A particular element that makes a film great is the hero-villain duo. It provides the audience with two different ideologies, great action, and banter that one remembers. But usually, the hero is the one who gets the credits for basically standing by the right morales. However, there are times when the villains straight-up overshadow the heroes and win the heart of the viewers. So, here’s a list of villains who beat the heroes in terms of popularity.
Villains Who Beat the Heroes in Fame
1. Darth Vader
Darth Vader is a name that is almost as big as the franchise itself. The character continued to entertain a generation of cinema-lovers and became a major part of pop-culture reference as well. The character became as important as Luke Skywalker with the release of the prequel trilogy.
2. The Predator
Arnie in The Predator was amazing, no doubt. But the fan love when it comes to the galactic hunters, the fame is something else. It’s known that the last part wasn’t well-received by the audience, but they could surely enjoy some of these hunters once again.
3. Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter is a character that redefined the very concept of a bad guy. Sir Anthony Hopkins’ performance in Silence of the Lambs was simply outstanding. For what it’s worth, his performance alone graced the entire script of the movie.
4. Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn is the iteration of the word crazy. Throughout her run in comics and the DCEU, she has definitely outgrown her The Joker. And she basically started off as a sidekick to Mr. J! The crazy villain has seen some serious character development in the past several years and continues to grow.
5. Freddy Krueger
Krueger revamped the definition of horror movie villains. While the character was not totally horrific, the fan following attached to his name is truly something else. Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street definitely dialed up the entire script with a stunning performance.
6. The Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator franchise was outstanding. But the one that stands out is Robert Patrick’s T-1000 in Terminator 2. To put it in simple words, his performance was a cinematic masterpiece, and it left the fans wanting more.
If we talk about the God of Mischief, he’s that one character that never dies. Throughout his run in the MCU, he has been a major problem to an entire group of superheroes. Driven by his desire to rule his home, Asgard, Loki has been on several adventures of his own to truly be a great villain.
8. The Joker
This is that one villain that obviously has to be on this list. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight was so well-received by the fans that it shook the whole world when he tragically passed away. If it wasn’t for him, the character wouldn’t have ever seen the light of day in the way it has now.
Maleficent, the evil witch, was never supposed to be more famous than the Disney Princess Aurora. But things turned around when the role was given to Angelina Jolie. And now, the character is legit so cool that her costume is a must-have for fans whenever the Halloween season is around.
10. Tyler Durden
Fight Club has a really devoted fan base. Speaking of that, Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt was so welcoming on the screen that he easily overshadowed Edward Norton’s character. It was Tyler’s ideology that made him stand out from our general movie villains.
Chucky’s charisma was so over the roof that people ended up forgetting the name of the good guys in the movie! The movie revolves around a homicidal criminal trapped in the body of a child’s toy and is titled Child’s Play. Truly ironic, isn’t it?
12. Michael Myers
Michael Myers in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was truly terrific and horrifying to many. Myer’s patent style included a plain white mask, with his dark workman’s overalls. If you are ever being chased, just make sure that it is not Myers who’s after you.
Pinhead is such a popular character that the Hellraiser movie is not complete without him. Moreover, Doug Bradley played the role of Hell’s chief torturer with so much gravitas that all the other Cenobites were simply overshadowed by him.
14. Jason Voorhees
Jason is a character so popular that he’s had a bunch of song references over the years that it’s hard to forget about him. Moreover, his patent style with the hockey mask didn’t come until the third movie. But as soon as he did that, the imprint he left on Hollywood was out of reach.
15. The Wicked Witch of The West
It was not until the musical Wicked that the audience was introduced to a different side of Elphaba. After almost 65 years, the villain finally grew to so much fame that she outshined her nemesis. She held the spotlight in the magical tale of Oz but the musical Wicked changed it all.
16. Cruella De Vil
As soon as the role was given to Emma Stone, the character had a vibrant approach that couldn’t;t be denied by the audience. Things changed around very soon, and now the character has a wave of fans that have made Cruella De Vil the famous villain she is now.
17. Nancy Downs
The Craft’s Nancy Downs’ goth look was so off the hook that the viewers were caught off-guard. She became a vengeful and unapologetic witch when her own powers corrupted her mind. Needless to say, she became the star of the show and there was no coming back.
This creepy clown was created by Stephen King and it stuck within the subconscious of people. People were literally scared of clowns after seeing Pennywise. Tim Curry’s brilliant portrayal of It is still well-received by the fans and the wave of appreciation keeps going on.
Leatherface became the face of the entire Texas Chainsaw franchise even though the killer was somewhat portrayed as a simple-minded killer. But the final scene from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where Leatherface is psychotically spinning on the spot and brandishing his chainsaw in frustration became a staple for the character.
Thanos was the hero of his own story in Avengers: Infinity War. For almost a year, many people in the real world actually began to relate to his cause. He won and his popularity grew past the Avengers.
So these are the villains who beat the heroes in terms of fame.