Batman's New Archvillain: Who's Next?

by Eric Melin on July 24, 2008

in Blogs

OK, so after this past week, a lot of things are wrapped up for “The Dark Knight.”

heath ledger joker1. The biggest-grossing weekend ever in America: $158 million
2. The biggest non-holiday Monday ever: $24.6 million
3. The fastest movie to gross $100 million ever: 5 days
4. At the conclusion of the film (SPOILER ALERT!), Batman is wanted for multiple murders, including two police officers, and is universally hated by Gotham, in order to save the reputation of Harvey Dent.
5. We can assume then that Christian Bale must have some ulterior martyrdom behind his arrest Monday night in the U.K. because Batman would never beat up his Mom and sister.
6. With Heath Ledger forever burned in the minds of cinemagoers worldwide as the Joker, he is now irreplaceable in the series.
7. Which begs the question: Who’s next?

There it is: the unlucky number seven.

batpod dark knightObviously, (and no pun intended) being “dark” works for director Christopher Nolan’s Batman. From the way things are left in the movie, his Batman saga is only going to get darker. The screenplay already got very political in nature, exploring the fickle will of “the people” and juxtaposing it with one man’s fascist (and illegal: spying on the entire city!) method of bringing about justice, so there’s no reason to think Nolan, Bale and company will lighten anything up or change the “world” of Batman too radically. Maybe the next installment will be about torture…

The Joker fits in well with the Batman in this crime-infested setting where citizens are driven to madness by their deteriorating situations. Like Bruce Wayne, the Joker has no superpowers. The most dangerous thing about him is that he has no rules. How Nolan and his co-screenwriters will top the Joker for sheer dramatic premise without getting too supernatural? The last thing they want to do is break the reality they have carefully crafted; one that’s just a step away (granted, with masks and James Bond-like machinery and technology) from gritty cop shows like “The Wire” and “The Shield”?

killer crocWell, I guess we can rule one guy out. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the least likely villain to appear in the next Batman movie: Killer Croc!

I suppose if Nolan can reinvent the Joker after no less an actor than Jack Nicholson made him so memorable, he is capable of just about anything. The Penguin would fit right in as one of Gotham’s new crime bosses, since organized crime has such a stranglehold on the city. The Joker really made those guys look pretty impotent, though, if you ask me. It was good to see Eric Roberts back, but he wasn’t very threatening.

Mr. Freeze was ruined by Arnold Schwarzenegger and seems too ridiculous to live in Nolan’s Gotham. With the death of (SPOILER ALERT!) Rachel Dawes, “Batman 3″ could use some female action, though, so maybe Catwoman (deliciously devilish in the hands of Michelle Pfeiffer and deliriously dumb in the hands of Halle Berry) is up to bat. If Berry’s recent flop is too new in people’s memory, Nolan may be better off going with Poison Ivy (played by Uma Thurman in one of those horrible Joel Schumacher bat-nipple movies) or Talia al Ghul (the daughter of “Batman Begins”‘ Ra’s al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson).

riddlerMy guess? It’s been long enough since Jim Carrey played him and he didn’t do too bad a job: the Riddler. He may not have the complete anarchic insanity that the Joker (who will probably be locked up in Arkham Asylum by now) has, but his diabolical cleverness could lead to more crazy traps and games to be sprung on Gotham, questioning their moral character even further.

Considering that “The Dark Knight” was written by the guys who also wrote the deep, labyrinthine logic of “Memento” and “The Prestige,” coming up with a whole new set of puzzles for the Riddler to hoist upon the Batman would be a great follow-up that wouldn’t alter the fabric of Gotham’s reality too much. (The Joker must have planned really, really far in advance for any of the shit he pulled off in “The Dark Knight” to have worked that well.) I just don’t think they’ll be able to use any of the likenesses seen on TV or in the movies so far. The one to the left is the least offensive one I could find.

What do you think?

Depp is the Riddler, Hoffman the Penguin!

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KYLE KELLEY July 24, 2008 at 12:21 am

I think they should have the riddler, as long as they can find a actor whom can grasp the evilness of the riddle, such as Heath did with the joker, than we will have ourselves a great film. Or Batman can just fight Rosie O”Donell. lol.

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2 KYLE KELLEY July 24, 2008 at 12:21 am

I think they should have the riddler, as long as they can find a actor whom can grasp the evilness of the riddle, such as Heath did with the joker, than we will have ourselves a great film. Or Batman can just fight Rosie O”Donell. lol.

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3 Travis July 24, 2008 at 8:25 am

I’ve had a lengthy debate w/ fellow co-workers about who it could be. We felt the Riddler was a bit of a let down for a villain. Ra’s couldn’t be introduced via the Lazarus pit, because it pushes Nolan’s Batman universe in a direction it’s never really meddled with. We founda way around it the Liam Neeson Ra could have been another patsy for the ‘real’ Al Ghul. Talia was a quick guess simply because it creates a circle from the first film to the last film. Also it could easily fill the love/lust interest of Mr. Wayne. Nolan also swore he would never redo the penguin and that I agree with. At the end of the debate we had; Bain (Although he’d have to be CG so he’s a big outside shot), Talia al Ghul, & The Riddler (it kept coming up that he didn’t pose too much a threat…but Nolan could up his quota by a good deal).

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4 Travis July 24, 2008 at 8:25 am

I’ve had a lengthy debate w/ fellow co-workers about who it could be. We felt the Riddler was a bit of a let down for a villain. Ra’s couldn’t be introduced via the Lazarus pit, because it pushes Nolan’s Batman universe in a direction it’s never really meddled with. We founda way around it the Liam Neeson Ra could have been another patsy for the ‘real’ Al Ghul. Talia was a quick guess simply because it creates a circle from the first film to the last film. Also it could easily fill the love/lust interest of Mr. Wayne. Nolan also swore he would never redo the penguin and that I agree with. At the end of the debate we had; Bain (Although he’d have to be CG so he’s a big outside shot), Talia al Ghul, & The Riddler (it kept coming up that he didn’t pose too much a threat…but Nolan could up his quota by a good deal).

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5 t.s. July 24, 2008 at 8:42 am

deadshot

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6 t.s. July 24, 2008 at 8:42 am

deadshot

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7 Jon Sholly July 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

In my noggin, Adrien Brody has already been cast as the Riddler. He’d be great. They also really need to address the Robin angle. If the same creative team is on board, there could be an absolutely killer “Batman and Robin” movie in 2010. They could also go nuts with other aspects of the Frank Miller Dark Knight and have lunatic punk rock gangs and total electromagnetic pulse/blackout chaos in Gotham City. I have to say that a Batman vs. Superman story would probably be a total dud though.

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8 Jon Sholly July 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

In my noggin, Adrien Brody has already been cast as the Riddler. He’d be great. They also really need to address the Robin angle. If the same creative team is on board, there could be an absolutely killer “Batman and Robin” movie in 2010. They could also go nuts with other aspects of the Frank Miller Dark Knight and have lunatic punk rock gangs and total electromagnetic pulse/blackout chaos in Gotham City. I have to say that a Batman vs. Superman story would probably be a total dud though.

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9 ed July 24, 2008 at 11:11 am

no robin, please! batman a loner, always hv bn and always will. hw about that hush character?

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10 ed July 24, 2008 at 11:11 am

no robin, please! batman a loner, always hv bn and always will. hw about that hush character?

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11 jim July 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Bane-if done right, but might be a stretch for Nolan’s world
Riddler-like you said with two talented writers, they could provide some good riddles and games for Batman
Talia al Gul-give him a new love interest, a villian, and to relate to the first film
Catwoman-great villian, not a threat to Gotham though
Penguin-done right this time as well
Black Mask-could get more of Bruce’s business life involved.

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12 jim July 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Bane-if done right, but might be a stretch for Nolan’s world
Riddler-like you said with two talented writers, they could provide some good riddles and games for Batman
Talia al Gul-give him a new love interest, a villian, and to relate to the first film
Catwoman-great villian, not a threat to Gotham though
Penguin-done right this time as well
Black Mask-could get more of Bruce’s business life involved.

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13 RCM July 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Nolan used some torture as a theme in this movie. And, of course, his most obvious metaphor- Wayne Enterprises as the NSA. It’s fine to make your fantasy movie culturally relevant as long as we don’t tread into overly preachy waters.

Man-Bat, another villain we won’t be seeing anytime coming from the Nolan-Bat plot machine. Some people have been saying Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. Bain is also an interesting character to play with. In order to respect the source-material Nolan would need to skip the story ahead a few years for that story. My vote is for Catwomen; there is simply too much good romantic/anti-hero stories that could work well in the new Batman world.

It would be awesome to get some “DKR” based off the graphic novel but I don’t want Nolan and Bale anywhere near those stories. Let Frank Miller direct a movie like that. Let him do it with as many bizarre comic-esque stylizations that he fancies. Most importantly, don’t have them related to the Chris Nolan Batman franchise at all. Just let them exist as something completely on their own.

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14 RCM July 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Nolan used some torture as a theme in this movie. And, of course, his most obvious metaphor- Wayne Enterprises as the NSA. It’s fine to make your fantasy movie culturally relevant as long as we don’t tread into overly preachy waters.

Man-Bat, another villain we won’t be seeing anytime coming from the Nolan-Bat plot machine. Some people have been saying Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. Bain is also an interesting character to play with. In order to respect the source-material Nolan would need to skip the story ahead a few years for that story. My vote is for Catwomen; there is simply too much good romantic/anti-hero stories that could work well in the new Batman world.

It would be awesome to get some “DKR” based off the graphic novel but I don’t want Nolan and Bale anywhere near those stories. Let Frank Miller direct a movie like that. Let him do it with as many bizarre comic-esque stylizations that he fancies. Most importantly, don’t have them related to the Chris Nolan Batman franchise at all. Just let them exist as something completely on their own.

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15 Erin July 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Here’s my quandry: I don’t want Harvey to be dead and think that maybe his funeral was faked at the end? Perhaps just wishful thinking. I thought Aaron Eckart was fabulous and he has had press coverage saying he would love to make a third movie. But “love to” and reality are different. Two-Face just didn’t have enough screen time with his terrifying half-face. I want it healed up a bit and the police hiding him somewhere. Also, don’t you think they were planning on continuing the Joker in the third one? That bites.

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16 Erin July 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Here’s my quandry: I don’t want Harvey to be dead and think that maybe his funeral was faked at the end? Perhaps just wishful thinking. I thought Aaron Eckart was fabulous and he has had press coverage saying he would love to make a third movie. But “love to” and reality are different. Two-Face just didn’t have enough screen time with his terrifying half-face. I want it healed up a bit and the police hiding him somewhere. Also, don’t you think they were planning on continuing the Joker in the third one? That bites.

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17 Troy July 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I would have to go with Catwoman also. Even though it is going to be hard to do. Because the bar is set so high, that it will be hard to match or out do this one.

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18 Troy July 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I would have to go with Catwoman also. Even though it is going to be hard to do. Because the bar is set so high, that it will be hard to match or out do this one.

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19 Travis July 24, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Christian Bale said explicitly that in his tenure there would be NO Robin…he works well in the comic but in Movies he’s failed miserably (Wholly rusted metal batman anyone?)

Harvey is most likely not dead. In interviews he said he was very excited about where his character was going…and if his character (two face) was only in it for 30 minutes then that’d be a let down in the area of excitement.

When the movie ended Batman himself was the villain…so there may be multiple ‘bad guys’ maybe Anthony Michael Hall exploits his knowledge of who Batman is, etc etc etc.

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20 Travis July 24, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Christian Bale said explicitly that in his tenure there would be NO Robin…he works well in the comic but in Movies he’s failed miserably (Wholly rusted metal batman anyone?)

Harvey is most likely not dead. In interviews he said he was very excited about where his character was going…and if his character (two face) was only in it for 30 minutes then that’d be a let down in the area of excitement.

When the movie ended Batman himself was the villain…so there may be multiple ‘bad guys’ maybe Anthony Michael Hall exploits his knowledge of who Batman is, etc etc etc.

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21 crash July 24, 2008 at 7:37 pm

I think that the next batman should be like the the dark knight comics were batman is old and has guns. But when batman sees wat he now is will at they end hang up the cape. it would make a nice end to the trilegy and they wouldnt have to worry about repacing heath leger

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22 crash July 24, 2008 at 7:37 pm

I think that the next batman should be like the the dark knight comics were batman is old and has guns. But when batman sees wat he now is will at they end hang up the cape. it would make a nice end to the trilegy and they wouldnt have to worry about repacing heath leger

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23 dan July 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Aaron Eckart signed to be in the third film…so, i’m assuming some tag team with two-face as the mastermind…but we fall deep into the danger of just remaking Batman Forever.

at this point, it’s anybody’s game…Talia al Ghul would be a great choice to tie into Batman Begins and also try to extract a little more of Bruce Wayne’s personal character, whose conflict with the Batman will hopefully be a focal point of the next film.

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24 dan July 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Aaron Eckart signed to be in the third film…so, i’m assuming some tag team with two-face as the mastermind…but we fall deep into the danger of just remaking Batman Forever.

at this point, it’s anybody’s game…Talia al Ghul would be a great choice to tie into Batman Begins and also try to extract a little more of Bruce Wayne’s personal character, whose conflict with the Batman will hopefully be a focal point of the next film.

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25 ChrisKnudsen July 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

My guess for the third film: Two-Face comes back undoing the plan, he gets out of Arkham or some other more discreet location and then the film plays out the crisis that occurs. I can imagine Bane being in it as a man who hunts down Batman. With the right writers, Bane was great. Also while using Bane, it would intensify the action for the series.

You know Eric, in Gotham Knight they used Killer Croc which end up being some extremely large guy who moddified his teeth with razors. People argue whether or not Gotham Knight is supposed to be canon or not but it is worth watching regardless.

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26 ChrisKnudsen July 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

My guess for the third film: Two-Face comes back undoing the plan, he gets out of Arkham or some other more discreet location and then the film plays out the crisis that occurs. I can imagine Bane being in it as a man who hunts down Batman. With the right writers, Bane was great. Also while using Bane, it would intensify the action for the series.

You know Eric, in Gotham Knight they used Killer Croc which end up being some extremely large guy who moddified his teeth with razors. People argue whether or not Gotham Knight is supposed to be canon or not but it is worth watching regardless.

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27 RCM July 25, 2008 at 3:09 am

Doesn’t Bane break Batman’s back? Who would they cast to play Jean-Pual Valley? I love that story, but it kinda takes Bruce Wayne out of the foreground for a lot of the time.

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28 RCM July 25, 2008 at 3:09 am

Doesn’t Bane break Batman’s back? Who would they cast to play Jean-Pual Valley? I love that story, but it kinda takes Bruce Wayne out of the foreground for a lot of the time.

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29 Clark July 25, 2008 at 6:23 am

I do not think the Riddler would be a good choice. Another villain questioning people principles and morals? This would feel like the Saw series.
I think Nolan should rest for a while and maybe let the Batman series end with The Dark Knight. That’s the perfect ending for a super-hero: being misunderstood.
Then, after 10 years, he could remake The Incredibles. =)

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30 Clark July 25, 2008 at 6:23 am

I do not think the Riddler would be a good choice. Another villain questioning people principles and morals? This would feel like the Saw series.
I think Nolan should rest for a while and maybe let the Batman series end with The Dark Knight. That’s the perfect ending for a super-hero: being misunderstood.
Then, after 10 years, he could remake The Incredibles. =)

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31 Josh July 25, 2008 at 9:20 am

the riddler would make an excellent villain for this writing team though. however, he is very similar to the joker. deadshot would be cool, but no many people have heard of him. killer croc is too fictional for nolan i think, but more-so clayface. my vote is for a female villain, because they haven’t done one yet. probably catwoman, mostly because i took the line “No, but it will hold up to cats.” (or something along those lines) as a subtle hint. they can play up the romantic angle through that as well. i guess this is all contingent upon nolan actually wanting to do another movie. i heard rumors that he had not yet signed on to do another batman. which could make this conversation go a totally different direction, because without nolan, that means, probably no bale.

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32 Josh July 25, 2008 at 9:20 am

the riddler would make an excellent villain for this writing team though. however, he is very similar to the joker. deadshot would be cool, but no many people have heard of him. killer croc is too fictional for nolan i think, but more-so clayface. my vote is for a female villain, because they haven’t done one yet. probably catwoman, mostly because i took the line “No, but it will hold up to cats.” (or something along those lines) as a subtle hint. they can play up the romantic angle through that as well. i guess this is all contingent upon nolan actually wanting to do another movie. i heard rumors that he had not yet signed on to do another batman. which could make this conversation go a totally different direction, because without nolan, that means, probably no bale.

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33 Reed July 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

crash, I think you’re on the right track. I’m not at all versed in the Batman comics, but I feel like from a dramatic perspective, Bruce Wayne wasn’t much of a protagonist in The Dark Knight (I am not complaining as I loved the movie). But the main characters really seemed to be Harvey Dent and The Joker, with Commissioner Gordon doing more to actually move the plot than Batman. He remains relatively consistent and doesn’t go through major changes. In the previous film, we obviously saw a ton of changes for Wayne.

So the next film must get back to that. The villain is important, but not as important as what Wayne must go through. Will he question his code? How will he deal with Dawes’ demise? How will being a true fugitive affect his mentality and ability to defend Gotham City?

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34 Reed July 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

crash, I think you’re on the right track. I’m not at all versed in the Batman comics, but I feel like from a dramatic perspective, Bruce Wayne wasn’t much of a protagonist in The Dark Knight (I am not complaining as I loved the movie). But the main characters really seemed to be Harvey Dent and The Joker, with Commissioner Gordon doing more to actually move the plot than Batman. He remains relatively consistent and doesn’t go through major changes. In the previous film, we obviously saw a ton of changes for Wayne.

So the next film must get back to that. The villain is important, but not as important as what Wayne must go through. Will he question his code? How will he deal with Dawes’ demise? How will being a true fugitive affect his mentality and ability to defend Gotham City?

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35 Eric Melin July 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Great comments, everybody. From what I’ve learned from you, I’m thinking now:
Two-Face maybe teams up with Scarecrow, Catwoman emerges, and Batman finds the Joker is right and he has more in common with freaks like Catwoman than he thought he did. Hope this doesn’t mean Nolan falls into the same trap as Raimi in “Spider-Man 3,” though.

But I’m still holding out for Killer Croc!

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36 Eric Melin July 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Great comments, everybody. From what I’ve learned from you, I’m thinking now:
Two-Face maybe teams up with Scarecrow, Catwoman emerges, and Batman finds the Joker is right and he has more in common with freaks like Catwoman than he thought he did. Hope this doesn’t mean Nolan falls into the same trap as Raimi in “Spider-Man 3,” though.

But I’m still holding out for Killer Croc!

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37 canison July 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm

now don’t go ripping me up since i haven’t seen the movie, ok? personally, i’ve been reading Batman since 1971. i love him and have totally fallen for this recent incarnation in all it’s dark glory. there should be no way (actor’s personal feelings aside) that the Joker should end at one film. i realize that no one will match the level set by Ledger, but why shut it down completely? there are other people fitting a similar cut that could be used down the road. i offer you Joel McHale from E!’s The Soup. i realize he may not have the chops at the moment, but who know? physically he is close to Ledger’s build and he, too, has a wide, toothy smile. i just got so mad when Tim Burton killed off the Joker and the character was never revisited. he is the staple in Batman’s life. he defines the term ‘arch nemesis’. please no penguin, because the last one was terrible. cat woman somewhere between the two versions mentioned might be ok…and the scarecrow is still around…..

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38 canison July 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm

now don’t go ripping me up since i haven’t seen the movie, ok? personally, i’ve been reading Batman since 1971. i love him and have totally fallen for this recent incarnation in all it’s dark glory. there should be no way (actor’s personal feelings aside) that the Joker should end at one film. i realize that no one will match the level set by Ledger, but why shut it down completely? there are other people fitting a similar cut that could be used down the road. i offer you Joel McHale from E!’s The Soup. i realize he may not have the chops at the moment, but who know? physically he is close to Ledger’s build and he, too, has a wide, toothy smile. i just got so mad when Tim Burton killed off the Joker and the character was never revisited. he is the staple in Batman’s life. he defines the term ‘arch nemesis’. please no penguin, because the last one was terrible. cat woman somewhere between the two versions mentioned might be ok…and the scarecrow is still around…..

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39 Organs July 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I don’t think there should be ANY new villains! No one has once stopped to ask the question “Why should there be a new villain”?

For one, if we can get used to Maggie replacing Katie, we can get used to someone replacing Heath. Which will be hard because it’s such a specific character, but easy because he had makeup and even prosthetics on his face. So apply the same prosthetics on someone else and you have a reasonable facsimile.

For another, there’s so much potential for Two-Face to make mayhem. He comes back, maybe kills a mob guy he spared, and makes himself known. This negates Batman’s shouldering the blame for deceased cops. It also lets the general public know that Gotham’s White Knight is now a monster and gives them pause in the name of hope.

Finally, the Riddler can be a decent character. He was pretty dark in the Animated Series before it got a makeover, what with him putting his former employer and Gordon in jeopardy.

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40 Organs July 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I don’t think there should be ANY new villains! No one has once stopped to ask the question “Why should there be a new villain”?

For one, if we can get used to Maggie replacing Katie, we can get used to someone replacing Heath. Which will be hard because it’s such a specific character, but easy because he had makeup and even prosthetics on his face. So apply the same prosthetics on someone else and you have a reasonable facsimile.

For another, there’s so much potential for Two-Face to make mayhem. He comes back, maybe kills a mob guy he spared, and makes himself known. This negates Batman’s shouldering the blame for deceased cops. It also lets the general public know that Gotham’s White Knight is now a monster and gives them pause in the name of hope.

Finally, the Riddler can be a decent character. He was pretty dark in the Animated Series before it got a makeover, what with him putting his former employer and Gordon in jeopardy.

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41 K.G. July 25, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I think that simply leaving the Joker character out of the next film would be more of a white elephant than if they were to use a different actor sparingly for bit appearances. Besides, he’s the only villain who understands Batman’s ultimate weakness and so either the next villain must be a total idiot for not noticing that or would have to be some “deeper, darker” version of Ledger’s Joker to take advantage.

I would like to see the later-character version of The Riddler, the post-coma “Who Am I?” guy who could help Batman and obsessive-compulsively be against him at the same time. I thought Jim Carrey’s Riddler was a bad fucking joke, and would rather see a Hannibal Lecter-esque take on the character…cunning, manipulative, and deadly precise. The whole vigilante element they’ve introduced leaves a huge opening for Catwoman to crawl through.

You can rattle off obscure and incredible villains from the rogue gallery all you want, and Nolan himself has stated a third film wouldn’t use any characters already portrayed in previous films (his or others), but the fact of the matter is that everybody and their mother knows who “The Joker” is and that ultimately drove film sales. These are marketing campaigns, conceived well in advance and if Killer Croc’s visage appeared in posters, street team flyers, and in viral campaigns the public would say, “Now who the fuck is that?” and less people would go see it than if there was giant green question mark that everybody can see it and go “Oh, the Riddler, I get it.”

Then again, say what you will about The Joker in this film, for the people of Gotham it had to have been a vast improvement over those assholes who engaged a fucking chemical attack that lost entire portions of the city in the first film. Now that’s fucked up.

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42 K.G. July 25, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I think that simply leaving the Joker character out of the next film would be more of a white elephant than if they were to use a different actor sparingly for bit appearances. Besides, he’s the only villain who understands Batman’s ultimate weakness and so either the next villain must be a total idiot for not noticing that or would have to be some “deeper, darker” version of Ledger’s Joker to take advantage.

I would like to see the later-character version of The Riddler, the post-coma “Who Am I?” guy who could help Batman and obsessive-compulsively be against him at the same time. I thought Jim Carrey’s Riddler was a bad fucking joke, and would rather see a Hannibal Lecter-esque take on the character…cunning, manipulative, and deadly precise. The whole vigilante element they’ve introduced leaves a huge opening for Catwoman to crawl through.

You can rattle off obscure and incredible villains from the rogue gallery all you want, and Nolan himself has stated a third film wouldn’t use any characters already portrayed in previous films (his or others), but the fact of the matter is that everybody and their mother knows who “The Joker” is and that ultimately drove film sales. These are marketing campaigns, conceived well in advance and if Killer Croc’s visage appeared in posters, street team flyers, and in viral campaigns the public would say, “Now who the fuck is that?” and less people would go see it than if there was giant green question mark that everybody can see it and go “Oh, the Riddler, I get it.”

Then again, say what you will about The Joker in this film, for the people of Gotham it had to have been a vast improvement over those assholes who engaged a fucking chemical attack that lost entire portions of the city in the first film. Now that’s fucked up.

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43 Eric Melin July 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm

You wrote: “Nolan himself has stated a third film wouldn’t use any characters already portrayed in previous films (his or others).”
That is a great piece of news! Do you have a link?

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44 Eric Melin July 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm

You wrote: “Nolan himself has stated a third film wouldn’t use any characters already portrayed in previous films (his or others).”
That is a great piece of news! Do you have a link?

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45 K.G. July 26, 2008 at 4:25 pm

http://www.beyondhollywood.com/no-catwoman-and-penguin-for-batman-sequels/

That’s part one. There’s another interview with Bale and Nolan where they discuss this as well I’m looking for linked from /Film. In an old interview in 2006 Goyer had mentioned the third film possibly focusing on the Joker’s trial. I could easily see them using that as an out to have a Joker character influential on the main story but without having to show him. Either that or they could just write his character out by saying that he died on the way back to his home planet.

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46 K.G. July 26, 2008 at 4:25 pm

http://www.beyondhollywood.com/no-catwoman-and-penguin-for-batman-sequels/

That’s part one. There’s another interview with Bale and Nolan where they discuss this as well I’m looking for linked from /Film. In an old interview in 2006 Goyer had mentioned the third film possibly focusing on the Joker’s trial. I could easily see them using that as an out to have a Joker character influential on the main story but without having to show him. Either that or they could just write his character out by saying that he died on the way back to his home planet.

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47 David Bruce Murray July 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I’m torn between wanting the Nolan run to end with the second film and seeing whether he can top it.

Catwoman/Selina Kyle is a great character with so many possibilities both as a villain and a hero. She seems to be the obvious choice, not as a character to be brought to justice, but more as a pain in Batman/Bruce Wayne’s rear. I would want to see her portrayed as a burglar who steals for hire, but only from the “bad guys.”

Make her a key target in the first half of the film, and then conclude by pitting her and Batman against the mob led by…no, not the Penguin…the Ventriloquist and Scarface. I trust Nolan and Goyer could come up with a convincing schizophrenic whose evil side comes to the fore whenever he’s near his puppet.

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48 David Bruce Murray July 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I’m torn between wanting the Nolan run to end with the second film and seeing whether he can top it.

Catwoman/Selina Kyle is a great character with so many possibilities both as a villain and a hero. She seems to be the obvious choice, not as a character to be brought to justice, but more as a pain in Batman/Bruce Wayne’s rear. I would want to see her portrayed as a burglar who steals for hire, but only from the “bad guys.”

Make her a key target in the first half of the film, and then conclude by pitting her and Batman against the mob led by…no, not the Penguin…the Ventriloquist and Scarface. I trust Nolan and Goyer could come up with a convincing schizophrenic whose evil side comes to the fore whenever he’s near his puppet.

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49 Eric Melin July 26, 2008 at 10:27 pm

KG- Thanks for the link. Man, after reading that, I’ll bet Ledger’s untimely death really put a monkeywrench in their plans for 3, although I agree with DBM that Catwoman does have a lot of potential…

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50 Eric Melin July 26, 2008 at 10:27 pm

KG- Thanks for the link. Man, after reading that, I’ll bet Ledger’s untimely death really put a monkeywrench in their plans for 3, although I agree with DBM that Catwoman does have a lot of potential…

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51 RY July 27, 2008 at 11:55 am

There COULD be more than one villain in the next Batman movie, but one of them shouldn’t even be questioned. Harvey Dent IS Two-Face. Its goes without saying that he’ll be involved in the next movie.

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52 RY July 27, 2008 at 11:55 am

There COULD be more than one villain in the next Batman movie, but one of them shouldn’t even be questioned. Harvey Dent IS Two-Face. Its goes without saying that he’ll be involved in the next movie.

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53 K.G. July 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm

If I were running any franchise (especially Terminator) right now I would wait until there’s a new president to see just how the sensibilities of the nation change before thinking of any kind of villain or completion to a story arc. Nicholson’s Joker was an 80′s cocktail-sipping high society decadent, and Ledger’s was a post-September terrorist. It would be entirely irrelevant in 2011 or whenever a third film could possibly come out to have a villain or story rooted in today’s fears of chaos and surveillance if we’ve all moved on to being afraid of killer sun spots or giant ice storms. Perhaps the fear of global warming could introduce a plot with Poison Ivy where she could do something to the trees that cause them to release a pheromone that causes people to kill themselves…wait, that’s the dumbest fucking idea ever.

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54 K.G. July 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm

If I were running any franchise (especially Terminator) right now I would wait until there’s a new president to see just how the sensibilities of the nation change before thinking of any kind of villain or completion to a story arc. Nicholson’s Joker was an 80′s cocktail-sipping high society decadent, and Ledger’s was a post-September terrorist. It would be entirely irrelevant in 2011 or whenever a third film could possibly come out to have a villain or story rooted in today’s fears of chaos and surveillance if we’ve all moved on to being afraid of killer sun spots or giant ice storms. Perhaps the fear of global warming could introduce a plot with Poison Ivy where she could do something to the trees that cause them to release a pheromone that causes people to kill themselves…wait, that’s the dumbest fucking idea ever.

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55 Steve M July 30, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I think Two-face if he isn’t really dead. Riddler with the proper actor could be good but is very similar to the Joker. Maybe an all-new different villian would be most suitable.I thought the end where Batman takes the wrap for murders to protect Harvey Dent was actually pretty stupid. All they would have to do is pin it on the Joker & no one would be the wiser.

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56 Steve M July 30, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I think Two-face if he isn’t really dead. Riddler with the proper actor could be good but is very similar to the Joker. Maybe an all-new different villian would be most suitable.I thought the end where Batman takes the wrap for murders to protect Harvey Dent was actually pretty stupid. All they would have to do is pin it on the Joker & no one would be the wiser.

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57 Justin G August 1, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Just to clarify, Liam Neeson DID NOT play Ra’s Al Ghul, he was Henri Ducard. Ra’s Al Ghul was played by Ken Watanabe, a JAPANESE man.

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58 Justin G August 1, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Just to clarify, Liam Neeson DID NOT play Ra’s Al Ghul, he was Henri Ducard. Ra’s Al Ghul was played by Ken Watanabe, a JAPANESE man.

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59 Eric Melin August 2, 2008 at 12:48 am

KG calls out “The happening”! I love it!
Actually, Justin G, it’s a bit of a spoiler, but Neeson is the real Ra’s Al Ghul; Watanabe was a decoy, remember?

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60 Eric Melin August 2, 2008 at 12:48 am

KG calls out “The happening”! I love it!
Actually, Justin G, it’s a bit of a spoiler, but Neeson is the real Ra’s Al Ghul; Watanabe was a decoy, remember?

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61 Trevor August 6, 2008 at 10:08 am

I like Kevin Spacey for the Riddler, think of his character in the movie Seven: psycotic, manipulative, linking a spree of murders linked by clues with an underlying message conecting them. A similar Riddler in a Batman installment would be awesome.

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62 Trevor August 6, 2008 at 10:08 am

I like Kevin Spacey for the Riddler, think of his character in the movie Seven: psycotic, manipulative, linking a spree of murders linked by clues with an underlying message conecting them. A similar Riddler in a Batman installment would be awesome.

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63 Chris S. August 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

–Riddler–

Ya remember the guy who figured out Batman’s true identity? His name was:

COLEMAN REESE

Now if you put a MISTER in the place of COLEMAN you get…
:)

P.S. (Everyone would pick up on anyone with the last name NIGMA wouldn’t they?)

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64 Chris S. August 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

–Riddler–

Ya remember the guy who figured out Batman’s true identity? His name was:

COLEMAN REESE

Now if you put a MISTER in the place of COLEMAN you get…
:)

P.S. (Everyone would pick up on anyone with the last name NIGMA wouldn’t they?)

Reply

65 Alex August 10, 2008 at 2:47 pm

hmmm… well here are some villains that would be good in batman 3:

1.Bane-as long as they dont overdo it
2.Clayface- hes an ok villain,and hed be pretty hard to beat
3.The Riddler- considering the joker left gotham in a state of fear of the insane, the riddler would be perfect

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66 Alex August 10, 2008 at 2:47 pm

hmmm… well here are some villains that would be good in batman 3:

1.Bane-as long as they dont overdo it
2.Clayface- hes an ok villain,and hed be pretty hard to beat
3.The Riddler- considering the joker left gotham in a state of fear of the insane, the riddler would be perfect

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67 thatguy August 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

i think it will be the riddler. . .

remember mr.reese??? and how the WHOLE city turned on him???

MR. Reese . . Mistereese Mysteries ?

it fits the pun thing? and he has a neat background? i mean. . entire city trying to kill you, that could host a nasty grudge

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68 thatguy August 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

i think it will be the riddler. . .

remember mr.reese??? and how the WHOLE city turned on him???

MR. Reese . . Mistereese Mysteries ?

it fits the pun thing? and he has a neat background? i mean. . entire city trying to kill you, that could host a nasty grudge

Reply

69 Jenuine August 20, 2008 at 4:43 am

Here’s a thought. Keep the joker, but don’t show him thus solving any need to replace Heath. We see that he is in arkham, but we can only hear him speaking to a Dr. Which Dr. you ask? Why Dr. Harley Quinn of course! Through his twisted and manipulated ways he slowly breaks down her sanity and her morals and next thing you know, you have Harley doing the Joker’s bidding. I also think that the Black Mask would be a great addition to the story.

Not only is he a perfect adversary for Batman in the way that he would be the new crime/mob boss running the show, but mostly for his ties to Bruce Wayne the man and his hate for Wayne Enterprises. The Black mask plays a foe for Bruce by day and criminal by night. Also, the Black Mask needs to hire an array of goons and lackies but to do this and have ultimate power in both the Gotham crime circuit and to help bring down Wayne Enterprises you need$$$ and a plan. The Joker (Through Harley) could offer this plan. To get this money you need to get your hands dirty and hire some pretty impressive thieves. Perhaps a master jewel thief by the name of Selena Kyle.

I know this is a big idea, but the characters and stories can all mesh together nicely if Nolan disperses character developement properly. It wouldn’t take the Joker that long to manipulate Harley (considering how long it took to manipulate Dent) and Catwoman’s story line doesn’t have to start from scratch (pardon the pun) they don’t need to hold our hands and show eevrything that caused Selena Kyle to turn into Catwoman. Though I think that whatever the case Catwoman is a necessary part of the Batman story. She is the key to Batman’s ultimate questioning of his beliefs.

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70 Jenuine August 20, 2008 at 4:43 am

Here’s a thought. Keep the joker, but don’t show him thus solving any need to replace Heath. We see that he is in arkham, but we can only hear him speaking to a Dr. Which Dr. you ask? Why Dr. Harley Quinn of course! Through his twisted and manipulated ways he slowly breaks down her sanity and her morals and next thing you know, you have Harley doing the Joker’s bidding. I also think that the Black Mask would be a great addition to the story.

Not only is he a perfect adversary for Batman in the way that he would be the new crime/mob boss running the show, but mostly for his ties to Bruce Wayne the man and his hate for Wayne Enterprises. The Black mask plays a foe for Bruce by day and criminal by night. Also, the Black Mask needs to hire an array of goons and lackies but to do this and have ultimate power in both the Gotham crime circuit and to help bring down Wayne Enterprises you need$$$ and a plan. The Joker (Through Harley) could offer this plan. To get this money you need to get your hands dirty and hire some pretty impressive thieves. Perhaps a master jewel thief by the name of Selena Kyle.

I know this is a big idea, but the characters and stories can all mesh together nicely if Nolan disperses character developement properly. It wouldn’t take the Joker that long to manipulate Harley (considering how long it took to manipulate Dent) and Catwoman’s story line doesn’t have to start from scratch (pardon the pun) they don’t need to hold our hands and show eevrything that caused Selena Kyle to turn into Catwoman. Though I think that whatever the case Catwoman is a necessary part of the Batman story. She is the key to Batman’s ultimate questioning of his beliefs.

Reply

71 Eric Melin August 20, 2008 at 6:44 am

I relly like that last idea except I think a mention of the Joker (locked up in Arkham of course) would work, but that’s it. Anything obove a mention is too much. Having him drive the entire plot offscreen won’t work because audiences will want to see him. I wonder what unused footage they have…

Reply

72 Eric Melin August 20, 2008 at 6:44 am

I relly like that last idea except I think a mention of the Joker (locked up in Arkham of course) would work, but that’s it. Anything obove a mention is too much. Having him drive the entire plot offscreen won’t work because audiences will want to see him. I wonder what unused footage they have…

Reply

73 cody October 25, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I think that Harvey dent is indeed dead and the joker is locked up and everyone in Gotham hates batman.I think that they started to already in the dark knight,when they were yelling about he let cops die.(when Bruce was about to turn himself in).the only thing that would make since is that batman is a fugitive.(just like the joker told him they would cast him out because he was a freak like him)

A couple years pass and Gotham is doing ok and crime is not that bad.Bruce gets back to his life(getting his mansion back) nearly not thinking about batman at all.suddenly ,someone says that Bruce Wayne is the Batman.then the riddler comes in as Coleman Reese or Mr.Reese(mysteries).the guy who in the dark knight wanted money or he would tell everyone that bruce Wayne was batman.reese was going to tell everyone one tv but the joker was saying either he dies or he’ll blow up an hospital.the city turns on him and reese gets mad.he starts reeking havoc on the city only leaving clues that behind.the people of gotham can only turn to one man to stop him and is the man is the one they hated .BATMAN.Bruce relizes that he was meant to be batman and that he is to protect Gotham city .and now batman has to play mind games with the riddler.and in the end batman is the hero that Gotham city has always needed .and that is the end of the batman series by Christopher Nolan . I think that the movie should be called “The Dark Knight Returns”.this is the best relistic idea yet.peace

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74 cody October 25, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I think that Harvey dent is indeed dead and the joker is locked up and everyone in Gotham hates batman.I think that they started to already in the dark knight,when they were yelling about he let cops die.(when Bruce was about to turn himself in).the only thing that would make since is that batman is a fugitive.(just like the joker told him they would cast him out because he was a freak like him)

A couple years pass and Gotham is doing ok and crime is not that bad.Bruce gets back to his life(getting his mansion back) nearly not thinking about batman at all.suddenly ,someone says that Bruce Wayne is the Batman.then the riddler comes in as Coleman Reese or Mr.Reese(mysteries).the guy who in the dark knight wanted money or he would tell everyone that bruce Wayne was batman.reese was going to tell everyone one tv but the joker was saying either he dies or he’ll blow up an hospital.the city turns on him and reese gets mad.he starts reeking havoc on the city only leaving clues that behind.the people of gotham can only turn to one man to stop him and is the man is the one they hated .BATMAN.Bruce relizes that he was meant to be batman and that he is to protect Gotham city .and now batman has to play mind games with the riddler.and in the end batman is the hero that Gotham city has always needed .and that is the end of the batman series by Christopher Nolan . I think that the movie should be called “The Dark Knight Returns”.this is the best relistic idea yet.peace

Reply

75 Jason January 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I think a good way to get the next moive going would be to start with a break in some where in wayne corp. have the League of Assassins do it. This way you can have Talia al Ghul make a breif appearance (hopefully Anglina Jolie). They try to steal some cryonics equipment. Then that would be a good way to explain Dr. Victor Fries. (Mr. Freeze – Michael Rosenbaum) He get mad because batman tried to stop them and blames batman for the explotion. Also a botanical biochemist working at wayne corp works late that night and get caught up in the event and becomes Poison Ivy (Pamela Lillian Isley – Charlize theron). Again Freeze goes after Batman and begins looting and robbing to get money to help his wife. Ivy goes after wayne because wayne corp. doesn’t help freeze fix he and his wife. Just a thought. After all said wayne corp could try and do some buisness with Selina Kyle (Kate Beckinsale – she already owns a tight black suit.) on the East End of Gotham.

Thoughts?

Reply

76 Jason January 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I think a good way to get the next moive going would be to start with a break in some where in wayne corp. have the League of Assassins do it. This way you can have Talia al Ghul make a breif appearance (hopefully Anglina Jolie). They try to steal some cryonics equipment. Then that would be a good way to explain Dr. Victor Fries. (Mr. Freeze – Michael Rosenbaum) He get mad because batman tried to stop them and blames batman for the explotion. Also a botanical biochemist working at wayne corp works late that night and get caught up in the event and becomes Poison Ivy (Pamela Lillian Isley – Charlize theron). Again Freeze goes after Batman and begins looting and robbing to get money to help his wife. Ivy goes after wayne because wayne corp. doesn’t help freeze fix he and his wife. Just a thought. After all said wayne corp could try and do some buisness with Selina Kyle (Kate Beckinsale – she already owns a tight black suit.) on the East End of Gotham.

Thoughts?

Reply

77 david January 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

thats good. But what about twoface turn crime boss pays for a new cosmadic surgery thats not out yet. and some big name actor guy turn ugly after movie actident volinters to be the ginipig. goes south and turns into CLAYFACE. bent on revenge turns gothem insidout loocking for dent to kill him. Since marvel F#@%*& spidy 3 up with gay venum this could be DC’s way to have a cool venum like guy. Plus batman needs a badass villian to fight. someone who he cant just fight and win.

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78 david January 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

thats good. But what about twoface turn crime boss pays for a new cosmadic surgery thats not out yet. and some big name actor guy turn ugly after movie actident volinters to be the ginipig. goes south and turns into CLAYFACE. bent on revenge turns gothem insidout loocking for dent to kill him. Since marvel F#@%*& spidy 3 up with gay venum this could be DC’s way to have a cool venum like guy. Plus batman needs a badass villian to fight. someone who he cant just fight and win.

Reply

79 david brunelle January 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm

CLAYFACE!!! they just interduced twoface the next logical villian is CLAYFACE. both men want to be nice looking again leding to the creation of clayface.

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80 david brunelle January 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm

CLAYFACE!!! they just interduced twoface the next logical villian is CLAYFACE. both men want to be nice looking again leding to the creation of clayface.

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81 angela January 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Clayface is too much of a supernatural character to put in C. Nolan’s Batman films. Heck, I don’t think even T. Burton would of used that character. Stick with the animated series folks.

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82 angela January 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Clayface is too much of a supernatural character to put in C. Nolan’s Batman films. Heck, I don’t think even T. Burton would of used that character. Stick with the animated series folks.

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83 numbaonecomicgeek May 19, 2009 at 11:57 am

Micheal Rosenbaum as The Riddler(Edward Nygma)!!!!! I want this to happen in Batman 3!!!! Mikey will do an excellent job fo sho!!!!

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84 numbaonecomicgeek May 19, 2009 at 11:57 am

Micheal Rosenbaum as The Riddler(Edward Nygma)!!!!! I want this to happen in Batman 3!!!! Mikey will do an excellent job fo sho!!!!

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85 Angela May 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Lex Luthor playing The Riddler? No thanks.

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86 Angela May 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Lex Luthor playing The Riddler? No thanks.

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87 Grant robert cook September 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I want to talk about the new batman 3 villains. why riddler? why Harley Quinn? you can only put harley Quinn in batman 3 unless you bring the joker back in!!!!!

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88 Grant robert cook September 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I want to talk about the new batman 3 villains. why riddler? why Harley Quinn? you can only put harley Quinn in batman 3 unless you bring the joker back in!!!!!

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89 Nathan October 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The riddler would work if they made him really dark and unpredictable. They could do killer croc as his henchmen if they made him a cannible who eats people and a ex wresteler with crocodile tatoos. Another way they could go is to do black mask and Bane. Black mask would take over the mob and Bane could be a body builder assassin from South America who knows many types of martial arts. Bane would be hired to take out batman by blackmask. They could also do poison ivy who is a eco terrorist who poisons people with plants.

Reply

90 Nathan October 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The riddler would work if they made him really dark and unpredictable. They could do killer croc as his henchmen if they made him a cannible who eats people and a ex wresteler with crocodile tatoos. Another way they could go is to do black mask and Bane. Black mask would take over the mob and Bane could be a body builder assassin from South America who knows many types of martial arts. Bane would be hired to take out batman by blackmask. They could also do poison ivy who is a eco terrorist who poisons people with plants.

Reply

91 lee brandin detroy October 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

i think that arnold schwartzenegger should be the joker in batman begins 2 the dark knight movie with sarah michelle gellar as harley quinn, and with aaron eckhart as two face,and with paul williams as penguin, and with thomas dekker as robin , and with halle berry as catwoman, and with kevin stacey lex luthor, and with daniel day lewis as deadlock, and with christopher walkins as clayface , and with tails miles prower tailsko , please she has to be in the movie, and with ed asner as rupert thorne, and with with tom welling as superman,.. and with christian bale as batman and with bastista as lex luthor’s boss,…

Reply

92 lee brandin detroy October 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

i think that arnold schwartzenegger should be the joker in batman begins 2 the dark knight movie with sarah michelle gellar as harley quinn, and with aaron eckhart as two face,and with paul williams as penguin, and with thomas dekker as robin , and with halle berry as catwoman, and with kevin stacey lex luthor, and with daniel day lewis as deadlock, and with christopher walkins as clayface , and with tails miles prower tailsko , please she has to be in the movie, and with ed asner as rupert thorne, and with with tom welling as superman,.. and with christian bale as batman and with bastista as lex luthor’s boss,…

Reply

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