10 Marvel Villains Confirmed To Appear In Upcoming Movies

  • The MCU introduces long-awaited villains, promising strong opposing forces for future movies to enhance the hero narratives.
  • Galactus finally gets a chance for justice in The Fantastic Four, escaping the cloud portrayal for a true cosmic menace.
  • Red Hulk makes a dramatic debut in Captain America, pitting two iconic characters against each other for an exciting showdown.
The upcoming movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will introduce some long-awaited villains to the franchise. Known for its star power, the MCU has survived by the strength of its heroes, with excellent casting choices and multiple movies of character development keeping them interesting. But the antagonists of Marvel stories are just as important, and the MCU's upcoming movies promise to adapt many famous villains for the first time while also bringing back some long-absent major players.
Historically, the franchise has struggled somewhat with its depiction of villainy, with some Marvel villains being stronger than others. The projected slate of MCU projects listed for Phase 5 and beyond could benefit greatly from some strong opposing forces, having plenty of opportunities to do so. Whether adapting a famous comics villain that's somehow evaded the movies until now or unveiling a new take on a character that has already been done before, Marvel's upcoming releases have plenty of villainous potential.
10 Galactus The Fantastic Four (2025) The devourer of worlds, Galactus is one of the most threatening beings in Marvel Comics' cosmology. An ancient space god, Galactus is known primarily as an enemy of The Fantastic Four, though he's terrorized the entire planet before. Galactus has appeared in a movie before, in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, where he was disappointingly depicted as a malevolent cloud of space dust that vaguely loomed over Earth.
Luckily, the MCU is no stranger to proper adaptations of massive celestial humanoids wearing eye-popping armor. In 2021's Eternals, the MCU's take on the celestials proved the series wasn't willing to shy away from more comic-accurate designs. As Galactus has been confirmed for 2025's The Fantastic Four, it's likely that he'll finally get a movie appearance that rightfully presents him in his full glory, massive purple helmet and all.
9 Toxin Venom: The Last Dance (2024) Rounding out the Tom Hardy Venom trilogy is Sony's upcoming addition to their own homegrown Spider-Man spin-off universe, Venom: The Last Dance. Details of the plot are still somewhat limited, with the title teasing the finale of the series with Venom or Eddie Brock's death. One thing that is confirmed, however, is the appearance of a new symbiote, Toxin.
Venom and Eddie have tangled with other symbiotes before, including Riot in the first film and Carnage in the eponymous sequel. In the comics, Toxin is Carnage's "child," who bonds with NYPD cop Patrick Mulligan to become the sometimes hero, sometimes villain Toxin. Toxin and Mulligan's parasitic relationship somehow makes Venom and Eddie's dynamic seem tame by comparison, presenting one of the most conflicted symbiote characters introduced in a Marvel film yet.
8 The Leader Captain America: Brave New World (2025) As far back as 2008's The Incredible Hulk, Marvel mastermind The Leader was teased for an MCU appearance. The big-brained, green-skinned, pencil-mustached villain is a common enemy of The Hulk in the comics, but after a decade, his hinted origin story towards the end of The Incredible Hulk has yet to pay off. After all that time, it seems as though The Leader will finally be rearing his massive head in Captain America: Brave New World, slated to release in 2025.
In The Incredible Hulk, Tim Blake Nelson's character, Samuel Sterns, is exposed to some of the same volatile elements that transformed Bruce Banner into The Hulk. Rather than give him bigger muscles, however, the effect of the Gamma radiation goes straight to Sterns' head, hinting at his ultimate fate as The Leader. An ominous tease from Nelson seems to confirm The Leader for Captain America: Brave New World, the first entry in Sam Wilson's Captain America career also seeming to function as something of a Hulk story.
7 Diamondback Captain America: Brave New World (2025) Captain America: Brave New World will be the feature film debut of Sam Wilson's Captain America, and as such, promises to give him more than just one villainous force to take up the shield against. Enter Diamondback, a femme fatale from Marvel Comics set to appear in the upcoming film. While her presence was initially a subject of debate, rumored to be written out of the film, set photos spotting the purple-clad villainess seems to confirm her involvement in the fourth Captain America installment.
Rachel "Diamondback" Leighton is a minor villain appearing in Captain America's solo comic series. A member of the Roxxon oil company's Serpent Squad, a snake-themed strike force of mercenaries used to act in the business conglomerate's best interests, Diamondback has no superpowers, but is similar in skill and equipment to Black Widow. She's most famous as a love interest for Steve Rogers, but her relationship with his replacement remains to be seen.
6 Red Hulk Captain America: Brave New World (2025) The leader isn't the only previously-appearing Marvel character slated to show up in a dramatic new form. General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross has shown up a few times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is most well-known as the military leader obsessed with capturing The Hulk, formerly his daughter's fiancé, Bruce Banner. Most recently appearing in Black Widow, Ross is set to reappear in both Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts*, with returning actor William Hurt being re-cast with Harrison Ford.
Leaked merchandise from Captain America: Brave New World confirms Red Hulk for the movie, a terrifying doppelgänger of the Marvel Hero whose identity was initially a pressing mystery in the comics. Eventually, it's revealed that the man behind the muscles is none other than General Ross himself, somehow losing his signature mustache in the transformation. It's a shame Red Hulk is being used as a villain for Captain America rather than The Hulk himself, but seeing him on-screen at all is an exciting prospect nonetheless.
5 Kraven The Hunter Kraven The Hunter (2024) The latest villain to get a solo film in Sony's spin-off Spider-Man cinematic universe, Kraven the Hunter is quite a unique villain among Spider-Man's roster. Rather than being the result of a science mishap like most of Spider-Man's rogue's gallery, Kraven is instead an obsessive hunter who stops at nothing to pursue what he deems as worthy prey. Going from apex predators to human beings, Kraven usually sets his sights on Spider-Man after deeming him the most dangerous game of all, thrilled by the challenge of the hunt.
Now, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is set to portray Kraven the Hunter in the upcoming Sony film of the same name. The movie will explore Kraven's origins as a fearsome hunter. It's likely that the film will show off Kraven's supernatural abilities following the consumption of a mysterious jungle potion, as is the case in the comics. However, the Sony adaptation may make some key changes to Kraven's personality and goals, describing him as more of a conservationist and animal-lover rather than a hunter of beasts.
4 The Chameleon Kraven The Hunter (2024) Kraven the Hunter won't be the only Spider-Man villain to debut for the first time in his solo film. His estranged half-brother in the comics, Dmitri Smerdyakov, a.k.a. Spider-Man villain The Chameleon, is also slated to appear. Though it's unclear whether The Chameleon will help or hinder Kraven's goals in the film, it's a great sign that Sony is paying close attention to the character's comic book origins by including his half-brother in a prominent role.
A master of disguise, The Chameleon is a fascinating Spider-Man villain who, unfortunately, has yet to appear in a live-action film. An expert impersonator, The Chameleon has disguised himself as Spider-Man, Norman Osborn, and a whole host of other Marvel characters. Most impressively, he's able to do so with no superhuman powers, relying on makeup and technology to perfect his disguises.
3 The Rhino Kraven The Hunter (2024) The third animal-themed Spider-Man villain to appear in Kraven The Hunter will be none other than the unstoppable bruiser, The Rhino. An often maligned Spider-Man foe, The Rhino is usually simply present as a big, brutish jobber for Spider-Man to defeat in between more "serious" threats. Born as Aleksei Sytsevich, The Rhino's origin story and source of power has changed many times over the years, his rhinoceros strength sometimes stemming from a powerful super-suit, and sometimes being the result of human mutation.
The Rhino has appeared once in live-action before, showing up as a minor antagonist in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, often considered to be the worst major Spider-Man movie. In the Andrew Garfield-led film, The Rhino appears as a mad Russian criminal who comes into possession of a massive rhino-like mech, starting a fight with Spider-Man just as the credits begin to roll. Hopefully, Kraven The Hunter will be a more impressive showing for the horned supervillain.
2 Cassandra Nova Deadpool & Wolverine (2024) Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury Though most of the focus of Deadpool & Wolverine's advertising has revolved around the pairing of two iconic performances, with Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool and the return of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, villain Cassandra Nova is just as exciting. The X-Men villainess has never gotten a showing in any of the Fox X-Men movies, but is undeniably one of the most alarming mutant threats ever created by Marvel. Not only that, she has one of the most bizarre origin stories of any X-Men character, which is saying a lot.
In the comics, Cassandra Nova is the twin sister of Professor Charles Xavier. While still in-utero, Cassandra attempts to murder Charles, leading to the embryonic Professor X killing her with a psychic blast. Somehow, Cassandra survived, slowly rebuilding her body after being stillborn before coming back for revenge years later. In Deadpool & Wolverine, Cassandra Nova will be played by Emma Corrin, though her exact role in the overarching story remains a mystery.
1 Sentry Thunderbolts* (2025) One of the most powerful Marvel villains has never been given a proper on-screen adaptation, with the Sentry remaining a character in the comics only. Marvel's dark take on Superman, Sentry has many of the same powers as DC's flagship character, even wearing a similar costume complete with a cape and giant "S" symbol. While ostensibly a hero, Sentry is an emotionally unstable man, leading him to often commit heinous villainous acts and even getting him imprisoned in The Raft for a period of time.
In the upcoming MCU film Thunderbolts*, Sentry has been confirmed to make his cinematic debut. Stephen Yeun was originally slated to play Sentry, but the Invincible star unfortunately dropped out of the project due to scheduling issues, leaving rumors of actor Lewis Pullman taking over. It's likely that Thunderbolts*' motley crew of former villains will be pitted against the immensely powerful character, making for an exciting matchup in the near-future of the MCU.
Upcoming Marvel Movies Release Date Deadpool & Wolverine July 26, 2024 Captain America: Brave New World February 14, 2025 Thunderbolts* May 2, 2025 The Fantastic Four July 25, 2025 Blade November 7, 2025 Avengers: The Kang Dynasty May 1, 2026 Avengers: Secret Wars May 7, 2027


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