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Who's Next?: 10 Villains We'd Like to See in "The Batman" (and 10 That We've Had Enough Of)

Besides having a director and a star, there have been very few details revealed about the next Batman film. The only thing fans have is the possible title, which would be The Batman if things don't change too much. Despite the fact that little is known about the actual script, or what the movie could possibly be like, Matt Reeves has stated that he wants to push The Batman into a new direction that would be truly unexpected. During an interview with New Trailer Buzz, Reeves said, “There’s a chance to do an almost noir-driven detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”

That sounds like it would be far different from the Batman we've seen on-screen before. Sure, there have always been moments of Batman solving crimes, collecting evidence, and trying to piece things together, but never before have the films leaned so heavily on that aspect. Telling a Batman story in such a fresh way would be great, but it would also require the Dark Knight to face off against the right villain. With such a huge rogues gallery, who would be the right fit? There have already been so many Batman villains on-screen that it might be good to use someone new. Then again, maybe it's about time to try one of the older villains again. Either way, there are some Batman villains we'd like to see in the new film and some that have just been overused.

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20 WANT: THE RIDDLER

Riddler

With Matt Reeves stating that he wants to take The Batman in a more noir direction, emphasizing the detective skills of the Caped Crusader, then what better villain to finally make a comeback to the big screen than The Riddler? Sure, the last time he got included in a Batman film, we got Jim Carrey with bright orange hair, but if we can do the Joker again, why not Edward Nygma?

The Riddler has always been one of Batman's toughest foes when it comes to playing mind games. His massive intellect would be a real test to Batman in a new film, and if Reeves really wants to tell more of a detective story and try to take some of the emphasis off of a big final fight, then the Riddler might just be the perfect villain.

19 DON'T WANT: VENTRILOQUIST

The Ventriloquist might not be the most popular Batman villain, but he has made a lasting impression in the comics. He makes for an interesting character because of his dual personalities. There is the ventriloquist himself, Arnold Wesker, and of course, the truly villainous personality personified in the dummy, Scarface.

While the Ventriloquist is not the weakest villain in Batman's rogue gallery, he might not exactly fit the tone of a new Batman film. He is just a little bit too silly to fit in with Affleck's Batman and the tone Matt Reeves wants to aim for. However, it would probably elicit laughs watching Batman fight a dummy with a Tommy gun.

18 WANT: HUGO STRANGE

HUGO STRANGE

Hugo Strange might not be physically strong, but like The Riddler, his intellect is at the same level, if not higher than Batman's. He has proven that even though he is not a brawler, he works perfectly well at manipulating other people behind the scenes, moving people around like pieces on a chess board.

If Hugo Strange were to be featured in the next Batman film, then it could involve his work at Arkham and how he is working to deduce Batman's true identity (which he does). He could then use his superior intellect to begin turning the city against Batman, similar to the story arc taken in Christopher Nolan's films.

17 DON'T WANT: BANE

Bane is certainly a formidable foe for Batman to take on. In the comics, as well as The Dark Knight Rises, he has shown that he is not only incredibly strong, but that he is also very intelligent. However, there is always the risk of that intelligence getting lost in Bane's physical stature.

Take, for instance, his portrayal in Batman and Robin, where he was reduced to a grunting, hulking henchman. That's not to say that Matt Reeves couldn't make Bane more like his comic book counterpart, it's just that because he is mostly known for his physical strength, the end of the film might just end up being another big fight scene, and we've had enough of those.

16 WANT: HUSH

There are several villains on this list who have a deep, personal connection to Batman, and Hush is one of them. Though he is one of the newer additions to Batman's particular group of villains, he is memorable because of his appearance (face wrapped in bandages, trench coat, dual pistols) and his childhood connection with, and deep distaste for, Bruce Wayne.

If Hush was going to be included, the film could really dive into Bruce's past and show what he was like before taking up his journey to become Batman. This was done in Batman Begins as well, and it's a period of Bruce's life that is worth exploring as it is not one that often makes it on screen. It could also focus on how Hush taught Bruce to think like his opponents.

15 DON'T WANT: SCARECROW

Scarecrow has already appeared on film as one of Batman's main foes. It's not that we're against using villains again, but there are so many others that would probably do better in a standalone Batman film than the Scarecrow. After all, since he was a villain in the first film of the last Batman franchise, it might feel a bit too similar.

The Scarecrow is a great Batman villain because he plays on fear just as Batman does, but instead of utilizing his own fear and using it against criminals, he exploits the fears of others. However, if this new incarnation of Batman is going to be more about his detective skills, then playing on the fear angle again might not work as well.

14 WANT: DEADSHOT

Will Smith as Deadshot in Suicide Squad

Will Smith's version of Deadshot is a serious man who has a serious grudge against Batman. In one memorable scene from Suicide Squad, Deadshot's beef with Batman is established, and featuring him in a Batman standalone film could greatly build on the friction between them. It wouldn't even have to be a straight good guy vs bad guy story.

Deadshot is known for working with criminals, but what if in The Batman, he ends up going against the criminals, taking them out in his own way like the Punisher? That would certainly rub Batman the wrong way, and the mystery behind Deadshot's rampage could be the central driving force in Batman's story.

13 DON'T WANT: TWO-FACE

Two-Face is an absolutely classic Batman villain. He has the perfect backstory of once being someone so committed to justice that he wanted to work with Batman. However, a cruel twist of fate creates the villain that Harvey Dent would become. Two-Face was utilized to some good effect in The Dark Knight, but the issue that the film had with him would be the same in a new one.

Two-Face is a character that demands a two-movie arc. It's not enough to have him start the film as Two-Face and have some flashbacks of him as Harvey Dent. His backstory and origin are too dense to pack into one film alone. Harvey Dent could certainly be part of The Batman, but Two-Face should probably wait until there's a sequel.

12 WANT: CALENDAR MAN

Calendar Man started out as being a bit of a joke. After all, he was a man who wore a bright red suit adorned with all kinds of dates and calendar pages. That would be enough to keep him off the big screen forever. However, in the classic Batman storyline "The Long Halloween," by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Calendar Man was reinvented as someone much spookier.

If Calendar Man was the main villain in The Batman, the film could really operate like a classic detective noir. Batman would be able to show off not just his fighting skills, but his research and detective skills as well. If Matt Reeves is actually serious about putting more emphasis on the cerebral parts of Batman's stories, then Calendar Man is the perfect villain.

11 DON'T WANT: POISON IVY

Poison Ivy Batman

Poison Ivy is one of Batman's more prominent villains, and her powers and personality make her a great, endearing character. However, when the question arises of whether she would be good to have in another Batman film, the answer has to be no.

If Matt Reeves really wants to play up the detective aspects of Batman's personality and intellect, then having the story take a science-fiction turn into an eco-thriller about monster plants would be too much of a left turn. Poison Ivy could be revived in Batman films, but filmmakers would be wise to leave her alone for a little while longer.

10 WANT: CLAYFACE

While Clayface may be one of Batman's more unsightly villains, there is something about him that would make him perfect for a Batman mystery: his shapeshifting ability. If the real Clayface only emerged at the end of the film, then the rest of the movie could feature Batman trying to track him down. It could even be a surprise reveal if nothing gets ruined in the trailers.

Since Clayface can mimic anyone with almost perfect accuracy, then Batman's job would be a lot harder. However, it would be fun to see him using some of the old detective techniques like collecting fingerprints and other forensic evidence, only to find that something isn't adding up, even with concrete evidence. It could be an interesting allegory about the inaccuracies that sometimes occur in real police work.

9 DON'T WANT: KILLER CROC

Although he was featured in Suicide Squad and is therefore already canon with this version of the Caped Crusader, there is absolutely no way that Killer Croc should be a solo villain in a Batman movie. Even in the comics, Killer Croc is often a supporting villain, one who is recruited by other people due to his strength and imposing appearance.

Having Killer Croc as a villain would also guarantee that The Batman would turn into a simple slugfest between Bruce and Croc, completely ignoring the fact that the filmmakers want to make a Batman movie that stands out from the others. Killer Croc does not have a cunning criminal mind or any social standing, making him too one-note to carry a film on his big, scaly shoulders.

8 WANT: COURT OF OWLS

The Court of Owls is a lesser-known criminal collective featured in Batman stories. It has already appeared on Gotham, but there could be room in The Batman for a group like the Court of Owls. If the film takes a cue from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then the story could be influenced by political and conspiracy thrillers of the past.

Batman could be on the trail of a serial capturer who is seeking out children with athletic abilities. As he begins to unravel the mystery, he could find that it goes far deeper than what he thought before. This could also be a good storyline to introduce a newer version of Dick Grayson to the films, finally giving the world a new big screen Robin.

7 DON'T WANT: MR. FREEZE

arrowverse elseworlds crossover

Mr. Freeze is one of those Batman villains whose tragic backstory makes him a really great and endearing character. In other Batman media, he has made for a formidable foe and also a tenuous ally to The Dark Knight. However, featuring him in the new Batman film seems like a proposition we wouldn't get behind.

For one thing, Mr. Freeze is more of a front-facing villain. He's not the kind of guy who works behind the shadows, simply because he doesn't have to. His freeze ray is a powerful weapon, one that makes him very conspicuous. Telling a different kind of Batman story would require a villain with a little more finesse.

6 WANT: DR. HURT

Like Hush, Simon Hurt has a personal connection to Batman. However, it is rooted less in real-world personal connections and involves more mystical forces and Wayne family history. That wouldn't be incredibly out of place in a new Batman movie, as we've already seen this version of Batman battling Superman and a bunch of Parademons. At least, that's how it could appear at first.

Due to Simon Hurt's weird history throughout the comics, there are a lot of different directions the character could take. A Batman movie with Simon Hurt as the villain could take a lot of cues from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, in that it would explore a mystery involving “mystical forces” which turn out to be nothing but smoke and mirrors designed to eliminate Batman entirely.

5 DON'T WANT: MAD HATTER

There may not be another classic Batman villain as forgotten and dismissed as the Mad Hatter. He's not the worst villain of the bunch, but he's definitely one that we have to imagine would not translate well to the screen. The Arkham games have tried to make him more menacing, but there's just something too silly about him.

The Mad Hatter often utilizes mind control on his opponents, which in a way, could make for an interesting story. However, Jervis Tetch himself would have to be changed far too much to fit into the Batman film universe. At that rate, there's really no reason to include the character at all and should be left in other Batman media.

4 WANT: ZSASZ

Mister Zsasz

Now, this would make a new Batman movie interesting. Victor Zsasz may not have the sort of household recognition as The Riddler or Clayface, but he is one of Batman's greatest villains simply for the fact that he is unpredictable and truly dangerous. He's not necessarily an agent of chaos like Heath Ledger's Joker, but he is just as twisted.

If Zsasz were to appear in The Batman, it could really play out like a David Fincher film, with one dedicated, but troubled, man (Batman) hunting down someone who is much worse than he is. The film could take a critical look at Bruce's difficult experiences and examine how he himself didn't take the path of a villain, while someone like Zsasz did.

3 DON'T WANT: HARLEY QUINN

Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

While Margot Robbie delivered a standout performance as Joker's right-hand girl in Suicide Squad, it would be nearly impossible to make her the solo villain of a Batman movie. Harley Quinn thrives as either a partner to the Joker, where a director can shine a light on their damaged relationship, or in a group of other criminals.

Quinn has never been the kind of criminal to work alone, and that's where she is at a disadvantage to some of the other villains on this list. While she can certainly hold her own in a fight, she is not a criminal mastermind, so there would be no way for her to plan the sort of crime wave that could fill an entire film.

2 WANT: THE PENGUIN

He may be one of the more laughable villains at times, but there is something to the Penguin that makes him an enduring villain all the same. Like some of the other villains on this list, he's not a man who can take on Batman in a one-on-one fight, but his criminal mind and absolute ruthlessness would make him a great adversary in a more detective-focused story.

If The Batman were to feature the Penguin, he could start off as someone who is fully underestimated by the other crime bosses in Gotham. However, by using his intelligence and some violent means, he could begin to take out the other families and eventually rise to the top. The filmmakers could certainly take some cues from his portrayal in the Arkham games.

1 DON'T WANT: JOKER

Suicide-Squad-Jared-Leto-Joker-Poster

Enough already. That's all we have to say about the Joker at this point. We are dangerously close to a point of Joker oversaturation. With the new Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix in production, and the announcement of another, but different, Joker movie starring Jared Leto's take on the character, is just too much.

Yes, the Joker is an indelible villain and Batman's greatest foe, but there's no reason that a new Batman movie has to keep coming back to this. Besides, Leto's Joker, who is technically in the same universe as Affleck's Batman, was so poorly received, that it would definitely be better to leave him out of it entirely.

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