Alright so everyone saw Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It was epic. It’s pretty obvious by how awesome it was and how well it did, there’s going to be a sequel. Theres plenty of rumors floating around about who might be the next bad guy or…bad girl, and I figured I would throw my hat in the ring. These are obviously all conjecture as I have no idea who it’ll be but we can pretend I’m right because I’m on the internet.
#1 The Penguin
One the most ridiculous villains in Batman lore, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot is a diminutive man who uses his size to surprise. There’s a lot to work with as Penguin is one of Batmans longest running villains and has a huge amount of stories. He’s usually involved in mob affairs but runs completely valid business ventures to hide his less scrupulous affairs and often escapes from serving any penance for his crimes. His usual schtick involves bringing in random bird elements to crimes and using a parasol filled with various poison gases and a knife.
Who should play him: Philip Seymour Hoffman
This one is rumored to actually be true so I figured I’d start with it. It’s basically the perfect match, much more so than Danny Devito in Burton’s Batman who may have the stature of the Penguin but lacks the finer qualites. Penguin isn’t usually protrayed as some disgusting whole fish eating bird monster. Instead he’s a very smooth calculating intelligent rogue who uses his various connections to extend a web of power that is embedded in Gotham so well it can’t run without him. In a Nolan film he could be a new mob leader in town replacing any of the various ones that fell out during Dark Knight. He probably wouldn’t ever “fight” Batman directly, instead staying above the law and Batmans reach but constantly making his influence known.
Runner Ups: Vincent Dinofrio, Seth Rogan
#2 The Riddler
Edward Nigma is an easily recognized villain in Batman lore, known for his penchant for riddles he’s been a backbone to a lot of great Batman stories. Recently they’ve had him turn a new leaf and he works as a private detective and has helped Batman on a few cases. He still holds the need to find answers to everything which is why that change is a good fit. As a villain Riddler often brough gripes from fans because he intentionally left clues so that he would be caught which almost makes anything he did pointless. The recent change gave him some of his reasoning back and helped develop his character. Not to be trifled with Riddler is one of the few people to discover Batmans true identity through his own means.
Who should play him: David Tennant
Alright so this ones kind of cheating. David Tennant is an amazing actor from Doctor Who and is the perfect fit for Riddlers style. It’s cheating because Tennant himself said he wants to play Riddler and would jump at the opportunity. Which is a fantastic idea. There’s been talk that Johnny Depp wants to play the Riddler as well but I think ol Dave would be a much better fit, the guy already looks exactly like him and his mannerisms are very similar. Depp could pull it off sure, but I’d still give it to Tennant for a better performance all around. As for how to incluce Riddler in a Nolan style Batman you could introduce him like he is currently as a private detective who spends his hours trying to figure out who Batman is, or just use the set up from Dark Knight and have Riddler be the guy who found out who Bruce was from his finacials at Wayne Enterprises. It’d be a lot like the Jim Carrey version’s orgin…which I didn’t mind, just without Jim Carrey.
Runner Ups: Johnny Depp, Ed Norton, Jeffrey Donovon
Clayface is a great tragic Batman villain, at least in my favorite iteration. His animated series version is the one that’s best in my mind as that 2 part orgin story was very emotional for a kid’s cartoon. Basically he’s an overworked actor named Matt Hagen who gets in an accident that ruins his face…so he makes a deal with a mob boss for some facial reconstruction clay, why they’d have this I’m not sure…Anyway, he eventually runs out of work and needs more and more of the clay until he can’t pay for it anymore and owes them a bunch of money. So they do what the mob always does and…fills an entire car with the stuff while hes inside, smothering him and leaving him for death. That obviously doesn’t work and he seeks revenge, making him a tragic villain but one who wants to kill. Something Batman can’t stand for as much as he’d like to.
Who should play him: Nathan Fillion
Really it doesn’t actually matter who plays him before he changes into a giant clay monster…but I just want to hear Nathan do the voicework for it afterwards. Surely Clayface would be CGI which probably goes against most of Nolans other Batman characters but I think it’d be worth it. Fillion could easily bring the acting chops to the pre clayface Matt Hagen and afterwards bring a great voice to the CGI work. In a Nolan movie Clayface could be brought in a number of ways but I think the underpaid actor is a good route.
Runner Ups: Paul Walker, Josh Hartnett
#4 The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter has always been one of my favorite Batman villains. He’s got a great schtick based on Alice in Wonderland of all things and has an impressive list of mental problems. Jervis Tetch has a very offsetting appearence and even weirder demeanor consisting of things like he won’t eat a piece of food that doesn’t have a hat on it, and states that he is not interested in the sight of his naked teammate because she wasn’t wearing a hat. This is a great great psychotic villain who could fit a very Joker like nische of the next Batman film.
Who should play him: Johnny Depp
A lot of people are saying they want to see Depp as a primary runner for Riddler. I on the other hand think he’d be a pretty great Mad Hatter. Give him a little bit of Sweeney Todd with a little bit of Willy Wonka and throw in some psychotic rambling and you’ve got a perfect cast. He’s easily got the chops to come off as creepy and funny while keeping audiences guessing. The only major problem is he doesnt really look like Mad Hatter but in actuality no one does. For a Nolan style movie they’d have to tone down his huge facial features and tiny body, but he could be accenctuated in other places like the costume, much like how Ledger’s Joker didn’t have white skin but make up instead.
#5 Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is another one of the easy to recognize Batman villains. She has various orgins all involving plants somehow being more important to her than humans which usually lead her to do insane things for the environment and Batman showin up to stop her. She was pretty much butchered in her only live action appearence, not that I blame Uma Thurmond but the script was just terrible. Nolan I’m sure could come up with a much better orgin and keep her original to the comic…as in ridiculously hot.
Who should play her: Christina Hendricks
Christina is an actress who’s been in a few Joss Whedon creations but is probably more well known for her role in Mad Men. She’s pretty much spot on to play Poison Ivy as she can exude…everything…that’s needed for the role. A Nolan Ivy could be introduced easily as an environmentalist/scientist who’s wronged by everyone in her life but her plants and seeks revenge on Gotham, and its protector.
Runner Ups: Scarlett Johansson, Felecia Day
#6 Maxie Zeus
Unlike most on this list so far Maxie Zeus isn’t recognizable at all outside of major Batman fans. He’s basically a very rich and influencial businessman who out of no where starts to believe that he’s the reincarnation of the God Zeus and decides all of Gotham should be under his thumb. He leads a criminal empire and begins wearing a toga with delusions of grandeur and in some cases a major messianic complex.
Who should play him: Rufus Sewell
Not only does ol Rufus here look exactly like him but he has the acting chops to pull it off…easily. In Nolan’s version Maxie could be a normal company CEO who leads his business into criminal undertakings after Wayne Enterprises drops them out of normal business. This would put him in direct competition with Wayne and set up for a Batman confrontation.
Runner Ups: Really he’s the only one who should play him but Vincent Dinofrio could pull it off as well..
Hush is a relatively new rogue of Batman’s who started out kind of boring but has grown pretty well in recent events. His story could be changed to a film relatively easy as a childhood friend of Bruces who has a falling out and returns deducing that he’s Batman and trying to ruin both his lives.
Who should play him? Clive Owen
Owen wouldn’t have any trouble with this role at all, in fact it’s a pretty pitch perfect match. The only problem with Hush would be he’s not well known but really he’s more realistic than a lot of Batman rogues who probably wouldn’t fit in a Nolan film. He’d be fine as a secondary villain much like Two Face, although his motives might be pretty similar.
Alright that’s it for now. I might cast a few more of these sometime in the future, I’ve got a few ideas for Mr. Freeze and Harley Quinn but they’ll have to wait. Until then enjoy this cover of Metallica.