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"The ultimate villain of the story, who's causing the problem the heroes must solve."
Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The
is the one who turns out to be behind several other seemingly independent threats.
: Captain Nemo.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea The children from the golf course scene from ''50 First Dates''.
: The Queen alien counts for this trope, as it ruins the life of the heroine/lays facehugger eggs throughout the movie. Technically they are only following their nature, but there are human antagonists such as Carter Burke and Mason Wren.
Aliens : The American Dreamer In-Universe books have Count Renalo, whom Cathy imagines looks like her Jerkass husband. Later it turns out the real villain is a French drug lord.
Avatar Colonel Miles Quaritch, head of the RDA Spec Ops (aka the RDA Security Force) in the James Cameron film. A corrupt, fascist, and warmongering Space Marine, he is the Enemy to All Living Things on Pandora. Initially, it could be argued that he was in a Big Bad Duumvirate with the sleazy head of the RDA mining site, Parker Selfridge, but by the film's climax it becomes apparent not only that Quaritch has usurped all the power in the base, but also that Selfridge is very much aware of this fact.
Selfridge and Quaritch are a great example of a Non-Action Big Bad and his Dragon-in-Chief. Selfridge is nominally in charge, but Quaritch is much more menacing and is ultimately the true threat.
: Bridge to Terabithia The Dark Master... if he exists. Arguably, the crippling father-issues he represents are the .
real villain here Comic Book Movies:
Most of them have one. They often die.
, Superman and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace have Superman Returns Lex Luthor, and Superman II have General Zod, Man of Steel has Ross Webster.
Superman III has Batman: The Movie four villains but The Penguin seems to be most dominant.
has Batman The Joker, has The Penguin.
Batman Returns has The Riddler, and Batman Forever has Poison Ivy with Mr. Freeze as the Batman & Robin Dragon-in-Chief.
has Batman Begins Ra's Al Ghul, has The Dark Knight The Joker, and has Bane The Dark Knight Rises .
and/ or Talia al Ghul has X-Men Magneto, and X2: X-Men United has William Stryker, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine has Magneto again, even though the main focus is on Jean Grey/Phoenix. X-Men: The Last Stand has Sebastian Shaw, X-Men: First Class has The Wolverine Ichirō Yashida who is responsible for bringing Logan to Japan and has an . Evil Plan to steal his Healing Factor. However, the yakuza that kidnap Mariko on two occasions were hired by Shingen and Mori has a X-Men: Days of Future Past Big Bad Ensemble of Mystique and Bolivar Trask (though Magneto ends up .
being worse than both) : Iron Man has Iron Monger/Obadiah Stane, Iron Man 1 has Whiplash/Ivan Vanko, and Iron Man 2 has The Mandarin Iron Man 3 but the real Mandarin is Aldrich Killian.
Daredevil has Kirgi.
Elektra has David Banner
Hulk has The Abombination.
The Incredible Hulk has Deacon Frost, Blade Blade II has Jared Nomak, Blade Trinity has Dracula himself (named "Drake" in the film).
has Fantastic Four Doctor Doom, while Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer has Galactus.
has Spider-Man the Green Goblin, Spider-Man 2 has Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man 3 has Venom and the alien symbiote.
has the Lizard, with Norman Osborn as the looming The Amazing Spider-Man Bigger Bad. The sequel has a Big Bad Duumvirate between Electro and the Green Goblin.
has The Shredder.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has Lady Tanaka, The Punisher (1989) has Howard Saint and The Punisher (2004) has Jigsaw.
Punisher: War Zone and Thor had The Avengers Loki as the main villain with as the Thanos Bigger Bad in The Avengers.
has Malekith the Accursed.
Thor: The Dark World In Parallax is the main villain
Green Lantern has the Captain America: The First Avenger Red Skull, has Captain America: The Winter Soldier Alexander Pierce, with Baron Von Strucker as the Bigger Bad.
has Blackheart, its sequel, Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance has Roarke/Mephisto.
Ghost Rider has Rasputin and it's sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army has Nuada.
Hellboy has The Violater.
Spawn Frank D'Amico in , and The Motherfucker/ Kick-Ass Chris D'Amico in .
Kick-Ass 2 Ozymandias in . Bizarrely, he's also kind of a Watchmen Big Good.
Steve Finch from . Also an example of Deck the Halls Villain Protagonist.
Die Hard Hans Gruber in Die Hard
Colonel Stuart in Die Hard 2
Simon Gruber in Die Hard With a Vengeance
Thomas Gabriel in Live Free or Die Hard
Yuri Komarov in A Good Day to Die Hard
Agent Thomas and Eagle Eye from .
Eagle Eye Delacourt in . Elysium After her death, Kruger
ascends. The have had to deal with two Ghostbusters Big Bads: Gozer the Gozerian in the first movie and Vigo the Carpathian from the second.
Tama from The Raid
: Destro G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at first. Later The Doctor/Cobra Commander in both this movie and .
G.I. Joe: Retaliation : King Ghidorah of this franchise fits this trope as he has been Godzilla's greatest rival in six films (one of which he's actually the good guy). He also has faced Mothra in one of her solo movies (and had an Godzilla expy face her in another solo film), and fought , a Toho-produced Zone Fighter -like TV show hero. Godzilla himself could be seen as the Big Bad for some of his appearances.
Ultraman : Larkin, the drug lord.
The Heat :
Highlander Many Horror Movie Franchises are based on their central Big Bad:
Freddy Krueger in the series. In the alternate contnuity film, A Nightmare on Elm Street , we are given an unnamed evil Entity that took Freddy's appearance
Wes Craven's New Nightmare Jason Voorhees in the movies, with Pamela Voorhees in the first film, and Friday the 13th Roy Burns in the fifth film.
Michael Myers in the films, although some would argue Halloween .
Terrence Wynn Death itself in the movies.
Final Destination Pinhead in the series. He often finds himself in a Hellraiser Big Bad Ensemble, for example, Frank Cotton in the first film, Phillip Channard and Julia Cotton in the second, and in The Host.
Hellraiser: Hellworld Chucky in .
Child's Play While Leatherface is The Heavy in films, he still answers to the senior members of his family. Drayton Sawyer fills the spot as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre De Jure Big Bad in and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) , Vilmer Sawyer fills the spot in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and drives the plot more so than Leatherface himself. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation The remake and its prequel we are given Luda Mae Hewitt, the head of the Hewitt family. has Leatherface himself, Texas Chainsaw 3D but he is upstaged by the mayor Burt Hartman.
Jigsaw aka John Kramer but after his death in the third film he is followed by Mark Hoffman in .
Saw The Creeper in films.
Jeepers Creepers movies have The Lost Boys Max in the first movie, Shane Powers in the second movie and Peter Leiber in the third.
has Jerry Dandridge, and Fright Night its sequel has his sister Regine.
David Kessler was more of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in but its sequel An American Werewolf in London has An American Werewolf in Paris Claude as it's Big Bad.
Billy Loomis in the first movie, Scream his mother in the second movie, Roman Bridger in the third, and Jill Roberts in the fourth movie. (all but the third
have help, but the comrades die before them - in Jill's case, by her own hand so she would pass as a Final Girl) In , Ginger Fitzgerald was Ginger Snaps The Heavy, but it's sequel has Ginger Snaps Unleashed a seemingly innocent girl named, Ghost and it's prequel has Reverend Gilbert.
Ginger Snaps Back The Beginning The Fisherman/ Ben Willis in . I Know What You Did Last Summer In all three of them.
Pumpkinhead in of course.
Pumpkinhead The Demon in .
Paranormal Activity and The Thing (1982) its prequel has the Thing, natch.
films have the titular cerature as The Blob The Heavy, but in the remake it's revealed to be an experiment set loose on the town by a milatary project funded by Dr. Meddows.
remake has The Fly Seth Brundle as The Heavy, with Anton Bartok as the Bigger Bad. In the sequel, Bartok steps down to Big Bad status.
The Tall Man in
Phantasm has the titular Candyman.
Candyman The movies has Urban Legend Brenda Bates in the first, Professor Solomon, and the third film has Mr. Owens.
In the Prom Night films, the first film has Alex Hammond, the second and third film has Mary Lou Maloney, the fourth film has Father Jonas, and the reboot has Richard Fenton.
: Hudson Hawk Darwin Mayflower, assisted by his crossbow-crazy wife Minerva.
Indiana Jones :
James Bond Ernst Stavro Blofeld, from the movies (as well as the books they were based on), up until he was apparently killed in the opening sequence of Each . For Your Eyes Only Bond film also has its own Big Bad:
: Dr. No Doctor Julius No, though he's working for SPECTRE.
: As far as the plot is concerned, it's From Russia with Love Rosa Klebb, however, we're made aware of the mysterious " Number One" of SPECTRE who issues orders and terrifies even her.
: Goldfinger Auric Goldfinger. Technically, he's been hired by Communist China, but it's pretty clear that he doesn't care about causing chaos in the west and is just using them to get richer.
: Emilio Largo, though "Number One" again appears.
Thunderball : Number One takes direct command this time, and he's revealed to be the aforementioned Blofeld. Again, the Chinese are paying him, but he's the dominant partner by far.
You Only Live Twice : Blofeld.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service : Diamonds Are Forever Blofeld.
: Live and Let Die Mister Big, a.k.a. Dr. Kananga.
: The Man with the Golden Gun Francisco Scaramanga. Hai Fat would ''like'' to be this, but Scaramanga has other ideas.
: The Spy Who Loved Me Karl Stromberg.
: Moonraker Hugo Drax.
: Aristotle Kristatos.
For Your Eyes Only : Prince Kamal Khan Octopussy and General Orlov
: A View to a Kill Max Zorin
: The Living Daylights Brad Whitaker and General Georgi Koskov.
: Licence to Kill Franz Sanchez.
: GoldenEye Alec Trevelyan.
: Tomorrow Never Dies Elliot Carver.
: The World Is Not Enough Viktor Zokas/Renard the Anarchist and .
Elektra King : Die Another Day Sir Gustav Graves (Colonel Tan-Sun Moon).
: Le Chiffre is Casino Royale The Heavy, but like other villains in the series he's been hired by third parties (including a Nebulous Evil Organisation called Quantum). Perhaps a better example would be the mysterious Mr. White.
: Dominic Greene, though other members of Quantum of Solace Quantum of equal or greater rank than him appear briefly.
: Raoul Silva Skyfall a.k.a Tiago Rodriguez
Kamen Rider :
Lethal Weapon General Peter McAllister in Lethal Weapon
Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon 2
Jack Travis in Lethal Weapon 3
Wah Sing Ku in Lethal Weapon 4
: The Lone Ranger Latham Cole.
has Smith. He starts out as just another Agent in The Matrix who gets more character depth than the others (i.e, he's actively disgusted and angered by people instead of just being an emotionless drone), but after he comes The Matrix Back from the Dead in and The Matrix Reloaded starts copying himself, the Machines are forced to reach a truce with Neo to stop him in
. The Matrix Revolutions Jack and Jack Jr. from .
Meet the Fockers : Had Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie Ivan Ooze.
: Becky Pamintuan.
Moron Five And The Crying Lady : Casanova Frankenstein.
Mystery Men : Mystery Team Robert.
Neighbors : Now You See Me Dylan Rhodes is the fifth Horseman.
: Oblivion (2013) The Tet.
Pirates of the Caribbean Lord Cutler Beckett. Even though he didn't appear until Dead Man's Chest, you can make a pretty good case for Beckett being Big Bad all along, as he was indirectly responsible for the events of the first movie (branding Jack, initiating the chain of events that made Jack the captain of the Pearl, etc.) despite never appearing or being mentioned, and was pulling everyone's strings in the second. Each movie also has its own individual villain as well:
Captain Barbossa in
The Curse of the Black Pearl Davy Jones in , until Beckett manages to take control of him at the end.
Dead Man's Chest Cutler Beckett himself is Big Bad directly in .
At World's End Blackbeard in , which is only loosely connected to the previous trilogy.
On Stranger Tides : Has the Mayor of the titular fiction-turned-real town, who is bent of keeping everyone in it in the not-so-idyllic '50s forever.
Pleasantville : Has Henry Carver, and on a more broad scale, the Division itself.
Push Quentin Tarantino films often have Big Bads
: Rotti Largo has Big Bad among his many diabolical credentials.
Repo! The Genetic Opera In the films, the Resident Evil Umbrella Corporation is the source of everything bad that happens, with each movie having an individual main antagonist working for Umbrella:
: Sergeant Major Peasy.
Revolution 1985 Sergio Leone:
: Has Royal Pain/ Sky High Gwen Grayson, although the case could also be made for a posthumous Big Bad in the form of Sue Tenny, the original Royal Pain and Gwen's pre-incarnation, who set up the Evil Plan in the backstory before an unfortunate accident involving a weaponized
Fountain of Youth set her back a little bit. : Spaceballs President Skroob in a humorous way.
Baby Alvy and Loki from .
Son of the Mask "Sally", the Tet's A.I. from Tom Cruise's Oblivion
Delacourt from Elysium. After her death, Kruger ascends.
The films have had the following:
Spy Kids : The Brain Bug in the first film, which leads the other Bugs. The third film reveals that Starship Troopers the Brain Bugs are actually in thrall to an even higher leadership caste of which there is only one member, the humongous Bug God Behemecoatyl.
Star Trek : The movie saga has Palpatine/Darth Sidious.
Star Wars : Street Fighter M. Bison, OF COURSE!
: Depending on your interpretation, the Big Bad of the film (and the original play) may be Judge Turpin Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street or Mrs. Lovett.
: Cal Hockley fits the bill. While initally a Titanic Disposeable Fiancee, he reaches villain status by framing Jack for the theft of the Heart of the Ocean, and later attempts to kill Jack and Rose.
Transformers Film Series Sammi Curr in . He's the ghost of a Trick Or Treat Satanic rockstar who comes back from the dead via The Power of Rock.
: The TRON MCP.
: Clu 2.0.
TRON: Legacy :
Underworld Viktor in Underworld
Marcus in Underworld: Evolution
Viktor ( again, sorta) in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Dr Jacob Lane in Underworld: Awakening
Sir John Talbot from .
The Wolfman (2010) : The World's End The Network.