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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who's next?

Riddle me this: with The Dark Knight in theatres, who should be the villain in the third (and presumably final) Nolan Batman film?????
Nolan has stated he does not want to use a villain who cannot be explained realistically, or who has been portrayed on film before. He specifically said he does not want to use Catwoman or the Penguin. With that criteria in mind I looked deep into the Rogue Gallery and found some possible candidates:
  • The Riddler
    • Nolan seems to be leaning this way. But he's already been in a film and the idea of a killer playing games with authorities, if Nolan makes it more real and dark, would be quite similar to a lot of other movies plots as well (Saw, Seven). However, Riddler is one of the more realistic Batman villains. Though he's gone straight the last few years in the comics being a PI.
  • Black Mask
    • Was in early drafts of The Dark Knight but cut out. The wealthy heir of a cosmetic company, who's parents resented the Waynes, tired of the corrupt and superficial lifestyle of Gotham's elite, burned down his mansion, killing his parents. After a new cosmetic brutally disfigures its test patients, the company declares for bankruptcy and Bruce Wayne bails them out, a move Black Mask resents.
    • This would be quite interesting in that there's nothing too far fetched and it would be interesting for the final film to really be about the issues of Batman v. Bruce Wayne. However, Black Mask becomes essentially a sort of anti-mob mob boss, and the films have sort of done the mob thing.
  • Clayface (I)
    • The original Clayface was based on Boris Karloff, who, when he finds out one of his classic films is being re-made, takes on the persona of one of his characters and kills the cast and crew. Would be an interesting film, but doubt it would fit in with this Batman, and the later comic versions of him aren't realistic at all.
  • Arnold Wesker (The Ventriloquist)
    • Its been done, and would only work as a secondary villain.
  • Reaper
    • Like Bruce Wayne, he's a wealthy socialite who, when his wife is murdered, becomes a vigilante. However, unlike the ethical to a fault Batman, he kills his victims with a scythe.
    • This could show the ethical dilemma posed by being a vigilante.
  • Wrath
    • The same night Batman's parents were murdered, The Wrath's parents, who were robbers, were shot and killed by a young Jim Gordon. So, he's become the underworld's version of Batman, aiding criminals and killing cops.
    • I think you'd have to combine his character with Prometheus because they're quite similar. Would be interesting to see Batman, an outsider, trying to help the law who's hunting him down at this point.
  • Deacon Blackfire
    • Cult leader who creates an army of Gotham's homeless to violently take over the city. His demand is that Batman kill him, making him a martyr for his cause.
    • This series was one of the most controversial Batman comics, because it was graphically violent, but also had Batman kill an innocent civilian he thought was Harvey Dent. Though the whole taking over the city thing sounds a bit too much like what happened in the first one.
  • Film Freak
    • serial killer who's murders are based on famous film killings.
    • Not sure Nolan would do a serial killer movie with Batman investigating.
  • Prometheus (Morrison version)
    • After his Bonnie and Clyde inspired parents were killed, he took the money and used it to fund Batman Begins like training across the world to destroy all forms of organized justice.
I think Black Mask would make the more interesting film, and there's a lot more you can do to make his character more exciting, as opposed to other characters where you'd have to come up with ways to make them more realistic. Then again seeing the comic book done realistic is part of the success of Nolan's Batman films. However, Black Mask directly attacking Wayne Enterprises and Bruce Wayne (not knowing he's Batman) seeing them as representing what's wrong with the world would be very interesting. A Wrath/Prometheus storyline would seem to fit better with the end of The Dark Knight, as Batman, now on the wrong side of the law, would have to directly face that and other dilemmas, in trying to stop a cop killer.

So, who'd I miss? Who'd you choose?

5 comments:

whitney said...

Clearly the answer is Poison Ivy. I just wrote about her on my blog and I think you'll see she's a good choice...but probably not.

-whitney

whitney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Hall said...

What about Catwoman? I don't think she is a good choice at all, but I was surprised you didn't mention her. Or the Penguin. But maybe you, like me, think that Nolan is probably going to avoid both of those because they simply don't fit in well with the concept he has built up. And also how both of those characters have been possibly put in their graves by the mass rejection of them on film - Batman Returns and the Hally Berry Catwoman.

Spenturion said...

I've always been a fan of the Mad Hatter... a twisted villian, but really only fit for a secondary villain.

Surprised at no mention of two-face considering Harvey Dent's appearance in Dark Knight.

(Have not seen Dark Knight, so no spoilers please)

Eric Anderson said...

This may seem a bit obvious, and I hope that you all don't think I'm less intelligent for saying it. But what about the Scarecrow?
He was a very freaky original villain from the comic book as well as the animated series (which, if I'm not mistaken was a huge influence on Nolan's series).
There are three reasons why I think he will be and two reasons why I don't think he will be-

For:
1. At the beginning of the latest film, we caught a brief glance at the Scarecrow (or what is to be believed as the scarecrow).
2. Cillian Murphy is a brilliant actor who deserves a bigger role than just a bit part (day player at best) in the Batman series. He deserves a leading role.
3. The scarecrow was one of the freakiest villains (along with Mad Hatter, I agree with Spencer) to ever appear in the saga of Batman.

Against:
1. As far as villains go, Scarecrow is so similar to Joker in that they are so incredibly insane that money doesn't matter to them. This similarity only goes as far as their purpose, as Joker was more for anarchy and chaos, Scarecrow was more obsessed with the psychological effects of his experiments and the continuation of these mad experiments.
2. Harvey Dent is not dead. spoiler alert! Just as Comissioner Gordon, Harvey's body/casket was not shown in the film, i.e. he is not dead. The fake funeral was a great setup for him to "disappear" into the penal system until the right moment (maybe with the help of another freaky villain - Scarecrow perhaps?)