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One of the reasons Batman is still popular 80 years after his introduction is because of his colorful lineup of villains. Many of his iconic adversaries have been depicted on film, but the Batman movies have usually stuck to only featuring between one-three of these baddies per project.
Evidently that won’t be the case with The Batman, as director and writer Matt Reeves has not only said that the movies will feature a "rogues galley," but it’s also been reported that as many as six villains could show up. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, GWW and Discussing Film, we now know who these six villains might be.
Keep in mind that none of this information has been officially confirmed. It’s possible that The Batman will trim down the number of villains, or it might even be the case that even more antagonists could will show up to trouble the Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader. Either way, the following candidates definitely make for a solid lineup of foes.
It’s been a long time since we last saw Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, depicted in a live action movie, with Danny DeVito bringing the character to life in 1992’s Batman Returns. However, apparently the DC film franchise has been wanting to bring him in for some time, with The Batman and Birds of Prey both having its eyes on him. Birds of Prey ended up using Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask (played by Ewan McGregor), as its main antagonist.
We have yet to learn if Penguin will be the The Batman’s main villain or a supporting baddie. However, to differentiate this version of the character from the DeVito version, it would be interesting to see him as the owner of the Iceberg Lounge and using the nightclub as a cover for his illicit activities.
We last saw Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, on the big screen in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. In keeping with the modern depictions of the character, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman wasn’t a villain, but more an anti-hero-turned-ally. All that’s been said so far about The Batman’s Catwoman is like most of her other incarnations, she’s a burglar, so expect to see her stealing diamonds and other valuables.
Catwoman is also well-known for being Batman’s most consistent love interest, which both Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises explored. Perhaps The Batman followed suit, although if she ends up teaming up with Penguin or one of the other villains, needless to say that would complicate any romantic venture between the two.
Just like with Penguin, it’s been a long time since we last saw The Riddler in a live action movie, and Jim Carrey’s version of Edward Nygma was an extremely comical take on the character. That may have worked for Batman Forever, but The Riddler has been depicted as a more serious villain in recent decades. With The Batman being a noir tale, a darker Riddler is surely called for.
Since The Batman will highlight Bruce Wayne’s detective skills, The Riddler would work excellently as the main villain since his whole gimmick is leaving riddles and puzzles behind for the Dark Knight and the GCPD to solve. So yes, we’ll see Batman using his fists against criminals, but Riddler can function chiefly as a compelling cerebral threat.
Now we come to a Batman villain who hasn’t appeared in a live action movie yet. The original Firefly, real name Garfield Lynns, was originally depicted as a villain who utilized lighting effects during his crimes, but ever since the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, he’s been presented as a professional arsonist who sets fires not just while committing crimes, but also because he has an obsession with flames.
The TV series Gotham featured a female take on Firefly named Bridgit Pike, but it looks like The Batman will be going with the traditional Garfield Lynns version. As visually interesting as Firefly is, he’s not really main antagonist material, so in The Batman, I’d expect him to either be working for one of the other enemies or be operating on his own as a side threat that Batman quickly takes down.
Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face in Batman Forever felt like a Joker ripoff, and while Aaron Eckhardt’s turn as Harvey Dent is one of the more underrated elements of The Dark Knight, he didn’t get to be Two-Face for that long, and that version of the character never screamed ‘super villain.’ The Batman offers the opportunity to give audiences a Two-Face that’s all in on the two/duality gimmick, but also more serious and tragic.
The thing that separates Two-Face from most other Batman villains is that because he relies on his coin for making all important decisions, depending on what side it lands on, he has the capacity to do good, or at least make a decision that benefits Batman or another good guy rather than his own self interest. So while you can expect The Batman’s Two-Face to be a crime boss, it could be intriguing for the movie to present a scenario where thanks to pure chance, the scarred Harvey Dent ends up having to help Batman.
Here we have the other Batman villain who hasn’t graced the silver screen yet. Jervis Tetch, a.k.a. The Mad Hatter, is a brilliant scientist who uses technology to mind control people, often times inserting special devices in headware to ensure his victims will obey his every command. Because he so enamored with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, he also frequently has his goons dress up as other characters from the novel.
Whether or not Mad Hatter’s look is toned down for The Batman, the idea of mind control being thrown into the mix adds a level of terror we haven’t seen in a Batman movie. All these other villains are capable of frightening the citizens of Gotham City, but having one of them force people to unwillingly do their dirty work presents a unique challenge for the masked Bruce Wayne.
The Batman casts its shadow in theaters on June 25, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development, including which villains will definitely appear. For now, you can look through our DC movies guide to learn what else this franchise has in the works.