Love it or hate it, DC's Joker movie has been a record-breaking success, for various reasons. But maybe this opens up an opportunity for other comic book villains to get their own movies? There's really nothing new to the formula - there have already been superhero origin movies as well as movies where the baddies have been the main characters.
There certainly isn't a lack of potential villains to pick from! Plenty of the bad guys also already have huge followings. The studios just need to pick the right directors, the perfect actors, and make sure the story is really good - and preferably a bit dark yet humorous. With no further ado, we hereby present to you 20 comic villains who deserve their own Joker-like origin story.
20 Doctor Octopus
Though Doc Ock is historically portrayed as a supervillain, some depictions of him in the 2000s have indicated that he harbors more noble and honorable character traits, including those seen in the film Spider-Man 2. He's one of the most iconic villains in the Spidey universe and would make for a great Origins style movie where we see him go from being bullied as a child to who he is today.
The Batman universe has several villains who are tailor-made for Horror adaptions - and Scarecrow would be a perfect character to get this treatment. The character has appeared cinematically in The Dark Knight Trilogy but was only a central part in Batman Begins. Fingers crossed, there will be a movie showing how Crane and his entire persona became so focused on and obsessed with fears and nightmares.
Bane appeared in Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises, but neither goes into detail about his origins. It would be great to see a young Bane grow up in the Santa Prisca prison, shaped and molded to be one of the Caped Crusader's greatest adversaries - simply due to who his father was - and growing into becoming a brilliant tactician and lab rat with a Venom addiction.
Magneto has a vibrant and interesting backstory that has barely had its surfaced scratched in the Fox films. With his dark roots as a holocaust survivor, Magneto's origin story movie could easily feature a large chunk of it following a young Magneto through Nazi Germany and the immediate aftermath? Who wouldn't want to see Nazi-hunter Magneto?
16 Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom is considered by many to be Marvel's ultimate baddie. Yet somehow he has never seen a proper film adaption. With every version of The Fantastic Four, Doom always falls short. Fans of Doctor Doom will tell you that the mad magician turned doctor, king, and ultimately a god deserves his own movie and is not someone who should be crammed into a movie about four other characters.
15 Lex Luthor
Superman's enemy, Lex Luthor is one of the most iconic supervillains of all time, and his brand of evil and jealousy over everyone's favorite Kryptonian needs to be properly explored cinematically. Imagine a film that really explores the dehumanization that wealth brings to an individual. We get to see Luthor's mind become increasingly corrupted by money and power, to the point where he hates superheroes because they have something he doesn't.
It looked like Fox really tried its hardest to make Marvel fans forget what they loved about Marvel’s giant purple baddie. Galactus actually has an amazing backstory. His journey from the humble humanoid Galan from the planet Taa, to devourer of worlds, is certainly a story ripe for a solo film. It could even seamlessly tie itself into the MCU.
13 Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange doesn't have any outstanding powers of his own. He is merely a mad psychologist, obsessed with the Dark Knight - to the point he managed to figure out Batman's true identity. Batman has even referred to Strange as “the most dangerous man in the world” - a title that sounds pretty worthy of a movie if you ask us.
Kraven is one of Spider-Man’s most formidable foes, as he consumes a serum to enhance himself and slow down aging. We were so close to seeing this legendary character in the MCU when Ryan Coogler almost had him in Black Panther and Sony were going to feature him as part of the now-defunct Sinister Six film (his spear appears in the end credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
11 The Penguin
In the comics, Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot is a Gotham mobster who was bullied as a child due to his stature and beak-like nose. He would later become one of Batman’s smartest and most formidable foes — and he is primed for a return. We think the waddling supervillain’s story lends itself to a great mob/cop thriller.
Brainiac is one of the Man of Steel’s greatest threats. The character has appeared on the small screen and was almost brought to the big screen in Tim Burton’s canceled Superman Lives. There is a huge amount of potential based on the cyborg’s storylines in the comics, especially when Brainiac shrinks and steals the planet Krypton, and in his links to Supergirl and Superman.
Sinestro is one of few DC Villains that actually started out as a hero - he was a Green Lantern but was banished to the antimatter universe as punishment for his extreme methods. Sinestro then returned with a yellow ring powered by fear. Sinestro's rise and fall as a Green Lantern could definitely be the focus of an entire film, blurring the line between who is truly the hero and villain.
8 Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash)
Thawne is The Flash's arch-nemesis, and if ever there was a movie where the villain film was made before the hero one, this should be it. An origin story that can be told seamlessly while jumping forward and backward in time, where Thawne starts out as a massive fan of The Flash, ends up traveling through time and discovering he eventually becomes Barry Allen's greatest enemy.
7 Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage is 50,000 years old, immortal and can survive just about anything. How about a movie centered around how a man spends his days when he can't die? The broad timeline gives the screenwriter and director plenty of directions to take the storyline, with the potential to show him taking on heroes from the Golden and Silver Age, all the way up to feuds with modern-day heroes.
6 The Kingpin
Wilson Fisk - The Kingpin - is New York City's crime overlord. Initially an adversary of Spider-Man, he later went on to become Daredevil's arch-enemy, as well as a recurring foe of the Punisher. The movie could tell the story of how he went from being bullied as a child, learning martial arts, and forcing his way to the top of the New York crime syndicate.
William Baker, aka Flint Maro, aka the Sandman was created as an adversary of Spider-Man, however, he later became his ally. An origin movie could tell the story of how his father abandoned him and his mom and young William growing up being bullied. After being kicked off the football team for fixing a game, he turns into a violent, bitter man, and we know what happens after that.
Hush, whose real name is Thomas Elliot, is a fascinating individual and has a very strong connection to Bruce Wayne. In the comics, Elliot is a renowned surgeon and childhood friend of Bruce. He resents the fact that Bruce's father thwarted his plot to murder his parents and knows Bruce Wayne's secret identity. The character is considered one of the best villains Batman has ever fought.
3 Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul was famously portrayed by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. Ra’s is a 700-year-old man who discovered the Lazarus Pit and its power to restore life. he uses this immortality to gain wealth, train to be a great warrior, and create powerful organizations that fight crime around the world. A story like this that could span many periods and unveil more mysteries surrounding the immortal villain.
The vicious assassin Bullseye has been portrayed as an enemy of both Daredevil and the Punisher. Seeing as he’s a truly dark and despicable character, he would be perfect for a Deadpool-like movie where the lead character is a gun-for-hire. His ability to turn anything into a throwing weapon is also inherently cinematic, even if the 2003 Daredevil movie didn't truly capture that.
1 The Red Hood
Jason Todd was the second Robin after Dick Grayson became Nightwing. Sadly, the new boy wonder was savagely beaten to death by the Joker with a crowbar. Then he was resurrected in the Lazarus Pit to become the troubled antihero The Red Hood. The character has a massive following, a film starting with Todd’s tragic demise and the sudden rise to become the Red Hood could be a huge success.
Sources: Fandom, Cinemablend, Screenrant