This week marks the beginning of the seventh iteration of Batman on film with Matt Reeves’ The Batman finally hitting theaters after several covid-related delays (our spoiler free review is here). Seven different actors have taken on the role of the Caped Crusader, and that’s only looking at the live-action movie releases. That doesn’t take into consideration DC’s line of (mostly) excellent animated movies or the handful of times Batman has shown up on various TV projects. And while a very compelling argument can be made that Batman should take a well-deserved break on the big screen, there is no way Warner Brothers is going to let that happen considering just how much money he brings to the studio with even his mediocre films. Batman is here to stay.
With that being said, one of the most enduring things about the world of Batman is the absolutely phenomenal cast of characters filmmakers can pull from when crafting a story around a particular villain; Batman’s Rogues Gallery is one of the most iconic groups of villains to ever exist. And with nine solo-Batman films and fourteen Batman-universe films in market today, that must mean we’ve been able to dig deep into Batman’s cast of villainous characters, right?
Wrong. Let’s take a look at Batman villains, by the numbers:
The Joker has appeared in eight different movies! Granted, he is one of the greatest villains of all time, but eight seems a bit excessive, right? For the casual movie-going audience, you can see why they might not know about some of the other Batman villains. I think it is high time some other villains got the spotlight, and here are just a few I think would be a great addition to the inevitable The Batman 2.
The Court of Owls
In The Batman, the Riddler is trying to uncover a plot of corruption and deception that reaches the highest levels of society within Gotham City. The Court of Owls, a recent addition to Batman’s Rogues Gallery, is a society of the most elite, pulling the strings from the shadows for generations. They exert their will through the use of force, sending their Talon assassins to strong arm citizens of Gotham into doing whatever they want. And they recruit Talons by kidnapping kids and training them to be fearless warriors and killers. These ruthless villains seem like a perfect fit within the world that Matt Reeves created–even Batman himself, Robert Pattison, agrees.
I don’t think that Mad Hatter, as he has appeared in shows and in the comics, would be a good fit within the gritty, realistic world Reeves has created in The Batman. That being said, I do see a modern take on the character who uses mind control to terrorize the citizens of Gotham fitting in perfectly. Imagine a movie where the heroes we have come to love start breaking bad, and the chaos that would ensue.
The fact that no one ever got Robin Williams to play this character before he passed is something I’ll always be upset about. A brilliant psychiatrist who is the first villain to ever deduce Batman’s secret identity, Strange would be a perfect psychological foil for the Dark Knight. Maybe not as the main villain, but as a supporting character, he could fit in quite nicely.
Though the events that take place at the end of The Batman make me think that Reeves could be setting up Riddler to take on this role, I’d love to see Batman have to visit a Hannibal Lecter type character in Arkham to help track down another villain. Calendar Man on his own, out in the wild, is a silly character. But within the confines of Arkham Asylum, as an informant? He could be an excellent addition to The Batman‘s sequel’s cast of characters.
Again, this villain in the traditional sense just wouldn’t work in this current franchise. But break Clayface down to his core elements and he is an actor who is a master of disguise. Imagine a film where the villain could be anyone around you, and he was constantly shifting in and out of different forms. A modernization on this character could be a formidable villain.
Ok, I’m cheating here as we have already had Mr. Freeze once, but I think we can all pretend that version doesn’t exist, right? I think there is a way to modernize this character and bring his tragic story to the big screen in a compelling and emotional way. Do I think he needs to have a freeze gun that turns people into ice? Absolutely not, but there surely is another pseudo-science way to explain his abilities, right? Maybe some intra-venous weapon that freezes your blood cells, or something like that. Robert Pattinson’s Batman is a much more emotional version of the character, and I’d love to see how he would react to the tragic tale of Victor and Nora Fries. And, I’m not the only one who thinks this is a good idea. Matt Reeves himself has said he would love to explore the villain in a future movie.
Those are just some of the under utilized villains that I think should make their debut on film. Who do you think Batman should go up against next? Let us know in the comments below!
Mark Pereira is a senior writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward Sword, Super Mario 3D World and Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can find him on Twitter where he’s usually talking about Nintendo, video games, movies, and TV shows.
Featured Image Source: Screen Rant