The success of Suicide Squad next summer will likely decide if studios proceed to make more movies starring comic book supervillains rather than heroes. The move towards antiheroes or antagonists and away from protagonists could be a swift one if Suicide Squad is a hit at the box office. The movie is based on the DC Comic book of the same name and stars a collection of Hollywood A-list actors such as Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie playing the popular villains Deadshot, Joker and Harley Quinn, respectively. If a blockbuster, Suicide Squad could pave the way for a slew of movies focused on comic book baddies. So with that in mind, we look at six comic book villains who deserve their own film.
6. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
There’s safety in numbers, and, like Suicide Squad, a movie could be made about a team of evil mutants who are forced into doing good through circumstance or to gain release from captivity. Already featured in the X-Men series of movies, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants seems like a natural for their own film. The group has a charismatic and powerful leader in Magneto and several high profile members with interesting superpowers, including the shape shifter Mystique, the super strong Juggernaut, the menacing Blob and several members who have straddled the line between good and evil over the years, including the superfast Quicksilver and telekinetic Scarlet Witch. There would also be ample opportunities to bring various members of the X-Men into the movie or series of movies. With lots of mutant characters in the Marvel comic book universe, it would also be possible to have evil team members come and go.
An assassin for hire who is a skilled marksman and weapons expert, Bullseye could make for a very interesting solo movie. It’s not hard to imagine the character being forced into helping resolve a difficult situation either for money or his own freedom. Bullseye is also extremely charismatic and the nemesis of Daredevil. Although, over the years the character has also been associated with Spiderman and The Punisher. With a Deadpool movie slated for release in 2016, a similarly themed Bullseye film could also be produced and feature a number of Marvel heroes in it, as well as the female ninja Elektra, whom Bullseye famously killed. If villains such as Elektra and Catwoman can warrant their own movies, than surely Bullseye can too.
4. The Secret Six
Part of DC Comics’s “New 52” lineup, The Secret Six are a mercenary squad made up of supervillains in a vein similar to Suicide Squad. In fact, Deadshot from Suicide Squad is also a member of The Secret Six. Other members include Bane from the Batman comics, the Mad Hatter and Catman. Given the renewed popularity of the group, it would be interesting to see if a movie about them could work. The most logical superhero counterpoint to the group would, of course, be Batman. But perhaps the Justice League of America could square off against this team of villains. The possibilities are really endless. For sure, The Secret Six includes some of the most popular villains in the DC Comics universe.
3. The Joker
How about a live action origin story focused on the Joker similar to the comic book The Killing Joke? We know they’re making an animated movie of The Killing Joke, but how about giving this most iconic of supervillains his own live action movie? Consistently ranked the most popular comic book villain of all time, a Joker movie has a lot of potential, if done right and with the right actor in the lead role. To date, the Joker has been portrayed on the big screen in two iconic performances—by Jack Nicholson in director Tim Burton’s Batman and by Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger won an Academy Award for his performance. While it remains to be seen if Jared Leto can pull off his own interpretation of the Joker, seeing this character in his own movie with a decent story could be awesome.
2. Arkham Asylum
Arkham Asylum has proven to be a great background for many Batman comic adventures, as well as a hugely popular video game series. So why not set a movie in the psychiatric prison that houses Gotham’s most deranged supervillains? The murky atmosphere and creepy setting alone would be worth the price of admission. But setting a Batman movie in Arkham Asylum would also provide a host of opportunities to showcase and refresh various Batman villains—from the Joker and Scarecrow to the Penguin, Bane and Harley Quinn. Whether Batman finds himself trapped in Arkham Asylum or has to enter it to free someone after the inmates take over, the potential for this movie are as limitless as the imagination. With the video game series as inspiration, filmmakers could have a lot of fun with a movie set in the comic book world’s most infamous prison institution.
1. Lex Luthor
Has criminal mastermind Lex Luthor ever gotten his due on the big screen? The character has been portrayed by actors Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey largely for laughs, and it remains to be seen how the much younger actor Jessie Eisenberg will play the character in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film. But Lex Luthor is so iconic in the world of comic books and the Superman ethos that it would not be hard to imagine a movie focused on the evil genius who terrorizes Metropolis. Similar to the Joker, Lex Luthor is a well-known character to moviegoers who is interesting and creative enough that he could hold audiences in their seats for two hours. Of course, casting would be critically important and producers of the movie might have to reimagine the character somewhat. But with the right script and lead actor, a movie about Lex Luthor could be great. And it could help to reinvigorate the Superman film franchise after the underwhelming Superman Returns and Man of Steel movies.