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Contrasting Sequel Antagonist / Live-Action Films

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Contrasting Sequel Antagonists in live-action movies.


  • Superman both made the threat an ensemble and made them capable of physically standing up to Supes in Superman II.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe does this a lot.
    • Iron Monger was Tony Stark's former mentor and friend. Whiplash was the son of his father's co-worker, making them dark mirrors of each other. Also the Iron Monger had great ambitions and plans after getting rid of Tony. Ivan Vanko just wanted to destroy Tony, holding a vendetta against the Stark family and did not care about his own well-being. Aldrich Killian rose from nothing to just settle a grudge. Killian is also the only one of the three to never use Powered Armor, instead using the powers granted by the Extremis virus.
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    • Red Skull stood for everything Captain America was fighting against and wanted to destroy. The Winter Soldier was his friend brainwashed and was his country's dark side and thus highly conflicted to battle. Colonel Helmut Zemo is a vengeance-driven schemer whose existence was unknown by Cap, and who contrasts both of the previous villains by working largely alone and independent of HYDRA's leadership.
    • Loki was Thor's brother turned to villainy, so they were close and conflicted. Malekith and the dark elves were from time thought legend and far less personal. Malekith doesn't even learn Thor's name. Hela is Odin's firstborn and is trying to conquer the Nine Realms, but treats Thor mostly as a nuisance instead of a genuine threat while being far more powerful and threatening than Loki and Malekith, as she is a one-woman army, therefore unlike them, she does not require a powerful weapon to be a real threat. She is also less of a personal threat when compared to Loki, but more so than Malekith.
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    • For the Avengers movies: Loki wants to rob humanity of all freedoms in the name of security, though that is ultimately nothing more than an excuse to justify an oppressive rule over Earth out of spite. In the sequel, Ultron wants to destroy all protections that the Avengers offer so that humanity can grow. At first, anyway. Meanwhile, Thanos wants to eliminate half of the life in the universe to keep it thriving. Ironically, this makes him more sympathetic compared to the previous two.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Ronan the Accuser was an Obviously Evil, deranged fanatic who set out to destroy Xandar out of his hatred for the Xandarian people and their culture, and was characterized as a rabid psychopath who never made any effort at being personable or even acting like it, and he had a very dark, grim style. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego seems benevolent at a glance, and even when his true nature comes out, he's driven by what he sees as his purpose in life rather than any actual hatred for the people who will die as a result. He is also gregarious and easy-going, although that serves as a cover for his moral bankruptcy, and he's surrounded by colour and light, with Meredith describing him as "an angel, composed out of pure light".
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    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming the Vulture uses anonymity to create a black market business for superhuman tech, explicitly he wants nothing to do with the Avengers. Spider-Man: Far From Home has Quentin Beck use illusions to convince Peter he is the new hero the world needs in the wake of the Avengers, Tony in particular. Both of them also hated Tony Stark, for different reasons. Vulture was due to how Stark's Damage Control got him and his cleanup crew fired to remove Chitauri technology. Mysterio was a former employee who wanted revenge on his recently deceased boss for using his holographic technology and naming it "B.A.R.F.", while also fired for his emotional instability.
  • The DC Extended Universe so far:
    • Man of Steel: General Zod is a Kryptonian soldier who was bred to be Krypton's protector and was willing to destroy the Earth to restore his world.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor is a Psychopathic Manchild who despises Superman's very existence and uses people's mistrust and fear of him to either twist him to prove he isn't as good as he presents himself or have him killed.
    • Suicide Squad (2016): The Enchantress is an ancient sorceress who wants to destroy humanity for renouncing her and her brother for technology.
    • Wonder Woman (2017): Ares is indirectly influencing World War I with hopes of wiping out humanity completely because he thinks Humans Are Bastards and the world would be better off without them rather than them renouncing them as deities like they had with the Enchantress.
    • Justice League (2017): Steppenwolf is an alien conqueror who prefered being The Brute over manipulations. His primary goal, aside form conquering Earth, is to redeem himself to Darkseid, who banished him for his failure to conquer it the first time.
    • Aquaman (2018): Orm is an undersea tyrant who wants to wipe out humanity for polluting the seas. While he shares Ares' hatred of humanity, Orm is willing to get his hand dirty by personally fighting his enemies and leading the conquest of the surface world, whereas Ares prefers to manipulate others despite also being a capable fighter.
    • SHAZAM! (2019): Dr. Mark Sivana, on the other hand, is the abused son of a corrupt billionaire who sought power to take his frustrations out on the world. Sivana relied on the power of the Seven Deadly Sins than his own fighting abilities.
  • Batman:
    • In Batman Begins, Ra's al-Ghul and the League of Assassins are motivated by the greater good by ridding the world of chaos and destroying what they see as a hopelessly corrupt Gotham City. In The Dark Knight, The Joker is motivated to prove that Gotham and its people aren't nearly as good as they think they are becoming and to create chaos. In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane and Talia al-Ghul, despite claiming their goals are the same as Ra's al-Ghul, are ultimately doing it out of completely personal reasons, loyalty/love and revenge respectively.
    • The primary bad guys of The Dark Knight Trilogy are also vastly different in their physical appearance, personalities, and fighting styles. Ra's Al Ghul is a genteel, soft-spoken, Wicked Cultured but otherwise ordinary man who usually dresses in black, and frequently wears a classy suit. He leads an army of ninjas and fights primarily using Eastern martial arts. The Joker is a grubby, unpleasant-looking clown in greasy-looking makeup and a creepy rasping voice, who wears a dark purple suit, albeit one much less clean-looking than Ra's. He employs criminals, gangsters, and common thugs and is something of a Knife Nut. And finally, Bane is a hulking, scarily intelligent monster of a man with a Cool Mask, a military-looking trenchcoat and body armor and a booming voice, who controls an organization of fanatical terrorists and relies on his devastating size and power in combat.
    • Every major live-action portrayal of the Joker thus far has made a point of putting a different spin on the character than previous adaptations, generally emphasizing one aspect of his personality in the comics. Cesar Romero's Joker in Batman: The Movie is a goofball prankster whose antics are played for laughs. Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman (1989) is a hardened thief and criminal who ends up slightly more insane after an accident with a vat of chemicals. Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight is a mysterious Mad Bomber who causes chaos for the sake of chaos, wanting to expose the hypocrisy of law and order. Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad (2016) is a manic psychopath who openly takes joy in gruesomely torturing and maiming his victims. And then Arthur Fleck in Joker (2019) is a mentally ill but initially innocent man who becomes a nihilistic murderer in response to a lifetime of abuse from authority figures and a system that has failed him at every turn. In short, the Jokers are a goofy clown, a cutthroat gangster, an anarchist terrorist, a sadistic serial killer, and a tragic villain—in that order.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
    • Kylo Ren initially seems like a Darth Vader Clone, but it's quickly revealed that he is an uncertain, emotionally unstable man-child who also turns out, despite his innate skill, to not be fully trained in Force combat, in contrast to Vader's coldly menacing, dark, brooding presence and expertly channeled rage (of course, Vader had a good 20+ years to develop into a hardened veteran). Also, their motivations are quite different: Anakin is a classic example of Love Makes You Evil, and his transformation into Darth Vader was caused by his desire to protect those closest to him. Even as a Sith Lord, most of his actions regarding Luke are born from his warped, twisted attempts to save him by luring him to the Dark Side. Ren, on the other hand, views love as a weakness, and even murders his own father in cold blood in order to cut off his emotional attachment to his old life. The Last Jedi takes this even further; Vader ultimately tried to preserve the past in his fall to darkness and even at his darkest was dedicated to maintaining the current status quo; Ren ultimately decides to destroy as much of the past as he can, Jedi or Sith, and unlike Vader after killing his master, doesn't turn from his path.
    • In contrast to Grand Moff Tarkin, who was an ice-cold seasoned veteran whom Darth Vader respected enough to actually listen to, General Hux is young, a lot more emotional, and butts heads with Kylo Ren repeatedly.
    • Rogue One: Orson Krennic is a grouchy Jerkass, extremely passionate about his work, dresses all in white, and speaks with Ben Mendelsohn's natural Australian accent, whereas most of the other Imperial villains in the franchise, especially Tarkin, are Faux Affably Evil, borderline emotionless about their duty, dress in grey or black, and speak with recieved pronunciation accents. Fittingly, Krennic and Tarkin absolutely loathe one another.
    • In the prequels, Maul is basically an attack dog with a red lightsaber. By contrast, Dooku is elegant, stylish, and cultured. He's also a political manipulator, and a powerful nobleman in his own right, who left the Jedi Order. Incidentally, The Clone Wars and Rebels expanded on Maul's character. He's driven by rage and revenge, and Dooku is driven by doubt in the Jedi and Republic. Oh, and Anakin cut off Dooku's hands, while Obi-Wan separated Maul from his legs. Dooku has a classy and archaic curved lightsaber, while Maul has a standard Sith double-bladed one.
  • In the Hannibal Lecter series, Mason Verger of Hannibal bears this relationship to Jame Gumb of The Silence of the Lambs. Gumb is a handsome raving lunatic from a lower-class background who kills on impulse, and has only the most tenuous personal connection to Hannibal Lecter; he also spends most of the movie as the target of a nationwide manhunt after kidnapping a US Senator's daughter. By contrast, Verger is a wealthy, cultured psychopath with gruesome facial mutilations who calmly plans his every move, and he's driven by his desire for revenge against Hannibal Lecter, being one of his previous victims; he's also a textbook Villain with Good Publicity who successfully manages to hide his depravities from most of the public, and gets off with community service the one time that he's discovered.
  • Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009) has Lord Henry Blackwood, who goes out of his way to be Obviously Evil, creating an image of himself as a black-magic-wielding Antichrist figure who everyone should be afraid of, and whose end goal is to seize control of the British Government and the Empire and rule it through fear. The sequel Game of Shadows has Professor Moriarty, who prefers the Villain with Good Publicity approach, he creates the persona of a jovial and respected Cambridge professor, is a trusted adviser to the Prime Minister, and his plans rely on keeping his criminal activities as discreet as possible and manipulating events from behind the scenes. And his plan is to cause enough chaos to basically kick World War 1 off early, which he will profit from.
  • In Hellboy (2004), Grigori Rasputin is a bald but bearded human mystic who wants to bring about the destruction of the world by summoning the Lovecraftian Ogdru Jahad, and who mostly relies on other people and monsters (Karl Kroenen, Ilsa Haupstein, Sammael) to do his bidding for him. In the second, Prince Nuada is a long-haired, clean-shaven elven prince who wants to destroy only mankind (so that the fair folk might live) by summoning the mechanical Golden Army, and is a skilled fighter who does pretty much all of his own dirty work.
  • In Ghostbusters (1984), Gozer the Gozerian is an evil Sumerian God who travels to other universes and destroy them, taking on a new form in each world it visited before wiping entire populations. In Ghostbusters II, Vigo the Carpathian is the ghost of a 16th century warlord and sorcerer, wanting to possess the infant son of Dana so he could be reborn and aim for world domination. In the essential third movie, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Ivo Shandor was a former philanthropist turned misanthropic servant of Gozer who grew disappointed at his master's defeat by the Ghostbusters, then decided "Why worship a god, when you can BECOME one?"; he decided to kidnap his current living relative to help take on his own Destructor form.
  • The Jurassic World sub-trilogy invokes this with its main dinosaur antagonists. Jurassic World's Indominus rex was an albino hybrid dinosaur that used a Tyrannosaurus rex base genome with Velociraptor elements, hunted primarily for sport, and killed indiscriminately. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom introduces the Indoraptor; a smaller Dark Is Evil hybrid that uses a Velociraptor base genome with T. rex elements that hunts primarily for hunger, appears to be targeting Maisie Lockwood quite specifically when it can, and has been reported to be male rather than female like most JP dinosaurs.
  • Staple of the Rocky movies. To wit:
    • Rocky features Apollo Creed, a dominant and charismatic boxing champion who fights the amateur Rocky for an easy, fun payday.
    • III gives us Clubber Lang, a fiery loudmouth brute. He's the no.1 contender for Rocky's title, and pulverizing the champ is all that matters to him.
    • IV introduces Ivan Drago, a stoic, taciturn Russian juggernaut out to prove Soviet superiority. He ups the ante by killing Apollo.
    • Tommy Gunn, from Rocky V is a troubled young street fighter who Rocky agrees to train. When he wins the title, Tommy, angry at being called a paper champion, repays Rocky by selling out to a Don King stand-in.
    • Finally, we meet Mason Dixon in Rocky Balboa. Like Creed, he's a dominant champ; unlike Creed, he's unassuming and the public hates him. He challenges the aged Rocky to a charity match to boost his cred with fans.
  • In Star Trek (2009), the Big Bad Nero is an angry working-class Badass Normal Romulan from the 24th century who winds up stuck in the past after falling through a vortex, and strikes off on a mission of revenge against the Federation for failing to prevent the destruction of his home planet. In Star Trek Into Darkness, the Big Bad John Harrison is the exact opposite: a stoic, Wicked Cultured genetically augmented human from the 21st century who attacks the Federation after being forcibly revived from cryogenic stasis, wants to complete a mission of world domination that he began centuries in the past, and turns out to be secretly in league with a rogue Starfleet admiral. Krull from Star Trek Beyond contrasts both of them, being a rogue Federation MACO with an artificially prolonged lifespan who twists himself into a semi-human alien monstrosity, and wants to destroy the Federation because he believes that they've abandoned their principles.
  • In The Librarian film trilogy (for the follow-up TV series, see the appropriate section below):
    • In Quest for Spear, the villain is a rogue Librarian, who wants to get his hands on the Spear of Destiny in order to rule the world.
    • In Return to King Solomon's Mines, the bad guy wants to rewrite history in order to marry the woman he has always loved but who chose another.
    • In Curse of the Judas Chalice, the true Big Bad is Dracula himself, who wishes to use an ancient artifact to restore his strength and become the dreaded vampire of myth he used to be. The decoy villain, meanwhile, wanted to resurrect Dracula in order to create an army of vampires to Make the Bear Angry Again.
  • Daredevil and Elektra:
    • Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin is the head of all crime in New York. Roshi is the head of The Hand. They are both a Corrupt Corporate Executive and The Man Behind the Man. Fisk has a personal feud he didn't know of with Daredevil having killed his father but did know he ordered Elektra's father to die, Roshi likely was the man who headed the death of Elektra's mother. Neither of them ever have one scene with Elektra, though Fisk was at least around her and fought Daredevil while Roshi never takes part in combat.
    • Bullseye and Kirigi were both assassins responsible for killing one of Elektra's parents, her father and mother respectively. Bullseye is a bald Irish man in black leather while Kirigi is Japanese man in white with a long mane. Bullseye embraced the evil he commits For the Evulz and didn't deny how attractive he found Elektra to be and wanted to kiss her. Kirigi is stoic and fixated only on his task, but didn't shy away from mocking Elektra for her dead parent.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle:
    • Valentine is an Affably Evil black man who shares a genuine Villainous Friendship with his henchwoman-in-chief and dislikes the sight of blood and gore. He's a Well-Intentioned Extremist motivated by concerns about overpopulation and the environment.
    • Poppy is a Faux Affably Evil white woman who treats most of her employees terribly and has no issue with seeing people who displease her thrown into meat grinders. Her villainous motivations are purely selfish.
  • Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class and Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • Sebastian Shaw is a sociopathic, physically powerful mutant who leads a handful of mutants and tries to start World War III, so in the end he could seize power after humans eliminated themselves and emerge as the leader of the surviving mutants. He tries to manipulate people, but he usually resorts to intimidating them to do his biding. He worked for the Nazis, and also owns a seedy night club. The bad future is averted by killing him, even though it costs the relationship of Mystique, Charles Xavier and Magneto, who all become more disillusioned and cynical as a result.
    • Bolivar Trask is a brilliant Well-Intentioned Extremist human inventor, who creates mutant-hunting robots to achieve World Peace. He is a smooth-talking fearmonger who successfully manipulates people. He was voted for the man of year, made prostethics for children and creates weapons for the government of the United States. The bad future is averted by letting him live, and the events help to actually mend the relationship of the three mutants in the long-term, and helps them to move on to a better path (even if it is temporary in the case of Magneto).
  • Hans Gruber in Die Hard and William Stuart in Die Hard 2.
    • Gruber is a Gentleman Thief from Germany, with him and his crew robbing Nakatomi Plaza while posing as far-left Western Terrorists in order to deflect police attention from what they're actually up to. While he once was a leftist terrorist himself, he has long since abandoned any political ideals; his motive here is purely about getting rich.
    • Stuart is an American ex-Special Forces colonel who launches a genuine terrorist attack at Dulles International Airport, seeking to rescue Ramon Esperanza, the drug lord dictator of a Latin American Banana Republic. His motive is expressly political and anti-communist, seeing Esperanza as a key ally in the Cold War who the US recklessly removed from power.
  • Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner is a short-haired, clean-shaved old man who dresses in white, wears thick glasses, talks in a friendly, grandfatherly tone and treats people and Replicants alike respectfully, and is killed in the third act. Niander Wallace is a long-haired, bearded young man who dresses in black, is blind and can only see through camera drones, talks in a flatly sinister voice, has no empathy for anyone and survives the movie.
    • In addition, Wallace is a nigh-emotionless Cold Ham human villain who commands a vast corporation and never fights, in contrast to Roy Batty, a highly emotional Large Ham replicant villain who leads a tiny band of escaped replicants and personally hunts Deckard in his film's climax. Roy has spiky bleached-blond hair, believes in the value of life (human and replicant), seems visibly torn about the murders he commits, and saves Deckard's life in the final moments of his own, while Wallace has shaggy dark brown hair, has no respect for the value of life whatsoever, casually murders humans and replicants alike, and tries to tempt Deckard to his side with a copy of Rachael, then orders him brought offworld for torture when he won't cooperate.
    • Luv, as the main Replicant antagonist of the movie, also strongly contrasts with Roy. Physically, they're opposites, Roy is a bleached-blond man who usually dresses in black, while Luv is a brunette woman who usually wears white or grey. Roy Batty was very much his own man, even killing his own creator, albeit reluctantly, and is shown to have a deep respect for the value of life, gently holding a pigeon in his hand without harming it and famously saving Deckard in the climax. Luv is fanatically loyal to Wallace and a sadist to boot, who delights in hurting and killing things less powerful than she is, and is obsessed with proving how much superior she is to everyone else. Finally, while it's clear that Tyrell sees Roy as his greatest triumph, and assures Roy that no one has lived as fulfilling a life as he note , Wallace largely sees Luv as little more than an expendable tool, and subjects her to emotional abuse and condescending praise. note 
  • A remake rather than a sequel, but compare It (1990) to It (2017):
    • To contrast Tim Curry's famous performance, Bill Skarsgård goes the Cold Ham route, rarely raising his voice while remaining utterly creepy. He's also a lot more openly sadistic.
    • Tim Curry's Pennywise wore a brightly-coloured outfit, and could almost pass for someone you'd see at an actual kid's birthday party. Bill Skarsgard's version wears a primarily-white outfit that makes him look more like a Renaissance clown.
  • Gellert Grindlewald is this of the Prequel variety in Fantastic Beasts to Voldemort from Harry Potter.
    • Grindlewald doesn't care about blood supremacy like Voldemort did, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants wizards to come out of hiding.
    • Voldemort was so terrified of dying that he intentionally created six different Horcruxes to hide segments of his soul. Grindelwald isn't afraid of dying. He actually willingly dies telling Voldemort to shove it (and laughs in his face) when the latter comes calling to his prison cell looking for the Elder Wand.
    • Voldemort also is a megalomaniac who thinks he can do no wrong while both Harry and "Dumbledore" (it's not clear if he's literally the ghost of Dumbledore or simply a manifestation of Harry's subconscious) believe that Grindlewald did eventually come to regret what he'd done.
    • Grindlewald has a much broader knowledge of magic and more tricks in his arsenal than Voldemort ever did. He mostly just defaulted to the killing curse and comes off as more Unskilled, but Strong.
    • Voldemort was a Bad Boss whose underlings were loyal to him out of fear. Grindlewald treats his followers better and they’re genuinely loyal to him and not just his cause.
    • Grindlewald’s Fatal Flaw is his Hair-Trigger Temper whereas Voldemort’s was his Pride.
    • Grindelwald puts up an Affably Evil act and uses his Silver Tongue/charisma to get people to do his bidding at first and then defaults to violence if it doesn't work. Voldemort after young adult years never bothered to be charming and weaseled his way into power using sheer brute force.
  • The closest thing to an antagonist in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is Ted's dad who threatens to send him to military school and arrests the historical figures that the boys need for their history report.
  • Dr Frank N. Further from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an alien scientist whose main goal is to seduce Anything That Moves. Due to Tim Curry not wanting to reprise the roll, Shock Treatment replaces him with Farley Flavors, a billionaire who wants to steal the protagonist's wife and turns out to be his long lost twin brother.
  • The main and secondary antagonists of the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy:
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
      • Steven Jacobs of is a cold and corrupt businessman whose only goal in life is to make a profit off whatever scientific advancements his company GenSys makes, no matter what the worldwide repercussions are. He also shows absolute disregard towards the well-being of the apes, who he only sees as test subjects with no other value. Rather notably, he never directly interacts with Caesar, the protagonist, until near the end of his life; instead, all of his clashes are with Will Rodman, the film's Deuteragonist and Decoy Protagonist.
      • Dodge Landon, the main shelter caretaker is an abusive bully who takes pleasure in tormenting the apes all day and all night long.
    • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:
      • Koba starts off as one of Caesar's most trusted advisers, but his evil tendencies emerge when the apes and humans attempt to coexist. Serving as a direct Foil to Caesar, he holds a bitter, long-seated hatred towards humans for his mistreatment at their hands in the past, and clashes with Caesar over their opinions of them. When he temporarily overthrows Caesar and becomes the new ape ruler, Koba proves to be The Caligula and has no qualms about killing apes as well if it meant satisfying his bloodlust. Also see below under Battle for the Planet of the Apes for General Aldo, of whom Koba is an expy.
      • Dreyfus, the leader of the survivor colony in Dawn, is an Anti-Villain who is desperate to preserve what is left of the human race and was paranoid and misinformed about the apes' intentions.
    • War for the Planet of the Apes:
      • Colonel McCullough is a Special Forces Colonel who has made it his mission to eradicate the apes and the Simian Flu virus from the face of the Earth and start human civilization anew. He has no qualms about killing human and ape alike, though it is out of a genuine (and possibly misguided) hope to eradicate all traces of the Simian Flu. He is another Foil to Caesar, but only in the sense of their messianic natures. He also holds a Nothing Personal attitude about his antagonistic actions throughout the course of the film.
      • Red, the main "Donkey" is a Category Traitor who sides with the humans in an attempt to save his own skin following Koba's failed mutiny. He ultimately undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and saves Caesar right before his death.
  • The original Planet of the Apes movies have a bit of this, too. Distrust between apes and humans is a pretty big theme of the series, so most of the villains are variations on that.
    • Planet of the Apes (1968) has Doctor Zaius, a grandfatherly orangutan Well-Intentioned Extremist who has such a good point that you could argue he's not even evil, or at most, Necessarily Evil. He's also a Non-Action Big Bad, being a somewhat elderly bureaucrat. While his distrust for humans is probably his defining trait, he's also - as a kind of Kick the Dog moment - one of the few villains of the series to also show mild intra-ape racism: it's commented early in the film that he "looks down his nose at chimpanzees", and he is indeed pretty condescending towards the chimp characters throughout the movie.
    • Zaius returns in Beneath the Planet of the Apes but is basically a Friendly Enemy at this point, and he's really just along for the ride. The real villains of that film are General Ursus - a warmongering Killer Gorilla brute - and Mendez XXVI, a mutated human and the leader of a bomb-worshipping Cargo Cult. Zaius and Ursus are motivated by a reasonable mistrust of humans and our destructive tendencies, and Mendez represents an embrace of every human trait they fear, together with mistrust of the apes, which is also pretty reasonable: as Zaius and Ursus both show, apes can be jerks too. Notably, the apes' Sacred Scroll warns of man's tendency to "kill for sport" and willingness to "murder his brother to possess his brother's land", and Ursus invades the mutants' city for that exact reason: he thinks their land might be worth something, though presumably he's able to justify it since his targets are humans, whom he does not consider his brothers.
    • The Big Bad of Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Otto Hasslein, is a pretty overt echo of his fellow Morally Ambiguous Doctor, Zaius, with the twist that he's a human being trying to maintain humanity's dominance, while Zaius was trying to prevent humans from regaining that dominance. Dr. Zaius' vaguely fascist undertones are also made a little bit more pronounced in Dr. Hasslein's case: although he looks too young to be part of Operation Paperclip (the actor was born in 1941), when you see a German physicist advising the U.S. president in the early '70s, it's hard not to at least consider that possibility.
    • Governor Breck, the villain of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, is probably the most overtly fascistic villain of the bunch, as the dictatorial leader of a dystopian slave state. While most of the series' villains have somewhat sympathetic motivations, even if their methods are pretty hard to defend, Breck is a Smug Snake with no visible redeeming traits. His treatment of apes isn't born of paranoia or a desire to keep his own people safe, but just general unprovoked contempt. It was with him, and people like him, that the entire feud started.
    • Battle for the Planet of the Apes has villains that are a bit of a callback to Beneath's Ursus and Mendez, being a brutal gorilla military leader and a mad mutated human.
      • General Aldo, like Ursus, is a warmongering gorilla general who starts out as a Token Evil Teammate defined by his bitterness towards humans in a society that is actively trying to heal the rift between humans and apes. His resentment of this direction, coupled with his inarticulated status as The Chosen Wannabe (because of an Alternate Timeline created in Escape) drives him to violate ape society's most sacred law.
      • Kolp had previously appeared in Conquest as one of Breck's Punch-Clock Villain underlings, marked by his uncommon sharpness and detached demeanour. By the time of Battle, he and those under his command are starting to show an early form of the mutation seen in Beneath as they live in the irradiated tunnels of the old human city, and his cold demeanour has progressed into outright madness and, like Mendez XXVI, he embraces all the negative traits that apes had ascribed to humans since the first film, particularly when he invades Ape City specifically because he wants their land, while at the same time paranoid that they want his (they really don't). The movie ends with Aldo forcing the realization that these traits are not unique to humans after all.
      • Mendez I appears briefly as Kolp's Token Good Teammate.
  • The alien villain of Species II is a male hybrid instead of a female one like in Species. Also, whereas Sil came across as emotionally immature and scared about being on a planet dominated by humans, Patrick's plan to feed the alien invasion is far more determined and calculating.
  • The Mummy Trilogy:
    • Imhotep in the first movie was an Egyptian priest whose main goal was to reunite with his lover, and he gained immortality and powers through the curse cast upon him as punishment.
    • The Scorpion King in the second movie was not a mummy, but a warlord turned into Humanoid Abomination for striking a deal with Anubis to gain victory over his enemies.
    • The Dragon Emperor in the third movie was Chinese warlord whose main goal has always been conquest, and he actively sought immortality and learned to control the five elements before he was tricked to receive a curse upon himself.
  • The Scorpion King series gives different Evil Overlord flavors:
    • Memnon was a Master Swordsman leading a massive horde that sought to conquer the known world that used the Sorceress' visions to predict his enemies' moves and defeat them. Otherwise, he was a completely ordinary and normal (albeit skilled) human. Mathayus is initially hired to kill him, but after his contractor is killed and Memnon murders his brother, he makes it personal.
    • Sargon, on the other hand, is both a brutish fighter and a sorcerer due to gaining his magical gifts from worshipping Astarte. His ambition is greater than just conquer the world but to become a god too, and not only he kills one of Mathayus' brother, he also killed his father too (making it extra personal).
    • Talus is an Evil Sorcerer that seeks the Book of the Dead to gain dominance over his neighbors. Besides his magical gift, he is a Non-Action Big Bad who isn't even killed by the protagonist, but lynched by a mob instead. Also unlike the previous two, he did not kill any of Mathayus' relatives to push him in search of revenge.
    • Draven is a prince at first and pretending to be Mathayus' sidekick before being revealed to be Evil All Along. Unlike his predecessors, he has no magical skill and is an average fighter who relies more on his mooks.
    • Nebserek is somewhat similar to Sargon (mighty fighter wielding unholy powers given by a evil deity and revered like God-Emperor), but what differs him from all antagonists that precede him is that he is driven by revenge against the titular character for the death of his tribesmen, making him the closest thing to an Evil Counterpart to Mathayus at least in regards to the first two movies.
  • The Kaiju antagonists in the MonsterVerse all contrast each other.
    • Godzilla (2014): The MUTOs are ancient Earth animals who are natural enemies to Godzilla, and were simply instinct-driven animals motivated by a desire to breed and repopulate their species, only being a threat to humanity due to their massive size.
    • Kong: Skull Island: Like the MUTOs, the Skullcrawlers are ancient Earth monsters who are simply instinct-driven predators that are the natural enemy of the protagonist monster - unlike the MUTOs, who are somewhat sympathetic, the Skullcrawlers are played for full-on horror, with little to no sympathetic traits.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): King Ghidorah, unlike the MUTOs and Skullcrawlers, who were Canon Foreigners, is one of the most recognizable of Godzilla's foes. Both the MUTOs and Skullcrawlers were ancient animals born on Earth, whilst Ghidorah is an alien who arrived long before early civilization and is one of the few creatures that is a potential threat. Ghidorah is also, unlike the MUTOs and Skullcrawlers, who were simply animals acting on instinct, a genuinely malicious creature bent on the extinction of all life on Earth to terraform it to his desire.

  • Godzilla can be both this and Contrasting Sequel Main Character as the character has alternated between hero and villain depending on the movie with the original Godzilla being a Tragic Monster, the Godzilla of Shin Godzilla's mere existence as an radiated creature is a tragedy onto itself and the Godzilla of Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is one of the more malevolent incarnations of the creature — and that's without getting into the Godzillas of the reboot-happy Millennium series.
  • If Krampus is to be taken as a Spiritual Sequel to Trick 'r Treat, the contrasts between their respective villains, The Krampus and Sam, are worth noting. Both are supernatural beings associated with the folklore of their respective holidays - Halloween and Christmas - who punish those who don't properly honour that holiday and show a kind of ambiguous mercy to those who learn their lesson, but beyond that, there are some pretty noticeable differences: the Krampus is constantly leaping about despite being very big, while Sam is a child who moves with the slow stride of an Implacable Man. At the climax of Trick R Treat, Sam's Scary Scarecrow mask is dramatically removed to reveal he is a Pumpkin Person, but we never see the Krampus' real face; even his mask is hidden behind the hood of a shabby Santa Claus outfit for most of the movie, though underneath the costume he seems to be a goatlike Beast Man.
  • Each entry in The Fast and the Furious films has a villain that contrasts from the previous one in one or more ways.
    • The villain of first film is Dominic Toretto, the leader of a carjacking gang. Dom is an Affably Evil Noble Demon who greatly respects loyalty. Dom could also be considered the Deuteragonist of the film. Over the course of the following films, Dom becomes less of a villain and more of a hero.
    • The sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious has Carter Verone, a ruthless drug kingpin from Miami. Verone has neither Dom's skills as a driver nor any of his redeeming qualities. While Dom hated cops, Verone has no trouble bribing or blackmailing them into his services. He also ends up in prison unlike Dom.
    • Takashi aka the Drift King from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Unlike Verone who was American and wasn't a driver himself, Takashi is Japanese and is a driver. Takashi is also younger and more temperamental than Verone.
    • Artuto Braga aka Roman Campos from Fast & Furious. Braga is a drug trafficker who was born in South America and poses as his own second-in-command, Roman Campos. Because of this, the audience doesn't realize he is the main villain until much later in the movie. He has not driving skills and is older than Takashi.
    • Hernan Reyes from Fast Five is a Brazilian drug lord posing as a legitimate businessman. Unlike Braga who only uses other criminals for his dirty work, Reyes also has the entire Rio de Janiro police force in his pocket.
    • Owen Shaw from Fast & Furious 6 is an ex-Special Air Service soldier who leads a team of criminals whose skills mirror that of Dom's friends. Shaw is also the first villain in the series who fights Dom in the climax.
    • Furious 7 has a Big Bad Duumvirate with Moses Jakande a Nigerian terrorist and Deckard Shaw the brother of the aforementioned Owen. Jakande is seeking the hacking device known as the God's Eye while Deckard seeks to avenge his brother's defeat in the previous film.
    • Cipher is the villain of The Fate of the Furious and the Greater-Scope Villain for the fourth, sixth and seventh films. She was the one who corrupted Owen Shaw which led to him coming into conflict with Dom and his crew. As Braga was working under Shaw, she is also in part responsible for him as well. She hired Moses Jakande and Deckard Shaw to steal the Nightshade device and the God's Eye. As a cyber terrorist, Cipher contrasts the previous villains who are either drug lords, carjackers or thieves.
  • * Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Sam Bailey from Mystery Road is this to Johnny from it's sequel, Goldstone. Sam was a fairly blue-collar rancher, Johnny is a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Sam came across as somewhat Ax-Crazy, believing that Murder Is the Best Solution and often committing the murders himself, Johnny prefers to bribe people to leave him alone or delegate his killing to others. Sam controlled sex workers through drugs, Johnny controls them through legal chicanery. Sam had a low-ranking Dirty Cop in his organization, while the influential local Mayor is in Johnny's pocket. Sam is an outspoken racist, as are his men, while any racism Johnny displays is more subtle an he's at least willing to employ Aboriginal and Asian henchmen. Sam goes to the final battle with the rest of his gang (albeit lingering in the back), while Johnny is a Non-Action Guy who cuts and runs the first chance he gets. Sam is shot dead, while Johnny escapes town.

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