8 Great ‘Justice League’ Movie Villain Candidates

Published 4 months ago by , Updated October 10th, 2014 at 3:46 pm,

Justice League Movie Villains Discussion 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

At this point it may seem premature to discuss the Justice League movie – what with Batman V Superman still so far off from its 2016 release – but since BvS is in fact subtitled Dawn of Justice, we can pretty much rest assured that a Justice League movie is indeed happening.

As far back as the late ’00s, when Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller almost got a Justice League film off the ground, fans have been eager to see just what threat brings DC’s greatest superheroes together. The very same question still looms large over the Justice League movie that will exist in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice universe – but lately the answer has been less clear than many would’ve originally thought.

Here are our breakdowns of what villain(s) could appear in a Justice League movie – and why they would be worthy adversaries for The League. This is all pure speculation, so if you are the type who likes to wait for concrete info, this post is NOT for you.



Darkseid Omega 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

Had you asked most DC Comics Fans who the villain of Justice League would be, most of them would’ve likely said Darkseid. Lord of the hellish planet Apokolips, Darkseid has had several origins – all of which revolve around an ambitious man seizing hold of a power called the Omega Force, which transformed him into a rock-like creature. As one of the New Gods, Darkseid is among the most powerful and dangerous foes in all of the DC Universe.

The New 52 relaunch of the Justice League comic featured an origin story about the League members coming together to repel Darkseid’s invasion of earth; that same story was then adapted into the Justice League: War animated feature, so fans naturally assumed a Justice League movie would follow suit. According to Badass Digesthowever, this is not the case:

…My sources tell me not to expect Darkseid in the DC movieverse until Justice League 2…

Darkseid vs. Justice Leauge 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

Say what?! That rumor is an upset to pretty much THE popular theory of what Justice League will be – but it’s not without merit. Darkseid shares a lot in common with Marvel’s Thanos (Thanos is actually a confirmed Darkseid knock-off); and as Thanos is to Marvel fans, Darkseid is the sort of “big bad” that many do NOT want to see wasted on a half-cooked movie portrayal. They want his appearance to be worthwhile when it does finally happen.

In a bit of irony, the DC New 52 Justice League comic – as well as the War animated adaptation – has been accused of cheapening Darkseid into a generic (mostly mute) powerhouse villain. If Badass is right, hopefully the cinematic universe makes better use of him, and develops Darkseid over time, in full respect of the character.


Lex Luthor

Denzel Washington as Lex Luthor Justice League United Nations 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

There should really be an asterisk in front of this one, as Lex Luthor being the “villain” in Justice League could mean any number of things. Lex could be a hands-off mastermind of some larger threat (Doomsday); he could suit up in armor (or use some chemical compound he designed) and be a physical threat himself; he could even be the controlling hand in a group of villains. When it comes to Luthor, all of those scenarios are possible… even at once.

The obvious downside to this theory is that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) will already be in Batman V Superman, so using him again for a Justice League movie immediately thereafter could be overexposure. Then again; right now (at the time of writing this), we still don’t know just how much Lex figures into Dawn of Justice; a majority of that film could very well be about the conflict between the two titular superheroes.

If Luthor is only a tangential or background player in Dawn of Justice, then Justice League could be the film where one of DC’s most iconic archvillains finally takes center stage.



Brainiac Justice League Movie 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

One would think that Braniac is a character best saved for something like Man of Steel 2 – but he doesn’t have to be. The events of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman are ample enough time for Krypton’s sentient artificial intelligence to have learned of Kal-El’s existence on Earth, and like Zod, begun machinations in order to acquire him for collection.

Like so many Superman villains, Brainiac has been through revisions in both origin and design – but in the modern “New 52″ continuity, he first makes contact with Superman by way of Lex Luthor and Luthor’s henchman, Metallo. Metallo (aka John Corben) has long been floated as a possible henchman-style villain for Luthor in Dawn of Justice - so maybe a three-tiered system of villainy (Brainiac behind Lex who is behind Metallo) isn’t so crazy to envision.

Brianiac Ship over LexCorp 8 Great Justice League Movie Villain Candidates

Brainiac at home at LexCorp

The other thing about Brainiac is that his A.I. identity and penchant for collection of organisms from across the cosmos makes him the kind of “Big Bad” who has many types of enemy forces at his disposal (machinery, alien soldiers, beasts, etc.). Brainiac’s power struggles with Luthor have also provided good villain-on-villain drama throughout the years, and would add an interesting twist on the standard two villain super hero movie formula.

It would be stepping on Marvel’s heels a bit (Age of Ultron much?), but all is fair in love and superhero movie making, and Brainiac is a piece that fits snug into the Justice League puzzle for a variety of reasons.


NEXT: 5 More Potential Justice League Villains…

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TAGS: batman vs superman, justice league


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  1. Anything except Bizarro. That’s all I have to say.

    • I think Bizarro could be good if done right.And I’ve said it before,and I’ll say it again,if they do decide to put Bizarro in any of these movies,they should cast Brandon Routh.

      • But he’d hardly be enough to give the league a run for their Money, wouldn’t you agree? Unless of course, Goyer etc. choose to significantly overpower Supes and thusly Bizarro, which would be an odd choice in my book.

  2. I always assumed that the best villain for JL would come from outer space. Someone like Darkseid, Mongul, Brainiac, or the maybe even the White Martians. But the Aquaman idea is very interesting.

    • Read Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. You’ll love that idea even more.

      • I think Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is better for a sequel

  3. Why are most of these villains just Superman’s antagonist?

    Ares, Lobo or the red Lanterns could be fun…

    • Strictly speaking, Ares is primarily a Wonder Woman foe. But I’d condone this choice – even more so, if he teamed up with another villain. I don’t see him as some subordinate of Luthor’s or Grodd’s in the Injustice League, though. He’s a god, after all. The same applies to Black Adam, btw.

      Not sure whether Lobo would be a match for the whole league, to be honest. Wouldn’t a Superman (not holding back) be enough to take him down? Lobo should be saved for an MoS sequel (as well as Intergang, Kalibak, Parasite and whoever doesn’t end up showing their face in BvS).

  4. I think Staro would make a great villain because he takes over everyone with mind control. It would make for an good villain.

  5. Metahuman or alien foes, better make sure Batman can hold his own against whoever goes up against the Justice League. It’s harder to believe on film than it is in the comics or animated series/feature films.

  6. Maybe they should go the way of the New52 Earth 2 and Have Steppenwolf be the big bad. He can be in BvS preparing his invasion, using Luthor to create a Boomtube big enough for an invading army. Have Steppenwolf’s army invade Earth on Darkseid’s orders at the end of BvS, And Supes,Bats and WW are defeated and captured trying to stop them. Start a JL movie with Earth occupyed by Apokolips forces and Flash, Cyborg, GL and Aquaman coming together to free Supes,Bats and WW. All the heroes come together and beat Steppenwolf and his army but not before Hal Jordan travels to Apokolips via Boomtube and sees Darkseid and is killed. Opening up a role for John Stewart.

  7. I would like to Brainiac as the villain.

  8. Brainiac, and Vandal Savage are great threats. An Injustice Gang or Legion of Doom would have to come after solo films, and Luthor is kinda just a given. But all good ideas.

  9. Jasaon Mamoas can make a great villain instead of playing Aquaman. Just like what I was saying to the AQUAMAN fans ? Jason Mamoas should play one of Superman’s arch enemies like Solomon Grundy or Vandal Savage.

    • I agree. He doesn’t fit at all with Aquaman and since he’s not such a great actor, he should focuse on brute and violent roles who doesn’t need to much expressions but only ferocity, like Grundy.

  10. Amazo. He would show superman, wonder woman and batman what they could do if they team up.

  11. All the above villains are great but I think its Luthor who would be the villain for the first JL movie. It could also be other Superman villains.

    Darkseid might appear in the post credits and subsequently in JL2, if there will be such a movie .

    Brainiac might appear in MoS2.

  12. Luthor is already the villain in Superman v Batman. That was the problem with the old Superman franchises they only used Lex Luthor.

    I would rather see Darkseid to see something different. and someone powerful enough to defeat the Justice League.

  13. What about CRIME SYNDICATE

  14. As awesome as Darkseid would be, I’m not expecting that. I think Vandal Savage would make an awesome villain who could apply to the entire League by not just being a typical Superman villain. He’s also got a good back story that I think audiences would like. Braniac would also be cool, but I think he’d be better starting in a MoS sequel like Lex.

  15. Lex Luthor is the man for Justice League 1 ( i mean he can be a Loki of DCCU) the options with Lex are endless it would be awesome, like he assembling injustice league or he making his own high-tech robotic army or he working with brainiac (and brainiac working for darkseid) but something inside me says Throne of atlantis type story can be a great story for JL

  16. Surely it makes sense that if Lex Luthor is the end bad guy in Dawn of Justice, which Metallo is likely to be in because of the multiple villains reveal, then it makes sense for Doomsday to be the first JL baddie dug up by Luthor. It’s also a link to Brainiac for JL2.

  17. I personally think that Doomsday would be the ultimate villain, except maybe Darkseid.

  18. Why is there no mention of the Key? He originally carried a blaster in the shape of a key. The psycho-chemicals he created also allowed him to access the 90 percent of the human brain that is untapped. This vastly increased his intelligence and expanded his range of senses. The modern-age Key also had a large number of henchment known as Key-Men, who acted as bodyguards and who had enough limited fighting skills to delay heroes. The modern-age Key used drugs to bend the Justice League to his will twice, and Batman once. More recently, the Key created a programmable psycho-virus that initiates a dream-like state that allows the Key to produce structured hallucinations. He created a machine that allowed him to steal energy from the mind of the infected person, and conceivably could make him the most powerful telepath in the universe (even able to open dimensional doorways at will). From other dimensions he gathered weapons that were made for each hero’s weakness. He is called the villain Batman because with enough planning he could beat anyone.

    • Good Call!!! Another one would be Prometheus! He pretty much outsmarted the brains and out fought Batman, and rendered everyone else useless. I always thought of him as the Anti-Batman. even going so far as to have a crazy backwards version of his origin.

  19. I think Starro is the best choice: not only he’s the first villain ever faced by the League, the menace against which the Justice League originally formed for the first time but he’s also the only choice who would not make Justice League look too much like The Avengers. Darkseid as the villain of the Justice League’s origins can’t work for several reasons:

    1) They already make the animated version of the new 52′s origins
    2) The New 52′s origins is the least popular among fans and generally received negative reviews
    3) Casuals and non comic book readers would find that “a copycat of the Avengers” because of the alien invasion and the analogy beetween Thanos and Darkseid.

    I would have love the animated versione of the Justice League’s origin (the one in the Justice League animated series) but an alien invasion, as I said, would look to much, to casual’s eyes, like a ripoff of the Avengers.

    That’s what they should do: use Starro as the main villain and adapt him not like an alien warlord but as an extra-dimensional demon who consume the spiritual energy of people throught mind control. So, they could use the original Justice League’s origin and also avoid to have any resemble to The Avengers’ movie. Also, they should mantein the idea of Martian Manhunter come to Earth to warn us after Starro destroys Mars and assemble the League.

    • Not a bad idea or take on the Starro invasion. Also it would provide hero vs hero battles with mind controlled heroes facing against the free ones. With Batman, and Martian Manhunter left to save the rest of the league. Also definitely should be how to introduce J’onn to the DC cinematic universe.

      • No, thanks. A Justice League’s movie should make all the heroes equals, I don’t want a “Batman saves the day, he’s the coolest one even if he doesn’t have powers!”. If thet want to make the Justice League, they should portray Batman as he should always be, the tactic, nothing more. They should defeat Starro together and if Starro try to possess them, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman should break the mind control (they are the telephats of the team)

  20. Bizarro is HOPELESSly Superman put together wrong because Superman is a living machine or nano thingys made into humanoid form. The latest movie visual casts light on the subject that the nano-like skull imprinted on every grown person, so they were engineered to specific tasks.

    I see a Transformer crossover.

  21. It would be great if DC brings the story about INJUSTICE: Gods among Us in Justice League 3. :D

  22. Maybe it wouldn’t be right for a feature film, but I have long cherished the dream of seeing the League go up against a villain team consisting of Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, Killer Frost, Icicle, Coldsnap, and Minister Blizzard, and calling themselves The Frosty-Cold Six-Pack!

  23. What about Cyborg Superman? He is not well known but his powers are crazy and mad

  24. Live Schreiber as Vandal Savage

  25. I have heard that the villains for all 3 Justice League films are going to be, The first Justice League film. It will be Brainiac. The second Justice League film. It will be Doomsday and the 3rd and final film will see Darkseid as the villain