Marvel villains are a diverse and eclectic bunch. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the X-Men films to the myriad versions in the comics, Marvel villains make up some of the most compelling characters in the Marvel universe. Marvel and Sony have shown us that movies like Venom can work, so we decided to pull together six Marvel villains that we think should also get a chance at top billing.
The Latverian dictator Victor von Doom is a fascinating figure but he’s been relegated to typical big bad status during his few cinematic appearances. A film that focused on his status as veritable king of a foreign land could be a very different take on the protagonist formula. In fact, Legion and Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley was briefly working on a potential Doctor Doom film. That iteration may not see the light of day, but we’re hoping to eventually see Doom on screen as a rich and multifaceted villain. If they can’t seem to nail down a good Fantastic Four movie, at least they could give the series’ a legendary bad guy his due.
We’ve seen the origin story of so many young superheroes in film. Why haven’t we explored how a young supervillain gets their start? That’s the idea behind the Hood a.k.a. Parker Collins. He’s a young punk who dreams of being a super-powered crook. After a tip, he discovers a magical hood and boots that give him various magical powers. The idea of taking the idealistic kid who gets the ability to be a superhero and inverting it to explore what kind of character wants to be a supervillain is a great twist. Plus, the Hood is a character that is unfamiliar to general audiences, so a filmmaker could play with his story enough to where they could make the definitive version of the character.
Vulcan is the kind of cosmic villain that’s interesting enough to helm his own story. He’s actually the brother of Cyclops, but Professor X removed any memories of Vulcan after he was thought to be killed on a dangerous mission. Vulcan seeks revenge but eventually decides to head for the stars to claim what he believes to be his birthright: the Shi’ar empire. It’s a grand space opera story but with a vengeful mutant at the center instead of a wide-eyed hero. Following the story of a conqueror mutant could tap into some Game of Thrones type fantasy and we all know how popular that kind of storytelling is!
Though Emma Frost has made a few appearances in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class, she’s the kind of complex villain (and sometimes hero/ally) that is ripe for examination as a lead character. She began as one of the members of the Hellfire Club, a secret society that uses their wealth and influence to shape world events. Although she eventually became a friend to the X-Men, her allegiance has always been to herself. Seeing a strong female character as the lead of a comic book film is always great, but putting someone as enigmatic and morally grey as Emma Frost in the lead would welcome some complicated character dissection.
The vicious assassin Bullseye has been portrayed as an enemy of both Daredevil and the Punisher. But, he’s a truly dark and despicable character that warrants further examination. Imagine a movie like Deadpool where the lead character is a gun-for-hire, but if the comedy was played much darker and even crossed the line in truly shocking ways. That’s what a Bullseye movie could be. His ability to turn anything into a throwing weapon is also inherently cinematic, even if the 2003 film didn’t quite know the best way to capture that. For fans who want a truly dark Marvel film, Bullseye would be a perfect candidate to helm such a movie.
J. Jonah Jameson
Before the world was inundated with loudmouth pundits and cries of fake news, there was J. Jonah Jameson. The editor of the Daily Bugle has been one of Spider-Man‘s longest-running foes. So, why not give him the spotlight? You could make a delirious comedy about Jameson going out and trying to land the big story that will finally sink that wall-crawling menace once and for all.
Along the way, he just happens to fall into some bigger superhero shenanigans. Or maybe a more traditional Spider-Man movie is happening on the edges of this story about a blowhard who manipulates facts and misconstrues everything going on around him. It’d be a goofy idea to take a minor character and see a major story play out from their perspective. Something akin to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead but through the lens of the Marvel universe.