After a rough couple of years at the box office, movie theaters are finally seeing audiences return to check out the latest superhero offerings of Spider-Man and Batman. Both films have exceeded box office predictions and are enjoying their place at the top of the box office charts. However, while Spider-Man: No Way Home off Tom Holland’s first trilogy as the web-slinger, The Batman is just beginning Robert Pattinson’s tenure as the caped crusader.
Batman has one of the most recognizable rogues galleries in DC Comics. Fans are always trying to anticipate which villains will get to share the screen opposite the Dark Knight. With The Batman introducing its own unique takes on The Riddler, Catwoman, and the Penguin, Sailor and I thought we would compile a list of villains we’d like to see show up in future sequels to The Batman.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 villains we think Robert Pattinson’s Batman should go up against in a future sequel.
10. Scarecrow (Domhnall Gleeson)
I know the Scarecrow featured heavily in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, but, honestly, I feel he was underutilized. Ra’s al Ghul was definitely the main threat in Batman Begins and his other two appearances could be considered glorified cameos. If The Batman universe is going to tap into the more psychological aspect of Bruce Wayne / The Batman, I feel the Scarecrow is the perfect villain to follow the Riddler. As for why I picked Domhnall Gleeson for the role, no real reason beyond a desire to see him in a comic book movie. Okay, I also think he’s a damn fine actor and would create a take on the character that felt different from what Cillian Murphy did in The Dark Knight trilogy.
09. Anarky (Ashton Sanders)
If Reeves intends on turning The Batman into a trilogy, the best thing he could do, is have each film bleed into the other making it feel like one long arc. The easiest way to do that, is to have themes and characters carry over from one film to the next and since The Riddler already feels like Anarky, he might as well be the inspiration for whoever dons the mask. More of a terrorist than a supervillain, Anarky tackles environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic inequality, and political corruption with murder. He’s kind of like Tyler Durden without the fight club. Oh, and he’s almost always portrayed by a child. He uses a voice modulator and a padded suit to give the appearance of a threatening presence but in actuality, he’s just a scared and confused kid. Batman going up against tech savvy teens would certainly be a change of pace and it could also be the introduction to Jason Todd or any other Robin.
08. Ventriloquist & Scarface (Toby Jones)
Gotham City is riddled with colorful crime bosses, but none are quite as wooden as Scarface. Merely a vessel for the Ventriloquist to channel his more aggressive thoughts, the duo may seem too ridiculous for inclusion in a sequel to The Batman, but I don’t see this as a main antagonist role. Instead, I feel that the Ventriloquist and Scarface could act as the orchestrators of the plot having a different villain carry out the more public work. Originally, I thought it would be fun to have Al Pacino voice Scarface in a nod to his past work, but then I remembered that Toby Jones is quite the voice actor. I have no doubt he could effortlessly switch his voice between sounding like a rough gangster and a timid, soft-spoken old man. I know he sort of played this role already with Arnim Zola in Captain America, but this would be Arnim Zola if he also had his hand up the Red Skull’s ass controlling his every thought. And, c’mon, who wouldn’t want to see that?
07. Mad Hatter (Robert Sheehan)
My problem with “the serious take” on Batman, is that it limits the director’s opportunities for villains. Matt Reeves will never use Clayface or Man-Bat or any of the more ridiculous villains in Bat’s rogues gallery. Unless he goes crazy in the sequel, all of the baddies will be grounded in reality, so the compromise would be to find villains that straddle the line. The Mad Hatter kidnaps little girls named Alice to recreate the tea party scene from the Lewis Carroll novel. So imagine an abandoned theme park he dressed up to look like Alice in Wonderland complete with brain washed Arkham inmates made up to look like playing cards and caterpillars and so on. It could work within this universe while also offering something new and dark. I picked Robert Sheehan to play him because I’m a fan of his work on Umbrella Academy and I can see him tapping into the deranged darkness of the character.
06. Poison Ivy (Jessie Buckley)
I think we can all agree that Batman & Robin did not do Poison Ivy justice. Along with the film’s horrible depiction of Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy’s characterization was butchered. I mean, when Batman: The Animated Series is basically handing you a perfect way to adapt and portray the character, why would you try and camp it up? It makes no sense! Anyway, in recent years, the character has grown in popularity thanks to her partnership/romance with Harley Quinn. While I would rather see the character make the jump into the DC Extended Universe, so we could see this relationship blossom against Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, a recent interview with The Batman‘s Colin Farrell had me changing my mind. Apparently, Farrell was asked what he thought about Jessie Buckley playing Poison Ivy in a sequel, and Farrell thought it was such a good idea that he was going to text director Matt Reeves the suggestion. Honestly, I’m not sure how Poison Ivy would work in a more grounded comic book setting, but Jessie Buckley is damn near perfect casting. She’s been killing it for the last few years and a role like this could make her into a household name.
05. Salvatore Maroni (Nicolas Cage)
One of the major plot points of The Batman is a historic drug bust that brought down Gotham’s biggest crime lord Salvatore Maroni. Which sounds like some serious sequel bait to me. Without giving away the ending to the film, there are multiple ways you can explain how he got out of prison and there are multiple ways you can take his character. He could start a gang war to usurp power. He could go on a bloody warpath of revenge against the GCPD or he could target Batman. Hell, you could cast a big name actor in the role, make him the main bad and have him do all three. Nic Cage is in a bit of a career resurgence right now, so why not capitalize off his heat and give him a great villain role in a big tent pole movie. Cage could go subtle like his performance in Pig, go over the top like Mandy or do a mixture of both. Anyway he decides to do it, it’ll be memorable.
04. Hush (Evan Peters)
Until Batman: The Animated Series created Harley Quinn and reworked established villains like Mr. Freeze, Batman’s rogues gallery hadn’t had too many new standout additions to it. The Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Two-Face; they all had decades of comics history by the time the 2000s rolled around. Batman needed a fresh foe to challenge him. Enter Hush. The 2002-03 twelve-issue storyline proved immensely popular with both fans and critics, and an adaptation of the run has topped various lists ever since.
If Reeves continues to slowly introduce villains in the sequels and expand on what makes Gotham tick then Hush would be the perfect antagonist to conclude Pattinson’s time as the Dark Knight. A finale that includes a dozen of Batman’s most well-known rogues sharing the screen in live-action for the first time? Uh, yes please. Evan Peters has plenty of experience playing in the superhero sandbox (Kick-Ass, X-Men), but he is also known for his dramatic work in American Horror Story and Mare of Easttown. I think he’d bring the right energy to the project and would be a great foil to Pattinson’s Bat.
03. Professor Pyg (Ryan Hurst)
Lazlo Valentin is a a scientist who suffered a schizophrenic breakdown that led him to become a supervillain who wears a pig mask. His modus operandi? He kidnaps people and disfigures them in the attempt to make them “perfect”. He’s one of Batman’s darkest and weirdest villains but I think you can take him even further. What if instead, he kidnapped animal research team and sews dead animal parts on them. He clearly wouldn’t be a main villain but an evil eco terrorist that’s disfiguring Gotham’s elite could tie into the plot somehow. Maybe he kidnaps the son of the Mayor or something. I don’t know, I just want to see Batman punch creepy Moreau monsters.
02. Hugo Strange (Jonah Hill)
Hill famously passed on The Batman with reports saying he either had creative differences with the director over the Penguin and others saying he wanted to play the Riddler. Either way, he clearly wants to do something new in his career, so cast him as the smartest villain Batman has ever gone up against. Years ago, that would be insane casting but he’s proven himself a hell of an actor with two Oscar noms and another Scorsese project coming up. He’s no longer the funny fat kid from Superbad, he’s a legit talent with some serious acting muscle. I want to see him tap into the dark side.
01. Mr. Freeze (Jason Isaacs)
It still pains me to this day that Batman & Robin took Mr. Freeze’s updated tragic origin story from Batman: The Animated Series and gave it a campy coat of paint. Arnold Schwarzenegger was horribly miscast and all anyone can remember from his portrayal were his damn ice puns. (Why were there so many ice puns?)
While Mr. Freeze would never have worked in Nolan’s realistic take on The Dark Knight, the world Matt Reeves is introducing doesn’t seem too afraid with getting a bit comic book-y. If a sequel were to focus on Mr. Freeze it could offer audiences something they haven’t seen a lot of in Batman movies: a sympathetic villain and a Gotham capped in snow. I’d personally love to see Batman fighting in the snow against Mr. Freeze, who is only doing what he has to to ensure his wife’s survival. Originally, I planned on finding an actor closer to Pattinson’s age to act as a sort of mirror to the other’s tragedy, but Jason Isaacs changed that. If you mix his cold, calculated, and compelling portrayal of Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies with his heartbreaking performance in the recent film, Mass, you have yourself the perfect Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze. If there’s any character that deserves a shot at cinematic redemption it’s Mr. Freeze, and I hope Matt Reeves gives it to him in a sequel to The Batman.
Which Batman villains do you want to see appear in the sequel to The Batman? If you’ve seen the film, make sure to only share spoilers in our dedicated Spoil Away post here.