‘The Batman’: DC Should Avoid These Classic Villains in Sequels

With Robert Pattinson in the cowl this time around, The Batman presents a new take on the popular DC Comics superhero. And along with the Dark Knight himself, fans can expect plenty of beloved characters to fill out this new Gotham City. But with so many Batman movies preceding it, here are a few members of the Caped Crusader’s rogues gallery The Batman sequels should leave out of their plans.

‘The Batman’ features some familiar Gotham City villains

Kickstarting a new big-screen incarnation of Gotham, The Batman almost has no choice but to include Bruce Wayne’s allies, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) and James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright). And Batman’s long-running rivalry/romance with Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) is back in play. Given her complicated role in the Dark Knight’s lore, Selina Kyle is perhaps a worthy addition, despite her recurrence in just about every film adaptation of the comics.

That same excuse applies to the other two prominent villains who return to the big screen in The Batman. Both the Riddler (Paul Dano) and the Penguin have been absent from the live-action movies since the 1990s. Despite persistent rumors, Christopher Nolan’s similarly grim The Dark Knight trilogy never touched either character. Both were done justice on TV’s Gotham. But as far as films, they feel like fair game for Matt Reeves’ interpretation.

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These DC Comics villains should not return anytime soon

Catwoman, Riddler, and Penguin might find a gray area through which they can sneak back into theaters. But several other DC villains should be off the table for The Batman sequels. Most notably, Reeves should surprise audiences by leaving the Joker out. Sure, he’s the Dark Knight’s arch-nemesis. But in the past 15 years, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and Joaquin Phoenix have all played him on screen. It’s time for the clown to take a break.

Likewise, Reeves’ dark, visceral approach to the Batman mythology should also preclude him from treading the same narrative ground Nolan already covered. That means Two-Face, Bane, Ra’s al Ghul, his daughter Talia, and Scarecrow should all remain off limits. Unless Reeves’ take on any of those is radically different from what The Dark Knight trilogy did, there are plenty of DC Comics characters who have still not gotten their chance to shine.

‘The Batman’ sequel could pull off revisiting these infamous villains

Even though Ben Affleck’s Batman infamously never headlined his own movie, the same extends to DC villains who appeared in the DC Extended Universe. So Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and even Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) should be exempt from popping up in The Batman sequels. The same can’t be said of two villains who haven’t appeared on the big screen since the 1990s.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman played Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy in the notorious 1997 film Batman & Robin. Ever since, no filmmaker has dared to bring those villains back to a live-action movie. But Reeves already told Collider he’s interested in a “grounded” version of Mr. Freeze’s story. So if The Batman sequel insists on dusting off a villain with big-screen history, that’s a solid option. But with over 80 years of comics, there are plenty of others.

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