The Batman from director Matt Reeves has finally been released, giving the caped crusader a fresh new coat of paint on the big screen. The film is mostly grounded, with an emphasis on detective work as Batman hunts down the serial killer, The Riddler. However, with The Batman 2 already announced, there’s a long list of villains we’d love to see make an appearance, from Mr. Freeze and Black Mask to the Court of Owls.
With that in mind, we’re going for more grounded villains to more or less match the tone established in the first film. That sadly means no Poison Ivy, Clayface or Man-Bat (though we’re sure they’d somehow make it work anyway). In no particular order, here are a list of villains that could be an ideal fit for The Batman 2.
Villains We Want to See in The Batman 2
Dr. Victor Fries (or otherwise known as Mr. Freeze) is no stranger to Batman in cinema. The villain was previously portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the notorious film Batman & Robin. Despite his cartoonish presentation there, he’s quite an intimidating antagonist in the comics with a fittingly tragic backstory. His technology could slot well into The Batman‘s universe and it would be an excellent opportunity to rewrite the character in a more dramatic and serious light (like they did with The Riddler).
Arguably one of the best Batman graphic novels of all time, Hush is the centerpiece for the legendary comic story of the same name. The character’s origins are rooted in Bruce Wayne’s own childhood, starting off as close friend Dr. Thomas Elliot. What makes this villain quite a complex figure is their ideals and motivations for doing what they did. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that The Batman already has a pivotal chess piece in place to set up the story’s twist ending. Whether they’d actually go through with that or not is anyone’s guess.
Court of Owls
The Court of Owls are quite the unique case for a few reasons. It’s not one singular villain but rather a collection of Gotham’s rich and elite, forming the shadowy organisation that pulls the strings in the city. Comparisons are still drawn to the real-life Illuminati. However, they’re perhaps the most ideal fit for The Batman 2 as a piece of their story has already been established in The Batman. The Riddler was out to expose the corrupt high-profile figures of Gotham, so it would make sense if this leads to deeper conspiracies brewing right beneath Gotham’s nose.
Going with the detective noir tone set up in the first film, Black Mask’s presence as a criminal kingpin in Gotham would fit Reeves’ universe like a glove. As a mob boss who would eventually dominate most of the city’s criminal underworld, Black Mask (or Roman Sionis) seems ripe for exploring in cinematic format, especially considering that he’s never been in a Batman live-action feature before. His villainous motivations also directly tie into Bruce Wayne as a philanthropic figure in Gotham, creating the perfect impending rivalry of crime and justice.
The Phantasm first appeared in the terrific Batman animated movie Mask of the Phantasm, but their impact has since lingered with fans for decades. The villain would (eventually) be written into the comics in February 2021, long after their debut in the animation. However, the true identity of The Phantasm is what would make for excellent storytelling in The Batman 2 – without spoiling anything, of course. Furthermore, The Phantasm would be a completely unexpected villain choice, which is why they’re perfect for this universe.
Admittedly this one is a bit silly depending on who you ask, but The Ventriloquist would also fall into the “completely unexpected” realm. Arnold Wesker suffers with multiple personality disorder, presenting this through his puppet, a gangster named Scarface. The puppet psychologically manipulates Wesker into committing crimes, but it’s their dynamic and bizarre backstory that would suit a more dramatic reinterpretation of the character(s). The Ventriloquist also hasn’t appeared in a live-action Batman movie before.
The acclaimed graphic novel The Long Halloween is cited by plenty of directors as major influences behind their films (seen with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Reeves’ film). It’s not hard to see why, as the story puts an emphasis on Batman’s detective work combined with a gripping serial killer plot. This is where Calendar Man earned his fame in DC comics after being portrayed as a “joke villain” in the past. The menacing murderer, largely inspired by Hannibal Lecter, enjoys toying with Batman, often dropping cryptic hints and clues. If Reeves wants to stick to the noir tone for the next film, Calendar Man is a serious contender for a great, unpredictable villain.
Finally we have Victor Zsasz (or Mr. Zsasz) another serial killer candidate who could wrestle with Batman’s morals as effectively as The Riddler did. A nihilist at heart, Zsasz is widely regarded as one of the most sinister villains from Batman’s rogues gallery. He commits his murders under the belief that he’s sparing his victims from experiencing a “meaningless life” and a cycle of pain. The best and most ruthless antagonists often believe that what they’re doing is morally right and for the benefit of the greater good. Zsasz encapsulates that very well.
The Batman is currently available to watch on HBO Max. Warner Bros. also confirmed that a sequel is in the works.