Who’ll Be the Next ‘Batman’ Villain?

Van Jensen

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book writer. In addition to ComicMix, he contributes to Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. He lives in Atlanta, and his blog can be found at graphicfiction.wordpress.com.

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47 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Since they've gone to the trouble of setting Batman as being on the run from the police, we'll see that followed up on. Gotham is now a city divided. Some people still supporting Batman, whether they believe the fact that he killed cops or not, and some who feel they were betrayed.We'll see a character come along who promises to bring Batman in. A character who was initially inspired by Batman's ideal, but later realized he's been tricked. One who's been able to bring in criminals without hurting anyone, and stay a step ahead of the Batman.Dick Grayson. Grayson's parents were killed by Maroni's men some years ago. He was made a ward of the owner of the circus. He's helped manage the circus for a while now. He's marketed the circus as a fashion brand (think Circe de Soleil) designed a line of athletic wear and is a fairly succesful businessman in Gotham. He's friends with Bruce Wayne (Bruce heard about how his parents died, and has been a supporter of his endeavors ever since) and are often seen at the same parties. The police (or at least Gordon's team) will be in the position of having to stop a guy who's gaining popularity with the public, because he "doesn't know the truth".Batman will realize the mysterious new vigilante has connections to the circus. This will make him think he's got a connection to the Joker. He'll be afraid it's all a plot, and will take more extreme steps to stop him than he has before.Dick Grayson is what Bruce could have been. Bruce had no family to help him though his pain, Dick did. Dick used his wealth to help the unfortunate victims of violent crime in Gotham directly; Bruce is making sure it doesn't happen again. once again, we have a mirror held up to Batman and his actions, which they seem to like to do.

    • Charles Davis says:

      Dick Grayson was the first Robin, you can't bring Nightwing into the mix without the whole Robin issue and why him and Batman stopped working together.

  2. Shane Kelly says:

    Actually, they don't really close the whole Harvey Dent being dead thing…Remember the height from which he dropped Maroni…Furthermore, no one else is really aware of the shape Dent was in after the kidnapping incident, and that they wanted to keep his name and message clean, as an example for others to follow. Hence, why Batman spoke with Gordon about telling people that he was to be blamed…not Harvey. I see it as Dent being spirited away to Arkham, to begin a rehabilitation program, to clean himself up. All does not go well, when Two-Face escapes to the underground, where he takes over for the mob, finds Mr. Reese and is informed of Batman's alter ego. Dent then goes on a crusade to destroying everything regarding Batman and Bruce Wayne…and on and on…All the while the cops are after Batman, attempting to bait and entrap him…Rival mobs attempt to hire colorful bounty hunters (i.e Deadshot, Deathstoke, and the like, because the Joker did a pretty good job, so why not hire other freaks) to do what everyone else seems to be doing…Bringing in or killing the Batman.

  3. Allan Lamberti says:

    don't forget the sly "cat"woman reference in the film – not as blatant as the joker in "begins," but it's therean idea i came up with is…what if the next movie is set 5 or 10 years in the future, significantly more than a year like the first two installments? you could easily call the film "the dark knight returns," but you certainly don't have to do something like the comic of the same name – gotham is worse than it has ever been because bruce wayne stopped being batman for such a long time – you gray up christian bale to make him a bit older – and you build a story from that

  4. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    I seem to remember Christopher Nolan saying in a interview (Batman Begins) that he wasn't going to use Robin in any of his films.Hope that remains true. Never did like Robin (comic or film or tv-wise).

    • Anonymous says:

      I think I remember hearing somewhere that Christian Bale said upfront that he would not be in any movie that had Robin in. Something about taking away from the darkness…

  5. Douglass Abramson says:

    The Riddler origin that you're remembering is the Batman Forever movie origin. It has nothing to do with the comic book version and I don't think that anybody doing these movies wants to do anything that Schumacher did.

    • Van Jensen says:

      Not sure if the "you're" is pointed my way, but I wanted to clarify that this comes from another blog, not me. Still, it would be clever.

  6. David says:

    I've read that David Tennant is interested in playing the Riddler. I'm hoping that after he's done with the Doctor he can do that. He made a great villian in Secret Smile and Harry Potter.

  7. Nathan Strawn says:

    First off, i just dont think harvey dent or the joker will return in any more of the movies. Think about it, harvey dent was obviously dead, they showed the funeral and with the joker well, R.I.P Heath Ledger, u did a great job but i dont think anyone wants to follow up after his terrific performance. The second thing, you notice that the majority of the actors are British, so u know the next bad guy is going to be British or at least that's what is has lead me to believe. I think the next bad guy is going to be the Riddler, a very interesting, not to convictive, but christopher nolan can definitely make him dark. Now there are many british actors like jude law, orlando bloom, ewin mcgregor and ralph fiennes in my idea would be good choices. But if i could pick anyone who looks crazy in the head and would be an ideal candidate for this position, it would be Guy Pearce. And if you've heard of him, then you know how good he is. Nolan already worked with him in the amazing movie Memento and looks like he can freak people out. I think he would be amazing as the riddler and even reminds me of him, just throwing out the suggestion, what do the rest of u think?

    • in too deep says:

      apparently the british actor david tennant has been rumoured to be the riddler, but i think it may the disgruntled employee who threatened to show batman is bruce wayne. He may be let go from wayne enterprises and change his name to Edward Nigma, the riddler, this is just a guess it probs wont be right but aw well, just wanted to tll of the roumor that david tennant may be the riddler.

    • klayton1 says:

      Guy Pearce and heath ledger are Australian not british.If you were to cast someone as the riddler i couldnt think of anyone better than johnny depp and i f nolan found a way to stick to his vision and portray a realistic penguin then phillip seymore hoffman would be perfect

      • droberts_30 says:

        i like the idea of johnny depp…. but not as the riddler, why not make johnny depp the new joker. he's already weird enough and would fit the part very well…. what do you think

  8. andrew sosa says:

    the movie should take place some time after the dark knight and show how BAD gotham has become do to what has hapened in the dark knight and all the new villians that flooded over the years by showing arkam with top villians like mr freze clayface joker and whoever else locked away in maxium security and two face should be locked away secretly ras ah gul should return in recarnation or his daughter and he/her should find out about what harvey dent has become and will bust him out to show the word twoface the wayne mansion should be fully rebuilt with a full batcave and a new batmobile

  9. Anonymous says:

    If in the next film they have the Riddler as the new villain, they should either also introduce Catwoman or Bane as a secondary villain for the film. Each would bring something new to the story—Catwoman could be a new love interest for Batman or simply someone who is bordering between being a villain or helping batman. As for Bane–in the comic books, Bane was the only one to actually 'break' the Batman–snapping Batman's spine and leaving the city of Gotham in Bane's rule–also, if Bane worked together with the Riddler–they would have both brains and brawn–a perfect team.

  10. Nick says:

    I keep thinking back to " I am Legend". Towards the beginning of the movie the there is a poster for Batman and superman. "I am Legend takes place in 2010 which would be about perfect for the next Batman release. Who else better to save Batman's Rep then Superman

  11. Anonymous says:

    Honestly I think that what most of you have said could be in part true. By this i would like to remember to you all that the peculiarity that made both batman begins and the dark knight have such a great public was the fact that Nolan made the characters look real. I mean that they could have been real in our society. This is what people like now, not anymore like in the 1990's when there were all those villains with super powers or paranormal actions (poison ivy, clayface, freeze, bane and so on…)Robin is out of the series as Nolan said before doing batman begins, so no one has to worry about that. The only real characters who are listed as not being super human are the penguin and the riddler, (which i really hate both), catwoman could be in it but the fact that she can climb walls and skyscrapes doesnt really help the matter, even she has something not normal…but this is what i think, if Nolan wants to put other characters up there its his own choice…but i once again think that reality is better paranormal activities…

  12. capt howdy says:

    well i dont think it will be Mr Reese to play the joker. it doesnt fit really. think about it. edward nigma was a scientist with wayne enterprise. not a bean counter. what about these supervillains like The monk, the hangman, or doctor death. they are some of the dark knights first super villains.

  13. Ricardo says:

    I want ::The Riddler- Johnny DeppPoison Ivy- Helena Bonham-Carter

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Mad Hatter – William Moseley?Or Black Mask – Doug Jones (voice provided by a Computer sppech function or something)Or Hugo Strange (his name might need changed to sound more 'realistic') – Tim Curry

  15. wildbill says:

    Brad Pitt as The Riddler. Angelina Jolie as Cat Woman…. Jack Black as The Penguin ???

    • Anonymous says:

      Well that's just about the very worst casting job I have EVER read…I hope that you weren't serious?All "decent" actors when giving the approriate character…but not in this type of movie….maybe in the batmans of the 90's…

  16. Tyson Durst says:

    Another plot thread that should be addressed in the third film is the fact that the Harvey Dent coverup isn't a secret between just Gordon and Bats. Ramirez got the lucky toss so she knows all about Two-Face. Didn't Ramirez mention that she had hospital bills to pay? Gee, I wonder how much that story might be worth to the press. And maybe they could address the plot hole in the climax of DK where the city is on high alert and has the national guard called in, yet absolutely nobody thought it might be a good idea to do a quick check of the ferries before leaving port and make sure there aren't dozens of barrels of explosives in the cargo hold that would be obvious to anyone who isn't blind if such a person were to do a quick walk-through. Whoops.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They will ruin the series if they introduce Catwoman into the movies….CAT WOMAN…how retarded can you get…I woman who dresses herself up as a cat? We already accept BATman because…well just because…but the idea of a woman who thinks she's a cat and shit….wouldn't fly…at least I wouldn't go see it…Riddler would be interesting…but like one of the other comments on here said, they did a great job making the villains realistic…stick with what works…

  18. JS says:

    With all the special fx available to Studio and with all the money they already spend on movies I just wished they'd be more creative and think a little outside the box… that's why I enjoyed the Batman Begins because they introduced some new villains (not used already in the pre Batman Begins franchise), the likes of Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul. So besides those old favorites like Penguin and Riddler… how about we see something new like Killer Croc, Man Bat, Clayface (as mentioned by others), Deadshot (as mentioned before), Deathstroke (as mentioned before) or how about doing a whole storyline based around Harley Quinn and The Royal Flush Gang and how they are trying to bust out the Joker since he's in Arkham Assylum and maybe even end it on a cliffhanger of the Joker getting away setting up a possibility to Batman 4 and so on.

    • Ryanodamonkey says:

      First of all I love the new batman films I think there amazing. The realistic and 'darrk' theme doe sthe character the justice he's been missing for years. In terms of batman villains I think tjhe best two would be Black Mask and Lady Shiva. The Batman story has been tied to the mob quite strongly and it would make sense for the mafia to bring an ruthless new crime lord to straighten out the city. Shiva could be brought in as an assassin sent by the league to try and kill Batman because of the events of the first film. She could be a reverse Dent starting out as a villain and eventually growing to like Batman. She could also be a hitman from Black mask and fails because she gets too close then Blackmask couls bring in someone else (Deathstroke, Bane..). If he uses Bane I hope they dont make him just a muscle bound idiot as his comic book version was much more dangerous, strong and smart. As for the title it should be called Knightfall to keep the theme going

  19. Victor says:

    Heard Depp would be riddler im kina hopein, someone siad something about Jack Black ad Penguin, now I dont know much about penguin but Black as a Batman Villian seems interesting. But I think you guys are gettin to ahead of yourself. I think Nolan will make the right decisions, on where to take the movie, but keepin robin out would make it great either way, he seems to know what hes doin, and can make it better then both begins and DK, well IDk mayby the Joker made Dk. Really before nolan made Begins I always hated Batman I thought he was the worst hero ever, now I love batman and its amazing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Honestly angelina jolie as the catwoman would not work. just wouldn't but what like many of you have said needs to happen is the storyline about what happens after batman is being hunted by not only gotham's criminals and law enforcement. how the city slides back down.. but with gorden being commishiner don't know how well that would work. let's give nolan time to dent out a script before we contemplate who's playing whom. as for the whole robin angle wouldn't work. Robin is to light and cheery for these batman movies..

  21. Gepeto says:

    no robin end of….for batman3 jack black as penguin sounds cool or one of the soprano actors to keep that mob feel eg like a joe pesci in goodfellas [a mob dude who wants his money but joker burnt it]…..catwoman is the most challenging jessica beil before you shoot me down check out the trailer for powder blue on trailer addict [shes got it body /strength/ beauty/ burnette ]a feline catbuglar …………reese as riddler and set it up for batman4 arkham asylum mayor crashes in the narrows held up in arkham by joker/twoface/scarecrow/riddler/penguin and they want the bat for trade…. and the cat decides to help him? or is that to much

  22. Recursive says:

    I like JS' suggestion about quinn and the royal flush gang. I could see a clever and very dark story revolving around those characters. There's a lot of options for a great screenplay so I thinks its pointless to speculate. Although after seeing The Dark Knight three times now I can't help but notice Lucious mention "it'll do great against cats" after he does a redesign of batmans suite. Guess we'll just have to see in another 3 years or so.

  23. Taylor Hall says:

    Actually, The Riddler will be in the next nd im 80% sure he'll be played by Eddie Murphy. I'm also 75%-80% sure Robin will also be in the next one nd will be played by Shi' LaBouf

  24. Markie says:

    Forget villains for a minute lads and lassies,they have to put robin into these movies at some stage.And I think I know the perfect guy to play him….. So were talking young,fit and sexy right?Emile Hirsch Aka speed racer.now that may sound a little silly now, but if you look up dick grayson and Emile Hirsch he's absolutely perfect in my opinion,now think of him later in life as knightwing? Pure genius…

    • Batmanfan says:

      Johnny Depp is set to play the Mad Hatter in a twisted Alice in Wonderland film. I think it will carry over and Depp will play the Mad Hatter in the next Batman.

  25. Anonymous says:

    talia al ghul will be the next girl for bruce wayne / batmans love intrest ra al ghul or bane for next villian or ever black maskther will be no lazurs pits if it is the deamonds head

  26. anonymous says:

    If you watched the movie they didnt kill of the joker so the joker can come back but a differnt perons will have to play the joker and harvey dent is alive batman just killed the district attorney did you notice how he turned his face over batman wanted everyone to see harvey as a good guy but in actuallity he killed harvey that was too short of a role for a big character like two face

  27. FromHell says:

    With The Joker locked away at arkham, who could possibly take up the mantle….well how about Harley Quinn? I think it would be a good way to keep the chaos alive. The Riddler would need some excellent writting which i think the Nolan Bro's could manage.

  28. Carlitos says:

    What about Victor Zsasz, he's already appeared in Batman Begins escaping from Arkham, (just check for the markings on his neck). Granted i don't think he'll be a main villain but should definately be in it as a nuisance to batman. Cat Woman has to be in it since the only other woman which has appeared, Rachel Dawes has died.

  29. Sam says:

    I believe that they should bring in a female villan, my idea would be to bring in Harly(the girl clown who was obessed with the joker) and make her carry on the joker's plans the tare up Gotham and the batman. Its a fantastic idea it just has to be thought through better.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I think having Black Mask as the main villain would be good, he goes really well with the mobster theme Nolan has done, or even The Great White Shark would be good to see. And Deadshot would be sweet, he's not afraid of dying and Batman won't kill, that sets up a great closing fight scene.

  31. Batwinged says:

    Cher 'to play Catwoman' in next Batman filmThe 62-year-old singer and actress is reported to be in talks to play Catwoman opposite Christian Bale in the third Batman film from British director Christopher Nolan.The Oscar-winner will join a cast that includes Johnny Depp as The Riddler as she plays the whip-carrying burglar. The character has also been played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry.A studio executive said: "Cher is Nolan's first choice to play Catwoman. He wants to her to portray her like a vamp in her twilight years."The new Catwoman will be the absolute opposite of Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry's purring creations."Filming of the new Batman instalment, provisionally entitled The Caped Crusader, is due to begin in Vancouver early next year.Found this…. what do you guys thinkI think its probly bs buthttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebr

  32. frank says:

    The riddler! finally a good villain has been chosen, mr. freeze and penguin? are people this retarded? riddler and catwoman!!!!! that is an epic right there in the making!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think having the Penguin can be very realistic. Like most of you said, the storyline needs an underground mob thing going when Gotham goes to shit and the Penguin could be that. You don't have to make him look like a penguin, but a sharp dressed mobster (with maybe a really big nose). And don't forget Lark! The Riddler is def gonna be in the next one. Getting hired to track Batman down and whatnot. Whatever they do, KEEP IT REALISTIC. That's what got Batman so popular again.

  34. sian says:

    I really hope they ignore the penguin – as memorable as his character is, he's a pretty pathetic villain and an annoying one at that.Hoping for killer croc, zsasz, dr strange or blackmask (he's my personal fave).Catwoman is sassy and pretty good at being a baddie but always ends up playing damsel in distress/busty love intrest.

  35. Anonymous says:

    i think the next one should have pearc as riddler and tom hardy as hugo strange and maybe ras al ghouls daughter in the mize.failing that maybe johnny depp as the mad hatter