When people think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they typically think of the movies - Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, etc. - but the fact is, the overarching universe extends to several television properties as well, such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.
But now, with Marvel Studios bringing Netflix into the fold, fans have five additional shows to watch: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher - three of which have already made their small screen debut. Iron Fist and The Punisher are scheduled to premiere next year with a miniseries following them, The Defenders, which will see four of the five heroes come together to face a great threat.
Who is this threat, and who will be playing them? These are two questions that fans have been asking themselves. This past weekend at New York Comic-Con, one of those questions was answered: Sigourney Weaver will be playing the villain in The Defenders. With a veteran actress like her, we began to wonder just whom could she be playing.
Here are 15 Villains Sigourney Weaver Could Play In The Defenders.
There have been unsubstantiated rumors that Amora the Enchantress will be appearing in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok next year. However, since filming is now underway and the main cast has already been announced, it seems unlikely that she'll be making her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the movie. That doesn't mean, though, that there isn't a chance for her to join the MCU.
Amora the Enchantress is a member of Baron Zemo's supervillain team, Masters of Evil, and is one of Thor's greatest enemies. Being an Asgardian, she's been commonly associated with other Asgardian villains such as Loki -- which makes her chances of appearing on TV very slim. Still, the Enchantress is exactly the type of villain that would pose a great threat to the Defenders -- someone capable of dimensional travel, manipulating magical energy, telepathy, transmutation, teleportation, and time manipulation -- while also connecting the characters to the umbrella cinematic universe.
14 Ma Gnucci
An unlikely yet possible choice for Sigourney Weaver is Isabella Gnucci, AKA Ma Gnucci, a prominent member of the Gnucci crime family. Mob bosses and crime families have played a central role in Netflix's corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, with characters like Kingpin, Madame Gao, and Cottonmouth, amongst others. Therefore, it would make sense to continue that trend with The Defenders, though Ma Gnucci may not be the right character to do so.
Earlier this year, fans of Jon Bernthal's performance as the Punisher in Daredevil season two were overjoyed when Netflix ordered a solo series for the anti-hero. While there is still a lot we don't know about the series, we assume that one day Ma Gnucci, who is primarily an enemy of the Punisher's, will appear on the show. And since the Punisher isn't scheduled to appear in The Defenders, we're not sure if Marvel would use the character as the miniseries' villain. Still, characters have been repurposed before.
13 Madame Web
Cassandra Web is a wild card on this list. She's typically been an adversary of Spider-Man, ever since her debut in 1980. However, with Marvel Studios having now included Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a result of the studios' landmark deal with Sony Pictures, it's possible we could see the web slinger's villains appear in non-Spider-Man movies.
Cassandra Web, AKA Madame Web, is a genius-level intellect who has been endowed with telepathic powers as well as clairvoyance, a power she often uses in her professional life. Besides being a Spider-Man villain, she is a mutant who has opposed the X-Men on few occasions. Since the rights to use mutants are held by 20th Century Fox, Madame Web may seem to be an unlikely choice for The Defenders. However, she would make for a formidable foe.
We've seen mind control and mysticism already, so upping the ante with a clairvoyant would explain why all four Defenders would be needed to fight a single enemy.
12 Madame Hydra
When it comes to licensing and rights for certain Marvel characters, things can get tricky. While the rights to mutants and the X-Men are with 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios was able to incorporate Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by changing their origin in the comics and calling them "miracles" in the movies. On the other hand, there are some characters, like Ophelia Sarkissian, who can be shared with both studios.
Moviegoers may recognize the character who appeared as the mutant Viper in James Mangold's The Wolverine in 2013. We're not entirely sure, but it seems that while Fox owns the rights to Viper, Marvel Studios still owns the rights to Madame Hydra, Sarkissian's other villainous identity. It's a long shot, but Marvel could use The Defenders as an opportunity to connect Marvel's Netflix series to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by having the Defenders fight the head (or would-be head) of HYDRA.
11 Morgan le Fay
It's easily apparent that Netflix's Marvel shows are as grounded in reality as a comic book show can be, yet there are still mystical, superheroic components present. Morgan le Fay, based on the enchantress of the same name from Arthurian lore, is someone who represents those mystical elements, for she is an immortal elf who spent centuries mastering the mystic arts.
For a series of shows grounded in reality, it would be ostensibly ill-advised to have the Defenders' first supervillain opponent be one of magic and the supernatural. However, with the second season of Daredevil and the upcoming first season of Iron Fist, supernatural elements already exist in Netflix's corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Assuming Marvel Studios pushes for more mystical characters, Morgan le Fay would make for a worthy opponent for the Defenders. As a former student of Merlin's, Morgan le Fay is a skilled sorcerer, someone who has the ability to manipulate both the Earth and the astral plane, among other things. She may not be the obvious choice for Sigourney Weaver, but that's what makes her inclusion all-the-more intriguing.
10 Typhoid Mary
It may seem unlikely on the surface, but having Sigourney Weaver play Mary Alice Walker, AKA Typhoid Mary, in The Defenders is an ideal jumping-off point from Daredevil and Luke Cage, two shows that have focused heavily on organized crime. As one can imagine, though, Typhoid Mary's origin would have to be significantly reworked in order to fit within the MCU.
Although she has fought other heroes before, Typhoid Mary is known as an adversary of Daredevil. It was Matt Murdock (before he became the Devil of Hell's Kitchen) who accidentally knocked Mary through a window and, thus, pushed Mary's Typhoid personality (one of her three personalities) to take over permanently.
Over the years, Typhoid Mary has worked as an assassin for various criminal organizations, including the Kingpin's. In fact, she once attempted to attack Daredevil's alter ego, Matt Murdock, but was stopped by Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. She's also been known to work with The Hand, a group that may or may not be in The Defenders.
Unlike most of the other villains on this list who've had several physical run-ins with the Defenders, one of the likelier choices for Sigourney Weaver could be the Headhunter -- a villain who could fight the Defenders without the need for physical contact. She's as powerful and mysterious as her name is ominous, and she's the perfect villain for the Defenders to take on together.
As a member of the Villains for Hire (a villainous counterpart to the Heroes for Hire created by Purple Man), Headhunter is one of the most powerful and ruthless people on Wall Street. And with an unknown name and unknown origin, she's not someone who can be easily manipulated or threatened. In fact, she's the one who does most of the intimidating.
What makes Headhunter a perfect candidate is her connection to Purple Man (played by David Tennant in Jessica Jones) as well as her ability to control others by emitting an energy from her eyes. Mind-control worked in Jessica Jones, so why wouldn't it work for The Defenders? Plus, Headhunter's story eventually leads to a confrontation with Misty Knight, who was recently introduced in Luke Cage.
8 Sunset Bain
Many of the villains on this list would provide several opportunities to connect Netflix's Marvel shows to other properties in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, one character, in particular, would be the ideal person to connect the Defenders to Tony Stark himself: Sunset Bain, AKA Madame Menace.
In the comics, Sunset Bain attended M.I.T. at the same time as Tony Stark, who she seduced into divulging the security codes to Stark Industries. She later broke into the company and stole blueprints and prototypes, which she used to form her own company a year later -- Baintronics.
Although her company was a legitimate business, Sunset Bain partook in criminal dealings on the side, selling prototype weaponry to various criminal organizations. When Kingpin's cartel fell (as it did in Daredevil season one), Bain and her New Enforcers made an attempt to take over Kingpin's operations. Madame Menace is not only connected to Kingpin; she fits in-line with the villains we've seen from the Netflix series thus far.
7 Monica Rappaccini
Shane Black's Iron Man 3 had one of the most contentious twists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. However, the movie did successfully introduce the evil organization A.I.M. (which is no longer evil in the comics), albeit with a substantially different origin and agenda. Still, like many things in the MCU, after the movie ended, the organization just disappeared.
It's not the first organization to do so, though. Hammer Industries was seldom mentioned after Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell) was arrested in Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 until the first season of Luke Cage, in which Diamondback utilized various Hammer Industries technologies to fight Power Man.
A good way, then, to bring A.I.M. back into the fold would be to have Sigourney Weaver play Monica Rappacini in The Defenders. She is known as the Supreme Scientist of A.I.M., someone who could work with The Hand to make their fighters immune to biological attacks (as she did with her agents in the comics) or, in the case of The Defenders, resistant to the four superheroes.
6 Ruby Thursday
Thursday Rubinstein, AKA Ruby Thursday, whose name is inspired by the famed Rolling Stones song, "Ruby Tuesday", is not only an ideal choice for Sigourney Weaver but also for The Defenders series. Ruby Thursday made her debut in Defenders #32 in 1976. In her debut issue, Ruby Thursday was recruited by Dr. Arthur Nagan, AKA Gorilla Man, to join his newfound supervillain group, the Headmen.
A brilliant scientist, Rubinstein grew tired of superficiality and designed a surgical procedure that would replace the human head with a malleable, organic computer. She underwent the procedure herself, installing a ruby-colored computer on her body, and adopted the name Ruby Thursday. While the computer augments her genius-level intellect, it's also capable of taking virtually any shape.
As a member of the Headmen, Ruby Thursday has fought the Defenders on several occasions, going as far as beating them single-handedly before later being defeated. She even once ran for President of the United States, but thanks to the Defenders, she was forced to drop out of the race. Since politics plays a part in Luke Cage, perhaps Sigourney Weaver will continue the trend in The Defenders.
5 Alexander Bont
As previously mentioned, street-level superheroes fighting crime families and mob bosses has been a recurring theme in Netflix's Marvel shows. With several cartels and criminal syndicates having been brought down in both Daredevil and Luke Cage, a bulk of New York City's organized crime has been impeded, thus leaving the city ripe for another crime lord to take over.
An intriguing choice for that role would be a gender-swapped Alexander Bont, played by Sigourney Weaver. Although he's a relatively new character in the Marvel Universe, Bont is technically one of the oldest characters in Daredevil comics, with his story being told over a series of flashbacks.
Alexander Bont was the original Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen before Wilson Fisk took over. In the comics, when Bont is released from prison, he discovers Daredevil's true identity and goes after him using the Mutant Growth Hormone, which imbues him with superhuman strength. We know combat enhancers play a part in Jessica Jones, so it's possible Alexander Bont could be the villain that connects all four Defenders together.
Another candidate for Sigourney Weaver to portray, also involved with some form of organized crime, is Silvio Manfredi, AKA Silvermane. Although he is an enemy of Spider-Man, Silvermane is a crime boss who has operated throughout New York City, which could bring him in contact with the Defenders. The fact is, with Kingpin, Diamondback, and a handful of other cartels gone, there aren't many crime lords left.
Silvermane is one of the few villains who is capable of picking up the leftover pieces and defeating the Defenders head-on. As the head of the Maggia crime family, Silvermane formed an alliance with HYDRA to combat threats posed by up-and-coming superheroes. Although he was already skilled in hand-to-hand combat and a master marksman, Silvermane needed a way to fight these costumed heroes, so he augmented his abilities by transplanting his brain, head, and organs into a bionic body, making him effectively unstoppable.
3 The Beast of the Hand
Those who've seen the second season of Daredevil will recognize the supervillain organization The Hand, an ancient order of ninjas formed by Japanese samurais in the 16th century who practice occult magic in addition to various martial arts. Although the ninja clan was apparently defeated at the end of the season, it came at a cost -- Elektra's life.
However, it was later revealed that The Hand resurrected her and placed her in a casket, for she is one of a handful of people capable of inhabiting a "Black Sky" and leading the clan. In the comics, The Hand worships and follows a primordial demon known only as the Beast. It's entirely plausible that this ominous "Black Sky" is the MCU's version of the Beast.
Since Elektra's storyline will likely continue in Daredevil season three, what if Sigourney Weaver played a woman in The Defenders who becomes possessed by the Beast? After all, there have been rumors that The Hand will appear in The Defenders, and this would be an excellent way to bring them into the fold.
2 Head of IGH
Unlike every other character on this list, this particular entry is not one based on the comics but could rather be an original character created for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Illegal experimentation and drug enhancers have been an ongoing plot point in Netflix's Marvel shows, especially in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. In the former series, a covert paramilitary group/organization known as IGH imbued Kilgrave, AKA Purple Man, with mind-control powers and Jessica Jones with superhuman powers, such as superhuman strength and nigh-invulnerability. It's also possible that the company experimented on Kilgrave, who then received mind-control powers. Unfortunately, not much is revealed about the organization in the series, but it may be something Marvel is reserving for the show's second season.
It's possible, though, that IGH could make an appearance in The Defenders along with The Hand, with Sigourney Weaver potentially playing the head/president of the organization. This would present Marvel with an opportunity to connect all four shows while also setting up future seasons.
Of all the characters on this list, perhaps the likeliest choice of villain for Sigourney Weaver is Mephisto, a demon likened to the Devil. The character is heavily rumored to be the main villain in The Defenders, with the upcoming season of Iron Fist "setting up the supernatural element." While the demon has typically been depicted as a male in the comics, it wouldn't be the first time that a comic book character was gender-swapped in live-action adaptations.
Many comic book fans fear adapting Mephisto on the small screen may be insurmountable, for the supervillain is usually fought by the Avengers and powerful beings such as Silver Surfer and Spider-Man. However, bringing Mephisto into the fold would be the best way to tie Netflix's Marvel series to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which introduced Ghost Rider into the Marvel Cinematic Universe this season. After all, it was Mephisto who created the Spirit of Vengeance in the first place.
What do you think of our picks for Sigourney Weaver's role in The Defenders? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments!