Disney’s latest, “Maleficent,” is a dream come true for fans who’ve always wanted a deeper look at the famous fairy tale villain.
I, for one, am dying to know why she chose a spinning wheel of all objects to inflict a curse on a child. But I can’t help but wonder, is she most deserving of Disney villains to get her own live-action film? A part of me wants to shake my (unhorned) head in dissatisfaction.
Disney films have been full of fascinating wicked guys with enough complexity to carry their own feature films. What made them become so darn evil?
Here are 7 villains who deserve their own movie too (I also took the liberty of casting them, you can thank me later, Disney):
Gaston From “Beauty and the Beast”
He’s your typical male-chauvinistic and boorish bad guy. Though no one’s slick like Gaston, no one’s quick like Gaston, no one’s neck’s as incredibly thick like Gaston’s.
A film on this fan favorite could explore why he is so obsessed with being the best at everything (daddy issues?), and why rejection from a girl he literally knows nothing about ultimately drove him to inspire the whole town into a raging mob. And most importantly, I need to know how he stays healthy eating five dozen eggs a day.
Who should play him: No one can…play Gaston like Joe Manganiello can — just look at those boulder-sized biceps.
Hades from “Hercules”
A master at throwing shade, dishing out funny one-liners, and manipulating everyone, Hercules’ archenemy is one flaming hot villain. He’s got some serious anger management problems, but for someone who lives in a gloomy world full of dead people, he’s handling things relatively well. I would give two thumbs way, way up for a “Hades” film.
Who should play him: Crazy hair, hilarious and a little bit of a temper? Conan O’Brien would just have to be himself.
Evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”
One of the most iconic villains of all time, the Evil Queen (who needs a name when you’re an icon?) is the perfect example of what happens when you let vanity and jealousy control you. You turn yourself into an ugly hag and trick a young woman into eating a poisonous fruit.
How she gained her powers, her magic mirror, and the desire to be the ‘fairest of them all’ (in a time when magazines and models weren’t even around to encourage that kind of pressure!) would make a great film.
Who should play her: Non-Disney films have had the villainess portrayed by Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron, but I think Olivia Wilde could master the sinister glare.
Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”
Inspired by an actual drag queen, the sea-witch is a woman with a voice, dominating power, and an understanding of gender roles and femininity unlike anyone else in Disney’s cannon. She tells the submissive Ariel it’s “much preferred for ladies not to say a word” and to “never underestimate the importance of body language” to get a man. An “Ursula” film could get real deep.
Who should play her: Seeing Kathy Bates embody evil in “American Horror Story” has convinced me she could play this other monstrous baddie.
Claude Frollo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Judge Frollo murders Quasimodo’s innocent mother on the steps of the Notre Dame cathedral, and nearly drowns an infant — all within the first five minutes of the film. What makes him even more disturbing is that he completely believes he is a good and righteous person. What a guy! The antagonist also struggles with his lust for Esmeralda and threatens to “burn down all of Paris” to find the gypsy.
So many questions could be explored in a “Claude Frollo” film: Why can’t he forgive? Is he even a judge? Why does he hate like, everything that’s different? Maybe issues on religion and sex aren’t the most appropriate themes for a Disney film….so until my questions are answered, I’ll just listen to “Hellfire” on repeat.
Who should play him: A pro at playing the antihero, Alan Rickman would steal the show as Claude Frollo.
Yzma from “Emperor’s New Groove”
Emperor Kuzko’s evil advisor is “scary beyond all reason,” but also wickedly funny. She’s the whole female villain package: she’s ambitious, intelligent and has her own secret lair. Plus, she gets creative with her evil plots (she won’t just kill you, she’ll turn you into a flea, then put that flea in a box, and then put that box inside another box, and then mail that box to herself…and then smash it with a hammer).
Her refreshing sarcasm and sass alone make her deserving of her own film. Also, she and her lovable but dimwitted henchman, Kronk, made the best duo.
Who should play her: The hilarious and wonderful Cloris Leachman would make an “Yzma” movie pure comedic gold.
Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmations”
You have to be truly sinister to want to murder 99 Dalmatian puppies for one fur coat. Working in high fashion could drive you a little crazy, but this fur-aholic wants nothing more in life than fancy outerwear.
Did she not get enough puppy love? With her obsession with black and white spots, I would really like to give her a Rorschach test to find out. Luckily, in fall of 2013, Disney announced a “Cruella” live-action film was in the works!
Who should play her: Glen Close had the perfect De Vil laugh in the 1996 film, and while she will be acting as executive producer for the new film, it has not been revealed whether she will be reprising her role. If not, the eccentric Helena Bonham Carter could take on the part of the evil lady.