Supervillains have always been an essential part of a good comic book movie, but now the villains will be taking the spotlight in upcoming movies. Among a number of comic book movies in development, many projects will focus on everyone's favorite supervillains.
Finally, audiences will have the chance to feel validated in liking the sympathetic villain more than the hero.
Although these well-known antagonists have received a lot of attention in the comic books, movies focusing entirely on the villains are a new and growing trend among Marvel, DC, Sony, Fox, and others.
These movies will move away from the origin stories and adventures of crime fighters to instead tell the darker stories of superpowered criminals, including their twisted beginnings.
Fan favorites like Harley Quinn, The Joker, and Deathstroke will be embarking on their own cinematic adventures. Villains who have rarely appeared onscreen at all, such as Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter, may also be getting a film treatment in the coming years.
Not all the bad guys will be Marvel and DC, however, as other comic book villains like Plutonian and Nemesis might be joining more recognizable names in theaters.
Here are the 12 Supervillain Movies In Development (And 7 That Are Rumored).
19 In Development - Suicide Squad 2
Although it met a lackluster critical response, Suicide Squad was enough of a box office hit to warrant a sequel.
The DCEU's antihero team will likely be back in 2019, with filming reportedly starting this fall. Not much is known about the sequel yet. Deadshot is confirmed to return, and Harley Quinn, Rick Flagg, Captain Boomerang, and The Joker are rumored to appear.
The first Suicide Squad was rushed into production with little time to prepare the script, and it showed in the final product.
Suicide Squad 2 has already passed through several writers in development, which will hopefully help avoid the weak points of the first movie.
Gavin O’Conner is writing and directing in place of David Ayer from the original. Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg, has also said the tone of the sequel will be more grounded in reality.
18 Rumored - Deadshot
Will Smith's Deadshot was a major highlight of Suicide Squad, so it comes as no surprise that DC would consider giving Deadshot his own solo movie.
Deadshot was rumored to be in development not long after the release of Suicide Squad, but few updates have come out since the original report.
Executive changes in the DC movie division recently cast further doubt on whether Deadshot would see the light of day.
Will Smith is apparently not attached to the Deadshot project yet, instead slated to appear in Suicide Squad 2 and other projects like Bright 2. However, that doesn't mean Deadshot will never happen, as no official confirmations have been released one way or the other.
Deadshot's solo adventure will likely be pushed back to allow more time for core DC characters, but his film may still be on the horizon.
17 In Development - Venom
Venom is the first in Sony's planned series of villain movies. After allowing Spider-Man to join the MCU, Sony has turned to the interesting Spider-Man villains within their purview.
Fans won't have to wait long for this one, as it is set to release this year on October 5th. The movie is reported to center on the Life Foundation's symbiote experiments under Dr. Carlton Drake, leading to the creation of Eddie Brock's Venom and possibly other symbiotes.
Tom Hardy will be playing the title role of Eddie Brock/Venom, surrounded by a supporting cast of Michelle Williams as Anne Weying, Riz Ahmed (Rogue One) as Carlton Drake, and Sope Aluko (Black Panther) as a currently unknown character.
Rumors have also cropped up that Carnage will play some part in the movie, suggesting that Woody Harrelson may play the second symbiote supervillain.
16 In Development - Silver & Black
Silver & Black will be following up Venom in Sony's villain line-up. The movie will feature notorious thief Black Cat teaming up with mercenary Silver Sable.
The project is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, who explained, “I wanted to tell the story of two damaged women who are at war with each other, but need each other to survive.”
Rumors suggest that the villain of the movie may be Mendell Stromm, also called Robot Master. The movie may also feature the villains Scorpion, Tarantula, Tombstone, and Chameleon, as well as Silver Sable's mercenary squad Wild Pack
Silver & Black was slated to release next February, but filming is currently delayed indefinitely while the script is reworked. This may push the project back to a later release date, especially as no casting has been announced.
15 Rumored - Morbius the Living Vampire
Morbius the Living Vampire is another project rumored for Sony's villain line-up. Morbius is a Spider-Man villain and antihero who began as a famous biochemist trying to cure a blood disease, but accidentally turned himself into a pseudo-vampire during his experiments.
Power Rangers writers Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama have written a script for a Morbius project, which was reportedly in secret development at Sony.
There's no official comment from Sony, and there are no details yet about the production beyond the script. Morbius would follow up Venom and Silver & Black once those movies get off the ground.
The future of the project will probably depend on the performance of the villain films before it. Since this project is still down the road for Sony, it likely would not hit theaters for another couple of years.
14 In Development - Gotham City Sirens
Gotham City Sirens will team up fan-favorite Harley Quinn with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. The introduction of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn into the DCEU has snowballed into several projects involving Quinn, and Sirens is one of the most exciting prospects.
The Joker is also expected to appear in the movie, giving Sirens the possibility to explore the intriguing Joker-Harley-Poison Ivy dynamic.
The project is helmed by Suicide Squad writer and director David Ayer. The movie has been the subject of several rumors that speculate if it has been cancelled.
If the Sirens do not get their own movie, they may instead be folded into Birds of Prey.
Whether we see the Sirens on their own or fighting Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress, they will be an interesting addition to the DCEU.
13 Rumored - Kraven the Hunter
Kraven the Hunter may be joining Sony's villain slate with Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable. Kraven is a long-time enemy of Spider-Man, a big game hunter who moved to hunting superheroes.
Sony chairman Tom Rothman mentioned Kraven the Hunter in an interview while discussing potential spin-offs. The mention suggests that Sony has plans for the notorious hunter.
Kraven the Hunter may be in development to follow Venom and Silver & Black.
Studio officials seem unwilling to confirm or deny the existence of the project. Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch would not comment either way, but did say he was a fan of Kraven.
He added, "He’s an awesome character. Let’s just leave it at that." Kraven is not usually a sympathetic character like other villains rumored to have their own movies, which could provide a twist on Sony's villain series as it continues.
12 In Development - Black Adam
As Shazam is finally joining the DCEU, his archnemesis Black Adam will also be hitting theaters in his own movie.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been cast as the villain-turned-antihero, and production seems to be moving along smoothly. Johnson expects Black Adam to start filming next year, likely to follow on the heels of Shazam!
Adam Sztykiel, who recently co-wrote the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Rampage, is signed on to write the script, and Johnson stated he was impressed by his take on the character.
However, the solo movie may not be Black Adam's first appearance in the DCEU. Johnson also hinted he will be making an appearance in an earlier movie, possibly in Shazam! or Suicide Squad 2.
He won't be the primary antagonist of Shazam!, though, although they may go up against each other in a later movie.
11 Rumored - Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom puts the beloved (and feared) Fantastic Four villain on center stage. The project is led by Legion creator Noah Hawley, who revealed plans for the movie at Comic-Con.
The project was reported to be in development at Fox, but may be affected by the Disney-Fox merger. Hawley states that he has not been contacted about Doctor Doom, but plans may move forward once the deal officially goes through.
The future of Victor von Doom's solo adventure will hinge upon Marvel's plans for the franchise.
However, it's possible that Marvel will continue a solo projects with one of Marvel's most popular antagonists.
Hawley has some ideas for the movie once it's green-lit. He wants Doctor Doom to be like Winter Soldier, a film that mixed superhero adventure with political thriller. He intends for Doctor Doom's movie to be a mixture of genres that asks whether Doom is a hero or a villain.
10 In Development - Nemesis
Mark Millar's Nemesis has had a long journey to get off the ground, but it's finally moving forward again.
Nemesis turns superhero tropes on their heads, exploring a world where a rich, bored playboy like Batman became a villain instead of a hero.
It's been in development for nearly a decade, passing through several hands. For years, it saw no significant movement.
Nemesis is now finding new life at a new production company. Long-time Warner Bros. executive Sue Kroll is breaking off to start her own production company, Kroll and Co. Entertainment, and she's taking Nemesis with her.
The supervillain flick is one of several movies now in development at Kroll's company, though details are still scarce at this stage.
In the current slew of comic book films, Nemesis has more potential than ever to hit theaters and set itself apart.
9 Rumored - Lucifer
Lucifer is among a number of Vertigo Comics properties rumored to be in development at New Line Cinemas. Lucifer was introduced in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and eventually got his own spin-off.
In the comics, Lucifer abandons his lordship of Hell to come to Earth. Sandman, Lucifer's parents series about the world of dreams, is also reportedly in development.
Sandman may be the first of the Vertigo projects to premiere with Lucifer possibly following it.
While Warner Bros. has its hands full with main DCEU movies, they moved the Vertigo projects to New Line, which had more freedom to develop the comic book adaptations.
Gaiman's take on the Lord of Hell was also used for the TV series Lucifer running on Fox, and it's unclear how the series might affect the rumored movie development.
8 In Development - Harbinger
Alongside their Spider-Man rogues gallery series, Sony is also set to develop a series based on Valiant Comics.
The series begins with Harbinger, which tells the story of a group of superpowered misfits who are recruited into a mysterious supervillain's private army.
When some of the recruits realize the true nature of their benefactor, they form the Renegades to fight against him.
The movie is still progressing through development with the script currently in rewrites. There's no director yet, but the project does seem to be steadily moving toward production.
This will be the start of a five-film deal, set to include Bloodshot and a crossover between the two properties, Harbinger Wars. Reports suggest that Harbinger and Bloodshot will each have two standalone movies before their crossover.
7 Rumored - Mysterio
Mysterio is another movie rumored for Sony's Spider-Man villain series. A standalone film for the Master of Illusion was mentioned as a potential project for Sony, alongside Kraven the Hunter.
Mysterio has been one of Spider-Man's great foes, using his talents in illusion and special effects to further his evil plans. Mysterio has also rarely been portrayed in a sympathetic light, but Sony may take a different spin on the character.
With five supervillain projects rumored to be in development at Sony, the success of Venom could launch a long-running series.
It is also not yet clear if this rogues gallery will have any part in the MCU moving forward, as there have been hints that the series may cross over with the MCU and its Spider-Man.
6 In Development - Harley Quinn
Among a number of planned Harley Quinn movies, Margot Robbie will apparently also have a solo movie.
Robbie explained, "I’ve been working on a separate spinoff Harley thing for a while," adding that it was separate from Gotham City Sirens and the Harley Quinn and Joker movie already reported.
Robbie has become one of the DCEU's few bankable stars, especially within the Suicide Squad. DC seems to be taking full advantage of her popularity.
Robbie also commented on all of the Harley Quinn projects in development.
She stated, "There’s a lot going on right now and I’m not sure. I, honestly, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to be the next thing to happen. But I think everyone’s keen to get Harley back on screen, so everyone is working on lots of different versions of what that could be."
5 In Development - Harley Quinn and the Joker
Although there are many Harley Quinn projects in the works, it would be a great omission to not show Harley with the Joker where her character began.
A Harley Quinn and Joker project is also in development, reported to be tentatively titled Harley Quinn vs. The Joker. Later reports state this will be more of a twisted love story between two criminals.
Margot Robbie and Jared Leto are slated to return for their roles. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are in negotiations to write and direct the movie.
The Harley Quinn and Joker project may also be on the fast track to production along with Suicide Squad 2.
This may be the first of the DCEU Harley Quinn spin-offs to come out in theaters. More news may result from this as Suicide Squad 2 gets further along.
4 Rumored - Irredeemable
Irredeemable is another foray into the comic book world beyond Marvel and DC. The story is essentially Superman gone wrong.
The great superhero Plutonian snaps and becomes a powerful and destructive supervillain. With the world under the Plutonian's power, the lesser superheroes must work together to stop him.
Fox acquired the rights a couple of years ago, and they hired Adam McCay to direct and Tommy Wirkola to write the script.
Irredeemable falls into the trend of dark and introspective superhero movies, making it an easy fit into the current landslide of comic book movies.
However, it's unclear how the development is shaping up in light of the Disney-Fox merger. The project may be moved around, but with the rights already in-hand, Irredeemable may be on the horizon before too long.
3 In Development - The Joker
While the DCEU continues to grow and plans to utilize Jared Leto's Joker more, Warner Bros. is also planning an entirely separate Joker origin movie.
The origin story will not be attached to the DCEU and will feature a different Joker from Leto.
This separation will allow the writers to take a different twist on the Joker. They won't be beholden to DCEU continuity for this story. Rumors speculate that the movie will be set in the 1980s.
The Joker's origin film seems to be a faster track than some others in development with DC. Todd Phillips is lined up to direct the movie, and Scott Silver is writing the script.
Martin Scorsese may even be producing the movie, though his involvement is not yet certain. Though it's a strange move, it may be one way for DC to expand the Joker's role without Leto, who has proved controversial in the part.
2 Rumored - Sinister Six
The end of the Amazing Spider-Man universe sadly ended plans for a Sinister Six spin-off, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
The writer-director of the intended villain team-up, Drew Goddard, thinks Sinister Six won't necessarily stay dead. Goddard wants it to find new life within the MCU with Tom Holland's Spider-Man, if Marvel wishes it.
Goddard doesn't seem to see the Sinister Six plan as dead as much as on ice until the right opportunity.
He stated, "This is Hollywood, man, you’ve gotta play the long game."
The MCU is clearly banking on Spider-Man with a sequel already in the works for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony's Spider-Man villain slate may also eventually come together into something resembling a Sinister Six project.
There are lots of opportunities to see the supervillain alliance on the big screen if these franchises go well.
1 In Development - Deathstroke
Deathstroke has long been one of DC's most popular villains. His near-legendary status in DC comics makes a standalone movie for the iconic villain an easy choice.
In the past few years, his pop culture status has only been raised by Manu Bennett's fantastic portrayal on Arrow.
At the end of Justice League, audiences got a look at the DCEU's Deathstroke, who will reportedly star in his own movie.
This version of Deathstroke will be played by Joe Manganiello. He confirmed the Deathstroke movie is in development, though he was unable to say anything else about it.
His solo movie may still be a long way off, though, as DC's heroes take precedence.
However, Deathstroke is unlikely to go to waste within the DCEU now that he has been introduced.
Are you excited about any of these projects? Are there any other rumored supervillain movies that fans need to know about? Sound off in the comments!