And so it became that Robert Pattinson, he of Twilight fame, became the newest man to don the cape and cowl. We have a new Batman looking to enter the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), and Matt Reeves promising a film that follows a whole rogues gallery of comic book foes. But who will come up against Pattinson in The Batman? We’ve listed ten Batman villains we want to see in the DCEU and who should play them.
10. HUSH (DR THOMAS ELLIOT)
Created by: Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee
Hush, the bandage faced villain with a perchant for the brown trench coat is actually Dr Thomas Elliot a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. Both were the only children of their rich parents, but while Thomas and Martha Wayne were kind and loving parents, the Elliots were cold and cruel. A botched murder attempt by a young Elliot left his father dead and his mother disabled thanks to some work by Thomas Wayne.
The idea of a big villain centric batman movie calls to mind Hush which was a large ensemble story arc, so it’d make sense for him to be the grandmaster of it all, while also providing a little backstory and emotional punch for the caped crusader.
Ideal Casting: Zac Efron
Had it been the Affleck Bat, the obvious choice would have been Matt Damon, but for Pattinson, the best thematic counterpoint would be someone like Zac Efron, who has shown his action chops and is currently creeping everyone out as Ted Bundy.
9. PROFESSOR PYG (LAZLO VALENTIN)
Created by: Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert
Pyg is a newer villain the the mythos of Batman but is utterly terrifying, if a noir bent is the flavour Reeves is aiming for he could do worse than an insane doctor trying to make people into a perfect version of themselves. Originally a villain for new Batman Dick Grayson, Pyg is as bonkers as it comes and could offer a new villain (and fun halloween costume) for the fans of superhero movies.
Ideal Casting: Jemaine Clement
Both physically imposing, a little wacky, and a total left field choice, Clement would bring a sense of macabre comedy to the film while also being truly terrifying.
8. MISTER FREEZE (DR VICTOR FRIES)
Created by: Paul Dini and Bruce Timm (previous versions by Dave Wood, Sheldon Moldoff and Bob Kane)
Unfortunately synonymous with awful ice puns thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal, of all the Batman villain, Freeze is the one that has the best origin. Taking the Batman: The Animated Series route of a brilliant scientist desperate to find a cure for his wife Nora’s incurable disease (sometimes called McGregor’s syndrome), Freeze also shows early symptoms so puts his wife into a coma and cryogenically freezes her to stop the spread of her illness, while he does the same, walking in a suit of perpetual ice to keep himself safe from sickness but also able to work. He’s a more tragic figure, a good man doing what he can for the love of his life and one that Batman actively feels great sympathy for. It could give a lot of context to why Batman does what he does, the justice he seeks and raise valuable questions about the legacy of his father as a doctor and philanthropist vs the playboy son the world thinks he left.
Ideal Casting: Bryan Cranston
Cranston can play sympathetic villains, having lived eight years or so as Heisenberg, looks great bald and can give good menace, while also looking like someone who could make the philosophical argument for letting him to continue doing what he’s doing.
7. GREAT WHITE SHARK (WARREN WHITE)
Created by: Dan Slott, Ryan Sook and Lee Loughridge
You’ve not heard of Great White Shark, have you? A fairly minor villain in the Batman world, he sort of falls into the usual insane Arkham guy type that Victor Zsaz usually fills, but GWS is a much more striking visual. A former banker, a crook who committed white collar crime, White is sent to Arkham to make a show of his particular nasty behaviour, there he’s hated by staff and inmates alike – even The Joker thinks he’s scum – again, a film that could look into the morality of what Batman does, a night in Arkham leaves him with no nose, ears, eyelids or lips and becomes the go-to guy for Arkham inmates to get their contraband from. He couldn’t be the arch villain but as a minor informant and a terrifying one at that he would cut a striking image.
Ideal Casting: Sean Harris
Harris might be getting bored of being the go-to Hollywood weirdo by now but thanks to Prometheus and two Mission: Impossible films, Harris is a recognisable actor and one who could bring a level of threat to a very human but disturbed villain.
6. THE COURT OF OWLS
Created by: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
The Court of Owls are not one person but a secret society that have operated since at least the 1600s. To use them as the villains could be the centre of a huge conspiracy, think of them like the DCEU version of Hydra. Operating for centuries as a society keeping order and balance, along with a secret army called the Talons, enhanced people who prove a match for Batman. A film about a society forcing things into play, not just in Gotham but the world would add a level of continuity to most films – perhaps tying into the WW1 / Cold War threads of Wonder Woman movies. The members are numerous and throughout history and a film involving them could dive into the history of the DCEU, and their ties to the supernatural.
Ideal Casting: Well, there’s no one member, so casting would really be down to the role and scope. Though it wouldn’t hurt to throw Kevin Conroy a little cameo as a member.
5. LADY SHIVA (SANDRA WU-SAN)
Created by: Dennis O’Neil and Ric Estrada
Lady Shiva is an interesting prospect, much like Catwoman she straddles the line between villain and anti-hero, having allied herself with the League of Assassins and Ra’s Al Ghul, she is also the mother of second Batgirl Cassandra Cain – a character due to appear in Birds of Prey – which could mean either she is coming on the horizon or could be introduced for a deeper more emotional core. Either way, she’s a stone cold killer, and martial arts expert and more than a match for the Bat.
Ideal Casting: Jing Tian
Tian has had a few roles in Hollywood movies, notably in Kong: Skull Island and Pacific Rim: Uprising, but as Shiva she might finally come into her own as a bonafide movie star and showing off her acting chops as well as some hard action movie badassery.
4. POISON IVY (DR PAMELA ISLEY)
Created by: Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff
Poison Ivy is a strange character, she’s probably going to appear as some point in Gotham City Sirens as she is an ally and lover to Harley Quinn. Looking to introduce some LGBT members to the world, Ivy in the comics in more recent years has been reimagined as a more anti-hero, looking to protect mother nature and plant life even if it comes at the cost of human life. Batman’s high-tech world and the world of plants could make for an interesting thematic point and much like the best antagonists, give Bruce Wayne a little food for thought. Dealing with the carnage so many heroes leave in their wake, Ivy could bring a more peaceful counter point.
Ideal Casting: Isla Fisher
Fisher is a great actress who has yet to get a role she can sink her teeth into. In both The Great Gatsby and Nocturnal Animals she’s shown an ability to go darker and more sensual in her portrayals as well as a flair for comedy, she’s also not an obvious choice which might make the more anti-hero bent seem more viable than an old fashioned femme fatale.
3. THE RIDDLER (EDWARD NYGMA)
Created by: Bill Finger and Dick Sprang
The Riddler is a very interesting type of Batman villain, one that could be reimagined in many ways. The best and most chilling way is as a Jigsaw-style terrorist, setting traps that could kill but forcing people to use their intelligence to live, or killing those he deems ignorant. An unseen force that tests Batman’s detective prowess as well as his hero antics could be a dark and interesting way, taking a leaf from the Earth One version where his traps are to weed out the dumb from the smart.
Ideal Casting: David Tennant
Tennant is a great actor who has yet to crack the movies while a stint as The Doctor, and turns on Broadchurch, Jessica Jones and now Good Omens have cemented him as a talented actor and fanboy favourite his movie work is yet to kick into gear. This could give him a chance to really get sinister.
2. THE PHANTASM (ANDREA BEAUMONT)
Created by: Alan Burnett and Paul Dini
The Phantasm has only really appeared in one movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and the occasionally cameoed in comics, but as a character is a great thematic counter-point to the Bat. Andrea Beaumont was a former fiancee to Bruce Wayne, one who nearly swayed him away from his life of crime fighting when he was a young college man. If this is to be early in his career, Beaumont and her vengeful masked alter-ego Phantasm could work wonders for a noir mystery where Batman must fight and uncover the secret of who this vigilante is. Beaumont is also interesting because she is the id to Batman’s ego, she too suffered a loss that drove her to donning a cape and mask so it could very well be a chance to do something action packed and emotional.
Ideal Casting: Georgina Campbell
Currently being seen as Lyta-Zod on Krypton, Campbell won a Bafta for her role in Murdered by my Boyfriend, as well as rave reviews for her turn in the third season of Broadchurch and of course Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ. A rising star, Campbell could also open the way for an emotional and caring Beaumont, while bringing menace to Phantasm.
1. RA’S AL GHUL, TALIA AL GHUL & THE LEAGUE OF ASSASSINS
Created by: Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams (Ra’s Al Ghul)
Dennis O’Neil and Bob Brown (Talia Al Ghul)
Despite being portrayed as the arch-villains of the Nolan trilogy, the League of Assassins never got the true justice they deserved thanks to the more grounded realism of those films. Ra’s Al Ghul is a warlord, an eco-terrorist and martial arts expert who deems Batman intelligent enough to be a worthy heir to his empire as well as using life extending pits across the Middle East. While Talia, his favourite daughter, is someone who is both an intimidating villain but also someone with whom Bruce has fallen for time and time again. A film involving that two-pronged attack is both a physical and emotional fight that Batman all to often doesn’t get.
Ideal Casting: Oded Fehr, Berenice Marlohe
Fehr has played Ra’s before in animated form, but his time as Medjay warrior in The Mummy films he possesses both the intimidating stature as well as the refined intelligence needed to portray one of the worlds biggest threats. While Marlohe is probably best known for her turn as a Bond girl in Skyfall, she too has the right amount of sex appeal and threat to pull off someone who can break batman’s heart as well as an arm or two.