Hollywood has taken to a trend of adapting popular comics, novels and animation into films. While the trend is growing in popularity, the idea is nothing new. Hollywood has been creating films based on other works of fiction ever since the creation of movies. In order to keep fans of the source material happy as well as producing an intriguing film that will captivate new audiences, the project must be cast perfectly. While no one can aruge that the heroic protagonist is an important role to fill, the proper casting of antagonists is just as vital to the success of the film.
Among the most popular of films in recent memory is the movie adaptation of Marvel’s Avengers. There is no denying that Robert Donwey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and the rest of the heroic ensemble helped make the movie a success, the film’s villain truly gave the film the push it needed. The role of Loki, the God of mischief, was filled by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston brought a devilish charm to the character while proving that audiences truly could love to hate a character. The Avengers film was a huge risk. The potential monetary loss on the cast alone could have been drastic. With so many amazing actors portraying Marvel’s finest heroes, the film would need a villain who could believably stand toe to toe with the ensemble. Hiddleston is no doubt a reason the film was such a hit. Hollywood can never forget that heroes are only as strong as their villains and if the villain is lackluster, the heroes will be subpar.
At the young age of 29, Heath Ledger tragically passed away. The young actor left behind a great legacy with his final performance being The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. While Nolan had received praise for his work on Batman Begins, the sequel is superior in the eyes of most fans. Perhaps the reason for the film’s box office success was Ledger’s performance as the menacing clown prince of crime. Christian Bale was given positive reviews for his take on Batman but the Dark Knight film took the character to a new level. This would not be the first time Batman’s success could be (at least) partially credited to the Joker. Tim Burton’s Batman film from 1989 was also given positive reviews, mostly for the work of Jack Nicholson as Batman’s foe. Batman fans often state that the caped crusader is at his best against a well rounded foe.
With so many colorful evil doers left in the world of fiction, Hollywood will hopefully continue to impress with brilliant casting choices. When a villain can’t perform on the same level as the heroes, there is no real risk or consequence for the protagonist to face. Despite having the perfect choice for a leading man, the antagonist can make or break the film. When the villainous role is filled by the right actor, possibilities are limitless.