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Top 10 Worst Super Villain Casting

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Mihir Majumdar It’s important to make sure you cast the right guy to play the bad guy. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 worst Supervillain casting. For this list, we’ll be focusing on actors that either didn’t look the part, couldn’t properly capture the character, and/or simply turned in a bad performance. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.

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It’s important to make sure you cast the right guy to play the bad guy. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 worst Supervillain casting.

For this list, we’ll be focusing on actors that either didn’t look the part, couldn’t properly capture the character, and/or simply turned in a bad performance.

#10: Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy

“Batman & Robin” (1997)

Poison Ivy is well known as one of the most seductive femme fatales in all of fiction. To bring the character to life on screen, it would require an edgy, captivating performance. However, Uma Thurman’s depiction of Ivy turned out to be surprisingly tame. Viewers criticized her portrayal for being too bland, and it certainly didn’t help that Thurman completely lacked any on-screen chemistry with her villainous partner, Mr. Freeze. Ultimately, this failed temptress is just one more factor that makes “Batman and Robin” widely considered one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

9: Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus

“The Spirit” (2008)

Now nobody is disputing that Samuel L. Jackson is a certified badass. However, while he is usually popular among audiences for his strong screen presence and intimidating persona, he surprisingly failed to make a good supervillain in this neo-noir Frank Miller flick. His performance was wildly panned for trying too hard to be eccentric and over dramatic. It’s a classic case what should have been “less is more”. Jackson never needed to exaggerate the bad guy act in the first place, since doing what he naturally does best would have been more effective. Remember, if you’re trying too hard to seem tough, audiences just aren’t going to buy it.

#8: Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom

“Fantastic 4” (2005)

The arch-nemesis of the Fantastic Four is universally considered by comic fans to be one of the most iconic and dangerous villains ever created. When actually casting this formidable evil genius, it is absolutely necessary for the actor to seem menacing. Unfortunately, while practically everything about this movie was criticized, McMahon in particular was singled out for lacking the necessary gravitas for this role. He simply lacked the screen presence and intimidation factor to really give audiences a proper Dr. Doom. When you need someone to take on four superheroes by himself, you’re going to want to cast a real heavyweight rather than a mild mannered foe.

#7: Wes Bentley as Blackheart

“Ghost Rider” (2007)

When the hero of the movie is a skeleton with a flaming skull that rides a motorcycle and wields a chain-whip, the villain better be even more terrifying. As the spawn of a demon-lord, Blackheart could easily have provided the menace this movie needed. However, Wes Bentley simply did not bring that fear factor to “Ghost Rider.” Bentley’s portrayal was more whiny and petulant than threatening, leaving audiences underwhelmed with this casting choice. On top of this, he simply doesn’t look the part, and no matter how much his face was contorted with CGI, he never came across as very intimidating.

#6: Colin Farrell as Bullseye

“Daredevil” (2003)

While much of the criticism of this movie was directed at Affleck’s performance as Daredevil, Farrell’s depiction of Bullseye was also derided. Bullseye is a tough guy, but in case you didn’t know that, Colin Farrell makes sure to beat viewers over the head with the fact. Everything from his grunting to his exaggerated expressions makes it difficult to take Bullseye seriously as a villain. A psychopathic killer can certainly be entertaining to watch when done right, but this is one performance that even Farrell himself admits was over the top.

#5: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze

“Batman & Robin” (1997)

Longtime Batman fans know that Dr. Victor Fries is actually one of the most complex and nuanced villains in comics; a man whose heart has turned cold from tragedy. Normally a calculated and cerebral villain, it made absolutely no sense when the part was given to the meathead action hero Schwarzenegger. Whereas Schwarzenegger may have shined as one of the movie’s other villains like the muscle-bound henchman Bane, he is completely out of place as Freeze. It certainly doesn’t help that half of Mr. Freeze’s dialogue is composed of cringe-worthy puns, and they are made all the worse by Schwarzenegger's corny delivery of them.

#4: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

In 2016, Warner Bros. took a huge risk turning Lex Luthor into a young tech geek, and it didn’t pay off. Rather than playing the role of the criminal mastermind straight, Eisenberg instead delivers a performance riddled with quirks and nervous tics. In theory, playing Lex Luthor as an unhinged young man may seem like a unique take on the character. However, Eisenberg was criticized for trying just a little too hard to seem insane, while at the same time failing to come across as a legitimate threat. In the end, audiences just didn’t find “evil Mark Zuckerberg” to be a worthy foe to a literally godlike superhero.

#3: January Jones as Emma Frost

“X-Men: First Class” (2011)

Although she is widely praised for her icy performance in “Mad Men,” it seems that January Jones’ talents did not follow her to the big screen. Emma Frost is meant to be a vicious, seductive, and abusive character. On paper, January Jones has the looks and the persona, but something was simply lost in translation. While audiences loved the majority of the castings in “First Class,” January Jones was singled out as a notable exception. It’s been said that she failed to bring any sort of life or allure to the character, instead turning in a disappointingly wooden performance. According to critics, what could have been a perfect fit in theory, turned out to be a total bust.

#2: Cara Delevingne as Enchantress

“Suicide Squad” (2016)

As an sorceress, Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress certainly has the right look of scary and sexy. However, beyond appearances, there’s not actually much going on beneath the surface. She completely fails to bring any sort of personality to the character, and the entire time it feels as though she is simply playing a part rather than trying to bring a character to life. One of the biggest criticisms of “Suicide Squad” in general was that it was all style and no substance, and the same certainly applies to this underwhelming villain.

Before we unveil our #1 pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon / Electro

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014)

Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond

“Green Lantern” (2011)

Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom / Doom

“Fant4stic” (2015)

#1: Topher Grace as Eddie Brock / Venom

“Spider-Man 3” (2007)

This is a case where the casting directors had the wrong idea from the very start. In the comics, Eddie Brock is the brawny and imposing counterpart to Peter Parker, and is even more large and menacing when he transforms into Venom. On the other hand, Topher Grace could easily be mistaken for Peter Parker himself. It’s not that he turns in a poor acting job, it’s simply that Topher Grace is not believable as one of Spider-man’s most physically imposing foes. While Grace plays the role to the best of his ability, audiences were set to be disappointed from the start by an actor who just couldn’t embody the character the way he is meant to appear in the comics.

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