SPOILERS are ahead for The Batman, now playing in theaters.
Here’s the thing: we’ve seen a lot of Batman movies over the years. Starting with Adam West and going to Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck, when Robert Pattinson stepped on the scene, he was met with a long history of the character to live up to, and a pretty damn good one at that. And yet, he nailed it. This is thanks to writer/director Matt Reeves creating a rich Gotham city that is darker than ever, more grounded and feels like the setting of a noir detective thriller. Now that The Batman has introduced what the new era of the Dark Knight looks like, there are more heavy-hitter characters I’d like to see becoming involved in this vision.
As the end of The Batman goes, Gotham’s leading man (in terms of holding the power of the city), John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, is assassinated, leaving a large gape open for the taking. The movie sets up a world where Gotham has room for tons of corruption and villainous characters, in part inspired by Batman himself. The movie sees Paul Dano’s Riddler making friends with Barry Keoghan’s Joker and there are hints that could lead to the setup of two other villains. Now let’s talk about what other characters I’d like to see in the newly-established The Batman universe.
In this iteration of The Batman, Bruce Wayne is not a playboy. He’s more of a recluse emo kid who really doesn’t get out much. I think that’s part of why his relationship with Catwoman as Batman works so well, because he connects with her on a deeper level rather than being defined as a ladies man who knows how to charm her. It'd be interesting to see Batman interact with this world’s version of Poison Ivy, who is known to make men blindly fall in love with her.
Imagine a more grounded Poison Ivy, opposite to the theatrics of Uma Thurman’s version from Batman & Robin. This Ivy is an eco-terrorist who targets Bruce Wayne in order to get funding to save the planet. Bruce, being all for justice, gets involved with Ivy, but by letting her in, she learns the secret of him being Batman. I like the idea of Ivy becoming a legitimate love interest to Bruce before he has to take her down. Of course, that’s just a spitball, and there are many ways the character could be implemented into this Gotham in a way we’ve yet to see the character depicted on the big screen.
The Court of Owls
The Court of Owls is a Batman storyline many fans love, and yet, it has never been the subject of a movie starring the character. Robert Pattinson and Paul Dano showed themselves to be huge fans of the villains as well in a video where they explored fan theories. Pattinson said the group was “probably going to be in the sequel,” but admitted he was “just guessing.” It makes sense The Batman star would think this considering they are an organized crime group and secret society of wealthy people in Gotham City.
In The Batman, through Riddler, the series is already exploring the history of Gotham’s families and the corruption that is hard-boiled within its history. It would be both refreshing and intriguing to see Matt Reeves turn the Court of Owls arc into an adventure for Batman that fits into his more detective noir style.
Cluemaster And Stephanie Brown
Another villain who could be right at home in this pitch-black Gotham City is Cluemaster. The character is a failed game show host who becomes a criminal that leaves clues to his crimes, but unlike Riddler, they are more game show-inspired. This one might be redundant for a direct The Batman sequel, but it might still work not just considering that this villain has more pizzaz than Riddler, but also because he has a daughter named Stephanie Brown, who could be set up in this universe. Perhaps in this iteration, Cluemaster is a has-been villain who breaks out of prison to create clues to puzzle Batman whilst Stephanie, a version of Batgirl, gets involved as well.
Cluemaster is another Batman villain we’ve yet to see in a big-screen Batman movie. He does have connections to Penguin’s syndicate in the comic books, so the character’s involvement works on many fronts, including that fact that he's another villain without supernatural powers.
Bruce Wayne’s dual identity is especially precious in The Batman, so imagine if Hugo Strange swooped in to learn of it and mess things up? Hugo Strange is a major villain in the world of Batman comics, being an evil psychologist and genius chemist who learns about Batman’s identity. He’d fit right in because he could perhaps be associated with Arkham and be tipped off by Paul Dano’s The Riddler, who may connect the dots between Bruce and Batman with enough time in that cell.
In the comics, Hugo Strange even assumes the title of Batman himself. There’s certainly an interesting dynamic here to be explored and Hugo Strange would challenge Robert Pattinson’s Batman to another level with his presence.
Jason Todd/The Red Hood
Wrapping up, there’s certainly been a larger conversation among fans about The Batman perhaps adding Robin into the mix after Christopher Nolan’s trilogy only hinted at his existence at the end of The Dark Knight Rises through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake. Robin is a great idea for The Batman, because it’s been made clear from the beginning that this Bruce really has a soft spot for kids, as he doesn't want other young people to experience the tragedy of losing his parents like he did. But instead of the tired Dick Grayson storyline, what if a sequel tackled the Red Hood storyline featuring Jason Todd?
Jason Todd is an orphan like Bruce, who the character picks off the street and starts training as his new sidekick. However, Batman notices that Jason is even more intense than he is when it comes to crime-fighting and tries to help him through it. Jason is later killed by The Joker, but is resurrected years later when puts him in the Lazarus Pit (per New 52 continuity), thus creating the Red Hood, who starts his own crime war.
There's certainly a lot of possibilities for more of The Batman. Until then, you can check out what other upcoming DC movies are headed our way.
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