Matt Reeves’s latest iteration of the Dark Knight, The Batman, has taken the world by storm as a critical and commercial success. Starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, The Batman sets apart from previous Batman movies with its detective-style noir theme over a flashy, action-packed superhero flick. A gritty and grounded take on the world’s greatest detective, The Batman is a homage to the character’s true essence as a nocturnal creature who works in the shadows. As Pattinson’s Batman is in his second year of crime-fighting, he finds his greatest match to date in Paul Dano’s terrifying Edward Nashton aka the Riddler. As the Riddler leaves a trail of bodies with clues for the Dark Knight to decipher his next move, the movie essentially becomes an investigative drama that pushes Batman to his limits. Though the movie focused entirely on the Riddler as the primary antagonist, it did leave a few clues for the upcoming villains we might see in the future. Here are all the major villains who were teased in The Batman:
1. The Joker
The most obvious tease in The Batman was the brief appearance of the Clown Prince of Crime himself. Portrayed by Barry Keoghan, the Joker appeared at the end of the movie, striking a friendship with the captive Riddler. While it was speculated if the character was actually the Joker, director Matt Reeves finally confirmed that it was indeed the arch-nemesis of the Dark Knight. With his green-tinted hair and hysterical laugh, the Joker is expected to appear in the future. While the Dark Knight has a slew of villains lined up who could appear in the sequels, his saga is never complete without the Joker.
In The Batman, Bruce Wayne’s origin story is slightly altered as it is taken from Batman: Earth One storyline. In the movie, it was revealed that Bruce’s mother, Martha Wayne, comes from the lineage of the Arkhams, instead of being a Kane. As one of the founding families with a rich history, the Arkhams played a crucial role alongside the Waynes in creating Gotham City. Moreover, it was also shown that Martha had a history of mental illness which was ‘hushed up’ by Thomas Wayne. This dark secret was uncovered by a reporter named Edward Elliot, who was eventually murdered by Carmine Falcone at the behest of Thomas Wayne. While it might seem that it can be any journalist working in Gotham, the surname Elliot piqued the interest of long-time fans of Batman. In the comics, Thomas Elliot is a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, who later became the villain Hush. Interestingly, one of Riddler’s clues boldly showed the word ‘HUSH’ on the screen, hinting at the arrival of one of the most dangerous villains of the Dark Knight in the future.
During his fight with a group of individuals who were inspired by the Riddler, Batman takes direct bullet shots at his chest resulting in the vigilante’s temporary incapacitation. As Batman is unable to fight and finds himself helpless, he is forced to take a mysterious injection that suddenly revitalizes him. However, it also makes him extremely aggressive as he takes down one of the thugs viciously and brutally beats him up to the horror of Selina and Jim Gordon. Many fans have theorized that the mysterious serum is probably a diluted version of Venom, mostly associated with Bane. One of the deadliest foes of the Dark Knight, Bane is shown to frequently use Venom which grants him superhuman strength and endurance. Moreover, in the comic series Batman: Venom, it was shown that Batman had once become addicted to the performance-enhancing serum to become a more effective protector, but at the cost of losing his own sanity. While this might seem a long shot and the mysterious serum can just be a general adrenaline dose, there’s a possibility that Matt Reeves included this interesting easter egg in the movie.
4. The Court of Owls
While it was never implied that Gotham is being run by the mysterious cabal named the Court of Owls in the movie, the overall setting and atmosphere did pave the path for this secret organization. Despite being a new addition to Batman’s long list of villains, the Court of Owls has become one of his most sinister foes. Described as a violent and powerful organization that controls Gotham from the shadows, the Court of Owls has infiltrated every corner of the city. As a result, it comes in direct conflict with both Batman and Bruce Wayne, as the crimefighter wreaks havoc on the secret society using his fists and the billionaire constantly tries to make Gotham a better place using his vast wealth. Moreover, the Court of Owls can also serve as an interesting antagonist as it directly connects to the Waynes’ past. Interestingly, Robert Pattinson has also stated that he wishes to have the Court of Owls in the sequel, which has left the fans excited.
Though the movie never really introduced us to Harvey Dent, it did pave the path for the character to appear in the future. In the movie, the District Attorney is shown to be a corrupt individual who was eventually targeted by the Riddler. With the current DA dead, the position is now vacant which has fuelled speculations for the arrival of Harvey Dent aka Two-Face. Since Aaron Eckhart’s iconic performance as Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, the character has witnessed massive popularity which Matt Reeves must capitalize on. Even if the sequel decides not to introduce us to Harvey Dent, the upcoming spin-off based on Gotham PD can easily bring in the iconic villain from Batman’s rogue gallery.
Did we miss any other iconic Batman villain on the list? Let us know in the comments!