Five X-Men Villains Who Deserve The Spotlight In Live-Action Films

There’s no telling when a new X-Men film will be made; however, given how successful the franchise has been, it would be shocking if an official movie wasn’t announced within a five-year time span. The X-Men universe is a diverse world filled with a colorful cast of characters, though if you’ve only followed the live-action series, you wouldn’t know that there are other big villains than Magneto or Mystique. This list will focus on the five villains in the Marvel universe that deserve a spotlight in live-action films. Magneto and Mystique are the only names exempt from the list. Let’s gets started with the first big bad:


Spotlighting a villain like Arcade can actually take the X-Men films in a bold and fun direction. A murderous supervillain who is also the founding creator of a dangerous pinball machine-style amusement park known as “Murderworld”, the lesser-known big bad could end up being Marvel’s answer to Joker. Arcade doesn’t possess any superpowers, but as Joker has proven time and time again, you don’t need supernatural abilities to be a memorable villain. Say what you want about New Mutants (and there’s a lot of things to say), but they took a risk and ventured outside of the X-Men canon. Having Arcade as the antagonist could be made under the scope of horror, mystery/thriller, or even just a bloody R-rated gore fest. Either way, there should be a fresh villain in the new X-Men reboot and Mr. A opens the possibilities to something different.


Jason Wyngarde is actually a mutant, but the one with the twisted ability to create illusions. Notably apart of the Brotherhood of Mutants, Mastermind is one of the original reasons why Jean Grey makes the transition into the Dark Phoenix. Side note: Let’s stay away from the Dark Phoenix story for a good while. Again, Mastermind presents an opportunity to take the franchise in a creative direction. If the writers feel that they MUST try the Dark Phoenix storyline again, then introducing Mastermind in the first movie would be great. One of the core issues in the past was that Jean Grey’s transformation always felt rushed, but if the filmmakers take their time and build all of the pieces of the puzzle that connect to the Dark Phoenix then they can take a stab at it again in the third feature. However, Mastermind can stand out on his own without the need to revisit that plot again. The live-action features never really introduced The Brotherhood of Mutants, perhaps that could change in the new X-Men movies.

Mister Sinister

Focusing on Mister Sinister can open the X-Men world to its first cult-like feature, the Marauders, and provide an interesting look at that world inside of X-Men. Mister Sinister is a master of genetic cloning, so it’s not necessary to go down the Marauders route but the purpose for the names on this list is to introduction new elements never before seen in the live-action X-Men films. We’ve seen mutant clones before, so that’s nothing particularly new, but the approach can definitely take the franchise in several intriguing directions. There are multiple ways to use Mister Sinister and considering that he’s one of the more well-known baddies who hasn’t made his live-action debut yet, it shouldn’t be too hard to get fans on board with the new villain.

Shadow King

The vastly underrated Legion showcased just how great the Shadow King could be if written properly. The show was a constant mind trip, but in a good way, and showcased a villain that didn’t have the generic “I want to destroy the world” moniker. While a Legion tie-in would be cool, having the Shadow King could actually benefit Storm the most, who was easily the misused character in the live-action films. The Shadow King plays a big role in her origin story, and it would be great to go into depth of Storm’s background and overall world that she came from. Even if that isn’t the direction the show goes into, The Shadow King would still make a nice departure from the typical villains we’ve seen thus far.


The live action X-Men movies never really dug deep into the popular character. Rogue was vastly underpowered doing her time in the films; however, the reboot can truly go into the roots of the character and brand her on the villain side. There are so many layers to Rogue that make her perfect villain, such as being the daughter of Mystique and her natural ability to adsorb and remove memories opens an endless number of possibilities for one of the original X-Men characters.

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