Bad Guys, Great Actors: 10 Superhero Villains Hollywood Needs Next and Who Should Play Them

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The X-Men must travel in back in time and team up with their younger selves to change a major historical event that could globally impact both man and mutant kind.
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment
April 4th, 2014

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Nearly anyone can play a good guy, but it takes panache to portray a villain. The world of comic books features plenty of villains who have yet to make a big screen appearance, plus a few who deserve another shot. From the charismatic to the terrifying, the following 10 villains are just waiting for a chance to get Hollywood talking. In addition, these 10 actors have the acting chops to bring these bad guys to life.

10. Bizarro, played by Henry Cavill

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Henry Cavill is a shoo-in for the role of Bizarro, thanks to Cavill's impressive turn as the all-American Superman. Bizarro is the creepy mirror image of Superman, making him an uncanny super villain. Since Bizarro's power comes from the fact that he's the inverse version of the handsome superhero, Cavill would only make sense as the unpredictable bad guy from the planet Htrae.

 

9. Deathstroke, played by Jason Statham

 

deathstroke-jasonstatham.jpgPhoto Credit: DC Entertainment

Jason Statham is no stranger to action movies, having made a name for himself as one of Hollywood's most cynical and rugged action stars. Deathstroke is a merciless assassin, facing off against the Teen Titans and Batman without fear. Statham's tough demeanor would be right at home while portraying a lifelong mercenary like Slade Wilson.

 

8. Krang, played by Andy Serkis

 

krang-andyserkis.jpgPhoto Credit: Paramount Pictures

Thousands of fans love Andy Serkis' characters, but they might not recognize the actor's face. That's because Serkis is famous for playing roles such as Gollum or King Kong, requiring Serkis to turn in a mix of motion capture acting and voice work. Serkis' particular brand of magic could work perfectly for Krang, the disembodied alien brain that conspires against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Krang's unconventional and otherworldly appearance calls for an actor who can bring humanity to motion capture roles, and Serkis boasts just that skill set. 

 

7. Mr. Sinister, played by Benedict Cumberbatch

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Benedict Cumberbatch's deep, resonant voice and striking features have helped him land coveted roles as genius antiheroes and cunning villains. Although Magneto tends to rule the "X-Men" franchise, Mr. Sinister is equally formidable. Mr. Sinister is a British scientist from the 1800s who became immortal, warped by his desire for power. Cumberbatch's British accent and his skill for portraying evil geniuses would come in handy if Mr. Sinister ever decides to make an appearance in the onscreen "X-Men" world.

 

6. Brainiac, played by Anton Yelchin

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Anton Yelchin has brought iconic characters to contemporary Hollywood, playing Pavel Chekov in "Star Trek." The up-and-coming star could bring depth to the role of Brainiac, Superman's hyper-intelligent enemy. Though humanoid, Brainiac has roots in an elaborate artificial intelligence system, making him extremely knowledgeable and efficient. A younger star could give Brainiac a cool twist, while Yelchin's filmography proves he's a serious actor.

 

5. Carnage, played by Jim Carrey

carnage-jimcarrey.jpgPhoto Credit: Marvel Studios

Expressive and multidimensional, actor Jim Carrey has already earned a spot in the line-up of comic book villains with his manic turn as The Riddler. While "Batman Forever" was not exactly well-received, Carrey's mix of physical exaggeration and dramatic complexity makes him a great choice for comic book villains. Spider-Man's nemesis, Carnage, is an especially disturbing super villain, since he's a mix of serial killer and alien parasite. Carrey's wild acting style would be ideally suited to the task of portraying Carnage with just the right amount of unleashed evil.

 

4. Harley Quinn, played by Kristen Bell

harleyquinn-kristenbell.jpgPhoto Credit: DC Entertainment

Kristen Bell may have blond, girl-next-door looks, but as her role in "Veronica Mars" proves, she also has nerves of steel and an edgy side. The unstoppable Harley Quinn is wild, unpredictable and dangerous, every bit as chaotic as her counterpart, The Joker. Although Harley Quinn has made it to the big screen before in minor appearances, Bell has the charisma and acting chops necessary to embrace Harley Quinn's flamboyant, multifaceted personality and make her one of Hollywood's most buzzed-about super villains.

 

3. Darkseid, voiced by Liam Neeson

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Darkseid's strange and alien appearance means that the right actor would need to have a distinctive, powerful voice. In all of Hollywood, few actors boast voices as commanding as Liam Neeson's. Neeson already has more than enough credibility among the geek community, famous for his roles in action-packed franchises that range from "Star Wars" to "Clash of the Titans." With Neeson's characteristic voice, the megalomaniac Darkseid could come alive on-screen, even if the Justice League's destructive nemesis ends up being a CGI creation.

 

2. The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley (again)

mandarin-benkingsley.jpgPhoto Credit: Marvel Studios

Ben Kingsley already portrayed the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3," but a plot twist threw the Mandarin's role into an entirely different and unexpected light by the end of the film. Originally, however, the Mandarin was Iron Man's brilliant and ruthless archenemy, skilled in science and martial arts. With his 10 rings of immense power, the Mandarin still has untapped potential as a fitting opponent for the cocky Iron Man. Some fans are curious to see Kingsley put a more genuine spin on the enigmatic villain.

 

1. Doomsday, played by Stephen Lang

doomsday.jpgPhoto Credit: DC Entertainment

Doomsday is infamous for killing Superman, proving himself to be one of the most dangerous super-villains of all time. This intimidating feat of genetic engineering is pure muscle and rage, promising to bring some epic battles to the big screen. It would take a seasoned actor to portray the Kryptonian monster. Stephen Lang put in a chilling turn as an unforgiving warmonger in "Avatar." With Lang's talent for villainous characters, Doomsday would be sure to terrify mortal audiences, not to mention Superman.

Even as they're doling out injustices, these comic book super villains deserve actors who will do them justice. Whether or not Hollywood rises to the challenge remains to be seen, but these pairings promise to honor the original material and add some exciting new dimensions to these beloved bad guys.