Ben Affleck may be out as Batman, but Matt Reeves' The Batman is still happening. Reeves recently revealed his vision for the project, and promised DC fans it will be an adventure unlike any audiences have seen before. Specifically, the director is hoping to make a noir-style feature that will show the Dark Knight utilizing a skill he doesn't often fully utilize on the big screen: his detective skills.
Reeves is also planning on featuring a number of antagonists, a.k.a. a Rogues Gallery, with Batman potentially running into a slew of villains before this adventure is over. With those parameters in mind, we've crafted a list of eight villains that would be great for such a story, and are capable of cooking up a mystery that would put The Dark Knight's detective skills to the test.
Hush is not only a villain that has yet to debut in a live-action Batman film, he's also incredibly resourceful. He's especially good at collaborating with the other villains of Gotham City, or at least manipulating them into doing the things he wants. He'll do whatever it takes to exact vengeance on Bruce Wayne, even if that means deceiving some foes that would make for powerful enemies in the future.
Hush has been a favorite villain the Batman fanbase has frequently wished to see on the big screen, and introducing him in The Batman could neatly lay out his origin. If the mystery was based around his actual identity, then Batman could slowly discover the person pulling the strings was none other than his former childhood friend, Tommy Elliott. The reveal wouldn't be all that shocking for audiences up on comic lore, but might rock The Dark Knight's world.
One of Batman's most iconic villains, Penguin is a character that has popped up frequently on both television and video games over the years. At the same time, though, it's been over twenty years since the silver screen saw Danny DeVito portray the villain with a performance in Batman Returns that, while good, could be better with a different interpretation. All I'm asking for is the next Oswald Cobblepot doesn't command an army of penguins to blow people's erogenous zones sky high. Is that too much to ask?
It's worth mentioning that The Batman will likely feature The Penguin in some way, as rumors have swirled about the villains inclusion. Who may play him is still a mystery, although Josh Gad has done some frequent trolling over the years that's been about as good as a promotional campaign for a role can be. Will Matt Reeves actually bring him in to play the villain?
Ventriloquist & Scarface
Ventriloquist & Scarface are one of the weirder Batman foes out there, and that's really saying something in a roster that includes characters like Joker and Clock King. Having the meek and quiet Arnold Wesker commanding Scarface (or is it the other way around) would be bonkers, or as Scarface would say it, "gonkers." Is there room for this criminal duo in The Batman?
Anything's possible, and including them would mean The Batman gets the honor of establishing the two's cinematic story. Granted, it's a story that's been changed up quite a few times in the DC continuity, with different Ventriloquists and the question whether Scarface is an identity of Arnold Wesker or a doll possessed by the spirit of a gangster. There probably won't be time for lots of character background considering how many villains are planned, but who knows?
Any Batman adventure where Mad Hatter is involved is a trip, usually because this mind-controlling villain is often taking Batman on a ride. Whether it's through elaborate dreams he's constructed to reveal the hero's identity, or mind control tactics he's used to bend others to his will, Mad Hatter is always playing head games. Could he possibly be the mastermind working behind the scenes in The Batman?
Its possible, and Mad Hatter's inclusion would allow for a kookier type of film without making it mandatory that all future films be equally as kooky. Imagine Batman going through this intense mystery that makes very little sense only to discover he's been asleep the whole time and Mad Hatter is orchestrating the whole thing? That's some Inception-level trickery in a superhero film, which doesn't happen often.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze looked aesthetically pleasing, and had Batman & Robin been a better film, he might've given a good enough performance that Batman fans would say can't be replicated. Obviously, that wasn't the case, and many would be thrilled if The Batman featured the brilliantly sad story of Victor Fries and not a villain who's only real flash of brilliance was how many ice puns he could make.
Batman & Robin may be the reason Hollywood never makes Mr. Freeze a main Batman villain ever again. That wouldn't be the worst thing, though, as the villain may shine brighter in a supporting role like he did in the game Arkham City. Give us a scenario where Fries and Bats are forced to collaborate to serve both their interests! Also, can we get a notable actress to cameo as Nora?
Not all of Batman's Rogues are blessed with great names or gimmicks, and while Calendar Man's name is lame, he's cooler than he initially seems. Julian Gregory Day is a brilliant villain who plans all of his major misdeeds and wrongdoings around days of the week, anniversaries, or holidays. His dedication to significant events and themes makes him a perfect candidate for a detective-driven Batman, and an amazing antagonist.
Of course, the court of public opinion would eat a modern Calendar Man alive if he donned the suit seen in the picture above, so hopefully Matt Reeves opts for a more modern take on the character. Plus, including him leaves open the opportunity for yet another Batman film to take place on a holiday. The superhero world doesn't have enough holiday themed adventures, so perhaps The Batman can add to the list.
A movie with multiple Batman Rogues wouldn't feel right without at least one of Gotham's mob families involved, and who better than the iconic Carmine Falcone to make an appearance? Unless we're dealing with a bunch of low-level villains Carmine probably wouldn't be the one calling the shots in this larger plot, but that's ok. He can be an enforcer, and potentially bent into cooperating in the interest of another one of Gotham City's more dangerous villains.
The character of Carmine Falcone is typically prime real estate for an older actor to sit in the role (he was previously portrayed by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins), but what if The Batman went with someone younger? Someone like Oscar Isaac would be cool to see in the role, and he's been rumored to be involved in the upcoming feature in some way. Could this be the role he's on board for?
Ah, Professor Pyg: another one of Gotham's deranged lunatics who's weird as hell and incredibly terrifying. This guy kidnaps people and performs radical surgery on them to turn them into "Dollotrons" that have hideous faces and do his bidding. Adding him to The Batman would certainly make for a darker film, even if it wouldn't be a mystery he was the one behind the Dollotrons.
Professor Pyg would be a great bit villain to include in the adventure, and one that Batman could run through rather quickly on his way to the next big battle. That's probably as long as most film goers may want to spend watching the villain anyway, as scenes that show intense facial disfigurement would be tough to watch.
Matt Reeves still tentatively titled adventure The Batman is on pace for a 2020 release, and it's still looking for a Batman. Readers can sound off on the villains they'd like to see included in the comments below, or see the list of actors we'd be down to see as The Caped Crusader.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.