From action to comedy and even horror, nearly every genre in Hollywood has used the premise of two characters pitted against each other to push an interesting plot. We don’t just mean the classic hero versus villain battles, but also the memorable face-offs between two iconic characters. Let’s take a look at the most legendary movie rivalries in Hollywood!
Cady Heron vs. Regina George – Mean Girls
Written by SNL alum Tina Fey, this film is quite evidently one of the most iconic teen comedies of all time. It dived straight into the world of high-school drama with the battle to be queen bee between newbie student Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) and the A-list alpha of the schools most popular girl group called The Plastics Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Combined with timelessly quotable dialogues from the film, this rivalry still holds high pop-culture relevance.
Edward Cullen vs. Jacob Black – The Twilight Series
Speaking of iconic teen sensations, we can’t ignore the ever successful on-screen adaptation of the Twilight series. This love story involving secretive modern-day paranormal beings featured a love triangle between human Isabella Swan (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Whether you were a fan of the series or not, you’ve probably heard teens proclaiming if they were Team Edward or Team Jacob.
Derek Zoolander vs. Hansel McDonald – Zoolander
This 2001 cult hit follows fashion icon Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) as he approaches has-been status and how he meets his match in the up-and-coming male model Hansel (Owen Wilson). As the duo duke it out, he also attempts to prevent the assassination of the Malaysian Prime Minister. Filled with ridiculously good looking people along with an entertaining rivalry, Zoolander is one of the most hilariously outrageous Hollywood cult films.
Thor vs. Loki – MCU
Hollywood’s most successful movie franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an iconic cultural phenomenon. So it’s fitting that one of the series’ most memorable duos would be on this list. If you’ve witnessed sibling rivalry, imagine what it would be like if it were between the God of Thunder and the God of Mischief. That’s what Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) dynamic is like, packed with ups and downs while being thoroughly entertaining.
Alfred Borden vs. Robert Angier – The Prestige
This Christopher Nolan sci-fi thriller is epic enough when it comes to unpredictable twists and turns, but what really makes it a must-watch is the conflict between two friendly magicians who turned into bitter enemies. Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) are both extraordinarily gifted magicians fueled on by each other’s abilities. As their competitive enmity escalates, the film shows you just how messy rivalries can really get.
The Fast and Furious arch-rivals Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) first faced off against each other in Fast & Furious 7 (2015). Hobbs is a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security while Shaw is a former British Special Forces assassin-turned-mercenary. They are sworn enemies but in this film, they were forced to put their differences aside to face off against a new foe – former MI6 agent and cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Read our review here.
Today, we couldn’t imagine a world that isn’t powered by electricity and, little did we know, this essential marvel is the result of a legendary rivalry. This film follows that story of two of the greatest innovators of the industrial age. Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), and their battle to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world. After much delay, the film was released in October. Read our review here.
In the age of biopics, this film relives the story of the real-life rivalry between Ford and Ferrari leading up to the 1966 Le Mans race. It follows automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of building a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari. The creation of the Ford GT40 was led by this duo who battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build the revolutionary race car. Read the review here.
These are just a few of the many legendary movie rivalries and Hollywood is surely keeping them coming. Here are some of the upcoming releases featuring more movie rivalries –
Tom Cruise’s defining Hollywood moment came with the release of fan-favorite action flick Top Gun. It’s got training montages, exciting action, witty quips, and an undoubtedly intense rivalry between Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) and Tom “Iceman” Kazanski (Val Kilmer). Both pilots strive to be at the top of their training program and their competitive relationship is only more evident as this classic 80s action film moves forward. Over three decades after the film released in 1986, it will be getting its sequel in 2020 with Cruise and Vilmer reprising their roles in Top Gun: Maverick.
Godzilla vs. Kong
When you think of giant monsters, Godzilla and King Kong are sure to pop into your head and watching these two rivals go head to head surely seems epic. We’ve seen the massive creatures battle it out in their own respective movies like Godzilla 2: King of The Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. Now, the two legendary movie monsters will return to square off in an epic battle for the ages. Godzilla vs. Kong is announced to have a 2020 release date.
We’re itching to witness the drama and tension that comes with entertaining movie rivalries in these upcoming films. Stay tuned to this space for updates if you are too!