Nick Fury, will however never be remembered as the best thing about The Avengers.
#3: The Other Guys (2010)
In a spectacular display of teasing a much bigger appearance than in actuality, one of the main The Other Guys posters features Sam with Dwayne Johnson ABOVE the actual stars, before having him die in the second-coolest way of his career less than 20 minutes into the film. The best S-Jax death scene? Scroll down.
#2: Deep Blue Sea (1999)
The ultimate Samuel L. Jackson-in-a-hyped-minor-role film, Deep Blue Sea yanked the audience’s chain by setting Sam up as the central character who finally steps up to the leading hero role in an inspired and powerful speech before he suddenly GETS EATEN BY A MUTATED SHARK. What follows is a forgettable B-type actioner, but its status in history is solidified precisely due to Sam’s intentionally and brilliantly misleading performance. The poster gives it away, though.
#1: Django Unchained (2012)
The film isn’t out yet, but it doesn’t matter. The design of the poster alone, along with the big and bold statement that even though Sam has only a minor role, he still deserves just as much space for his name as the leading actors. The man has become a film legend, and Quentin Tarantino, the man who made him a star, is fully aware.
View the whole gallery below, and tell us in the comments which one is your favorite. Also, if you know about more posters with an “and Samuel L. Jackson” credit, let us know!