With Venom officially out in theaters (with some not too great reviews) and the Joker standalone starring Joaquin Phoenix currently filming, a Joker and Harley Quinn film in the works, as well as a Morbius movie announced at Sony, it’s clear there is a market for supervillains and why not? Typically, well-written villains are compelling and despite their usual penchant for violence and crime, there is usually something that readers can relate to, sympathize with (sometimes), or they’re just so damn bad that you can’t help but wonder just what they might do next.
Regardless, we know that with any superhero movie, there is always an iconic villain not too far behind. So, I’ve decided to make a list of some iconic superhero villains that I’d love to see on the big screen – not necessarily in a solo film, but ones that I really do believe need to be seen in live-action. They are powerful (in their own ways), menacing, calculating and ultimately, exactly when you’d expect any villain to be.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of comic book villains that deserve the live-action treatment:
After making his first appearance Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 in 1970, Darkseid became one of the biggest super-villains in comic book history. Reigning supreme on the plant of Apokolips, Darkseid and his band of New Gods (including Steppenwolf) and his Female Furies wreak havoc on enemies that include most of DC’s roster (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc). There is no stopping Darkseid when he gets started, which has been seen on various comic spreads since his creation.
For this casting, I chose none other than Andre Braugher. The talented actor has voiced Darkseid in the past in Batman/Superman: Apocalypse. With the perfect voice and a penchant for playing intimidating characters, I’d love to see Braugher take on the role of Darkseid in live-action. I think he’d do an amazing job at keeping the essence of what fans love about the character, while still able to put his own spin on the character to make it his own.
Of course, we cannot speak about Darkseid without mentioning his powerful daughter, Grail, who made her first appearance in Justice League Vol. 2 #40 in 2015. When Diana of Themyscira a.k.a. Wonder Woman was born to Queen Hippolyta, another Amazon also gave birth. Unbeknownst to her fellow Amazons, Myrina gave birth to a daughter fathered by Darkseid. Being both Amazon and New God, Grail possesses traits from both parts of her lineage, including superhuman speed, reflexes, strength, durability, stamina and immortality. She can also inherited Omega beams, similar to her father’s power Omega Effect, as well as being a skilled opponent in hand-to-hand combat, much like her fellow Amazon, Wonder Woman.
My pick for Grail is Megan Gale. At one point in time, the Australian actress was chosen to play Wonder Woman in George Miller’s cancelled Justice League of America film. Most recently seen in Mad Max: Fury Road as Valkyrie, Gale definitely has both the acting chops and physical capability to play the Amazonian/New God hybrid with ease. So, I definitely think Gale needs to get another shot at being in a superhero movie.
Sergei Kravinoff a.k.a. Kraven the Hunter is one of Marvel’s most well-known and formidable foes. After making his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #15 back in 1964, the supervillain has been a mainstay and is not only a villain for Spidey, but has become the antagonist for many of the other Marvel superheroes as well. Equipped with superhuman strength, speed, senses, durability and stamina, Kraven is at the top of the food chain and no doubt an apex predator.
While there were a few actors that came into my head when I was thinking about who I’d cast as Kraven, Marton Csokas stood out the most in my mind. With a great resume that includes films such as Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Bourne Supremacy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and The Equalizer, Csokas definitely has what it takes to pull off the ferocity needed to make Kraven come to life on the big screen.
Cassandra Nova made her Marvel Comics debut in New X-Men #114 in 2001. Nova (who is a mummudrai) is the evil twin spirit of Professor Charles Xavier, and as such, possesses telepathy that is just as strong as his, in addition to her mummudrai powers like metahuman regeneration, DNA manipulation and duplication. Nova is as frightening as she is formidable, which can easily be seen in her comic book resurgence in one of Marvel’s new comic books, X-Men Red, where she caused a senator’s head to explode, implicating Jean Grey as the murderer in the process.
My pick for Cassandra Nova is none other than Glenn Close. The six-time Academy Award nominee can definitely channel all of Nova’s best attributes, including the crazy (for reference, please see Fatal Attraction). Close is also no stranger to comic book and action films, having appeared in a cameo as Nova Prime in Guardians of the Galaxy, The Girl With All the Gifts and Warcraft. Since Cassandra Nova needs to be the oil to Professor X’s water, I believe there is no other actress better suited to pull this off than Close.
Nathaniel Essex a.k.a. Mr. Sinister made his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #221 back in 1987. A geneticist and biologist, Essex was mutated by En Sabah Nur (a.k.a. Apocalypse) to become the supervillain known as Mr. Sinister that we know today. Mr. Sinister has genius-level intellect, possesses superhuman speed, stamina, strength, reflexes, telepathic abilities and a regenerative healing factor that makes him functionally immortal. Needless to say, there’s no doubt about why he’s been around in the comics for this long.
Although he’s a villain, he also comes across as charming and charismatic. So, an actor that could pull off both Mr. Sinister’s menacing nature and charm is required. This left me with one conclusion: Luke Evans. The Welsh actor pulled this off perfectly as Gaston in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast and also did this well as Owen Shaw in the Fast & Furious franchise. For me, Luke Evans as Mr. Sinister is a definite no-brainer.
Veronica Cale made her first appearance in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #196 in 2003, Cale proves that jealousy is never a good look. Cale is a pharmaceutical tycoon and bio-engineer with three PhDs to her name from Harvard and is a true rags-to-riches story. Believing herself to be a real wonder woman, Cale grew exceedingly green with envy every time she heard yet another story about Diana of Themyscira and set out to destroy the superhero’s reputation. Cale is not your typical villain who has a plethora of superhuman abilities at her disposal, but her genius-level intelligence, smooth-talking ways and leadership skills definitely make up for that.
My pick for Veronica Cale is Sarah Paulson. Having once expressed interest in playing the role of Cheetah in a Wonder Woman sequel, I think it would still be great to have Paulson on board the franchise in another way, and why not as Cale? Paulson demonstrates her superior acting prowess time and time again, so she could pull off the role of the jaded and entitled Cale with ease. I can just picture Paulson as Cale, talking circles around the many mansplainers she’s surrounded by, becoming obsessed with all the lovers of Wonder Woman, and doing her best to bring the Amazon Princess to her knees. It would be amazing.
Hope you enjoyed my fancast! Be sure to let me know what you thought about it and let me know some other villains you’d love to see in live-action in the comment section below!