The DC Extended Universe has all the potential in the world. Based on the concepts, storylines, and characters created by decades of work done by some of the most creative minds in the industry, there is every reason for it to be an immense success. Instead, it is highly controversial and no matter how much some people love the three films that have been released as part of it so far, there is no way to argue that it has been met with as much praise as it could have. There are many steps that could be taken to improve it and if you ask us, creating some memorable and creepy villains reside near the top of the list.
So far, the main antagonists we’ve seen are representations of General Zod, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, The Joker, and Enchantress. None of these characters have been fully embraced by fans and critics and that is a big problem, even though some are much more popular than others. Jesse Eisenberg’s version of Lex was especially disliked by many due to his behavior seemingly more reminiscent of The Joker in a lot of people’s minds and that peculiar moment with the Jolly Rancher. All of that aside, if you disagree with the sentiments of many and love the bad men and women we’ve seen so far, introducing more in the future badass big bads is always fantastic. Saying that, it should be immensely obvious why we decided to put together this list of fifteen awesome DC villains the movies need.
In order for a character to be considered for inclusion here, they first need to be the intellectual property of DC. As a result, anyone that was created in their comics, shows, movies or have come under their umbrella, were up for grabs. Additionally, they have to be seen predominantly as a villain or at the very least be an anti-hero that could make sense as the character the hero needs to overcome. Finally, we’ve left off anyone that has been confirmed to be included in an already-planned DCEU film. As such, you won’t be finding characters like Steppenwolf or Black Adam here. However, it is okay if they’ve made appearances in any of the other DC-related entities, including their ongoing television universe.
15. Vandal Savage
Born in the time of the Cro-Magnon man, Vandal Savage was transformed when he came across a fallen meteorite that granted him immense power. Given intelligence far beyond his fellow man at the time, as well as you and me today, on top of immortality in the DC Universe, Vandal has his fingers in almost every pie. Of course, that becomes a lot easier to pull off when you’ve been around long enough to predate every institution in the world. Charismatic enough to also have followers that see his teachings as a de facto religion as well, his realm of influence and ability to have his will carried out across the world is awe-inspiring. Poised to join the DCEU as a villain that could destroy the life of whatever hero is unlucky enough to tangle with, the most delicious part would be their ignorance as to what just happened.
The previous attempt to make a Green Lantern movie failed in the eyes of almost all observers. But if that has convinced you, they shouldn’t try again. We have to vehemently disagree. We won’t go into great detail as to the strengths the Lanterns could bring to the DCEU but we will outline one of them here, the introduction of Atrocitus. A being that has a Red Lantern ring in his possession, it grants him enough rage-based powers similar to the other Lanterns which makes him enough to tangle with nearly anyone. That said, we’d like to see him go up against a new actor in the role of The Green Lantern since their power sets match up so perfectly. Another reason we want this bad guy is he looks incredible, as you can see in that picture. Aside from that, he has a sidekick in the form of Dex-Starr, a cat that could easily be marketed to film fans too.
13. Mister Mxyzptlk
Arguably the biggest trickster in the DC universe, Mr. Mxyzptlk comes off sometimes cartoonish from a visual perspective and that may seem like a negative thing but it can be anything but that. From the 5th Dimension (something they don’t necessarily need to get into in movie form), he is immensely powerful due to his reality-warping abilities. As a result, he is certainly a character with the ability to take on The Justice League as a whole but could also work to perfection as part of a team or tandem. Choked full of personality and a bedeviling sense of humor, his antics could add some much-needed lightness to this franchise in one moment and then create situations that scare our heroes to their core. In short, he could be used in any number of ways, as long as they get his personality right, which is a gigantic reason why he would be a great addition to the DCEU; that, and his innate ability to entertain.
12. The Riddler
Being the first villain on this list that has appeared on film in the past (but not the last), The Riddler’s modus operandi is familiar to millions of people at this point. Obsessed with creating riddles, his foes must solve them in order to stop his crimes. He could introduce one of the most important parts of the Batman characters we haven’t seen much of yet in the DCEU. While Ben Affleck’s version of The Caped Crusader was very popular and it was fun to see him beat people up despite the controversial killing, we need to see a lot more of his detective side. Renowned as one of the smartest men alive, it would be a joy to see him tackling with Edward Nigma and his oftentimes cinematic setups. We admit he would probably work best with a cohort by his side, but based on the fact that he was referenced in Batman vs. Superman, we aren’t the only ones who want him on the big screen again.
When it comes to villains that could share a movie with The Riddler, Hush has all the potential in the world to do just that, as he has in the comics previously. A former childhood friend of Bruce, Tommy, he was overcome with greed. So, he tried to kill his parents to get their money by cutting their brakes. When his plan was foiled by his buddy, Tommy became obsessed with the only Wayne son and reappeared years later wanting to destroy him.
Almost the mirror image of Bruce Wayne when it comes to his abilities, including being a marksman, athlete, combatant, strategist, tactician, and genius, that isn’t the only way he seems like The Dark Knight. Having undergone plastic surgery to also look exactly like his main foe, he is capable of taking over his life at a moment’s notice when not appearing with his face bandaged which would help moviegoers tell them apart. The storytelling potential that is created by introducing someone like Tommy into the world of Batman on screen seems endless and we desperately want to see how he would be handled by a good screenwriter.
10. Gorilla Grodd
We can just imagine a scene taking place in a movie with The Flash in it where the speedster is taken by surprise and smashed with an inch of his life by a massive gorilla. Initially shocking to those not in the know, as the movie unfolds and moviegoers learn he is a highly-evolved ape that communicates telepathically, that destruction would help them take Grodd seriously. Introduced previously on The Flash television show as well, there is already a built-in fanbase for this guy outside of the comics which always makes it easier to bring someone in. With the budget of a film (meaning the look of the character in the DCEU should blow away the television version as well), especially in light of the recent Planet of the Apes movies, we would love to see him.
9. Mirror Master
Speaking of villains that we want to see The Flash fight with, let’s take a look at Mirror Master. Wanting to set the big screen version of the Scarlet Speedster aside from the TV one, we’re pushing for the introduction of baddies that have nothing to do with moving around really fast. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not against seeing The Reverse Flash, for instance, but we think the introduction of other abilities (at least on a visual level) would be much more interesting.
Able to travel through mirrors and trap those that cross him inside of them as well, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he is a dangerous man to grapple with. Also, someone that would introduce an all new element to the DCEU because of his substance abuse, his dependence could take the films down a new avenue, especially if he interacts with other villains. When a character brings new story elements and visual effects into an established franchise, it really can’t get any better than that in our minds.
One of the biggest and oldest names in Wonder Woman’s rogue’s gallery, Cheetah is half-human, half-cheetah, and all warrior. We’d like to see the version of her that was friends with Princess Diana before becoming one of her biggest enemies in order to add a whole new level of emotion to their battle scenes. Far from the most powerful adversary that could be brought in for the Amazonian warrior, we didn’t pick her because of her ability to stack up on the ability scale. Instead, we like her because of the ferocity with which she fights, her distinct look, and the emotional impact their bouts would have on Wonder Woman and the audience.
7. The Penguin
For years on end, there have been millions of people that immediately think of Danny DeVito’s gruesome version of this character whenever the Penguin is brought up. While that isn’t a bad thing, we don’t think he would fit into the DCEU but with the introduction of a much more civilized version of the show Gotham. We think that film fans are primed to see a mixture of the two. Combining the business acumen of the modern version with the ruthlessness of the Batman Returns character would provide the ultimate live action rendition of the character. If you ask us, that is richly deserved, especially in light of the new surge in popularity the version portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor has brought to him.
Born John Corben, the person that would eventually go by Metallo was a criminal who perished in an accident before a scientist transplanted his brain into a robotic body. A cyborg that has become a staunch enemy of Superman, his ability to stack up against Supes was increased ten-fold when he began being powered by Kryptonite. Oftentimes used as a henchman of others in the comics, he is capable of a lot more on screen as it would be really interesting to see The Man of Steel take on someone he can’t get near. It should also be really cool to see this massive cyborg brought to life. Plus, let’s be real, it gets tiresome watching Superman villains trying to come up with ways to introduce kryptonite to a scene over and over so we’d enjoy seeing someone that doesn’t have to bother.
5. The Scarecrow
When Christopher Nolan set out to make his first Batman movie, it speaks to the strengths of the Scarecrow character that he was one of the villains he chose to adapt. A master filmmaker, it feels wrong to question him but we have to be honest and let you know we think he missed out on one hell of an opportunity. Making a film in which the hero was paramount, the Bat’s enemies in this movie took the back seat to a large degree and while we got a couple of quick views of this fearsome figure in his glory, we still want more.
We would love to see the Scarecrow given as much attention as The Joker was in The Dark Knight on the big screen. Someone whose weapon is the fear of his opponent, the visual representation of the terror, anyone who finds himself on the wrong side of him would see nothing short of tantalizing. That alone is more than enough to want to see him adapted again but it would be amazing to see a talented actor get to bring him to life as anyone who could do what he does to their fellow man is truly evil.
The second enemy of The Last Son of Krypton on this list, there is no question in our minds that Brainiac has the most film potential of the remaining members of his rogue’s gallery. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say that we are genuinely shocked he hasn’t made the leap to the big screen yet. An android that has made his way from world to world and soaked every piece of knowledge available, he shrinks down cities as samples and then destroys the rest of a society. That may sound odd here but in practice, it is really cool, especially since Brainiac did his thing to Superman’s home planet, Krypton (creating the bottle city of Kandor in the process) and is credited with destroying it. An unfeeling destruction machine that also has super strength, energy blasts, flight and tendrils he can attack with, he is no slouch in a fight either.
3. The Red Hood
One of the biggest complaints about the latest version of Bruce Wayne is his willingness to kill with nary a thought. We’d love to see him come to the realization that he has made a horrible mistake and be tortured by what he has done, as Bruce often is. When the second Robin was murdered by The Joker in a legendary comic story known as Death in the Family, his absence may have cast a bigger shadow over Batman than his presence ever could.
Years later reintroduced as The Red Hood, he is an anti-hero that kills with ease and could easily be used as the villain of The Bat in a major movie based on the difference in ways they deal with criminals. Coming face to face with a person Bruce once mentored and now is the embodiment of his mistakes, it only adds to the pathos. Now blaming himself for every murder his new foe commits while also struggling with how he could possibly take him down, the drama pretty much writes itself. The fact that Robin has already been referenced in the DCEU only makes this all the sweeter to envision too.
At one time considered to be the greatest Green Lantern of them all because he was so good at enforcing law and order, Sinestro began to see fear as his weapon of choice. Becoming a villain as a result (which everyone should have seen coming based on his evil sounding name), he leads an army of lantern-wielding beings that do his awful bidding.
Obsessed with spreading terror to every corner of the universe, he could easily carry a film as a villain on his own but we’d also love to see him team up with Atrocitus. Perhaps it would be even more interesting if he and The Green Lantern temporarily created a truce to take on the massive Red Lantern instead. No matter what, unless something goes seriously awry, as it has in the past, a movie with Sinestro should be amazing. While we want to see both phases of Sinestro’s life, we think it makes much more sense if he starts the film out as a villain and we see his earlier, more heroic self in flashback. After all, anything we can do to set a new version of this storyline apart from the version we got in Ryan Reynold’s movie, is probably a great thing.
You weren’t expecting this, were you? Don’t worry, this isn’t a gimmick or anything like that, we really think this would be the coolest possible villain to introduce to the DCEU. At the end of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the ultimate fate of Superman is very much left open. Already revealed to be involved in the shooting of the upcoming Justice League movie, we would love it if the version we get in this film has undergone a bit of a change due to what he has gone through. Throw in the death of one of the people he loves most (possibly already foreshadowed by The Flash’s message at the end of the nightmare scene in BVS), and Supes’ mind could break. Becoming a villain, as a result, seeing the entirety of the Justice League trying to take down their former peer has our mouths salivating with anticipation already. Don’t get us wrong though, we’d want to see this done right, so please DC, if you make this choice, don’t rush it.