Vanity Fair invited longtime Marvel producer Nate Moore and director Kari Skogland onto their podcast Still Watching to discuss The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and various other topics such as villains.
When directly asked about what they believe makes “a great Marvel villain,” Moore explained that at the core, these villains have to have “an emotional reason for what they’re doing that you and I would call reasonable” and that anything that varies from that becomes incomprehensible to viewers:
“Yeah, the greatest Marvel villains are villains who have an emotional reason for what they’re doing that you and I would call reasonable. I never think it works, even as just a fan. To your point, any villain that wants to take over the world, I go ‘why?’ I can’t imagine what kind of emotional trauma causes that, but if you can really think about what is making a villain tick, and it feels like something that you and I would go like ‘Yeah, I can see that.’”
Moore goes on to list, what he believes, to be good explains of villains from past Marvel films and series like Killmonger, Karli, and Thanos:
“Those are the best villains. Killmonger, really interesting, right? Because you go ‘I get it.’ Karli Morgenthau, ‘Yeah, I get it, man.’ It’s playing out our everyday lives, you know? Thanos, ‘I get it.’ They’re all rooted in issues and emotions that are of our world, I think it’s so much easier to make those characters great than villains that seem a little like…”