All-Star Cast

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Would it have been faster to say who isn't in this movie? Jesus, it's like the Super Smash Bros. of Hollywood!"

Any show, movie, etc., where the majority of the lead roles are played by name actors. They don't have to be A list. B, C, and even D will do, although in that case, relying on their talents is preferable to relying on their names. If the character list is really big, this can spill over into supporting roles as well.

In the days of the studio system, this was easy to do, but once actors' salaries started rising, this practice gradually declined. Compare the casts at the beginning of the Disaster Movie Era with those at the end of it.

These days, you'd either need a lot of money to pull this off, convince the actors that this is just a fun breather film or be willing to settle for loads of cameos. The exception is animated films, where stars are willing to get paid a lot less just to do voice work.

A good way of being able to tell if it is an all star cast is by an examination of the theatrical poster, if it has more than five names listed on it it is usually big names.

Compare Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Celebrity Voice Actor, Dream Team.

Examples of All-Star Cast include:



  • This is the entire point of a posse cut in hip-hop. Some well-known examples:
    • "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest & Leaders of the New School
    • "Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)" the original was by Craig Mack, but the remix featured the breakthrough verse of The Notorious B.I.G., as well as one of the first by Busta Rhymes.
    • DJ Khaled is known for these; some examples are "All I Do is Win", "We Takin' Over", and "Out Here Grindin'"
  • The intersection of films and songs is of course concert movies, and Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz, which documented and celebrated the last performance of The Band, assembled a murderer's row of talent. Aside from the group themselves, there were performances from Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, and Bobby Charles (Neil Diamond too, but we don't like to talk about him)--and of course, a set by Bob Dylan, who brought The Band to prominence as his backing group before they went solo. Oh, and just for completeness sake, the last song adds in Ringo Starr and Ron Wood as backing musicians.
  • This trope is the Raison d'être of the Supergroup, which assembles a group of famous musicians (or members of famous bands) and draws in fans with the promise of awesomeness by amalgamation. A special mention needs to go to The Traveling Wilburys, who assembled an utterly unbelievable amount of talent (to quote its own trope page," Bob Dylan. Roy Orbison. Tom Petty. George Harrison. Jeff Lynne. Holy Shit.")-- and then released the entire thing under a Stage Name, with no reference to who they really were, because they were doing it to have fun and work with each other.
  • Chickenfoot is composed of Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith.
  • This is a staple of the Charity Motivation Song genre, as seen in "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are the World", and the charity benefit concert, as in the case of Live Aid.
  • Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, especially on All of the Lights.


  1. who's actually playing the Captain he served under on D-Day