Disney has done an impressive job of repackaging its past hits for the modern age. We’ve already seen retellings of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Mulan, and now the Mouse House is set to bring us Cruella, starring Emma Stone, which serves as an origin story for the big bad, fur-loving psycho that terrorized your childhood in 101 Dalmatians.
That got us thinking, what other Disney baddies deserve their own spinoff? Read through our ideas below and let us know which Disney villains you would love to see in a solo project!
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Out of all the villains created by Disney, Scar remains the most fascinating. Angered at being passed over for the crown, the bitter brother of King Mufasa resorts to treachery and murder to achieve his ends; and then suffers Shakespearian-sized guilt after accomplishing his crimes. There’s certainly plenty of meat left on the bone to explore with this unique character. A spinoff could focus on his time before The Lion King where we follow him through childhood as he deals with Mufasa and his place in the pride.
Tellingly, I thought Disney missed out on a chance to go deeper with its Lion King mythos when Jon Favreau decided to essentially remake the cartoon beat for beat rather than tackle the tale from a different angle, i.e. Scar’s point of view. There’s still time! Just bring back Chiwetel Ejiofor and have Scar reflect on his life just before the final battle of Pride Rock. Get on it, Disney!
Obviously, most on this list will have to go the prequel route since a majority of Disney villains meet some sort of violent end at the hands of the protagonist. However, Jafar has the rare distinction of not only surviving, but becoming more powerful. Disney already made the forgettable Return of Jafar, but there’s still a chance to scrub such sequels for something a little more intriguing centered around Aladdin’s big bad. The dude is stuck in a lamp, for cripes’ sakes! Following his journey as a genie over the course of 100 years could provide plenty of unique scenarios.
Or, follow him before the events of Aladdin and show the many adventures Jafar had while searching for the lost lamp. Think Indiana Jones, just with a creepy old guy and a bird that sounds like Gilbert Gottfried.
Steven Spielberg’s Hook attempted to bring a fresh perspective to the Peter Pan story by showing an aged Pan taking on an even more aged Hook. Despite the title, we never learn much about the notorious pirate villain, and instead, focus more on Pan’s self-discovery. Why not build a film around how Hook became, well, Captain Hook? Considering Neverland’s fantasy backdrop, there are any number of directions a story could go, so long as it ends with the one-handed scallywag trading blows with everyone’s favorite boy-who-never-grew-up.
The Little Mermaid hints at a more robust backstory between King Triton and Ursula, but, despite a prequel and a sequel, we never learn more about the duo’s prior relationship. A prequel set years before the events of the film could focus on Ursula’s departure from Atlantica and how she eventually found herself stuck in a cave with two electric eels serving as her only friends.
Or, completely reformat the character a la Maleficent, and craft a more tragic story that only kinda-sorta meshes with The Little Mermaid.
Rob Marshall is currently at work on a remake of TLM, so there’s a chance he fleshes out the character a little more.
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I struggled to find another villain worth exploring. Most Disney villains serve a specific purpose but don’t offer much beyond making the protagonist’s life a living Hell before falling to their doom. Since the Evil Stepmother and Evil Queen from Cinderella and Snow White have already enjoyed a bit more characterization via films such as 2015’s Cinderella and Snow White and the Huntsman, the only other logical choice was Hades.
Hercules’ big bad served more as comic relief than threatening antagonist, but his story could be made more interesting if handled properly. We learn that Hades and Zeus have a fractured relationship that might be worth exploring, or maybe you do a sequel in which Hades must fight/talk his way out of the Underworld. Hercules merely graced the surface of Greek Mythology, so there’s certainly plenty left for Disney to explore.
Just leave out the part with the dude getting his guts eaten on a daily basis.