Now that director Matt Reeves is beginning to put The Batman together, as Warner Bros. looks to reset one of its best-known (and most lucrative) characters for the second time in roughly five-six years, the rumors have begun to emerge in earnest about who’ll don the cape and cowl next. As we learned yesterday, former Twilight Star Robert Pattinson is the current front-runner for the role.
Once serious talk of a new Batman begins, it’s inevitable that before long, the conversation will drift to the next most important question: who’s his latest enemy? While Reeves has previously implied that the next story will include a “rogues gallery” of villains, word has been largely mum so far about who could step in, either to revisit a classic character or to put a new one on the map.
While speculation on that group-of-enemies isn’t done for just yet, The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision newsletter suggests that the next stand-alone DC movie might be revisiting a pair of classic villains from a previous moviegoing generation: “Matt Reeves is still tweaking his script, which is rumored to have at least two villains, the Penguin being one of them, according to sources (one person is telling us there will be around half-a-dozen villains!). We’re hearing of another purrfect character making an appearance in the script as well.”
Lots to unpack there. If true, The Batman would reunite the antagonists from 1992’s Batman Returns, in the roles made unforgettable by Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito. (There are no present rumors about who would play either of the roles.) However, the equally interesting item here is that talk of a half-dozen villains. Movies like Spider-man 3 have previously collapsed under the weight of attempting to juggle the storytelling necessary to flesh out multiple villains in 120-ish minutes, but in a post-Endgame world, the idea of Batman taking on a horde of villains isn’t so far-fetched.
The idea also invokes the Arkham games, which would allow the hand-to-hand combat that’s become a modern staple of Batman movies to take center stage, so there’s something to be said there as well. In any case, if one of the great onscreen superhero pairings does wind up reuniting, it won’t remain a secret for long.