As our recent Reviews of the Decade indicated, we have a lot of love for The Dark Knight over here. Ever since the tragic death of Heath Ledger speculation has been rife about what shape the next film in the series will take, especially since the ending of The Dark Knight hinted at a continuation of the Batman/Joker storyline, which obviously is no longer possible. I do not claim to be an expert on the subject of comics, but I do know a lot about Batman. Having devoured all my graphic novels in a post-TDK fugue state, here are some thoughts about possible characters for the next instalment, and potential casting choices.
This guy is a complete psycho. Would make a great villain as he is hard as nails and would give Bats a decent fight for a change. Also a crocodile. Can't really see this one happening though because so far Nolan's films have been deeply rooted in reality, and like I said, the guy is a crocodile.
Matty casting: Eric Bana
For those who have suppressed any memory of the abomination that was Jim Carrey in Batman Forever from their minds, The Riddler is a bit of a Fancy Dan who wears a green suit and talks shit most of the time. Almost impossible to engage in sensible conversation. Kind of like a rubbish James Bond villain in that he seems to delight in spelling out his plans in intricate detail, and then gets shocked when Batman somehow saves the day. Maybe a little too "zany" given the dark tone of the previous films.
Matty casting: Steve Buscemi
I assume we all know and love Oswald Cobblepot from the magnificently moody Batman Returns so no need to go into much detail here. Origins stories are much darker in some of the books though, particularly the idea that his overbearing Mother would not let him leave the house without an umbrella (His father died of pneumonia). His depiction is generally much more sophisticated and suave than it was in Tim Burton’s film. Definitely one of the strongest villains available.
Likelihood: 9/10Matty casting: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Girlfriend of The Joker. Do I need to add she is a bit mental? Worked at Arkham Asylum as an intern and fell in love with him (as you do). Not very likely to appear, otherwise surely they would have introduced her in The Dark Knight? Would also contradict the previous film (I had a wife, etc), but considering how often The Joker contradicts himself concerning the origin of his scars that would hardly be the end of the world. Possibility if they decide to kill off The Joker…Harley Quinn could turn up to take over from him, but very unlikely.
Matty casting: Jackie Woodburne (google it)
5. The Mad Hatter
Pederast. Great hat though. Seriously, in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (the most disturbing comic I’ve ever read) there are numerous allusions to him being a paedophile. I know The Dark Knight was pretty adult for a comic book movie but no way. No way.
Likelihood: 0/10Matty casting: Alan Fletcher
If Nolan intends to continue to reintroduce previous villains like he did with The Joker than Catwoman is a pretty safe bet. Also, with Rachel Dawes dead Bruce/Batman is going to need some poontang in his life. Enter Selina Kyle/Catwoman.
Matty casting: Angelina Jolie
This book is one of my personal favourites. Hush (or Dr Thomas Elliot to his friends) is a childhood school buddy of Bruce who has gone a bit cuckoo bananas. It would be hard to adapt the Hush book exactly as it is because practically every Batman villain appears in it at some point, but they could still use Hush and his rivalry/friendship with Bruce as the basis for the film.
Matty casting: Paddy Considine
Insanely fit. Can make men do anything with her mind control/hot body. Also green. Could fill the love-interest role easily.
Matty casting: Jamie Lynn-Siegler
Pretty self-explanatory. Part Man. Part Bat. Will only be a Batman villain in an alternative universe in which David Cronenberg is making comic book adaptations. Imagine that, the scene where Dr Kirk Langstrom tests his “sonar sense” formula on himself and transforms into a bat would be far more disturbing than watching Jeff Goldblum turn into a fly. Never gonna happen.
Matty casting: Jack Black
What a legend. I love this guy so much. Born in a prison. Test subject for experimental drug Venom. Only subject to survive. Now a junkie with enormous arms who needs a hit of Venom every 12 hours or he’ll die. Also paralysed Batman in the Knightfall comic series, which lets face it, is extremely cool.
Matty casting: Batista
Shapeshifter. Made of clay. Lame. The lamest villain ever.
Matty casting: Martin Clunes
So there we have it. If I was a betting man, which I am, I’d go for a resurrection of possibly the Penguin or Catwoman, but also with some brand new characters introduced. Remember when the Joker said he was going to introduce a new breed of criminal to Gotham? There could be tons of freaks like him in the next film. In The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, possible the finest comic of all time (Suck it Watchmen fans!) mutant gangs overrun Gotham. The book starts with a semi-retired Batman who has been labelled a menace and hounded out of town. I predict a big jump in time between the setting of The Dark Knight and the sequel, it could pick up where the film left off. Batman has taken responsibility for the murders Harvey Dent committed and has gone into hiding. A straight adaptation of that book would almost work perfectly if…
A) It didn't have The Joker in it
B) It didn't have Superman in it
But I think we can all agree that less important than the villains and the casting is whether Christopher Nolan agrees to direct or not. The Dark Knight would not be the masterpiece is it without his input, and considering the leap in quality between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I think it is safe to say that the next one could be something pretty special indeed.