Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’: The Villains Will Steal the Spotlight

Matt Reeves’ The Batman will premiere in the summer of 2021, and bring the Caped Crusader back to audiences once more, with yet another actor daring to take on the complex, internally conflicted savior. Robert Pattinson — teen heartthrob and Twilight lead turned Indie star — will jump into the skintight suit that the likes of Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, and George Clooney have all donned. 

Robert Pattinson star of The Batman
Robert Pattinson attends the 56th New York Film Festival screening of ‘High Life’ | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

While this movie is becoming one of the most highly-anticipated DCEU installments to date — despite how far off it is — Robert Pattinson may not be the center of attention. Just because Robert Pattinson will play the protagonist does not mean he will be the one seizing the viewer’s gaze.

Based on the information we have so far concerning the plot, as well as the various actors set to portray Bruce Wanye’s most iconic foes, the villains may just swoop in to steal the spotlight. And, considering Warner Bros.’ recent success with a villain-centric narrative, it may be wise to push forward aligning to the same formula. 

The actors set to portray the villains in ‘The Batman’ are all A-listers

While Robert Pattinson isn’t new to big-budget blockbusters, it’s been quite some time since he has appeared in a movie that speaks to an expansive audience and plays in multiple theaters, at any given AMC, come the premiere. This isn’t to say that he has fallen from fame; however, his villainous co-stars have remained in the spotlight. 

Zoë Kravitz will portray Catwoman. Still riding the wave of success tied to Big Little Lies, Kravitz continues to ascend the ladder to film stardom, as she also plays a significant role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. 

Colin Farrell will take over Penguin from Danny DeVito, which should prove interesting, as the image tied to Penguin (in the film and comic book histories) isn’t necessarily in-line with Farrell’s look. However, Farrell recently starred in Dumbo and boasts a leading role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

And, of course, Paul Dano is set to portray the Riddler, and we couldn’t imagine anyone better for the part. Dano captures unsettling humans with an astonishing, and equally unsettling, sense of ease. There may be a bit of typecasting at play concerning Dano, but the part is destined to perfectly match his skillset. 

From Dano to Kravitz and Farrell, the actors set to portray Wayne’s most iconic foes are all well-established; those involved in the production have clearly placed great stock in the villains. Thus, one would expect that their screen-time and value to the narrative will align with their presumably high costs. This brings us to the plot, which also alludes to a villain-centric spin. 

What will ‘The Batman’ be about? 

The Batman will focus on Bruce Wayne’s detective nature — a facet often dismissed in Wayne’s previous cinematic turns. He will draw connections between the clues as these villainous foes serve to give rise to his heroic identity. Reeves explained:

It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation

SyFy Wire 

Given Reeves’ account, one would expect to see the villains’ actions lead to Batman’s hunt for the truth. Meaning, great attention — in terms of screen-time — will likely be awarded to the villains, while Pattinson operates as the connective tissue. If this is true, the villains’ insanity and criminality will receive the spotlight, as Wanye works to uncover the truth in a quiet and determined fashion (as the character always does). However, that quiet and determined detective may just fade into the background when Colin Farrell’s maniacal Penguin begins a monologue or when Kravitz’s manipulative Selina Kyle commits an act of deception.

Not to mention, the MCU focuses on its heroes and the DCEU has failed to achieve widespread success when they do the same; if The Batman takes notes from Joker, Wayne may just prove less vital than those he aims to take down.