Tom Hardy’s portrayal as Bane in The dark knight rises was only the second attempt to adapt the supervillain into live-action, the first being a “must-see” performance in batman and robin. Character criticism aside, Hardy delivered a stellar performance, crafting an imposing character, despite his height difference from Christian Bale, and crafting a menacing voice.
Hardy’s performance is a testament to an excellent cast, salvaging what could have been an otherwise underwhelming villain. As excellent as his portrayal is, there are other talented actors who have skillfully brought famous villains to life. In fact, some of their performances surpass Hardy’s.
ten James Spader was perfect for Ultron (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)
The first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron is still one of the best in MCU history. James Spader’s menacing voice brought to life a character fans had wanted to see for years. About seven days in length, “Age of Ultron” was a low point in the film, but Spader was a highlight. Bringing so much to the character, he was a great contrast to Paul Bettany’s Jarvis. The strong monologue when Ultron first wakes up is arguably Spader’s best delivery in film and one of the best villain moments in the MCU.
9 Despite Refusing To Go Bald, Gene Hackman Nailed Lex Luthor (Superman)
As the very first theatrical version of Lex Luthor, Gene Hackman had a big challenge ahead of him. Even with that, the actor was already running the risk of upsetting Superman fans by refusing to go bald. Instead, Hackman sported curly brown hair during his portrayal of Clark Kent’s notorious nemesis.
Gene Hackman’s performance made the premiere Superman iconic as he is today, and of the three other live Luthors, only Michael Rosenbaum has truly lived up to Hackman’s success. Gene Hackman was even nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in 1978.
8 Mahershala Ali’s cottonmouth wore a season (Luke Cage)
The villains of the Netflix Marvel series were some of the best in the MCU, and Ali’s Cottonmouth raised the bar for others. Ali played a superb villain, pitting the strength and invulnerability of Luke Cage against the intelligence and cunning nature of Cottonmouth. Although less physically imposing than Cage, Ali stole every scene he was in. His sudden death halfway through the first season came as a real surprise and halted the show’s momentum. The second half of the season still had its moments, but Ali’s presence was sorely lacking.
seven Adam Driver brings Kylo Ren to life (Star Wars sequel trilogy)
With two different directors and storylines rewritten or outright ignored, the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy has fans divided on several issues. Kylo Ren was one of the greatest examples of the sequel’s character inconsistencies – wearing a mask, destroying it, then rebuilding it again.
Despite these criticisms, Adam Driver has proven why he is one of the best actors working in Hollywood today and why he is the right choice for Ben Solo. Fans are still arguing over the sequels, but many agree that Drivers’ performance is excellent throughout the trilogy.
6 Michael Clarke Duncan dominates the rest of the cast as Kingpin (Daredevil)
When we talk about the years 2003 daredevil, there weren’t many good things to say. Most of the actors were decent enough, but the spandex costume looked awful, especially compared to the one in the Netflix series. Despite the issues with the movie, Marvel and director Mark Steven Johnson got one thing right: casting Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk.
Already staring the role of the insanely muscular and hulking Kingpin, Duncan’s performance was the best in the film. He shone in the Man Without Fear origin story, creating a truly menacing and intimidating villain.
5 Ben Kingsley’s Fake Mandarin Stole The Show From The Real Thing (Iron Man 3)
One of the biggest missed opportunities in the MCU has to be Ben Kingsley as a fake Mandarin. Kingsley is one of the best actors in Hollywood. His lineup and character in Iron Man 3 is no exception. The vignettes in the first half of the film are brilliant, bringing a haunting realism to a comic book movie.
Kingsley was more intimidating than ever, with his “you’ll never see me coming” delivery standing out. Her character was so good that when the twist revealed it was an act, fans were more disappointed than excited.
4 Margot Robbie Thrives as Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad)
suicide squad is one of the worst comic book movies of the last decade. Its clichéd plot and tone fluctuate wildly from scene to scene. The hype for the film comes from its excellent marketing and a brilliant cast that included Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis, among others.
While Leto and the movie itself were underwhelming, DC ended up with a star in Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Robbie’s natural charisma as psychiatrist-turned-psycho elevated every scene she was in and stood out in an otherwise lackluster movie.
3 Willem Dafoe’s Goblin is a great foil for Maguire’s Wall-Crawler (Spider-Man)
When Spider-Man fans imagined Green Goblin in live-action, they probably didn’t imagine Norman Osborn flying around in a costume that looked like it belonged in a Power Rangers movie, but Willem Dafoe made the character iconic. Its online delivery was among the best of comic book movies, and the parallels between the Goblin and Spider-Man were masterfully illustrated.
As campy as the Green Goblin was, Dafoe made him believable. He continued to haunt fans and his son Harry in the second and third films of the Raimi trilogy, and his return in No coming home somehow exceeded all expectations.
2 Danny DeVito’s Penguin Personifies Tim Burton’s Batman Movies (Batman Returns)
Tim Burton has thrown comedic precision out the window repeatedly. One of the greatest examples came from his use of the penguin in Return of Batman. Burton took the name a little too literally this time around. Instead of a gangster with a limp that makes him waddle like a penguin, Burton created an orphan who was raised by penguins and twisted his body into their shape.
Inaccuracies aside, no one could have done a better job portraying Burton’s version of Penguin Danny DeVito. DeVito brought to life one of the scariest and most grotesque characters fans have ever seen in a comic book movie, but it fits Burton’s style perfectly.
1 Heath Ledger’s Joker Creates A New Standard For The Character (The Dark Knight)
When Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in The black Knight, fans were in an uproar, thinking the actor was the wrong person to wear the Joker mantle. Ledger had big shoes to fill after Jack Nicholson’s performance in 1989, but he proved the doubters wrong. Ledger delivered one of the best performances in comic book movie history, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2008. Ledger was the perfect choice for the role, making the character his own, especially by designing her unique makeup and mannerisms.