We’re generally told stories to make us sympathize with the heroes and hate the villains. But there are times when the villains are just so much more interesting than the heroes. Hollywood has given us many great villains over the years and now we’re even getting films with supervillains as the leads. Every argument has at least two sides, after all. Here are seven movie villains that we liked way more than the heroes:
We first saw Venom on screen in Spider-Man 3. Venom is an interesting villain because it’s a symbiote that can only exist with another person. Some of the most interesting scenes in Spider-Man 3 feature Venom and even Spider-Man’s personality takes an interesting turn when he’s “possessed” by Venom. He even got his own film with Tom Hardy that went on to become of the highest-grossing films of 2018.
Magneto is definitely a villain in X-Men, but he’s also very sympathetic. We know that his hatred of humans comes from the mistreatment he’s suffered over the years. Also, with the character being played by two of the finest actors – Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, it’s hard for us to not feel at least a little bit tempted to be on his side.
There’s perhaps no villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far who has a larger fan following than Loki. His popularity may have a lot to do with Tom Hiddleston, but the complexity of the character, especially when compared to Thor, makes us love him a lot more than many Marvel heroes. Although Thanos did manage to build up his own following as a Marvel villain, he wasn’t as well-liked. Loki will also be getting his exclusive series on Disney’s new streaming platform.
4. Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter is another one of those villains who overshadows the hero – whether it’s in movies or on a television show. Yes, he eats humans but he also knows exactly how to manipulate people and come off as a gentleman in front of others. Anthony Hopkins‘ portrayal of Hannibal in The Silence of the Lambs not only gave us nightmares but also had us floored. Hannibal also got his own show with Mads Mikkelsen giving another brilliant portrayal of the character.
5. Darth Vader
Even those who only vaguely know Star Wars have heard of Darth Vader – that’s how far the popularity of this villain goes. He’s one of Hollywood’s greatest villains and also one of the most loved. There are even fans who debate that the Empire that’s shown to us as evil actually did nothing wrong and hail Darth Vader as a hero.
6. Tyler Durden
Fight Club couldn’t have been what it was if it wasn’t for Brad Pitt‘s Tyler Durden. Yes, we learn that he was the hero all along, but it was his Tyler Durden identity that was charismatic and capable enough to organize hundreds of followers behind him. Even knowing all his faults, it’s hard not to be captivated by Tyler Durden.
While The Losers Club had its charm, there’s no doubt that what made It so compelling to watch was Pennywise. The evil creature that awakes every twenty-seven years was brilliantly portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, who even scared some of the child actors on set while filming the movie. He’s returning in the sequel, It: Chapter 2, which comes out this September.
Disney princesses are famous enough but they share pretty much the same story arcs, which is also the case with Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty. The evil witch in that story got a more interesting take with the 2014 film, Maleficent, as we explored how she came to be the way that she is. We’ll get to see Angelina Jolie play her once again in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil this October.
9. Jack Torrance
The Shining showed Jack Torrance’s chilling descent into insanity and it became one of Jack Nicholson‘s most famous roles. It’s not the relatively sane Jack when you think of the classic horror film, it’s the crazed Jack peeking from the hole in the door, saying “Here’s Johnny!”. The Shining also gets a sequel this year with Doctor Sleep with Ewan McGregor playing Jack’s son, Danny.
10. The Joker
One of Batman’s many enemies but the most popular of them all, The Joker has been popular in almost any version. He’s been played by many esteemed actors – Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto, to name a few. It was only a matter of time before he got his own DC film. Joaquin Phoenix will be playing the character in its newest avatar.
Want to discover more favorite characters in Hollywood movies? Check out our list of upcoming Disney films, horror films, and sequels and spin-offs to make sure you don’t miss the latest releases in theaters.