Few things in life are guaranteed, but luckily for us, we have taxes, death, and Batman movies. Ben Affleck will be directing the next solo Batman film, but beyond that lies uncertainty. When reports revealed Affleck would helm what is being referred to as The Batman, only one directorial role was detailed in Affleck's contract. He's also signed for only three appearances, which we know to be BvS, Justice League, and The Batman (or whatever DC decides to title the Batman reboot).
Regardless of Affleck's current contract, Batman sequels will come, and with them comes Gotham's rogue gallery. Since the late '80s, we've witnessed three Jokers, two Catwomen, two Two-Faces, two Banes, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Scarecrow, the Freeze-inator, and The Riddler.
In Affleck's upcoming solo adventure, fans will be treated to a new face in the form of Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke, which offers a needed break from the “usuals” of Batman's rogues. It may be difficult to remember the vast quantity of villains that call Gotham home (unless you keep up with the Gotham TV show), when the movies have almost reused villains as often as presenting new ones. Hopefully, Manganiello's portrayal of the DC Terminator will open the door for other villains to make their silver screen debuts.
Below I offer five villains that I think should be adapted into upcoming Batman movies.
Note: Killer Croc would have made this list, but unfortunately, DC's Suicide Squad decided to introduce a man with scales under the same name. This adaption was synonymous with Twilight's interpretation of vampires, whereas Croc should've been more like his Arkham Asylum counterpart.
1. Red Hood
This list starts with absolutely zero surprise: We want Red Hood. For anyone who doesn't know, the Red Hood was originally an alias of the Joker before he became the Clown Prince of Crime. After Jason Todd met a violent death at the hands of the Joker in A Death in the Family, he returned from the Lazarus pit under the Red Hood moniker. He is a violent antihero who acts on his motto of "Let the punishment fit the crime."
Rather than a direct adaption of Under the Red Hood, have an intro of Bruce reliving the events of Jason Todd's death in a nightmare. Have a secondary villain serve as the initial focus of the movie until Batman realizes that another interested party is also trying to hunt the villain down. Then you have Bruce discover dead bodies of criminals throughout the movie as the public lashes out at Batman for the killings. Eventually, Batman starts recognizing aspects of himself in the techniques of the Red Hood before discovering who's "under the hood."
Thomas Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce who seeks to get back at Thomas Wayne by sabotaging Batman. Elliot blames Thomas Wayne for ruining his plan to inheriting his parent's fortune after tampering with their vehicle, since Wayne saved Elliot's mother after the car crashed. The "Hush" storyline is somewhat convoluted and involves a large number of cameos, spanning from Nightwing to Lois Lane. DC and Warner Bros. do NOT need to touch all that.
Simply have Elliot return to Gotham, set the backstory, then "die" like in the novel. After that, have Elliot return as Hush and begin attempting to sabotage Batman on both the hero level and as Bruce Wayne. This allows for a strong and personal story of Bruce attempting to repair both aspects of his identity.
3. Clayface (Cassius Payne)
Payne is the child of former Clayfaces Preston Payne and Sondra Fuller and has a unique ability that other Clayfaces do not, which would make for an awesome movie monster. When a piece of Clayface is removed from his body, it can think for itself, although in an unstable manner. That piece can also bond with another person and become a Claything, which gives the person Clayface-like abilities. I mean, when's the last time we saw Batman have to fight a monster, let alone monsters?
I could see this story going one of two ways: either Cassius creates an army of Claythings to take down Gotham for some internal reason OR Cassius inadvertently creates Claythings and eventually teams with Batman to figure out a way to take them down.
4. Black Mask
Roman Sionis was largely neglected by his parents and grew to hate them, as well as the elite class of Gotham and the "masks" of their facade in the public eye. After inheriting and ruining his father's cosmetics company, he was forced to sell the company to Wayne Enterprises. Still blaming his parents for his current state, he carved a black mask out of his father's coffin and became the crime lord Black Mask.
One aspect of Bat-lore that seems to have been lost is that Batman is not just the Dark Knight or the Caped Crusader, but also the World's Greatest Detective. I would like to see Batman have to sneak around, gather clues, and watch the process of him discovering Black Mask as the head of the False Face Society. As Batman figures out Black Mask's pattern of attacking high ranking Gothamites, he figures out when Bruce Wayne will be targeted, allowing him to set a trap so that he can come face to face with Black Mask.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom is a zoologist facing deafness and is working to develop a serum to give humans a bat's echolocation abilities. After testing the formula on himself, he learns of the creature-inducing side effect. Similar to Clayface, Man-Bat provides Batman with a challenge imbedded in something outside of the typical psychopath-like criminal. Man-Bat probably doesn't have enough to be able to carry a plot as the main antagonist, which is fine. Seeing Batman chase after Man-Bat over the skies of Gotham and witnessing the Bat vs. Bat matchup would all be worth it.
And seeing as we've already bared witness to the Waynes' death countless times before, maybe skip over that in this next film?
What villains from the Gotham rogue gallery do you want to see battle the Caped Crusader? Please leave your comments below.