The X-Men Villain Perfect For A Horror Movie

By Jacob VanGundy | Updated

Arcade X-Men

With the X-Men coming to the MCU many possible characters could be used, but the obscure villain Arcade could be one of the most interesting. He’s the perfect character to break Marvel out of its action-comedy mold by giving the universe a proper serial killer horror villain. While he’s often an X-Men villain the character has appeared in many comics and could be a great, dark addition to the universe. 

Arcade And Murderworld

Arcade X-Men

Created by the legendary X-Men creative team of John Byrne and Chris Claremont, Arcade is a villain who puts superheroes into elaborate death games. With no powers himself, he’s a threat because of his vast wealth, intellect, and his cold-blooded sociopathy. His usual method of murdering his victims is by creating a fake theme park called Murderworld that uses robots, death traps, and sometimes magic to put heroes through deadly challenges. 

Arcade’s methodology is inherently theatrical, making him the perfect villain for a movie, as Murderworld gives the story an instant setting and unique premise. Unlike many characters, he’s straightforward, requires minimal backstory, and challenges heroes in an indirect way that’s still visually exciting. Unlike many X-Men villains, Arcade’s not directly connected to mutants which means he could also help bridge the gap between mutants and the rest of the universe.

Could Be Marvel’s Version Of Jigsaw

While a straightforward adaptation of Arcade would be too silly to work in live-action, leaning into his darker elements could be a great way to adapt him. The character has obvious similarities with horror movie killers like Jigsaw and the MCU version could lean into those elements to make him a genuinely scary villain. This would also give them a new spin on the superhero genre, which could help to combat superhero fatigue. 

Horror Could Be Exactly What The MCU Needs

Movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness incorporated horror elements but there hasn’t been a full horror superhero hybrid movie in the MCU yet. Bringing Arcade into the universe alongside the X-Men could help to make Marvel movies feel new and interesting again. Modern comic book villains rarely feel threatening which would make a sociopath serial killer stand out as something genuinely new to the genre. 

The success of Werewolf by Night proves audiences are more than happy to see horror incorporated into the MCU, but despite sharing a universe it didn’t feature any established superheroes. A story featuring Arcade from the X-Men as the villain could blend the genres more completely as a horror movie with superhero victims. It would also be the perfect way to have X-Men characters and more established heroes team up and form connections. 

Make It R-Rated Like Deadpool & Wolverine

With Deadpool & Wolverine bringing both the X-Men and the R-rating to the MCU this summer, a dark adaptation of Arcade is more possible than ever. While a PG-13 version of the character could work, he would work best in an R-rated horror movie that can deliver enough blood and violence to satisfy horror fans. Saw levels of gore may be out of the question for an MCU movie, but even a fraction of that violence would bring lots of new attention to the franchise. 

A Proper MCU Horror With Arcade As A Villain

arcade X-Men

A horror movie featuring Arcade from the X-Men may be a long shot, but it would be a perfect fit and a fascinating way for the franchise to go. Outside of a brief cameo in Deadpool 2, he’s had few appearances outside of the comics which would allow him to surprise audiences, making his unique appeal even more memorable. With the X-Men opening so many creative doors, a proper MCU horror movie could be the most unexpected and interesting outcome.