In less than three months, Matt Reeves’ The Batman will finally drop in one of the high-anticipated films of 2022. It’s been confirmed that The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin, and Carmine Falcone will headline the upcoming DC film as the primary villains; however, should The Batman see massive success at the box office then the world of Gotham will surely continue under the helm of Robert Pattinson. So, who should be the villains of the upcoming Batman features? This list will name five Batman villains who deserve the spotlight in future in films. The only villain exempt is The Joker as he’s been a consistent force throughout each version of Batman and I’m aiming for villains who haven’t had much time in the live-action space.
One of the most known DC villains on the list hasn’t been seen in a live-action movie since the messy Batman & Robin back in 1997. Ivy is still a focal point in animation as the DC villain is one of the leads in the Harley Quinn HBO series. She was also a regular on the Gotham series. Created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff, Poison Ivy first made her appearance in Batman 181 and Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley is one of the more prominent enemies of the dark knight. A sexy and seductive mistress who has no issues watching one of her beloved plants chew you up and spit you out, Poison Ivy brings a different voice to the realistic and gritty world that currently takes place in live-action movies. Noticeably, the Batman villains have been more grounded in the Nolan, Gotham, and Reeves properties. However, Ivy fits nicely into the world of Gotham and there are plenty of directions to go with the eco-terrorist. Perhaps Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are working together? This could actually be a great way to re-introduce the Harley Quinn character as both women are mainly partners in crime or love interests. Quinn is the ying to Ivy’s yang and while the DC vixen would do just fine separately, it could make for a unique dynamic by having these two being the big bads in a future Batman movie.
Victor Zsasz hasn’t truly reached his full potential in his live-action incarnations yet. Zsasz has been rightfully portrayed as a murderous psychopath, but he hasn’t had the chance to lead as the main antagonist. Created by writer Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle, Zsasz made his debut in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 in June 1992 and quickly became one of the more popular villains of the DC universe. Having Zsasz as the main bad guy could actually see somewhat of a Seven-type film, which would work perfectly with the type of character Reeves is working with and it’ll continue to keep the Batman world fresh and vibrant by focusing on a different villain that’s surprisingly rarely seen. Zsasz opens the opportunity for a Batman feature to get its first R-rating, opening a darker and intriguing door for the Batman lore. Batman doesn’t particularly need an R-rating to be great, but if a character like Zsasz is the focal point, then he’ll shine best in the mature rating.
We got a good taste of Two-Face in The Dark Knight, but it’s time to give this villain his spotlight as the main antagonist. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Two-Face made a splash in the Detective Comics #66 as Harvey Dent, a district attorney and one of Batman’s biggest allies. Two-Face has an extremely interesting backstory that has plenty of directions to go. Nolan’s version was somewhat faithful, with the biggest difference being that his face was scarred by fire. Given his mental-illness of bipolar and schizophrenia, Two-Face could actually play as a sympathetic villain or if the filmmakers ignored his tragic childhood, he can also be the criminal mastermind obsessed with duality.
The Mad Hatter
First making his appearance in Batman #49 (October 1948), The Mad Hatter is a play off of Alice in Wonderland’s popular character. A brilliant neuroscientist obsessed with Lewis Carroll’s notable character; he uses his hypnotic skills for mesmerism. The Mad Hatter is pretty much the dark and violent version of what the Alice in Wonderland character would be. Given the gritty and story-based world that Reeves seems to be going for, this feels like the perfect character to play off of Batman’s detective skills. The Mad Hatter has yet to make a live-action appearance in any of the Batman films, but his unique set of skills and the potential of how dark this character can get could bring a different and fun dynamic to the Batman world that has yet to be seen.
The Black Mask in Birds of Prey was a soft and disappointing take on the popular DC villain. Roman Sionis was created by Doug and Tom Mandrake, first appearing in Batman #386 in August 1985. What makes Black Mask standout is the possibility of exploring the world of a cult as he’s the leader of False Facers. It’ll surely contrast to the way Black Mask is often portrayed in cartoons, but a nice and interesting departure from the typical “I want to take over the world” type villain. With Robert Pattinson’s Batman being more of a detective this time around, this fits right up his alley, and it allows the mainstream audience to truly get a feel of what Black Mask can do as a big bad.