It may have been a rough weekend for Justice League, but we should all hope that DC Films and Warner Bros. greenlight a sequel -- if only because of a certain post-credits tease of things to come. In the stinger, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is revealed to have broken out of Arkham Asylum and meets Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) on a yacht. Luthor tells the mercenary that now that all the heroes have formed a team, he thinks that they should form one of their own. The implication is clear: Luthor is assembling a team of supervillains to fight the League in Justice League 2. That's pretty awesome, and we can only speculate as to who else Luthor could recruit for his cause.
Whether this is the Injustice League, the Injustice Gang, the Injustice Society, the Secret Society of Supervillains, or the Legion of Doom, we can only guess, but pretty much every one of these groups is the same: a big team of villains from all across the DCU. The DCEU doesn't have many villains right now, but with a bunch of DC films in-development, that won't be a problem for long. Because this would be a 25-page list otherwise, we narrowed down our favorite candidates by looking at the upcoming movie slate and determining what characters are most likely to show up over the next few years. Combined with how well they match the Justice League members, these 7 bad guys (and girls) are likely to join Lex Luthor and Deathstroke in Justice League 2.
Cheetah is a DC Comics character that has gone through a lot of iterations over the years, but she's always the sworn enemy of Wonder Woman. One of Wonder Woman's most significant villains, Cheetah is a woman cursed/blessed by the gods to take on the form of a were-cheetah with great strength and agility on par with Wonder Woman. Cheetah is typically a dark reflection of Diana and her relationship with her own patrons. There have been a few women who have become Cheetah, but the most relevant -- and most likely to be in a movie -- is Barbara Ann Minerva. An archeologist, she is gifted her powers by the plant god (double checks spelling) Urzkartaga, which turns her into a warrior beast.
We can easily see Cheetah as the villain of Wonder Woman 2. Even if that ends up being another period piece, it could be that Cheetah's powers gift her a with a type of immortality like Diana, allowing her to appear in the present day. Cheetah's origins were recently altered so that she was close friends with Diana before she became Cheetah, putting a remorseful strain on the Amazon whenever she has to fight Cheetah. A live-action version of that would be compelling to watch and it would make Cheetah a sympathetic villain.
Aquaman's arch-nemesis, Black Manta juxtaposes the seemingly campy aquatic hero by being one of the most single-mindedly ruthless characters in the DCU. Black Manta is a cold-blooded killer with zero-remorse, using his advanced deep-sea diving suit to assassinate and treasure hunt to his heart's content. A frequent enemy of Atlantis, he and Aquaman have a never-ending blood feud going back years, as Black Manta refuses to stop until he's killed Aquaman and everyone he loves. He can also shoot laser beams out of his eyes, so, points.
Fans don't have to wait long for Black Manta in the DCEU. He'll make his debut in 2018's Aquaman, where he'll be portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. We don't know how big his role in the film is, but should he survive, he's surely due for a visit from Lex Luthor soon.
Those familiar with The Flash TV show on the CW will be more than familiar with Reverse Flash. The evil antithesis of The Flash, Reverse Flash is... complicated. The bullet points are that he's a man named Eobard Thawne; he's from the far-away future; he's got super speed provided by his own negative speed force; and he hates/idolizes The Flash so much that he ran back in time, killed Flash's mom and then framed his dad for the murder. It's hardcore villainy, and whenever Reverse Flash shows up, it almost always spells terrible news for Barry Allen.
It doesn't have a release date yet, but DC Films is working on a Flashpoint movie, which Reverse Flash plays a major part in. It'd be real tough to do that movie without him, so it's probably a safe bet that he'll be showing up. Depending on when it releases, it's possible that Reverse Flash finds his way to Lex Luthor's villain team. Being a speedster, he's the only one who can give Flash a real challenge, and there's no way he would turn down being the evil Flash of his own evil Justice League.
Black Adam has been waiting for years to make it into the DCEU, being one of the earliest characters DC Films announced when it was first building its shared universe. Normally the arch-villain of Shazam, Black Adam is an occasional anti-hero and the ruthless protector of the fictional Middle Eastern country, Kahndaq. Thousands of years ago, he was just a powerless man known as Teth-Adam, who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his successor as the protector of magic. Granted incredible strength, Adam abused his power and was sealed away by Shazam. He was eventually freed thousands of years later and frequently battled Shazam's current champion, a young boy named Billy Batson.
The DCEU insists that it has big plans for Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson is on the hook to play him in his own solo movie, and if you've got The Rock ready to go, you better believe you're going to use him! Black Adam is just the type of powerhouse that a team of villains needs to fight the Justice League. The idea of The Rock vs Superman practically prints its own money, so assuming all goes well, Black Adam is almost a shoe-in for Team Luthor.
Star Sapphire might not be the most well-known of Green Lantern's villains, but she would be an interesting choice to join Lex Luthor's team. She's seen a lot of change of the years (she's not a villain in the comics anymore), but Star Sapphire is Hal Jordan's on-off-again girlfriend, Carol Ferris. Originally, Carol was possessed by an alien gem that gave her powers comparable to a Green Lantern. An immortal race of extraterrestrial women warriors, known as the Zamarons, chose Carol as their queen, but she refused to leave Earth because of her love of Hal. So, they brainwashed her into fighting GL and removed the memory when she lost. However, the Star Sapphire persona would turn off and on over the years. Now the Star Sapphire is an actual corps. akin to the Green Lanterns, spreading love throughout the galaxy, and Carol is in full control of her abilities.
Sinestro would ordinarily be the first choice to be in this type of role, but Sinestro potentially has a whole corps. of his own backing him up. Let's give a lesser known villain with a personal attachment to Hal Jordan a chance to shine. Her possessed villain persona also brings a unique dynamic to the mix. Green Lantern Corps is still scheduled for 2020, and while there's no guarantee that one of Earth's many Green Lantern's is joining the League, it feels like a safe bet given the characters deep history with the team. Even if it's not Hal Jordan, Star Sapphire can be rewritten to be any character close to a Green Lantern.
Despite his 37 year history in comics, Cyborg doesn't really have many villains of his own. His villains are mostly tied to the Teen Titans, Cyborg's main super team before he was rebooted as a founding member of the Justice League. This same reboot did give him his own memorable villain though: Grid. Grid is a computer virus that was born inside of Cyborg from secondary programs that he ran to keep constant watch over the world. This virus developed its own mind and separated Victor's remaining human parts from his machine parts, so that Grid could take full control. It was pretty gnarly, but it forced Cyborg to get a new and improved body to defeat his evil creation.
The current plan is for a Cyborg movie to arrive in 2020, so Grid could make his big debut as the main antagonist of that picture. Grid forces Cyborg to see what he could become if he lost his humanity, and became nothing but a soulless machine. It's really juicy stuff, and Cyborg would benefit from having a technological foe to battle. Grid's advanced mechanics and hacking abilities would also bring an interesting flavor to Luthor's villain team.
I don't think this one needs much introduction. Currently played by Jared Leto until Flashpoint rips off the tablecloth, the DCEU's divisive take on Joker first made his debut in Suicide Squad. He's got a team-up with Harley Quinn in the works, plus a rumored appearance in Suicide Squad 2, but the best place for Joker to cause a little chaos might be Justice League 2. While Joker is too much of a wildcard to have on a team, he also hates being excluded, so he would volunteer to join up with Luthor if he thought it'd be fun. I could see Joker coming in halfway through the movie and forcing himself onto Team Luthor, which only puts more strain on the villains but makes them even deadlier. There's a lot of novelty to seeing Joker onscreen with Lex Luthor and seeing those personalities clash is well worth the price of admission alone.