Which Ocean's 11 Star Had The Better Superhero Movie Cameo?

Photo: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.
Warning: The following post contains spoilers for the film Deadpool 2, in theaters now.
In Deadpool 2, there is a massive celebrity cameo that occurs for a miniscule amount of time. Brad Pitt — divorcé and amateur potter Brad Pitt — appears on screen for just a second in the first act of the movie. Pitt plays a mercenary named Vanisher who enlists in Deadpool's bedraggled team called X Force (like X-Men, but gender-nonspecific). Vanisher's trick is that he... vanishes. This means Pitt is almost never on screen. Almost.
There are even more spoilers ahead, so, avert your eyes. Better yet, close the tab!
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Vanisher, along with the rest of X-Force, which includes a chipper non-mutant named Peter (Rob Delaney), leaps out of a plane shortly after he's introduced. (Again, Vanisher has still never appeared onscreen, although there are sight gags that allude to his presence.) When he leaps out of the plane, strong winds drop him onto a power line. He is electrocuted. Just as he hits the power line, though, he is briefly made visible — in the form of Brad Pitt. It's a brief cameo, almost too brief to count. But it's Pitt, and his name alone carries currency.
Piit's appearance rings of another big-budget celebrity superhero cameo. In Thor: Ragnarok, which my colleague affectionately dubbed "the fun Thor movie," Matt Damon briefly appears. He plays an actor who plays Loki (usually played by Tom Hiddleston) in a play in the movie's opening sequence. The other actor who plays the other actor in the play is Luke Hemsworth, brother to Thor actor Chris Hemsworth. He does not count as a celebrity cameo for obvious reasons.
The question is, who did it better? Let's dig in.
The value of a celebrity cameo is difficult to discern. It depends largely on the relevance of the celebrity, the elusiveness of said celebrity, and the celebrity of said celebrity — the number on the IMDb Starmeter, if you will. To begin, we'll evaluate the celebrities themselves.
Brad Pitt
Relevance: As of 2018, Pitt has been, thanks to his low-profile, mildly irrelevant.
Elusiveness: High, especially since his 2016 divorce from Angelina Jolie. He took up sculpting last year, if that says anything.
Starmeter: 141
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Matt Damon
Relevance: Thanks to an ongoing joke on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Damon is almost always relevant. He's been memed, and the words "Matt Damon" are a sort of all-purpose punchline.
Elusiveness: Low, seeing as he loves to open his mouth.
Starmeter: 264
Pitt has more allure, and therefore more cameo power. Plus, tonally, Pitt is very much not in tune with Deadpool 2, which makes the spot more surprising. Deadpool 2 should win, right?
The stories behind the cameos complicate the matter, though.
For Deadpool 2: "We really liked the idea of Brad playing Cable and we had reached out early on, and there was a lot of talks and discussions of how it could work," director David Leitch told TooFab. "Ultimately, it fell at the other projects in the way and schedules and things he wanted to do at the time, but he always left the door open for us to call and say, if there's something else, let me know, if it's something I could help out with. So we kept that in our back pocket."
The cameo was kept under wraps even from the cast. Speaking to Refinery29 earlier this week, Zazie Beetz said she didn't know he'd be in the film until she saw it herself. "With him, there was this big discussion back and forth, will it happen or not. I didn't know that was confirmed until I watched the movie two weeks ago for the first time," she said.
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For Thor: Ragnarok: "Matt [Damon] and Chris [Hemsworth] know each other and we really wanted someone good and someone who’s funny," director Taika Waititi told News.com.au. Producer Brad Winderbaum also shared that Damon filmed his scene in New York City "on a lark."
The stories complicate things because a "bromance" just got involved. Damon is a good friend of Hemsworth's. They vacationed in Mexico together. Their friendship is admired and adored — two massive celebrities cheesing about their recent beach trip is more valuable than one celebrity moping about in pottery class. Plus, the news that Pitt's role was the result of an almost-casting almost nullifies the cameo. He could have been Cable, but he got a tiny slice of cameo instead.
In conclusion: Thor: Ragnarok wins, thanks to the forever-humor of Damon and the forever-humor of director Waitit, who told news.com.au, "I thought if I was Loki and I was ruling Asgard, I would write a play about myself and force everyone to go and see it — change the details of the play and get a huge celebrity to play myself."
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