Hearsay and Conjecture: Possible Batman film villains

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur) isn't ready for primetime this week. Instead, I'll be doing a little speculation on a particular subject: possible villains for the next Batman movie. Now, this film is nowhere near anything tangible. In fact, neither Christopher Nolan nor Christian Bale have officially signed on for a third Batman film. But screenwriters Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer have surely thought about the inevitable third film, and where the story could possibly take Batman/Bruce Wayne. Hell, the character itself just underwent a massive overhaul in the comics (i.e., Bruce Wayne died). So there's a lot of uncertainty about the direction of the character in the third movie. But we're not here to talk about the creative direction of the movie franchise. We're here to talk about the possible villains. There are a few obvious villains that won't be the prime villain (most likely). Those include Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow, Joker and Two-Face. Now, of course any one of these characters could come back for a third film, but chances are Nolan or Warner Brothers won't want to recycle villains like that. The question is what villian makes sense within the scope of the overarching storyline through the first two films. The Dark Knight essentially picked up where Batman Begins left off. Gotham was transformed by Batman, leading to copycats and the rise of the Joker in response to the lack of crime. Both Joker and Harvey Dent were introduced in the film, but their introduction maintained the atmosphere of lawlessness in the face of vigilante crime-fighting. That being said, there are a few villains from the storied Rogue's Gallery that would make a lot of sense for the third film. Here are my top five proposed villains for the third film. Penguin - His ties to the underworld are obvious (no pun intended), and if anything comparisons can be drawn between him and Carmine Falcone from the first film. The first two films have focused on the seedier aspect of Gotham City, so wouldn't it be interesting to focus on the "richer" side of things? Oswald Cobblepot came from money and is a more refined criminal, and it would be interesting to see him interact with Bruce Wayne (at some lavish to-do at his newly built mansion) as Cobblepot (and Batman as the Penguin). Rumors have attached Phillip Seymour Hoffman to the role, but that rumor has been denied. It could just be lip service by the studio however, because I could see Hoffman being a good Penguin. He would bring the necessary swagger to the role without being overboard, and he could easily go toe-to-toe with Bale's Bruce Wayne. Catwoman - The feline thief is almost a perfect foil to Batman. Her motives are always suspect, whereas Batman is always looking to protect the innocent. Nolan has gone on record (I believe) saying that he doesn't really like Catwoman, but if Warner Brothers/DC have any say we may be seeing her in the film. With Rachel being killed by Joker in The Dark Knight, Nolan could need to put Selina Kyle in the third film to create a female foil for Bruce Wayne. Capitalizing on Wayne's grief over her death would be an excellent way to introduce Kyle as the seemingly perfect new girlfriend. If Catwoman were a villain, it would be interesting. She could be the main villain, but she wouldn't really cause much of a stir in Gotham; rather, she would cause grief for Bruce Wayne more as Selina Kyle then terrorize Gotham. That being said, the actor tapped for this role would be acting out of costume more than in costume. Who do I think could do the job well? Rebecca Romijn actually. She played Mystique well in the X-Men trilogy, and she has the looks and decent acting chops to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman as well. Riddler - For as bad as Batman Forever was (not nearly as bad as Batman and Robin), I still feel that Jim Carrey did a decent job as the Riddler. The character is often confused with the Joker, however their approaches to crime are totally different. I'm sure at some point in filming The Dark Knight the thought to carry the Joker over to the possible third film was raised, however there is no chance of this now due to the untimely passing of Heath Ledger. Featuring the Riddler as a villain would be an excellent way to maintain that sort of chaos and anarchy, but from a different angle. Casting the Riddler is tough, because the actor has to fight the urge to tap into Heath Ledger's Joker when playing the role. Ledger actually would've made an incredible Riddler as well just by making his Joker role less primal and more sophisticated. Johnny Depp has been rumored for the role which could work. Honestly, I would suggest Robin Williams. His role as Rainbow Randolph in Death to Smoochy had hints of the Riddler in it, and his work in Good Will Hunting showed the measured intelligence. A Riddler somewhere in between those two characters would be a good match for the character. Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn - I put these two together as a pair because they're best friends. And there are tons of angles you could go with here. Harley could be lamenting the loss of Joker's antics. She wasn't even mentioned in The Dark Knight, but you could easily introduce her as the doctor treating the Joker in Arkham Asylum since his capture (without ever showing Joker) and gradually becoming infatuated with him. Of course, in her outside life she would hang out with Pamela Eisley, emphasizing the friendship between the two of them. You could work in a story where Pamela is jealous of Harleen for all her talk of the Joker, forcing a divide between the two of them. Eventually, Pamela turns to plants for love and becomes Poison Ivy, while Harley goes completely insane and becomes Harley Quinn. The competition could escalate to who can kill Batman first, which would lead to some insane storylines. The problem with these two (at least Poison Ivy) is that Nolan has so far strayed from the fantastic villains. So far, there really hasn't been anything that isn't too far outside the realm of possibility. Sure, most of Batman's enemies are human (or at least started that way), but none of them have laser beams or superpowers or anything (with some exceptions). Poison Ivy's power is predicated on an experiment gone wrong scenario, giving her control over plants. Last I checked, such a power is a tad outlandish. As far as casting goes I could see Jaime Pressly perfect as Harley Quinn and Scarlett Johansson as Poison Ivy. The roles would be interesting for those two respectively, however I think with the right script they could pull it off. Solomon Grundy - Of course, I say above that Batman villains are superhuman and then I go and mention Solomon Grundy. Here's why he works though. Solomon was a Gotham City merchant who was murdered and thrown into Slaughter Swamp, transforming him into half-zombie, half-human entity. Yeah, I know, zombies aren't really keeping with the Gotham City theme. But the writers could totally work in the poverty aspect of Gotham City by showing him dying at the hands of some crime boss when Batman can't get there in time. This would lead Solomon to hold a grudge against Batman, both for his not saving him as well as the lavish lifestyle that Bruce Wayne lives. As part of this grudge he could start wreaking havoc on the streets of Gotham and maybe even go after Alfred to get to Bruce. This would of course assume that Solomon knows that Batman and Bruce are the same, but that wouldn't necessarily be bad to give the character that knowledge. Who would play the hulking behemoth? A lot of CGI, which isn't really Nolan's strongsuit I'm aftraid. Vinne Jones has the size for the character, however this role may be a little different for him. Plus, including a villain that is purely a phsyical specimen doesn't really jive with Nolan's idea of making the film's more psychological. Sure, Batman kicks ass, but it's nameless goon ass. There you have it. My top five guesses for the villain in the next Batman film. Sure, most of them have already been speculated on before, and one (Solomon Grundy) is more of a pipe dream than anything. For the actors playing the roles I really went with the top-of-head actors...there are probably better actors for some roles but I didn't spend day and night thinking about them. Feel free to sound off in the comments agreeing or disagreeing. At least this gives us fans some fodder until the actual villain is announced. Actually, at this point, I'd be really happy just to know the third film was announced.


  1. why not killer croc and his big rock? although they sort of did rehash a villian if but briefly since the scarecrow was in the second one for bout three minutes but they could always refocus on arkham asylum again and it be a whos who of villians get out sort of thing. clay-face might be cool. or mr freeze but they arent really strickly human though. and where is my hank mccoy? what cant meet deadlines on time? tisk tisk


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