15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (2023)

Movie villains are often depicted as the ultimate evil force, wreaking havoc and causing destruction in their wake. From their imposing appearance to their devious plans, they are the ones who make us root for the heroes and feel satisfied when they get what's coming to them. However, in some franchises, the villain's story doesn't end with their defeat. They are given a second chance in the form of a sequel, where they are given the opportunity to grow, change, and even become a hero.

This evolution of the villain's character is what makes the sequels so compelling. Their growth arc takes them on a journey of self-discovery, where they come to realize the error of their ways and the impact of their actions. This transformation is not always easy, and the villains often face obstacles and temptations along the way, but their eventual triumph over their inner demons is what makes them so endearing to audiences.

Related: 10 Movie Villains Who Redeemed Themselves

Franchises have always been a staple in the film industry, and sequels have become an integral part of their success. They give audiences the chance to revisit familiar characters and settings, but also offer the opportunity for new and exciting developments. The change in the villain's character is one of the most exciting developments in sequels, and it's what sets them apart from the original film.

The transformation of a movie villain into a hero is not only a captivating story arc, but it also sends a powerful message about redemption and the possibility of change. It reminds us that no one is beyond saving, and that even the most evil of characters can turn their life around and make a positive impact on the world.

The journey of a movie villain from evil to hero is a testament to the power of storytelling and the potential for change. It's a thrilling ride that keeps audiences engaged and invested in the characters, making the sequels a must-see for fans of the franchise. Whether it's through inner growth, self-discovery, or a change of heart, these villains have proven that heroes can come from the most unlikely of places. We’ve brought to you some of the most treacherous villains who get a second chance to flip their stories in the sequel.


15 Deckard Shaw – Fast & Furious Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (1)

From his first appearance as the main antagonist in , Deckard Shaw was a force to be reckoned with. With his cunning wit and exceptional combat skills, he quickly became a fan favorite. His mission to avenge his younger brother's death at the hands of Dominic Toretto's crew made him the perfect villain for the franchise.

However, as the franchise progressed, Shaw's character was given a chance to redeem himself. In The Fate of the Furious, he joins forces with the crew to stop a rogue cyberterrorist, marking the beginning of his transformation into a hero. By the time came around, Shaw was a full-fledged member of the team, helping to take down the main villain and save the day.

14 Norman Nordstrom – Don’t Breathe & Don’t Breathe 2

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (2)
(Video) 15 Heroes And Villains Who Are Immortal

Norman Nordstrom, the blind veteran in the thriller Don't Breathe, was not just a victim, but a villain as well. He terrorizes the group of robbers who break into his house in search of money, using his heightened senses to turn the tables on them. Despite his villainous actions, audiences couldn't help but feel empathy for the character.

In Don't Breathe 2, Norman is once again the central character. This time, he is tasked with protecting a young girl from a group of criminals. Throughout the film, he transforms from a paranoid, bitter man into a hero, using his skills and resourcefulness to save the day. The film is a testament to the power of redemption and the growth of a character over time.

13 The T-800 – The Terminator Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (3)

The T-800, a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, was one of the most iconic villains in movie history. With his emotionless demeanor and relentless pursuit of his target, the T-800 became synonymous with the Terminator franchise.

In the sequels, however, the T-800 was given a chance to redeem himself. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 was reprogrammed to protect John Connor, marking the beginning of his heroic journey. Throughout the franchise, the T-800 continued to evolve, eventually sacrificing himself to save humanity in Terminator: Dark Fate. The T-800's transformation from villain to hero is a witness to the power of change and the importance of personal growth.

12 Hector Barbossa – Pirates Of The Caribbean Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (4)

Hector Barbossa, the pirate captain in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, was first introduced as the main antagonist of the first film. With his sharp wit and cunning, he proved to be a formidable foe, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats. As the franchise progressed, Barbossa's character evolved into a complex anti-hero, ultimately becoming a key player in the fight against the ultimate evil in the final film.

In the sequels, we see Barbossa's transformation from a ruthless pirate to a more honorable man. He experiences a change of heart, driven by his love for his daughter and his desire for redemption. Throughout the franchise, Barbossa's growth arc is a central theme, as he navigates his loyalty to his crew, his sense of duty to his country, and his quest for redemption.

11 Mystique – X-Men Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (5)

Mystique, a shapeshifting mutant, was one of the most feared villains in the X-Men franchise. Her ability to change her appearance and manipulate people made her a formidable opponent for the X-Men. However, in the sequels, Mystique's character was given a new dimension as she began to question her loyalty to Magneto and his extremist views.

Mystique's arc took her on a journey of self-discovery as she realized the true nature of her actions and the impact they had on others. This realization led her to join the X-Men and become an important ally in their fight against evil. Mystique's transformation from a villain to a hero was a testament to the power of change and the importance of second chances.

Related: These Are the Strongest X-Men Characters in the Franchise's Movie History

(Video) 13 Heroes We’re Still Waiting For in the MCU

10 Iago – Aladdin / Return Of Jafar

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (6)

Iago, the wisecracking parrot from Aladdin, was initially a villain in disguise. He was Jafar's loyal henchman, helping the evil sorcerer in his quest for power. However, in the sequel, Return of Jafar, Iago's character underwent a major transformation. When Jafar returned to seek revenge, Iago was faced with a difficult choice. He could continue serving Jafar or turn against him and join forces with Aladdin and his friends.

Iago chose the latter, and his decision to betray Jafar and help the heroes marked the start of his heroic journey. Iago's redemption arc was a thrilling and emotional journey that showed audiences the power of change and the importance of doing the right thing.

9 Godzilla – Godzilla Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (7)

Godzilla, the massive, fire-breathing monster, was one of the most iconic villains in the Godzilla franchise. He was a force of nature, causing destruction and mayhem wherever he went. However, in the sequels, Godzilla's character was given a new dimension. He was no longer just a monster but a protector of the earth, fighting against other creatures that threatened the planet.

Godzilla's transformation from a villain to a hero was a true example of the power of storytelling and the potential for change. This iconic monster's heroic journey was a thrilling and emotional ride that kept audiences engaged and invested in the franchise.

8 Mini-Me – Austin Powers Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (8)

In the world of international man of mystery, Austin Powers, Mini-Me is a villain that stands out. This miniature version of Dr. Evil was introduced in the second film of the franchise and quickly became a fan favorite. Mini-Me is a genetically engineered clone of Dr. Evil, created to be his loyal companion. Despite his small stature, Mini-Me is a formidable opponent, using his agility and cunning to outwit Austin at every turn.

However, in the third film, Mini-Me defects from Dr. Evil's side and joins forces with Austin, becoming a key player in the quest to save the world. Mini-Me's transformation from villain to hero is a testament to the power of growth and the potential for change. His heroic arc is a standout moment in the franchise, and fans continue to love Mini-Me for his unique personality and comedic charm.

(Video) I Taught A Billionaire To Live A Normal Life

7 Velociraptors – Jurassic Park Franchise

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (9)

In the original Jurassic Park film, the velociraptors were depicted as deadly predators, hunting down the park's visitors with deadly precision. These creatures were seen as the ultimate enemy, and their intelligence and cunning made them even more dangerous.

However, in the sequels, the velociraptors are given a new dimension, as they are revealed to have a more complex and sophisticated social structure. They are shown working together as a pack, displaying loyalty and intelligence beyond what was previously thought possible. This change in their characterization has made the velociraptors more than just mindless monsters, and they now serve as a reminder of the intelligence and adaptability of the prehistoric creatures they are based on.

6 Bucky Barnes – Captain America: Civil War

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (10)

Bucky Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, was introduced as a villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Trained as a deadly assassin, Bucky was a formidable opponent, and his history with Captain America made their conflict even more personal.

However, in the sequels, Bucky begins to remember his past and the atrocities he committed as the Winter Soldier. He struggles with his guilt and tries to make amends for his past actions, eventually joining forces with the Avengers to protect the world from a greater evil. Bucky's transformation from villain to hero through Captain America: Civil War is a standout moment in the franchise, and his heroic arc has made him one of the most beloved characters in the MCU.

Related: The MCU's Major Villains, Ranked by Level of Villainy

5 Apollo Creed – Rocky series

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (11)

The Rocky series is one of the most iconic movie franchises in history, and Apollo Creed is one of its most memorable characters. Initially portrayed as the flamboyant and egotistical heavyweight champion of the world, Creed is Rocky's rival and the villain of the first film. However, in the sequels, Creed becomes a mentor, friend, and ally to Rocky, transforming into a hero and one of the most beloved characters in the franchise.

The storyline of the Rocky series is centered on the trials and tribulations of a down-on-his-luck boxer, and Creed's character growth is an integral part of this story. From his initial arrogance and self-centeredness, Creed transforms into a true friend and ally, willing to put himself on the line to help Rocky. His heroic arc is one of the most touching and memorable aspects of the franchise, making him a standout villain turned hero in movie history.

(Video) 15 Anime Heroes Who Turned Into Villains

4 Nebula – Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (12)

The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is known for its wacky humor and unforgettable characters, and Nebula is no exception. Initially depicted as a ruthless and relentless villain, Nebula's character takes a dramatic turn in the second film when she joins forces with the Guardians to defeat her sister, Gamora. Over the course of the film, Nebula's character arc takes her from a one-dimensional villain to a complex and layered hero.

The storyline of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is centered on the family drama between Nebula and Gamora, and Nebula's growth as a character is a major part of this story. From her initial hatred and anger, Nebula transforms into a sympathetic and ultimately heroic character, willing to put her life on the line to save her sister.

3 Severus Snape – Harry Potter series

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (13)

The Harry Potter series follows the journey of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends as they battle the evil Lord Voldemort and his minions. One of the most complex and fascinating characters in the franchise is Severus Snape, a former professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Throughout the series, Snape is depicted as a cruel and aloof character who seems to have it in for Harry. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that he has a hidden agenda and a secret allegiance to the Order of the Phoenix.

In the final installment of the series, the true nature of Snape's character is revealed, and he becomes a hero in the eyes of the audience. Through his bravery and selflessness, he sacrifices himself to protect Harry and the wizarding world, becoming a symbol of redemption and hope.

2 Gru – Despicable Me 2

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (14)

Despicable Me 2 follows the adventures of former villain Gru as he tries to adjust to life as a single dad and anti-hero. Gru, who once terrorized the world with his evil schemes, has changed his ways and is now focused on raising his three daughters. However, his peaceful existence is threatened when he is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to take down a new threat to humanity.

Throughout the film, Gru is put to the test, and he rises to the challenge, using his cunning and intelligence to save the day. He transforms from a bumbling and clueless father to a capable and confident hero, proving that even the most unlikely of characters can make a positive impact.

Related: The Best Villains in Non-Disney Animated Films, Ranked

1 Loki Odinson – Thor: Ragnarok

15 Movie Villains Who Became Heroes in the Sequel (15)
(Video) 15 Video Game Heroes Who Eventually Became Villains

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki Odinson is the mischievous and unpredictable god of mischief, causing trouble for his brother Thor and the inhabitants of Asgard. In Thor: Ragnarok, Loki is once again up to his old tricks, but this time, he finds himself on a journey of self-discovery as he teams up with Thor to save Asgard from destruction.

Throughout the film, Loki goes from being a chaotic force to a key player in the fight against evil, using his wit and cunning to help Thor and his allies. He proves to be a loyal and selfless friend, sacrificing himself for the greater good. By the end of the film, Loki has transformed from a villain to a hero, earning the respect and admiration of the audience.


What is the villain who turns out to be a hero? ›

A redeemed villain, otherwise known as a villain turned to the good side or former villain, is usually the end result of a villain exposed to a Purely Good hero, a Messiah, a Hope Bringer, and occasionally a Charismatic Hero. They are the exact inverted opposite of Fallen Heroes.

What villain was a hero? ›

Promethean: a Hero-Villain who has done good but only by performing an over-reaching or rebellious act. Prometheus from ancient Greek mythology saved mankind but only after stealing fire and ignoring Zeus' order that mankind should be kept in a state of subjugation.

What movies are there where the bad guys win? ›

25+ Movies Where the Villain Wins
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • The Wicker Man (1973)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • The Omen (1976)
Nov 9, 2022

Who is the most heroic villain? ›


Who is the most famous villain? ›

1Hannibal LecterThe Silence of the Lambs (2)
2Norman BatesPsycho
3Darth VaderThe Empire Strikes Back
4The Wicked Witch of the WestThe Wizard of Oz
7 more rows

What is a female villain called? ›

villainess. noun. vil·​lain·​ess ˈvil-ə-nəs. : a woman who is a villain.

Who is the cruelest Disney villain? ›

Cruella De Vil, '101 Dalmatians'

Cruella de Vil's crimes are centered around animal cruelty to benefit her personal style. And even though she gives off some Meryl Streep vibes from the Devil Wears Prada, we are officially naming her the evilest Disney villain of all.

What movie has no villain? ›

Finding Nemo is one of the greatest movies of all time which doesn't feature a villain, with Marlin and Dory spending the movie trying to find Nemo, swimming across the ocean to get to him.

What is the best world ending movie? ›

Here are the 17 best end-of-the-world movies.
  • The Day After (1983) ...
  • Mad Max (franchise) ...
  • Don't Look Up (2022) ...
  • 28 Days Later... ...
  • Cloverfield (2008) ...
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Image via 20th Century Fox. ...
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) Image Via 20th Century Fox. ...
  • Snowpiercer (2013) Image via Paramount Pictures.
Nov 24, 2022

Are there 3 Bad Boys movies? ›

Bad Boys for Life is a 2020 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Adil & Bilall. It is the sequel to Bad Boys II (2003) and the third installment in the Bad Boys franchise.

Who is the best villain character? ›

The Joker in his many portrayals and permutations must be one of the most iconic and imitated villains ever created. Whether it be Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, Joaquin Phoenix's take in Joker, or Mark Hamill's voice-over work in the role, the Joker frequently makes for a grade-A villain.

Who is the No 1 villain in Hollywood? ›

1. Darth Vader ("Star Wars" trilogy) It's hard to think of a villain who is as memorable and has influenced so many others than Darth Vader.

Who is the oldest super villain? ›

The Ultra-Humanite is the first supervillain faced by Superman and he is among the first supervillains of the Golden Age of Comics.

Who is the DC Best villain? ›

1 Joker's Popularity Can Be Seen In His Oversaturation
  • bane.
  • Joker.
  • brainiac.
  • dc villains.
  • Black Adam.
  • general zod.
  • darkseid.
  • lex luthor.
Dec 18, 2022

Who are the 3 most popular superhero? ›

The world's favourite superhero
RankSuperhero% Share in Study
2Wonder Woman12.8%
4Iron Man8.5%
6 more rows
Apr 13, 2021

Who is the coolest super villain? ›

50 best comic villains ever
  • The Joker. Despite wearing make-up, praising chaos and loving competition with his enemy too much, The Joker is one of the few super villains to have bested his superhero nemesis. ...
  • Venom. ...
  • Cyborg Superman. ...
  • Magneto. ...
  • Poison Ivy. ...
  • Doctor Octopus. ...
  • Dark Phoenix. ...
  • Bane.

Who is the evilest villain ever? ›

10 Most Evil Movie Villains Of All Time, According To Reddit
  • Darth Vader - Star Wars (Various) ...
  • Judge Doom - Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1998) ...
  • Commodus - Gladiator (2000) ...
  • Nurse Ratched - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) ...
  • Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men (2007) ...
  • Mrs. ...
  • Hans Landa - Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Nov 29, 2022

Who is the evilest female villain? ›

Bellatrix Lestrange and 9 More of the Most Evil Female Movie...
  1. 1 Rose from 'Get Out' (2017) ...
  2. 2 Annie Wilkes from 'Misery' (1990) ...
  3. 3 Madeline 'Ma-Ma' from Dredd (2012) ...
  4. 4 Alex Forrest from 'Fatal Attraction' (1987) ...
  5. 5 Amy Dune from 'Gone Girl' (2014) ...
  6. 6 Elle Driver from 'Kill Bill' (2003/2004)
Jan 21, 2023

Who is the most popular girl villain? ›

Mean Queens! 12 Female Villains We Can't Help But Love
  • Bellatrix Lestrange – Harry Potter. ...
  • Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty. ...
  • Cruella de Vil -Cruella. ...
  • Regina George – Mean Girls. ...
  • Ursula – The Little Mermaid. ...
  • Villanelle – Killing Eve. ...
  • Catwoman – Batman Returns. ...
  • O-Ren Ishii – Kill Bill: Vol 1.
Mar 7, 2022

What is a good villain called? ›

Anti-villain: The anti-villain is a villain archetype in which the bad guy has a sympathetic motivation or appealing characteristics. In the same way that an anti-hero is ostensibly a good guy with villainous or immoral tendencies, an anti-villain may have justifiable, noble goals or even a good side.

Who is the strongest villain in all movies? ›

Though there are many to choose from, here is the list of the strongest horror movie villains in cinema history.
  1. Death (Final Destination)
  2. Pennywise the Dancing Clown (It) ...
  3. Pazuzu (The Exorcist) ...
  4. Deadites (The Evil Dead) ...
  5. The Thing (The Thing) ...
  6. Mister Babadook (The Babadook) ...
  7. Pinhead (Hellraiser) ...
Oct 11, 2022

What is it called when a hero turns evil? ›

The Protagonist's Journey to Villain is a plot in which the protagonist, who starts out well-intentioned, turns into a monster. In other words, it's the making of the Villain Protagonist.

Can a villain have a hero's journey? ›

The answer to the first question appears to be, yes, there are parallels between the lives of heroes and villains. Christopher Vogler, a noted Hollywood development expert and screenwriter, once wrote that villains are the heroes of their own journeys.

Have any Spiderman villains turned good? ›

Spider-Man is notable for having numerous villains that redeemed themselves and became antiheroes, such as Black Cat, the Prowler, Morbius, Kraven, and Silver Sable.

Is an anti-hero evil? ›

An anti hero is a protagonist who lacks all the heroic qualities needed to be a hero. They are most often not evil or immoral, but they do lack all the traits of traditional heroes such as bravery, nobility, and virtue. And they add in some of their own, like aggression, cynicism, and other character imperfections.

What is it called when someone is both a hero and a villain? ›

An antihero is kind of like a villain, or a mix of a hero and a villain. Antiheroes are complex characters, which is why they're popular. Definitions of antihero. a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine) type of: agonist, protagonist.

What do you call a villain that turns good? ›

For example, an anti-villain may have noble goals, but their means to attain that goal are evil. This character may even make selfish decisions, but they are a good person who would team up with the hero under the right circumstances.

Is Deadpool a villain or a hero? ›

In his comic book appearances, Deadpool is initially depicted as a supervillain of the New Mutants and X-Force, though later stories would portray him as an antihero. Deadpool is the alter ego of Wade Wilson, a disfigured mercenary with superhuman regenerative healing abilities.

Do anti villains exist? ›

Like traditional villains, anti-villains stand in the way of the hero's goal. But unlike a traditional “bad guy,” the anti-villain isn't necessarily evil. Erik Killmonger from Black Panther: a villain? Anti-villains (or AVs, for brevity's sake) make for interesting characters because they don't fall into the good vs.

Can a story have no villain? ›

An antagonist is a specific entity that continually stands in opposition to the protagonist or main character. Not all works of fiction include an antagonist, but many do.

Is anti-hero still a hero? ›

Answer: An anti-hero is a type of character in literature who lacks the qualities of a traditional hero, like morality or a clear interest in rules.

Who is Spider-Man's hardest villain? ›

Green Goblin

The strongest, and arguably the most cruel, of all the Spider-Man villains that MCU Peter Parker has faced.

Who is the most loved Spider-Man villain? ›

The Green Goblin might just be the most well-known of all Spider-Man villains. He's one of those villains we all just love to hate — he's got a great story, a great design, and great character relationships.

Who is Spider-Man's toughest enemy? ›

1 The Rhino Is Spider-Man's Strongest Villain And Can Life Anywhere Between 75-100 Tons.

Is the Joker an anti-hero? ›

The film's popularity, which has grossed over $ 1 billion worldwide, is based on the masses' ability to adopt the Joker as an anti-hero and identify with its performance. The story of the protagonist in the movie is different from the classic hero narratives.

Is Thanos a villain or hero? ›

Thanos is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was created by writer-artist Jim Starlin, and first appeared in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (cover date February 1973).

Is Shrek an anti-hero? ›

Critics have also described Shrek as an antihero and noted the book's themes of satisfaction and self-esteem. The book served as the basis for the first Shrek movie (2001) and the popular Shrek film series starring Mike Myers over a decade after its publication.


1. 15 Heroes Spider-Man Could Team Up With Next
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
3. Minecraft RTX 112% HERO #Shorts
(Jake Fellman)
4. SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS - Official Trailer 2
(Warner Bros. Pictures)
5. 15 Marvel Heroes Who Became The Black Panther
6. Metro Boomin & Future - Superhero (Heroes & Villains) [Official Music Video]
(Metro Boomin)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Moshe Kshlerin

Last Updated: 05/06/2023

Views: 5786

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Moshe Kshlerin

Birthday: 1994-01-25

Address: Suite 609 315 Lupita Unions, Ronnieburgh, MI 62697

Phone: +2424755286529

Job: District Education Designer

Hobby: Yoga, Gunsmithing, Singing, 3D printing, Nordic skating, Soapmaking, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Moshe Kshlerin, I am a gleaming, attractive, outstanding, pleasant, delightful, outstanding, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.