A good hero is only as good as his villain. Thus, it really sucks when you try and do a film about a villain as your protagonist (unless you’re Brian DePalma). However, as I just pointed out, there are exceptions to this rule. So I’ve gathered several Supervillains that I think would have great solo films (I’ve also added in several that shouldn’t even get a pitch in a studio meeting.)
Ras Ahl Ghul – Most of you know him as “Liam Neeson in Batman Begins.” The rest of us know him as the Demon’s head. A man wrapped in mystery and tragedy. Part of his family is lost, he’s trying to live forever and fight for his cause in anyway he can and on top of all that, looking for the son, the heir he never had. Now that’s a man driven to accomplish great things.
While it’s a given that Batman would shut him down without a second thought, it would be incredibly interesting to see Ras before he meets Bruce. Learning martial arts himself, manipulating others to follow his cause, starting his League of Shadows, discovering the Lazarus pits, raising his daughter, training Ubu, attacking major cities with awesome moves of devastation. You get the idea.
Cast: Oh hell, just get Neeson to do it. He was perfect anyway
Lex Luthor – Shut up. I know what you’re saying already. “Haven’t we had enough of Luthor in the Superman movies?” My answer – yes…… “that” Lex Luthor. Is it the best interpretation we’ve gotten on film yet? As Will Smith always says, “Aw hell naw.” Take a look at Michael Rosenbaum’s work in Smallville (say what you will about the show – he’s phenomenal in it.) or good ole’ Clancy Brown from Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League cartoons. Quite simply amazing.
Now, take those characterizations, mix in the comics Lex Luthor: The Man of Steel and Alex Ross’ “Justice” and you could have one of the greatest superhero films of all time. Like Ras above, Lex is a man enlisting himself in his own cause of saving the world.
He’s of heavy fear that Superheroes needed to be eradicated, or at the very least, kept in check by him. It’s very much a metaphor for America and other nations in the world with abilities (ie Nukes) to cause great harm. Above all else, this man is just like Batman. He has no super powers. He has his vast determination to be the world’s savior and a couple of bucks to give him some opportunities to do that. There’s only one man who caps his personal potential. “Superman”.
It would be incredibly interesting to paint Superman as an untrustworthy hero who seems too good to be true. If written and directed correctly, could be handled very well.
Cast: Billy Zane. Dude rocks the bald head already as it is and his body type, voice tone, and his eyes match very well for a cold and powerful business man.
Venom – Dear Marvel / Sam Raimi;
YOU MESSED UP. Venom is such a great character and could hold his own movie. You may have already hurt it’s opening box office weekend because of Spider-man 3 but with the right moves in pre-production, you could fix it. I know this film is in the works, but I felt compelled to include him. It really could be a modern day Jekyl/Hyde story. Something that would be somewhat fresh and interesting if taking advantage of the right aspects. Cast: Daniel Craig, if he can pull off the American accent. If not, I could side with someone like Eric Bana. If he wasn’t already sandman, I would have chosen Thomas Hayden Church. – for you normies, Eddie Brock wasn’t created as a physical match for Peter Parker, that was changed when they did Ultimates. If you don’t know what that is….well, go find out.
Magneto – Again, someone who’s most likely going to get their own movie. A superpowered being, in the middle of the holocaust, loses his family. Oscar anyone? I don’t think I need to elaborate more do I?
Cast: While I’d love for Sir Ian Makellen to be involved, he is too old for the part. However, I could see a non-linear storytelling fashion being used to include him, because let’s face it, he’s essential to it’s success. For the young Eric Lensher, I’d actually think Daniel-Harry Potter-Radcliff could pull it off if he tried very hard.
Now, we’ve put check marks on the above. Let’s put some big fat X’s on the ones below.
Supervillains that should NOT get their own movies.
The Joker – Sorry. I know that’s what everyone wants, but no. It would ruin everything that the Joker is, err, if it was an origin story per say. He gets a lot of the focus in Batman 89, TDK and even steals the show late into Mask of the Phantasm. Let him do his thing up against Batman. Anything else would substantially weaken the mystery surrounding his character. Hollywood seems to think that all questions need to be answered when it comes to these characters. They don’t. Granted, it makes money and that’s what matters to most, but you kill any investment in future money by doing something like this. Every movie monster from the 70’s/80’s slashers was assigned a motive in their subsequent, and please note, less successful, sequels. Why? Well, Billy put it best in Scream, “It’s a lot scarier when there’s no motive.” The Joker is not a character we’re supposed to empathize with. The ones above, yes. The Joker? No. He’s a crazy homicidal maniac. Anyone who wants to feel bad for him is an idiot. You’re supposed to hate him. Duh.
Pretty much anyone in the Flash’s rogue gallery. If you need help learning about them, check out wikipedia’s list and you’ll see what I mean. Haha.
Catwoman – cashing in on sex appeal while trying to keep distance from the Batman franchise didn’t work the first time, don’t try and reboot this please. Keep her alongside Batman where she belongs. That isn’t meant to be sexist, but it may sound it. She can’t stand on her own with a movie. She’s a phenomenal character and can carry her own graphic novel series, but movies, no, no no no.
Dr. Doom – yeah he’s a great character, but without his heroes, he’s really nothing. One of the few rich masterminds who does NOT need his own movie. It’s sad, he’s the ruler of his own country, has powers, wealth and a creepy ass costume/persona. But like I said, it really would be kind of boring to see how and why he came to be.
If you think I missed a Make or Don’t make – please feel free to submit a message to me. I do read them and if I get enough will welcome some suggestions on topics if you’re interested to hear my take on anything in general – except the comics. I’ll comment on trades but anything else is impossible to keep up to date with given my job. If it’s comics and movie related – please feel free to hit me up!