Hey, That's My Cape! - BATMAN 3 Villains: Who SHOULD it Be?

Rumor, gossip and hopes are pretty much all we have for the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise so far. He’s confirmed a July 2012 release for the as-yet-untitled, as-yet-cast film but we know this much; the script is currently being worked on by David Goyer and Jonah Nolan and will not feature the Joker or Mr. Freeze as it’s villains. Now, we wait.

While the script is still being written I’m sure the team has at least settled on their villain(s). That doesn’t mean it’s not fun to speculate. And after all, isn’t that what the internet is for? The loudest votes I’ve heard seem to be for the Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman. It could be any one of them, a combination of two or none at all but my issue is this, they’ve all been used in Batman films before, so why not dig deeper into his Rogues Gallery?

The original "anti-motivational" Hush ad image
The original "anti-motivational" Hush ad image
Hush

For my part, I’d like to see villains less known to the public, but Hollywood will likely steer towards the more recognizable household names to secure the box office. After all, Nolan’s third and final Batman film is coming to theaters about two months after The Avengers and two weeks after the new Spider-Man. Then again, Ra’s Al Ghul and the Scarecrow starred in Batman Begins and they weren’t the most recognizable names outside comic fandom.

My top choice would be to see Hush take center stage. As Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend, Tommy Elliot knows more about Batman than a villain should and that would certainly throw him off his game. We’ve already seen some of Bruce’s youth in Batman Begins but Nolan has the chance to show the parallels in their childhoods and the huge divergent course they took. Hush could easily carry the movie on his own or be paired with the Riddler like in the comic.

Seeing as how Nolan’s trilogy takes place early in Batman’s crime fighting career, I think the pair of Holiday and Calendar Man would make for an interesting plot. I don’t really want a word for word recreation of The Long Halloween but I trust the screenwriters would work their magic for the big screen. With these villains you get a story that spans an entire year, taunting Batman the entire time, plus it gives Nolan the chance to bring Aaron Eckhart back as Two-Face if he chooses to go that route. Also an advantage? Nolan’s last chance to stick in some choice cameos when Batman goes to visit Calendar Man in Arkham Asylum.

Newsarama Note: Both of these lead characters come primarily from Jeph Loeb penned comics, as well. Loeb books have been heavily farmed (along with Frank Miller) for the first two films.

Black Mask, as depicted in Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Nolan has already focused heavily on the mob but as we all know, Gotham City will never be clean, and with several bosses dead at the end of Dark Knight, there's a power vacuum to be filled. Black Mask would be the mob on meth. He’s very dark and extremely sadistic, something that fits well with this series of films, yet is still completely realistic. Just like Hush, Roman Sionis knew Bruce when they were young and has a distorted parallel, having murdered his own parents. I’d love to see that contrast explored with either villain. Black Mask is also a great way to tie-in Catwoman if everyone keeps insisting on it.

Finally, Nolan has said that he and his screenwriter brother have viewed the trilogy as something that should have an ending. Thinking of it in those terms it would be great to see him rehash plot devices from the previous two films, particularly those dealing with Ra’s al Ghul and the Joker, to bring them all together. Having Talia al Ghul arrive in Gotham with revenge on her mind over her father’s death, respect for a true warrior or just hot, hot sex has the makings for a very exciting third film. In addition, Dr. Harleen Quinzel by day, Harley Quinn by night would connect the Joker without being disrespectful to Heath Ledger.  

I think these are all potentially strong routes the third Nolan Batman film could take but who knows where they’ll eventually end up. He hasn’t really steered us wrong so far, that’s for sure. Batman Begins made us believe in Batman movies again and The Dark Knight took us places we never thought we’d go. Will Batman 3 take us to another plane of existence or cause us to take up a life of crime?

Who do you want in a Batman 3, and why?

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