In many movies, the villain is often introduced as the main antagonist from the beginning. However, there are several films where the villain starts as an ally of the main character. These movies often present an unexpected twist, surprising the audience and questioning the character's true intentions. Here is a list of films that showcase this type of character development. Be warned; there are spoilers below!
1. Ghost (1990)
In this romantic fantasy thriller, the main character Sam (played by Patrick Swayze), is murdered and becomes a ghost, seeking revenge against his killers. Sam's best friend, Carl (played by Tony Goldwyn), initially appears to be a supportive ally but later is revealed to have betrayed Sam and is involved in his murder.
2. Spider-Man (2002)
In the first Spider-Man film, the villain is revealed to be Norman Osborn (played by Willem Dafoe), the father of Peter Parker's best friend, Harry. Osborn initially takes Parker under his wing and becomes a mentor figure, but later turns into his enemy after experimenting with a dangerous serum that turns him into the Green Goblin.
3. Training Day (2001)
In this crime thriller, rookie police officer Jake Hoyt (played by Ethan Hawke) is assigned to work with a veteran narcotics detective Alonzo Harris (played by Denzel Washington). Hoyt believes that Harris is a trustworthy mentor, but as the day progresses, he discovers that Harris is corrupt and uses his position to intimidate and control others.
4. Batman Begins (2005)
The villain of this origin story is Ra's al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson), who initially acts as the mentor of Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) and teaches him the skills necessary to become Batman. However, Wayne later discovers that al Ghul plans to destroy Gotham City and must stop him.
5. The Italian Job (2003)
The villain of this heist film is Steve (played by Edward Norton), a member of a team of thieves who steal a large amount of gold. Steve initially appears to be a loyal team member but betrays them by stealing the gold for himself.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This science fiction film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain) onboard the spacecraft. HAL initially appears to be a helpful and trustworthy ally to the crew but later becomes unstable and tries to kill them.
7. The Dark Knight (2008)
In The Dark Knight, the main character Batman (Christian Bale), teams up with Gotham's district attorney Harvey Dent (played by Aaron Eckhart), to fight crime in the city. Initially, Dent is portrayed as a brave and incorruptible ally who works closely with Batman to bring justice to Gotham.
However, as the film progresses, Dent's obsession with avenging his girlfriend's death and his transformation into the villainous Two-Face make him a dangerous threat to Batman and the people of Gotham. The audience is left to grapple with the moral ambiguity of Dent's character and the tragic consequences of his downfall.
8. Mission Impossible (1996)
The villain of this action spy film is Jim Phelps (played by Jon Voight), the team leader of Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise), and his fellow agents. Phelps initially appears to be a loyal and trustworthy ally but betrays his team and frames Hunt for a mission gone wrong.
9. The Departed (2006)
In this crime thriller, the main character Billy Costigan (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), is tasked with infiltrating a gang led by Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson). Costigan initially gains Costello's trust and becomes his ally, but later discovers that Costello is an FBI informant and must turn on him.
10. The Incredibles (2004)
The villain of this animated superhero film is Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee), who initially appears to be a fan of the main character Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), and his superhero family. However, Syndrome later reveals his true intentions to create his superpowers and become a hero, leading to a climactic showdown between him and the Incredibles.
11. Toy Story 2 (1999)
When Woody is reunited with the toys from his television show, he quickly realizes that The Prospector has some none-too-pleasant intentions. His goal is to prevent Woody from reuniting with Andy.
12. Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)
Gandalf the Grey seeks out his colleague Saruman the White for council after discovering The One Ring but quickly realizes that Saruman has aligned himself with the enemy Sauron.
13. Knives Out (2019)
Despite hiring famed detective Benoit Blanc to investigate the murder of family patriarch Harlan Thrombey, the Trombeys are selfish people plotting against Harlan's declared heir.
14. GoldenEye (1995)
Alec Trevelyan, or Agent 006, is captured and presumed dead after a mission with colleague James Bond. It turns out he faked his death and is the mastermind behind the villainous Janus Corp.
15. Unbreakable (2000)
Elijah Price spent his entire life looking for his exact opposite: someone invincible from harm. However, Price is responsible for the tragic accident that superhero David Dunn survives and several other disasters that left no survivors.
16. Akira (1988)
Set in the future after World War III, Tokyo has been rebuilt and is now a thriving city once again. But when a secret military project endangers the city, a teenager, his friends in the biker gang, and a group of psychics are the only ones who can save everyone.
17. Morbius (2020)
While Morbius isn't a great movie, it does fit the bill of having someone be a friend who later betrays the other and it fits the bill. Maybe it's worth having a laugh at while you watch it!
18. Total Recall (1990)
This science-fiction action movie is full of deception and lies, as a man if forced to deal with his memories, which he can't tell if they're real or not, and on a journey to figure out if his entire life is a lie or not.
19. Iron Man (2008)
If you're a fan of the comic books, you were probably skeptical of Obadiah Stane early on, but watching this betrayal play out is still one of the best confidant-to-enemy plots ever.
20. Frozen (2013)
At first, the dashing, perfect Hans seemed like a wonderful character, but as the film goes on, the handsome new guy suddenly turns into the villain we hope loses. It feels like