Superhero Actors Who Are Worth Less Than You Think

Let's face it. Celebrities have a different definition of the word "poor" than the rest of us do. You may be slurping up the last of your instant ramen noodles right now thinking you'll find these actors doing the same. But be warned, what's poor for them might just be a fortune for you, so if you're prone to throwing things when you get upsetting news, make sure to finish those noodles before reading this.

For a serious actor, the decision to take on a superhero role can be a difficult one. It's usually a nice way to make a quick buck, but what might it do to one's reputation on the silver screen? Will the role be taken seriously, like Christian Bale as Batman, or a laughing stock, like George Clooney as Batman? Luckily, as Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter, he was able to take his lackluster depiction of the Dark Knight and turn it into a watershed moment for his career. "After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role," he said. Others, however, don't handle their careers as expertly as Clooney (who is worth a cool half a billion dollars, according to Wealthy Genius), and some superhero actors end up much poorer than you'd think. Let's take a look at some who have not been as fortunate.

Nicolas Cage went on an epic shopping spree

Again, make sure you're done with that ramen, because Celebrity Net Worth prices the first former superhero on our list, Nicolas Cage, at $25 million. Yes, we know. That's nowhere near poor. But it is quite a bit less than what the star of Ghost Rider was worth at his peak. According to CNBC, Cage was worth somewhere around $150 million, but his lavish spending habits whittled that ridiculous fortune down to the meager sum it is today.

So how did he do it? Cage apparently couldn't control himself and just bought whatever tickled his fancy, everything from dinosaur skulls to super-rare comic books to ancient burial tombs to shrunken pigmy heads to octopi. But what really chipped at his fortune was his compulsion for buying real estate. It got to the point to where he had the deeds to 15 residences in far flung places all over the world, from Vegas to California to Germany to his own private deserted island in the Bahamas. Oddly enough, he got the idea to buy more properties than he could visit in a month from meditating and reading philosophy. We're no experts on Plato and Socrates, but something tells us he was doing philosophy wrong.

Wesley Snipes thought he was invincible, but the IRS didn't agree

Few superhero sagas have been more badass than the Blade trilogy. Wesley Snipes played a katana-wielding vampire-human hybrid that slashed the unholy bloodsuckers to bits in order to keep humanity safe. The Sy-Fy Wire claimed that Blade "helped save the comic book movie," laying the groundwork for the epic adventures of Iron Man, The Avengers, and other franchises in the MCU today.

You'd think that after reviving a dying entertainment industry, Snipes would be dripping in money like a band of vampires dancing in blood raining down from the sprinkler system (which actually happens in Blade). But according to Celebrity Net Worth, Snipes isn't worth as much as you'd think: just $10 million. For someone who has been acting in blockbuster films since the 1980s, that number is surprising. So what happened?

He was apparently worth almost four times that much at one point, but like many celebrities, he had a problem with paying his taxes. When you get little more than a slap on the wrist for taking police on a high-speed chase on your motorcycle, you apparently start to feel invincible. But once the law finally caught up to him, Snipes was forced to pay $17 million in back taxes and sent to prison for a few years. He has had a few minor roles since being released in 2013, but has yet to rebuild his fortune to its past glory.

Karen Gillan's net worth is not proportional to her role in the MCU's biggest storyline

Karen Gillan played one of the main characters in the wildly successful Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers franchises. Her role as Nebula, one of the daughters of the epic evildoer Thanos, is pivotal to the entire storyline of the MCU's most popular film series. So you'd think that Marvel and Disney would have rewarded Gillan handsomely for her help in creating an entertainment empire, but according to Celebrity Net Worth, she's worth "only" $2 million.

However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in no way planning on slowing down anytime soon. According to her filmography on IMDB, Gillan is set to star in more installments of hit MCU storylines. Thor: Love and Thunder is set to hit theaters in 2022 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023. She also lent her voice to an episode of the new MCU animated series What if...?, which will begin streaming on Disney+ in the summer of 2021. So she may not be as loaded as other superhero actors, but she appears to be on her way.

Tom Hiddleston didn't make as much as his on-screen brother

Tom Hiddleston played Loki in that other hit MCU storyline that was also whipped in together with The Avengers, the Thor series. The evil glare and bad boy ways of this quintessential anti-hero earned him the hearts of millions of adoring fans, so you'd think the guy would be loaded. And he is. But everything is relative, right? With what Celebrity Net Worth estimates to be a $25-30 million fortune, Hiddleston is in no way hurting for money.

However, when you compare that to what Celebrity Net Worth says the guy who played his superhero brother Thor, Chris Hemsworth, has in his bank account — a mighty $130 million — that $25 million seems the stuff of mere mortals. But, considering everyone's favorite villain is also part of the new Thor movie and the Disney+ series What if..?, he just might get the chance to catch up with the ole God of Thunder in the next couple years.

How many supervillains does Michael Rosenbaum need to play to get filthy rich?

Our last underpaid superhero actor is also known for playing one of the comic book world's most notorious supervillains. Michael Rosenbaum played Lex Luthor in the hit Superman series Smallville, which ran for 10 seasons. According to Listal, that role was among TV Guide's "60 Nastiest Villains of All Time." Plus, Rosenbaum has been in other superhero movies and TV shows, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League, Batman Beyond, and more.

So it might be pretty surprising to hear that Celebrity Net Worth estimates Rosenbaum's net worth to be just $2 million. The normally nosy website didn't even bother finding a photo of the obviously underpaid actor, opting for a generic torso with a big question mark over the face. And, as with many former basketball stars and former wrestling stars who are surprisingly poor, you just have to wonder, why? Really, what's up with the lack of respect for Michael Rosenbaum? Why isn't he as wealthy as you thought? How many supervillains does the guy have to play to start pulling in the big bucks? We'll just have to wait and see what he stars in next, as his IMDB filmography doesn't include any upcoming projects.