In an alternate timeline sans the pandemic, Matt Reeves’ The Batman would have been released back in June this year. But sadly, delayed production and the closing of theaters across the globe pushed the date to March 2022. Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffery Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell, The Batman is set in a different universe despite being a part of the DC Extended Universe. Despite having released a single trailer so far, the anticipation for the movie has been sky-rocketing for numerous reasons. With Matt Reeves’ critical and commercial success with Planet of the Apes trilogy to complement a gritty, grounded Batman story in a detective-noir style studded with a stellar cast, the movie can potentially be the first of its kind to establish the detective part of the Dark Knight. Prior to the release of the movie, Matt Reeves has already confirmed that he plans for a trilogy. While it is yet to be seen how the movie fares for a trilogy to really put in action, here are some major villains from the rogue gallery who should be considered for the sequels:
1. Mr. Freeze
Dr. Victor Fries, best known as the supervillain Mr. Freeze is arguably one of the greatest foes of the Dark Knight who is yet to receive his due recognition. While his actions are quite irredeemable, what makes Mr. Freeze such an enduring character is his motivation to find a cure for his ailing wife. In an accident gone wrong, Dr. Victor Fries’ physiology changes, forcing him to wear a cryogenic suit. A genius scientist himself, Mr. Freeze can be a formidable foe who can engage Batman in a battle of wits.
While Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was commendable, it was nowhere near the monstrosity of the character from the comics. Though Bane is mostly known for his brute strength, he is also a genius strategist who almost managed to put an end to the Caped Crusader in a relentless battle of wits and strength in Knightfall. Having been brought up in a hostile environment where he sharpened his survival skills, Bane can push the Dark Knight to his limits.
The childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, Thomas Elliot is also born into a family of wealth and fortune. While Bruce Wayne’s personal tragedy made him one of the greatest heroes of the world, Thomas Elliot’s abusive childhood made him a bitter individual, driving him to the point of murdering his own parents. A brilliant surgeon with a genius intellect, Thomas Elliot’s irrational hatred towards Bruce motivated him to take down his childhood friend. As The Batman is confirmed to be a detective-noir movie, Hush can drive the sequels with surprising twists and plot devices added with an adequate emotional punch.
4. Court of Owls
A secret society made of Gotham’s richest and vilest families, the Court of Owls is a violent cabal that secretly pulls the strings from the dark to wield political influence over the city. As Bruce Wayne declares to re-invent Gotham using his immense wealth and fortune, he quickly finds himself in the crosshairs of the secret society. While the Court of Owls might lack the Joker’s madness, their secretive nature is what makes them truly terrifying.
5. Hugo Strange
One of the most notorious villains of Batman, Hugo Strange was among the first to figure out the Dark Knight’s secret identity. A trained psychiatrist, Strange uses his unparalleled strategic mind to unleash terror on Gotham city by experimenting on his patients. Though Hugo Strange is also a master hand-to-hand combatant, his true strength comes from his devious intellect, which can be a surprising addition to the sequels.
Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal of Harvey Dent aka Two-Face in The Dark Knight packed enough emotional punch to make one feel for the character. Nonetheless, the character needs a revival. His fall from grace after his disfigurement and his subsequent obsession with the concept of duality who sees the world in black and white can be a perfect nemesis to Batman, who mostly operates in the gray region of morality.
7. The Scarecrow
Previously played by Cillian Murphy in Batman Begins, Jonathan Crane aka the Scarecrow can be an interesting addition to the sequels. Having suffered an abusive childhood, Crane slowly became a psychopath as he started experimenting on people to further hone his skills. An unhinged villain who is not driven by wealth or glory, the Scarecrow can be an antithesis to Batman as both suffered trauma at a very young age.
8. Calender Man
A serial killer who uses popular holidays as his modus operandi to commit crimes, Calender Man was first introduced as comic relief before his transition to a disturbing and evasive member of Batman’s rogue gallery who toys with the Dark Knight. Having gained prominence after Batman: The Long Halloween, Calender Man is a perfect addition to Matt Reeves’ planned trilogy which aims to discover the detective side of Batman as he races against time to find clues that can prevent the deaths of innocent people. If done right, Calender Man can be portrayed as a version of Hannibal Lecter terrorizing Gotham which can work wonders for Matt Reeves’ vision.
The Batman is scheduled to release on March 4, 2022.