In movies, there are all sorts of interactions between villains and protagonists. Perhaps the oldest and most successful story theme is that of the hero not getting along with the villain. Whether light vs. dark (Lord of the Rings, war of stars), superhero vs. supervillain (superman movies, Batman movies) or Innocence vs. Evil (The Exorcist, poltergeist), the most defined theme is good versus evil. Usually, the villain appears as a “bad boy” out to steal, lie, destroy, or wreak havoc. In contrast, the protagonist is portrayed as someone who stands up and fights for the greater good.
Still, there are situations in movies where villains and heroes form a romantic bond and even start a relationship. This doesn’t always happen, and interestingly enough, it’s rarely the case that villains actively seduce the protagonists – it’s usually the latter that creates romantic bonds. Sounds strange right? However, it’s fascinating to watch the dynamic shift between the two. Producers use this technique to create a magical transition that makes movies more interesting and memorable. If you are looking for movies or series where villain and protagonist fall in love, you should consider some movies.
Updated August 28, 2023 by Yosra Ben Lagha: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.
10 The World Is Not Enough (1999)
James Bond and Electra King
James Bond is known as a womanizer. In The world is Not Enough, the chemistry between James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Electra King (Sophie Marceau) is obvious. James was assigned to protect Electra after her father, billionaire Sir Robert King, was murdered by antagonist Renard.
However, she turns out to be insane, in love with Renard, who had plotted her father’s death together. Elektra’s relationship with Bond was a ploy to distract him from revealing her plan to bomb Istanbul so that their inherited pipeline would be the only source of oil. Their troubled romance ended with Bond killing her. Bond was visibly troubled at having to kill Elektra and told her he would miss her so much. But it was still her own fault.
9 Frozen (2013)
Anna & Hans
At Disney FrozenAnna falls in love with the seemingly charming Prince Hans, although they met on the same day. She even went ahead and nodded to his marriage proposal. For most of the film, Hans pretends to be as good a guy as Anna doesn’t realize that he doesn’t love her and has bad intentions.
However, over time, Hans revealed his dark side and his nefarious intentions, claiming that he only married Anna to kill Elsa, her sister, and usurp the power of Arendelle. Anna’s blind infatuation and willingness to marry someone she barely knew almost cost her her life. Luckily, Elsa saved her from the consequences of Hans’ evil intentions and proved that sisterly love is sometimes more important than romantic love.
8th Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Rey Skywalker & Ben Solo
Kylo Ben and Rey have had a complex relationship for the most part war of stars Trilogy. They started on opposing sides and often fought each other. Their intriguing transition happened in the third film after they found out they were compulsively bonded, prompting them to pursue a less hostile relationship.
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Ben puts his life on the line to save Rey. Unfortunately, he passed away after this incident, but not before the two shared a passionate kiss. While we’d have liked to see their romantic relationship develop, now that they’re on good terms, Kylo (or Ben Solo, actually) has at least found his inner peace and Rey has a second chance at life.
7 Batman Returns (1992)
Bruce Wayne/Batman & Selina Kyle/Catwoman
In Batman returnsSelinas (Michelle Pfeiffer) first meets Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) when he rescues her after being held hostage by a clown during the Red Triangle Gang attack. However, he is masked, which only intrigues her even more about Batman. Their second encounter occurs in Shreck’s office when Bruce and Shreck hold a meeting. An attraction develops immediately between Bruce and Selina.
By the third encounter, Selina had already become Catwoman, a villain Batman had to stop. They fight and hurt each other, resulting in Catwoman teaming up with the penguin. During their fourth encounter, emotion and intimacy prevailed, and they stopped in the middle of a passionate moment when they realized their injuries from the fight between Catwoman and Batman would come to light. Their fifth encounter occurs as Batman and Catwoman, during which Bruce removes his mask and begs Catwoman to give up her vendetta, hoping that their bond will convince her.
6 Dracula (1992)
Mina Harker and Dracula
Dracula, a Gothic fairy tale by Bram Stoker, features the villain Dracula infecting the heroine Mina with vampirism and helping her fiancé Jonathan Harker, Professor Van and others to destroy the powerful vampire. However, the more romantic version of Dracula is different. Mina falls in love with the charming Dracula.
Although she killed her best friend Lucy, she still forgave him for his actions. In the end, with Dracula on the brink of death, Mina stabbed his heart with a knife so that he could end his suffering. This version of the story gave Dracula a more romantic ending as Mina’s love eventually restored Dracula’s soul. Moreover, Mina lived on, which cannot be said of most movies where the hero falls in love with the villain.
5 Goldfinger (1964)
James Bond and Pussy Galore
golden finger is an action thriller film in which James Bond directs an investigation into gold smuggler and magnate Auric Goldfinger who plots an influence the Fort Knox gold reserve. During his battle with Goldfinger, Bond meets Pussy, the antagonist’s assistant, who helps him carry out his destructive plans.
After the two wrestle in a barn, Bond eventually convinces them to abandon their amoral relationships with their former boss and join him in his fight for the right cause. In most films with this particular relationship dynamic, the protagonist is usually the one who falls in love with the antagonist’s magnetic, confident, evil charms, yet James Bond was quick to transform his beloved villain into a heroine who gave up her greed for money and power with him . A villain turned for the love of the hero is a story well worth seeing.
4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Eric & Christine
Based on a novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is a musical that tells the story of a disfigured phantom and musical genius Erik, who hides under a 19th-century opera house in Paris and falls in love with a singer named Christine Daae. Erik plans to get close to Christine and keep her by his side to enjoy her beauty and purity. They are opposites in the truest sense of the word. She’s the epitome of gullible innocence and impeccable purity, and he’s a sneaky, sneaky control freak.
Erik loses control when he learns that Christine has fallen in love with another man who resembles her: Raoul. But despite everything, it’s still hard to judge Erik since the reason for his erratic actions is his love and affection for Christine. Their relationship does not have a happy ending as Erik is sentenced to lifelong isolation and heartbreak. In a world where good and evil cannot be united under the umbrella of love, this ending could be just.
3 X-Men: The First Class (2011)
Magneto & Mystique
In X-Men: The First ClassErik (Magneto), the character whose goals are morally questionable to say the least, helps Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), a mutant struggling to connect with her true self, embrace her dark side, in other words, what Jung calls this shadow self. Though their connection represents a kind of liberation, Magneto not only reconnects Mystique with her dark side, but—more dangerously—unleashes her fear of hurting people.
Despite striking a delicate balance between enjoying company and expressing one’s true self, Magneto and Mystique’s relationship takes things to the extreme. Mystique completely lets go of her inhibitions, even those that keep her from becoming just another villain.
2 The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)
Lizzie and Paolo
The 2003 romantic comedy The Lizzie McGuire Movietells the story of high school student Lizzie, who meets the famous singer Paolo during a summer break in Rome and immediately falls under his charm. Due to the close resemblance between Lizzie and his former singing partner Isabella, Paolo asks Lizzie to impersonate her at a concert and perform a backing track.
Lizzie then makes the ultimate discovery of Paolo’s dark intentions in stealing Isabella’s music record. Lizzie’s good intentions and decent character made it difficult for her to accept Paolo. The truth revealed was certainly a deal-breaker and the end of their summer romance. Paolo may not be evil in the usual sense of the word, but his sneaky nature puts him in the category of antagonists who must be stopped.
1 Maleficent (2014)
Aurora and Maleficent
maleficent tells the moving mother-daughter love story between the evil fairy Maleficent and a beautiful little girl named Aurora. Maleficent herself was a pure-hearted fairy who lived peacefully in a forest until she fell in love with the wrong man, who eventually betrayed her and took her wings. This betrayal turned Maleficent into a mistress of evil and revenge. Out of defiance, she cursed Baby Aurora into a coma. The curse could only be broken by true love’s kiss.
Through a beautiful plot twist, Maleficent develops a soft spot for the lovable Aurora, who grows up in the forest under her protective eye. Maleficent’s affection and love for her surrogate daughter grew stronger by the day. She began to see herself as Aurora’s real mother. The two develop an inseparable bond that eventually saves Aurora from her curse. The film depicts the power of good to reform evil and mitigate its destructive effects on self and others. It also represents the wondrous transformative and healing powers of pure and unconditional love. Both Maleficent and Aurora ended up being cured of the evil’s curse.