The Best Crime Thriller Ever Is Filled With Marvel Stars

By Christopher Isaac | Updated

If you are a fan of true crime stories and have not seen David Fincher’s Zodiac, you are missing out on one of the best crime thrillers created. However, if you are a fan of Marvel movies and enjoy seeing the MCU’s actors in other movies, then you are also missing out by not watching Zodiac. By weird coincidence, the major roles in Zodiac were played by some of Marvel’s biggest actors before they became stars in the MCU.

Zodiac Based On Real-Life Events

For those unfamiliar, Zodiac is based on the real-life events of a serial killer who terrorized residents of San Francisco in the ‘60s and ‘70s. To this day, it remains a mystery who he actually was as the police were never able to apprehend him.

But Fincher’s movie shows the desperation to catch the killer before he can act again and is a fascinating look at the detective work that went into trying to track him down. And while watching Zodiac, Marvel fans will also notice appearances from who they know as Iron Man, The Hulk, and Mysterio.

Jake Gyllenhaal And Robert Downey Jr.

true crime movie

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the main character Robert Graysmith, a political cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the case. Robert Downey Jr. is a crime reporter named Paul Avery who is initially dismissive of Graysmith’s intuition, but begins to trust him with more information as Graysmith begins noticing details that even the police missed.

Mark Ruffalo In Zodiac As Well


And Mark Ruffalo plays police inspector Dave Toschi who is working the case on the streets. With Zodiac’s three big leads all being eventual Marvel alumni, it almost feels like a true crime version of The Avengers.

Not A Typical Crime Movie


However, viewers of Zodiac will not find it like the typical Marvel experience with escalating action building to a huge climax.

The movie reflects the reality of how the case played out, with there being years between some of the major developments. During the quiet periods when the killings have appeared to stop, many advocate to end the investigation, deeming it a waste of resources.

What makes Zodiac so engrossing is that it is not like a typical Hollywood crime movie where the heroes continually gain ground. Like real life, the investigation is difficult, messy, and full of false leads.

Case Still Open?


Zodiac also does not tie everything up in a neat bow like a Marvel superhero film. As mentioned, the killer was never caught in real life.

So it should not be a spoiler to say that the movie accurately reflects that. This is not a case where the good guys win and everything works out okay in the end. But that is all the more what makes this case so intriguing.

With how advanced forensics, DNA analysis, and other investigation tools have become, it is astounding that the killer is still a mystery to this day. The case continues to be the subject of amateur sleuths and discussions trying to figure out the truth.

Streaming Zodiac

Zodiac Killer

If you are a Marvel fan, absolutely check out Zodiac to see the amusing coincidence of The Hulk, Iron Man, and Mysterio working together to solve crime. But beyond that novelty, watch Zodiac because it is one of the best crime movies ever made, and is even called by some critics one of the best movies, period.

It is available to stream through services such as Pluto TV where you can watch it for free. It can also be rented through services such as YouTube, Paramount+, and Amazon.