Villains! Who Should Be The Bad Guy Of The Next BATMAN Movie?

dark-knightWith The Dark Knight making almost $1 Billion worldwide while in theaters and the DVD being one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, it is not a question of will there be a sequel, but who Batman will face in it.

You may have seen in the last few weeks a number of websites giving their two cents as who the villain or villains should be and who should play them. Well, now that almost every other website has given their picks, we here at FilmBuffOnline are going to give ours.

We are going to break it all down for you. Which comic bad guy or girl should be involved, why they make a good choice and why they don’t and which version should they use. And we’ll also give you who we think should play them.

We are naturally going to ignore Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Joker, and Two-Face (All could come back, with recasting to replace Heath Ledger a remote possibility). Instead, we are going to focus on new characters–including ones fans are clamoring for.

Catwoman:

catwomanWho is she?: Selina Kyle is a cat burglar with a heart of gold and a flirtatious relationship with Batman.

Why she’s a good choice: After the events of The Dark Knight (heretofore referred to as TDK), Bruce Wayne could use a little female companionship, preferably someone who could handle herself well in a fight.

The Catwoman character would fit with the realism of the films and the Robin Hood-like nature of the character in the comics would provide a nice contrast to the movie Batman (Both break the law for the greater good). And her story arc would lend itself to a lighter tone, something the franchise could use.

Why she’s not a good choice: It might be a bit too soon for Batman to engage in any romantic entanglements.

Who should play her?: Definitely not Cher. Or, not that it needs to be said, not Hallie Berry either. No offense to either, they are both fine actresses, they just aren’t Catwoman.

Angelina Jolie seems to be the popular choice, but I get the feeling it’s more from a purient desire to see her in skin-tight plether than her considerable acting skills.

My choice would be a little bit unusual. I’d choose Ellen Page. I see the current comic Catwoman as being scrappy yet able to mix in high society. I think Page can pull that off well.

The Penguin:

penguin1Who is he? Oswald Cobblepot, alternately a bird obsessed wacko or a underground crime boss.

Why he’s a good choice: He’s arguably Batman’s #2 villain. And if they play him as a shady nightclub owner as he has appeared as in the comic and cartoons in the last several years, he could fit in with Nolan and Goyer’s realistic style for the films.

Why he’s not a good choice: This would make him essentially a supporting character. And the bird themed crimes and trick umbrellas would make him more of a threat, but would also be too silly for the films.

Who should play him?: Philip Seymour Hoffman has been mentioned again and again. And he’s a great choice. But, in my opinion, Paul Giamatti would be better.

The Riddler:

riddlerWho is he?: Edward Nigma, a criminal whose clues are in the form of, well, riddles.

Why he’s a good choice: He has a psychosis that could work in the “real world” feel of the franchise (heck, the Zodiac Killer sent cryptograms to the press and dared them to solve them) and is well know to the non-comic faithful.

Why he’s not a good choice: He is often portrayed as Joker-lite in various media, which really isn’t what the franchise needs.

Who should play him?: Johnny Depp has been mentioned, but might be too big of a star for the role. A dark horse candidate could be Paul Rudd. Yes, nowadays he’s known as part of the Apatow Repertory Players, but he has done drama in the past (The Shape of Things). 

Mr. Freeze:

mr_freezeWho is he?: Victor Fries, a scientist who, while trying to cryogenically freeze his terminally ill wife, undergoes a lab accident that lowers his body temperature so he has to live at sub-zero temperatures at all time.

Why he’s a good choice: He has a very tragic backstory and really is not evil for evil’s sake, which would be an interesting foe to throw at the film Batman.

Why he’s not a good choice: While freezing people with a big gun might be theoretically possible, Mr. Freeze is just too sci-fi for the current franchise’s realism.

Who should play him?: Can anyone really replace to master thespian, Arnold Schwarzenegger?  Well, Viggo Mortensen could bring the air of melancholy the part needs. And, if The Spirit doesn’t end his career, maybe a chance can be taken on Samuel L. Jackson. Let’s not forget he’s not that bad of an actor.

Poison Ivy:

25556-poison-ivy_400Who is She?: Botanist Pamela Isley was on the recieving end of a laboratory accident which resulted in her having the ability to control plant life and control men with a kiss.

Why She’s a Good Choice: If you take away the psudo-science origin, what you have is a classic femme fatale. Femme fatales can work well in the Bat universe Nolan has created.

Why She’s Not a Good Choice: Using her over the much more interesting Catwoman would be a mistake, especially if you take away the super-powered aspect of her character.

Who Should Play Her?: If you are looking for a redhead to play a femme fatale, look no further than Christina Hendricks (Firefly, Mad Men). 

Bane:

baneWho Is He?: A South American crimelord who is hopped up on a super-steroid called “Venom”. He is the man responsible for breaking Batman’s back.

Why He’s a Good Choice: The idea of Venom can play in the realistic world of the films. And, in the comics, Bane is as much a match for Batman in the smarts department as he is in the brawn department.

Why He’s Not a Good Choice: His character was made into a silent lackey in the Schumacher films, which could have damaged the character permanently.

Who Should Play Him?: The best bet would be finding a professional wrestler type who could act. That pretty much leaves Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Or Vin Diesel, who, don’t forget, did a pretty good job acting in Boiler Room and Saving Private Ryan.

Hush:

hushWho is He? Dr. Tommy Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. He was envious of Bruce and grew up with the mission of destroying everything he held dear.

Why He’s a Good Choice: He’s an evil anti-Batman, a relentless foe that knows all of Bruce’s secrets and wants nothing less than to punish him.

Why He’s a Bad Choice: He’s been greeted with a mixed popularity in the comics. And, really, hasn’t Bruce been through enough?

Who Could Play Him?: Practically any actor approximately the same age as Christian Bale. Someone who could be charming and intelligent one minute and dangerously psychotic the next. Maybe Hugh Dancy, Jake Gyllenhaal or Billy Crudup.

Dr. Hugo Strange: 

hugostrangeWho Is He?: A psychologist with an unhealthy facination with Batman (he wants to become him).

Why He’s a Good Choice:  The crazy psychologist is always a fun character in the movies, and Hugo Strange can fit right in with realistic style of the films. And he gives Batman an opponent that he needs his wits about him to fight.

Why He’s Not a Good Choice: He is very similar to Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow character. Why introduce him when you can just bring Murphy back?

Who Could Play Him?: An actor that excells at playing smart yet creepy characters. I’m thinking John Malcovich or Anthony Hopkins.

Killer Croc:

200px-killer_croc_006Who Is He? He’s a mutant, half-man/half-crocodile creature. Or he is also a gangster with a bad skin condition (in Azzarello and Risso’s Broken City arc)

Why He’s a Good Choice: The mutant Killer Croc would provide more of a physical threat to Bale’s Batman. The gangster Killer Croc would be, well, another gangster for Bats to take down.

Why He’s Not a Good Choice: The former would be too much of a break from the realism of the film franchise. The latter would be more of a background character (as the gamgsters usually are).

Who Would Play Him? The mutant Killer Croc needs to be a hulking brute. Think someone like the UFC’s Brock Lesnar. For the gangster Croc, someone like Danny Trejo or Edward James Olmos.

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About William Gatevackes 1950 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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Rich Drees
Admin
December 30, 2008 12:01 pm

The criteria that Nolan will probably use to choose a villian will be to pick the one that best suits whatever theme he wishes to explore in the film. I think the Riddler would lend himself to Bruce/Batman questioning his own duality. Clayface could conceivably do that as well, but in a different way. Catwoman I have trouble seeing feeding into a strong story theme. I see her more as a potential love interest/supporting character that only marginally impacts the greater story. I think fanboys are just hoping she’s in it so they can lobby to see their favorite hot… Read more »

William Gatevackes
William Gatevackes
January 3, 2009 11:36 am

Oh, I think, if played right, Catwoman could be a major villain for the Franchise. Think about it, if you make her a thief that steal from the undeserving rich to give to the needy poor, she could be a mirror to Batman. Batman works outside the law for the greater good. This could set up a theme of when is it right to break the law and when is it not. I think that is a theme Nolan and company can really explore. And if you keep Selina Kyle, Catwoman’s alter ego, a member of the same society circles… Read more »

Belschaft
Belschaft
May 5, 2009 7:15 pm

Ra’s al Gul again. If they want to stay anywhere nere loyal to the comics he’s not dead despite what people may think.