The Villains Most Likely to Receive Standalone Installments in the MCU Under Kevin Feige

When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), villains may receive their moment in the spotlight — via a maniacal laugh or some brief montage-like account in a hero’s journey — yet they have yet to receive standalone installments in the film space. 

Marvel Studios Kevin Feige
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

From Thanos to Killmonger and Ultron, the villain rarely receives an origin story in the form of a solo cinematic outing. This could be the case for several reasons, yet many theorists argue that it has to do with Disney’s family-centric image. 

Inside the well-known Disney-Marvel connection

In short, everyone knows that Disney owns Marvel, yet did you know that Disney also owns Miramax? If so, good for you, for this relationship is less stressed in entertainment media; thus, it should come as no surprise that Miramax — after Disney acquired the production company in 1993 — continued to produce some juicy, mature-themed, and R-Rated flicks. It should also come as no surprise that Miramax is nowhere to be found on Disney+ and does not boast a little section on the streaming platform like Pixar, Marvel, and National Geographic.

If Disney put out a movie about a villain, glamorizing his/her heinous and vile ways via a victimization arc or an ascension to madness story (cue Joker), moms and dads whose kids would beg to see the film likely wouldn’t be too thrilled.

When considering villains likely to receive a standalone installment, you first have to reduce the lists to villains who take a long road to heroism, as becoming a hero is admirable; becoming a villain is not. Then, you have to also consider those who are currently in talks to join the MCU. So, let’s discuss the most likely culprits. 

Rogue and the ‘Captain Marvel 2’ MCU theories 

Rumor has is that Rogue may join Captain Marvel 2 as an adversary to the title heroine. If this is true, the movie could lay the groundwork for a Rogue prequel, in which the character’s reasons for villainy are further explored, with the knowledge that she becomes an ally (eventually) in Captain Marvel 2. 

Or, if she is a villain in Captain Marvel 2, yet becomes good by the end of the movie, a following standalone installment could dive deeper into her transition from villain to hero, as it would take place after her initial exposure as a villain in the timeline. 

The search to cast Magneto in the MCU has reportedly already begun 

As We Got This Covered has already noted, Marvel Studios is apparently eyeing Denzel Washington for Magneto in the MCU. While Denzel Washington is known for leading the Brotherhood of Mutants — as a Malcolm X figure to Professor Xavier’s Martin Luther King Jr.— he does make heroic and altruistic decisions when push comes to shove. 

Magneto battles with his own biases and internalized trauma, yet he can receive an origin story that tracks his life journey, allowing the character to become a hero at some point, teaching young viewers that villainy is not an answer, but rather an escape. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind —  a lesson that both Magneto and young, impressionable minds benefit from. 

Honorable mentions 

Gambit: Starts out as a petty thief and becomes a member of the X-Men. Lesson: sometimes we must rise above and fight against circumstances and impulses. 

Prowler: Starts out as a burglar, yet he becomes one of Spidey’s greatest allies. He initially uses his access to and prowess concerning technology to steal, but he then comes to help Spidey save the day, often pretending to be Spider-Man to keep the neighborhood and others off Parker’s trail.