Throughout the past decade or so, superhero movies have become increasingly more prevalent. Studios like Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox each release two superhero movies per year on average, with Marvel soon upping their number of releases to three movies next year. Moviegoers are being inundated with superheroes — and there are only so many heroes out there who can save their city, their country and the world before audiences grow tired of the medium.
Perhaps it’s time for a change of direction, to give villains a chance at the spotlight. Villains — like heroes — are three-dimensional characters with their own origin stories, abilities and enemies, and many of them are capable of commanding their own movie. Who knows, perhaps in their movie, they are the hero of the story. Here are 10 Marvel Villains Who Deserve Their Own Movie.
Loki, Ultron, Apocalypse and Thanos all pale in comparison to Galactus — a cosmic being who has earned the appropriate title “Devourer of Worlds.” He literally feeds off the life energy of planets for sustenance. Having being born prior to the Big Bang, Galactus is the ideal character to introduce common moviegoers to cosmic Marvel universe stories that have eluded the silver screen for decades.
His journey from mortal man to cosmic entity — who is now the sole survivor of a universe that existed prior to the creation of the current Multiverse — is a story that could capture the imagination of audiences, though, admittedly, it would be difficult to pit Galactus against an antagonist, since he is virtually indestructible. The best option for a movie, then, would be to give Galactus an origin story that ends with him either becoming the sole survivor of his universe or meeting the Fantastic Four/X-Men for a showdown.
Prior to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 releasing in theaters, Sony Pictures announced plans to make a Sinister Six movie as well as a solo Venom movie. But those plans quickly changed when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a subpar run at the domestic box office, thus forcing the studio to rethink the future of their Spider-Man franchise.
Sony has since agreed to share the web-slinger with Marvel Studios, allowing the character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but that doesn’t mean Sony’s plans for Venom should change. In fact, they haven’t — the studio recently hired Edge of Tomorrow screenwriter Dante Harper to pen the script for a solo Venom movie that will, unfortunately, remain “unrelated” to the new Spider-Man incarnation at Marvel Studios. Which is odd, considering that Spider-Man and Venom are inseparable, having been each other’s perennial enemies (though occasional allies) since the late ’80s.
8. Dark Phoenix
Unlike a select few mutants who started off as villains and eventually became heroes, Jean Grey started off as a hero and eventually became a villain — the Dark Phoenix, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. She once used her telepathy to destroy an entire solar system, wiping out billions in the process. The Dark Phoenix Saga, which sees Jean Grey consumed by the Phoenix Force, thus allowing her to tap into her absolute potential as a telepath and telekinetic, was alluded to in Bryan Singer’s X2: X-Men United and briefly applied in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, though many of the saga’s core elements remained disappointingly unused.
Franchise producer Simon Kinberg has recently expressed interest in adapting the Dark Phoenix Saga in a future X-Men movie because he felt that he wasn’t able to realize his true vision for the character in The Last Stand. With the X-Men timeline having been reset due to the events Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, it would be interesting to see whomever is at the helm of the franchise going forward to adapt the story in a solo Dark Phoenix movie — one where the character is free to exercise her genocidal powers.
7. Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Heroes and anti-heroes have had their time in the spotlight; it’s time for supervillains to shine. By bringing Suicide Squad to life on the silver screen, Warner Bros. is paving the way for supervillain teams to appear in their own big-budget movies. And 20th Century Fox should follow suit with a movie on the Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants. Despite the name explicitly mentioning “evil mutants,” non-evil mutants like Quicksilver, Havok and Professor X have all at one point been members of the Brotherhood. And while Suicide Squad is the first supervillain team-up movie, it absolutely should not be the last.
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has already been somewhat established in Fox’s X-Men universe (having appeared in each core X-Men movie), but the events of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, left Magneto as the sole remaining member. A standalone movie could center on the Master of Magnetism recruiting new members to the Brotherhood, who then face off either against the X-Men or another force. The idea of a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants movie may be daring, but if Suicide Squad does well, it could prove to be a worthwhile bet.
Though primarily depicted as the nemesis of Deadpool, Taskmaster has appeared in several different comic series, often as a mercenary hired to train villains of various criminal organizations. He would be an ideal villain for a future Deadpool movie; however, the rights to the character reportedly reverted back to Marvel Studios last December, thus allowing him to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unlike characters such as Deadpool and The Punisher, Taskmaster is relatively unknown (even to some comic book fans), though his unique abilities (to be able to mimic any fighting style) and rich history would make for an ideal solo movie that will resonate with audiences. Instead of focusing on an antagonist, a solo Taskmaster movie can exhibit the skull-faced mercenary moving through organizations — training villains of all calibers — and eventually ending with him being revealed to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. sleeper agent. M. Night Shyamalan himself might just approve of that twist.
Loki — the god of mischief — is a villainous puppetmaster. Rather than take direct action, he prefers to manipulate others into doing his dirty work (e.g. Joss Whedon’s The Avengers and Kenneth Branagh’s Thor). His paradoxical relationship with his brother, Thor, has allowed for some interesting stories to unfold, some which should be adapted in a solo movie.
Hiddleston has previously mentioned that there is no Loki without Thor, and no Thor without Loki. It would be intriguing to see a Thor movie, so to speak, from the perspective of the villain — which could be done, especially when considering Tom Hiddleston has enough star power to put butts in seats.
Hiddleston’s Loki is arguably more beloved than Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, and understandably so. Loki’s charming, he’s wicked and he’s persuasive — all things that Hiddleston’s classical training has prepared him for. And fans want to see more of that, which is why they’ve launched several petitions over the years, asking Marvel to make a solo Loki movie.
4. Winter Soldier
If the Russo brothers’ Captain America movies are anything to go by, people want to see more of the Winter Soldier. Fundamentally, he’s not a villain because he never acted nefariously out of his own free will. For decades, Bucky Barnes was brainwashed and under the control of Hydra and the Soviet Union. He was their footman, primarily carrying out assassinations of important figures, such as (spoiler!) Howard and Maria Stark. It took a lot, but he was finally able to overcome their control and turned into somewhat of a hero. In fact, in the comics, Bucky eventually assumes the mantle of Captain America — at the request of Steve Rogers — after Rogers is killed.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are decades of the Winter Soldier’s history left unexplored. We know how Bucky became the Winter Soldier, we know what happened to him after he met Captain America and we know where he is now. What we don’t know is, what came before all that? What came before and after December 16, 1991? Marvel could make a movie showing more of what happened in the beginning of Captain America: Civil War.
The Marvel movies each have their own stories, heroes and villains, but the overarching narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been leading up to a showdown between the Avengers and the Mad Titan, Thanos, who’s now widely known as the big bad of the MCU. So far, Marvel’s only cosmic movie has been James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy,which did a good job of explaining what the Infinity Stones/Gems are. However, what the movie didn’t explain was what happens when someone happens to possess all of those stones.
Thanks to Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the post-credit scene of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, audiences are aware of Thanos’ existence, but not everyone knows what he wants. Comic book readers do — they know his ultimate goal is to become omnipotent, which he will do by collecting all the Infinity Stones and creating the Infinity Gauntlet (which was first seen in Odin’s vault in Thor). But the thing is, common moviegoers don’t know that. Therefore, a movie centering on Thanos’ origin may be beneficial to the MCU — not only showing where he comes from, but also what his motivations are.
Magento is a rather unusual character — he’s neither a hero nor a villain. He’s not good for the sake of being good nor is he bad for the sake of being bad. He doesn’t crave power; he craves mutantkind’s ultimate domination over humans. He tends to align himself with whoever is on his side — which mostly means somehow benefiting the mutant race. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly not good either. It does, however, make for a compelling story, and what makes him the anti-hero of the X-Men universe.
Unlike most of the other characters on this list, Magneto has had his fair share of screen time, having been portrayed by Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men universe. We already know his origin story, though it would interesting to see how he transitioned from being the innocent boy who survived the Holocaust to someone who subscribes to ubermensch thinking of mutantkind. Really though, we’ll just take as much Magneto/McKellen/Fassbender as we can get.
1. Doctor Doom
Dr. Victor Von Doom is arguably the greatest Marvel villain of all-time. So it’s disheartening to think that Fox has tried twice to bring Doctor Doom to the big screen — the first time with Tim Story’s Fantastic Four, starring Julian McMahon; and the second time with Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, starring Toby Kebbell — and have failed (in spectacular fashion) both times. Both depictions of the character have omitted key details, like the fact that he is a dictator of the fictional country Latveria. Instead, he’s been portrayed as an entrepreneur and a computer programmer.
Doctor Doom is a character who inspires fear — real fear — in the hearts of not only the Fantastic Four but of the Avengers, as well. He is the villainous culmination of Tony Stark’s scientific genius (in fact, Doom is one of the most intelligent humans to ever live; he did, after all, create a Time Machine) and Batman’s sheer brutality. Doctor Doom is truly a supervillain, one that deserves his time in the spotlight. It would be interesting to see Fox give Doctor Doom an origin story that would lead into a Fantastic Four/X-Men event crossover, but we’ll settle for just passable version of the character at this point.
Which Marvel baddies do you want to see on the big screen? Let us know in the comments.