The Most Villainous Corporations In Sci-Fi History
The nameless, faceless monoliths known as corporations and conglomerates have long been go-to villains for sci-fi franchises. After all, big corporations don't have a spotless record when it comes to respecting their employees or caring about the environment. So, for speculative fiction about near or distant futures in which companies are allowed unregulated control, it isn't hard to imagine them as ruthless, amoral manifestations of avarice and villainy.
However, the methods in which the fictional megacorps of film and TV assert their influence and control - and the level of evil to which they aspire - vary greatly. Some sinister fictional corporations value wealth and power above all else, while others are motivated by the arrogance and egomania of their founders and CEOs. In a few cases, these sci-fi companies exist solely to achieve nefarious goals of world domination or outright genocide, all behind a facade of legitimacy.
Here's a look at some of the most villainous and malicious corporations from sci-fi movies and TV shows, examining what the companies claim to do and the dark, secret underbelly of their operations, which make them so memorably evil.
- 194 VOTES
Weyland-YutaniPhoto: Aliens / 20th Century Fox
The British and Japanese multinational mega-conglomerate, introduced in the Alien universe, is regarded as the leading manufacturer and supplier of advanced technology, synthetic androids, computers, and spaceships. Weyland-Yutani is ubiquitous in the future, like the 22nd century's General Electric. However, it also has other interests, including off-world colonization and space shipping - and this is where things get darker.
The company repeatedly proves it doesn't care about the safety or security of its employees, and will sacrifice anything - even human lives - in the pursuit of its goals. The biggest sinister goal as seen in the films is Weyland-Yutani's attempt to secure a Xenomorph to exploit its potential as a biological weapon for future military endeavors, regardless of how many employees might lose their lives in the process.
- 293 VOTESPhoto: Resident Evil: Extinction / Screen Gems
As the primary antagonistic group in the Resident Evil franchise, the Umbrella Corporation poses as a British multinational conglomerate that, as its name suggests, has a wide array of subsidiary companies responsible for everything from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals to industrial manufacturing, home goods, and health food, just to name a few. However, seemingly all of its activities serve as a front.
In reality, Umbrella's objectively sinister mission is to enter the world of biotech and bioweapon manufacturing. It hoarded viruses across the world under the guise of developing vaccines, but with the ultimate goal of genocide and world domination. The virus that would go on to cause the zombie outbreak and eventual apocalypse was not only made by Umbrella, but intentionally released on society to further the company's overtly nefarious goals.
- 369 VOTES
Omni Consumer ProductsPhoto: RoboCop / Orion Pictures
Based in Detroit, Omni Consumer Products - or OCP for short - is a massive company that, as its name suggests, provides economical and technological solutions for every household need. As seen in RoboCop, OCP's endeavors expanded beyond the typical purview of most retail organizations, branching into solutions for urban planning as well. As part of its "altruistic" efforts, OCP wanted to create a supposedly utopian community known as Delta City, built on top of the sprawling hellhole that is future Detroit.
Part of the plan for Delta City would include security droids - the ED-209s - and possibly RoboCops, cyborg police officers. OCP privatized the police force in Detroit and cut cops' pay, leading to a police strike, thus increasing crime and lawlessness. The company had little interest in the welfare of anyone, even its own employees, and it ran a paramilitary mercenary squad, which is never something an above-board corporation should really need.
- 447 VOTES
Zorg IndustriesPhoto: The Fifth Element / Columbia TriStar
In the distant future of The Fifth Element's 23rd century, Zorg Industries was a multinational (perhaps multi-planetary) megacorporation responsible for consumer products, taxi services, manufacturing, and weapons development across the globe - especially in the technologically advanced megalopolis of New York City.
Behind the scenes, however, Zorg Industries was run by the maniacal lunatic Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, a man so greedy and cowardly that he sells out all of Earth to the ancient cosmic force known as The Ultimate Evil, simply for profit. This is after he attempts to eliminate the only people capable of stopping the evil and tries to blow up an interstellar cruise liner. Sometimes you can't judge a company solely by the actions of its CEO, but when the whole company exists just to pay for the CEO's world-ending villainy, it's fair.
- 575 VOTES
Cyberdyne SystemsPhoto: Terminator 2: Judgment Day / TriStar Pictures
As seen in the Terminator franchise, Cyberdyne Systems began as a humble computer parts manufacturer in the 1980s in California, building itself into a large tech company responsible for making processors and computing systems before transitioning into military tech research and development. The company began building advanced processing systems and artificial intelligence.
Thus, Skynet was born - a network intended to minimize human casualties of war by placing mechanized war machines and the US nuclear arsenal under the control of an AI. However, the AI became self-aware and ended up causing a thermonuclear war between the US and Russia in order to wipe out those who might attempt to turn it off. So, through its attempts at war profiteering, Cyberdyne essentially doomed the entire planet.
- 630 VOTES
E CorpPhoto: Mr. Robot / USA Network
In the paranoid, high-tech modern world depicted in Mr. Robot, E Corp is an enormous megacorporation that has expanded into nearly every consumer market imaginable. It is one of the biggest telecom companies and controls a huge retail chain, entertainment and news subsidiaries, and even banking. It's said at one point that E Corp (perpetually referred to, through the series' subjective point of view, as Evil Corp) has cornered the global market on consumer credit and debt ownership.
E Corp is about as ethical as you'd imagine a giant multinational titan of industry to be - which is to say, not at all. It covered up a toxic chemical leak that led to the demise of dozens of employees back in the early '90s, and paid people off to avoid having to take responsibility in the ensuing court cases. The company later created its own currency, E Coin, and came very close to world domination without needing any doomsday tech.