The goal of many movie villains is to take over the world. To achieve this, some threaten the planet and its resources – here’s a sample of 10 who did just that!
In the 22nd James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, Greene is an environmentalist who hijacks an oil pipeline and ultimately takes control of Bolivia’s water resources, holding the country to ransom. A formidable eco-terrorist who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, Greene is ultimately meets his fate at the hands of 007.
One of Batman’s major foes, Poison Ivy is an eco-warrior who uses toxins and pheromones from plants to attack or control her prey. Despite her stated intent to protect the planet and champion environmentalism, she actually uses the natural world as a weapon. She was played by Uma Thurman in the 1997 movie Batman and Robin.
Army of the 12 Monkeys
Memorably led by Brad Pitt in the sci-fi movie “12 Monkeys”, this group seek to release virus-infected monkeys into a number of cities, uncaring of the devastation this will wreak on mankind. In the movie, more than 99% of the population are ultimately killed.
Romulan leader Nero is the main protagonist of the 2009 Star Trek movie. His ship drains natural resources from planets before injecting “red matter” into the planet core and creating a black hole in its wake. His greatest crime is the total destruction of the planet Vulcan, the birthplace of Trek hero Mr Spock, and most of its inhabitants.
Following the destruction of his home planet Krypton, Zod arrives on Earth keen to “terraform” the planet using his “World Engine” device and resettles it with other Kryptonians. He encounters resistance from Kal-El, who arrived on Earth as a boy and is now known as Clark Kent and – in superhero form – Superman. Zod unleashes the World Engine on Metropolis, causing widespread devastation.
Colonel Miles Quaritch
In James Cameron’s futuristic thriller Avatar, miners from Earth have landed on Pandora, a peaceful planet rich in mineral resources; leading his company’s quest for “Unobtanium”, a cheap energy source, Quaritch is happy to wipe out indigenous tribes and devastate the local ecosystem at tremendous cost.
Initially portrayed as a friend to the forces of good, Saruman betrays his allies and seeks to capture the mighty Ring of Power and rule the world. To this end he creates an army of warriors and devastates vast swathes of forests to feed the fires of his industrial machines. In Tolkien’s Middle Earth, however, some of the trees fight back …
Josh (Night Moves)
In the 2013 thriller “Night Moves”, Oregon environmentalist Josh, together with his cohorts Harmon and Dena, plot to blow up a hydraulic dam that they perceive to be an icon of the industrial age they so oppose. The film deals with their act of eco-terror and the way they handle its aftermath. Josh is played by rising Hollywood star Jesse Eisenberg.
In the ground-breaking visual effect movie Jurassic Park, John Hammond is a rich industrialist and entrepreneur who has bred dinosaurs for the sole purpose of putting them on public display as theme park attractions. Not only does Hammond threaten an ecological disaster by his actions, his creations kill numerous characters and park employees. Although portrayed on film by Richard Attenborough as a grandfather-type figure, Hammond’s work and its aftermath are definitely movie-villain material.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
One of the most recognisable and enduring villains of the James Bond franchise, Blofeld comes up against the British super-spy on several occasions. In the 1969 thriller “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, Blofeld plots to extort world governments using a threat of making livestock and crops infertile and thus removing the world’s supply of food.