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5 Batman Villains Who Deserved The Christopher Nolan Treatment
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Five Batman Villains

When Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and Dr. Jonathan Crane (The Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy) appeared as villains in Christopher Nolan‘s 2005 film, Batman Begins, it was obvious that this Dark Knight series would be a drastic departure from the previous Batman movies by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.

Sadly, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has come to an end, and after a heartfelt farewell letter it’s obvious he won’t be revisiting Gotham City any time soon. There’s still hope, however, that instead of rebooting the Batman franchise (and minimizing Nolan’s masterful trilogy), Warner Bros. will find a way to continue the story and put a new twist on some classic villains.

Below are 5 Batman Villains Who Deserved The Christopher Nolan Treatment – impractical, fantastical, altogether colorful bad guys who could be effectively re-worked as gritty, reality-based foes for the Dark Knight…

[Mild spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises ahead…]

At the conclusion of Batman Begins, Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Batman (Christian Bale) meet on a Gotham rooftop to discuss their next move in purging the city of crime and corruption. “Now, take this guy,” says Gordon, who presents Batman with a clear plastic evidence bag containing what appears to be a single playing card. “Armed robbery, double homicide. Got a taste for theatrical, like you. Leaves a calling card.”

Batman turns the playing card over to reveal a Joker. Our fearless Dark Knight examines it a moment and simply replies, “I’ll look into it.” The card, of course, belonged to Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker – played fearlessly and brilliantly by the late Heath Ledger. Most of you are probably familiar with the 1960’s Batman television series, with Caesar Romero portraying the clown prince of crime. Romero’s Joker was an ultimately harmless, goofy trickster that Hee-Hee’d and Hah-Hoo’d his way through bank heists and criminal capers.

Then, there’s Jack Nicholson‘s performance in Burton’s 1989 Batman. Nicholson’s interpretation took the fun-loving trickster of ’60’s camp and gave him a more murderous edge, but even still the Joker’s role was more a comical jester than anything – complete with joy buzzers and acid-squirting flowers. The collaboration of Nolan and Ledger led to perhaps the most intriguing, disturbing on-screen villain in movie history – an anarchist who lives without rules, a dog chasing cars.

District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who becomes the villainous Two-Face, also received a considerable upgrade in The Dark Knight. Played by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995’s Batman Forever, Two-Face was nothing more than a schizophrenic sociopath whose absurd costumes and makeup made the ’60’s technicolor television show costumes look like funeral attire. By taking the comic book’s more outlandish characters and grounding them in reality, Nolan has made them even more iconic and threatening. Eckhart’s Dent is a tragic, almost Shakespearean character – a crime-fighting crusader turned into a vengeful murderer by the Joker.

With The Dark Knight Rises, Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) is a high-tech cat burglar whose night-vision goggles resemble cat ears when flipped up. She’s never once called Catwoman in the film and instead is referred to only by her real name, Selina Kyle, though some newspaper headlines describe her as ‘The Cat.’ Then you’ve got the masked mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy), a terrorist who won’t stop until Batman is broken and Gotham is ashes.

Unless you’ve successfully erased Joel Schumacher’s 1997 film Batman and Robin from your mind completely, you’ll no doubt remember Bane (played by Robert “Jeep” Swenson) as Poison Ivy’s muscle-bound bodyguard, a diminutive criminal transformed into a masked professional wrestler straight out of Mil Mascaras vs. The Aztec Mummy. Needless to say, Hardy’s Bane is a menacing, definitive take on the villain. With Nolan’s approach to tackling Batman’s rogues gallery, I thought it would be interesting to explore 5 villains who could have benefited from ‘The Christopher Nolan’ treatment.

#5: Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin)

Batman's Most Wanted: PenguinPenguin is a short, rotund villain known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas. Cobblepot is typically portrayed as a ‘gentleman of crime’ – a high-profile aristocrat and mobster.

Portrayed by Burgess Meredith in the ’60s Batman television series, Penguin is known for his signature top hat and cigarette holder. For Burton’s 1992 film, Batman Returns, Danny DeVito played a more grotesque, deformed version of Cobblepot that made him a sideshow freak – a living, breathing fish boy with flipper hands.

It would have been great to see Cobblepot as a mob boss at some point in The Dark Knight Trilogy. I always loved the idea of Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Penguin as Gotham’s kingpin of crime, a monocle-wearing aristocrat that deals in high society and heavy artillery. Of course while Penguin isn’t a physical threat to Batman, he’s one of the Dark Knight’s more resourceful, intelligent villains – which would make him perfect for a team-up with a more brutish, bone-breaking villain…

#4: Waylon Jones (Killer Croc)

Batman's Most Wanted: Croc Waylon Jones was born with a condition diagnosed as epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, a disfiguring skin disorder. After further study, it is determined that Jones has a form of regressive atavism, meaning that he has inherited the traits of reptiles. As a result, Crock’s skin is hardened and scaly, impenetrable to bullets and blades.

Killer Croc has been interpreted in ways that make him truly monstrous – similar to Spider-man’s Lizard, but Brian Azzarello and Lee Mermejo’s Joker graphic novel shows Croc as an African-American crime boss with a skin disease that occasionally enjoys feeding on human flesh.

In The Dark Knight Rises, there’s a throwaway line by John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) about a giant alligator in the sewers of Gotham – a respective nod to Killer Croc, one of Batman’s more monstrous foes. It would have been cool to see someone like Idris Elba as this deformed reptile man who makes the sewers of Gotham his kingdom – a massive, impossibly strong bad guy that would push Batman to his limits.

#3: Edward Nash (Riddler)

Batman's Most Wanted: RiddlerKnown under the aliases of E. Nigma (Nygma), Edward (Eddie) Nashton, and Eddie Nash, Riddler is obsessed with riddles, puzzles, and word games. He delights in flaunting his genius by sending both Batman and Gotham’s finest complex clues about his criminal exploits.

What separates Riddler from other members of Batman’s rogues gallery is the fact that he isn’t really a psychopathic murder, but rather a narcissist with an enormous ego. He orchestrates elaborate puzzles and mysteries to flaunt his intellectual superiority over Batman and Commissioner Gordon.

Jim Carrey played the inquisitive instigator in Batman Forever, as an employee of Wayne Enterprises who invents a device that manipulates the minds of the wearer. Nygma uses the device to increase his own intelligence, making him a diabolical genius who aims to ruin Batman’s legacy (and the power of Batman’s symbolism) by revealing the man behind the mask.

Personally, I would love to see someone like Michael Fassbender or Ryan Gosling bring a murderous, deadly edge to Riddler. Imagine Riddler as a Fincher-esque serial killer from Se7en or Zodiac, murdering Gothamites and leaving elaborate ciphers and clues for Batman to solve. We would get to see the detective side to Batman as he uses advanced gadgetry (courtesy of Morgan Freeman‘s Lucius Fox) to examine forensic evidence and the clues Riddler has purposely left at crime scenes.

#2: Dr. Victor Fries (Mr. Freeze)

Batman's Most Wanted: FreezeFries is a brilliant scientist confined to a cryogenic suit that keeps him alive. In the most common variation of his origin story, Fries was a genius in the field of cryogenics who suffered an industrial accident while attempting to cure his terminally-ill wife, Nora.

After Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s performance in Batman and Robin, it’s easy to dismiss Mr. Freeze as a potential villain in Nolan’s Batman universe – but consider for a moment if the character was played straight.

I could easily see Hugh Jackman (think The Fountain) sporting a bald head, using icy gadgets to secure capital in finding a cure for his cryogenically frozen wife. One thing’s for sure, Nolan’s Freeze wouldn’t be spouting off one-liners like, “You’re not sending me to the cooler!” or “Allow me to break the ice!”

#1: Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn)

Batman's Most Wanted: Harley QuinnCreated by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, Harley Quinn first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series as female sidekick for the Joker. Harleen Quinzel was an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who became fascinated with the Joker’s psychiatric profile (and his bizarre crimes) and soon fell hopelessly in love with him. After helping Joker escape the asylum, Harleen is driven mad and quits her psychiatrist job only to don a sexy, skintight jester costume and become Harley Quinn.

If Heath Ledger were still alive, it’s hard to say what The Dark Knight Rises could have entailed. When we last saw the Joker at the end of The Dark Knight, Batman strung him up for Gotham’s SWAT unit to apprehend – no doubt throwing him in a padded cell for the rest of his life. I could imagine Dr. Quinzel (perhaps played by Carey Mulligan or Michelle Williams) as a young psychiatrist at Arkham (a former intern of Dr. Jonathan Crane) who frees the Joker from his cell and joins him as an agent of chaos.

Maybe there’s an epic tag-team match waiting to happen with Batman and Catwoman taking on Harley Quinn and the Joker – but alas, the Joker died with Heath Ledger, and it’s better that his character is not mentioned during The Dark Knight Rises. With eight years in between the two films, I like to imagine the numerous scenarios that could have involved Ledger’s character. Could he have escaped Blackgate Penitentiary when Bane led the riotous prison break? Or is he still locked up in the secure wing of Arkham, sitting in a dark corner of his padded room rocking back and forth – laughing – repeating, “It’s all part of the plan” ad infinitum.

What do you think? What Batman villains deserved ‘The Christopher Nolan’ treatment? Just for fun, it’d be hilarious to see SNL’s Bill Hader doing his Vincent Price impersonation as EggHead – or maybe Will Sasso as King Tut? OK, I’m kidding – I’ll stop the ’60s Batman references… but seriously, some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb – something Adam West and Christian Bale can both relate to.

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  • PAUL

    Hm…Batman has already had big screen battles with most of these Rogues, all of them more or less on par with Batman as far as intelligence. I actually enjoyed the Tim Burton take on Penguin and don’t feel as though Riddler can be improved on after Arkham City. Mr. Freeze is an interesting character due to his motivation and Harley Quinn might’ve been nice, but not without her leading man. Killer Croc is a nice choice as it segues beautifully into my next few suggestions. Personally, I’d love to see how far Chris Nolan could have played the “realism” angle using some of the more monstrous villains like Clayface, Man-Bat or Solomon Grundy (he was fun to battle in Arkham City). Just no Bat-Mite!

  • Poison Ivy ……sigh

  • Adam Frazier

    Yeah, I would agree so far as to say the villains have been portrayed fantastically in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City – but I just can’t see Clayface or Man-Bat in a Nolan batman film… maybe in a more fantastical, “Amazing Spider-Man” esque Batman movie, but not in Nolan’s universe.

  • Adam Frazier

    Haha, I considered Ivy – and she does deserve better treatment after Batman & Robin but, I couldn’t imagine a storyline where she could really thrive… after Joker and Bane try to destroy Gotham, it’s hard to picture Ivy covering it in plants :/

  • Dylon

    u should send this to Christopher Nolan or Warner Bros.

  • Maracaibo

    I’d like to see Hugo Strange or the Ventriloquist. 

  • Excuse me, you’re suggesting that Michelle Williams—Heath Ledger’s ex—-portray Harley Quinn, the Joker’s henchwench?  You REALLY didn’t think that through, did you?  Which is not to say that she wouldn’t be great in the role, but I really doubt that she would be up for it.  I could see either Kristen Bell or Sheri Moon Zombie making a superb Harley.

  • Pov

    I’m no writer, but Christ Nolan would’ve to changed most of the character trait in order to fit em into the film. Take note that none of the villains so far have any super power or overpower. Most of the things they do were possible in a sense of human, except over power gadgets and what not. So if you put mr.freeze in there, it would make the movie look like batman and robin, and we all know how that movie goes.

  • FrankFurt

    You really didn’t read the article very closely did you?  He was suggesting that she could play the role if Ledger hadn’t died.  

  • Brian

    These are interesting ideas, but I think they, like my other three favorites-Ivy, Clayface, and Man-bat-are stretches for Nolan’s universe.
    I remember when everyone thought that the third movie would have Riddler. Penguin and Riddler could work realistically, but if they assumed the role of master plotter for their films, they would have to, become more murderous. To do that would strip them of their appeal. Riddler and The Penguin are much more suited to face Adam West than Christian Bale. Killer Croc and Victor Freeze would both benefit from a dark interpretation but they’re too sci-fi, and Harley Quinn, as much as it pains me to say it, wouldn’t work.

    She’s my favorite Bat-villain, but she needs the Joker (or Ivy at the very least.)  Even if Ledger lived, Nolan wouldn’t use her because she’s comic relief. Like Penguin and Riddler, darkness doesn’t suit her. Imagine Silence of the Lambs with Hannibal Lecter accompanied by a plucky sidekick dressed as a court jester. That’s what it would be like if Harley Quinn played a major part.

    She belongs in cartoons, comic books, and lighter movies. With that said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Batman movie–years down the road–that starred with Joker, Poison Ivy, and Harley in the middle.

  • Killum101

    Calendar Man
    Black Mask
    Gentleman Ghost
    Hugo Strange

  • a turd on a stick would be better than nolans bane

  • Linkoblivion

    Sherri Moon Zombie would be absolutely amazing as Harley!!! The subject of who could be cast as Harley has been on my mind since the late 90’s. I used to think Lori Petty would be perfect until I saw a recent pic of her (she got really old).

  • Hikage_23

     MadMike is referring to the fact that Ledger and Williams have a public ugly break up and she probably would not have wanted to work wit him.

  • Brian

    They divorced before Heath Ledger died.

  • I really wished Harley Quinn was in a film but she needs the Joker along with her. 

  • KainDrake

    I like the idea about Killer Croc. One idea I had for the character came from an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. In one episode, while on the run, a traveling freak show adopts him. So I thought, for the Nolanverse, Killer Croc could have been a part of a traveling freak show with full body tattoos resembling scales, teeth filed, and studs along his eye brows.

  • Rossta13

    i think a cool realistic tragic story about mr freeze could actually work really well and not have to be overly sci-fi  at all. imagine victor as a brilliant scientist thats has been banned from his profession for illegally performing experiments on his ill wife trying to cure her. as her condition worsens and his money has run dry he is now a broken desperate man that turns to crime to help fund it. then after accidentally crossing the black mask or penguin( or who ever really) they punish him by some sort of freezing method.he finds out his wife has died while in the hospital healing from the frostbite and and other medical conditions.this would obviously push him of the edge and being the brilliant man he is, he makes a suit to help him get his strenghth back and speed up the healing processes equipped with a breathing mask piece/helmet and some type of liquid nitrogen gun to torture the men responsible the same way he was tortured       

  • LiveWire

    hugh jackman is wolverine. you cant cast him in any other super hero roles

  • I can’t imagine a better Bane.  What didn’t you like about him?

  • MPugh

    You lost me at suggesting that you would like to see Ryan Gosling play the Riddler… -_____- 

  • Cloe

    Even though Nolan supposedly killed off twoface in the Dark Knight, I think it’d be awesome if he revisited him in another movie. Additionally, I feel that Robin should also get fair treatment. The Dark Knight Rises, I feel, left so much unsaid. *Spoiler alert* How can you introduce Robin and then just end the series? Ugh. 

  • White_kazuya

    You forgot that Victor Zsasz is also in Batman Begins as a minor character, and in ‘The Dark Knight’ the Joker dresses as a clown female nurse in the hospital scene (possible reference to Harley Quinn??? ).

  • Bruce willis as the Sand Man with Vin Diesel as King Tut…Sandman wants to put Gotham asleep so he uses a chemical to wake up Tut from Gothams Musuem. Tut battles the bat while the sand man schemes to steal Gothams dreams

  • Omar Tejeda10

    What if joker meet died at the end of the dark knight.. Right when the movie ends you hear a faint laugh and it’s a laugh very much like the joker

  • not really a big fan of any of these ideas

  • Alison Carroll would make the perfect Harley Quinn

  • Loopycheshirecat

    I actually agree with this. While I do think Ryan gosling is a good actor, I just can’t picture him playing the riddler. Ryan gosling just seems….not excitable enough. Jim Carey’s riddler was far too zany and quite frankly seemed like a child that needed a strong dose of Ritalin rather than an intelligent and sinister criminal, but Ryan gosling just wouldn’t have that finesse.

  • Marcusbice

    I would love to see Robin Williams play thr Riddler, and i mean scary Robbin Williams

  • Scott Ramsay

    These are awful. Nolan made Batman more realistic, so a killer croc or or mr. freeze’ would have no place in a Nolan movie. They would have to be made realistic, like the Joker was in TDK, or Bane was in TDKR.

  • mwagner26

     The easiest way to kill two birds with one stones, in regards to Harley Quinn.  Have her be a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum.  She’s serving an internship (or something else that is quite feasible).  This is her first time in there.  She opens the door to a “holding cell”.  The room is somewhat dark, with the only light being a hanging light bulb.  As she walks in, we see her name tag.  And then, a face comes forward.  All we really need to see is those scars.  The Glasgow Smile is all we, the audience need to connect the dots. 

    There isn’t much need for anything else.  There doesn’t need to be any banter between the two, besides her introducing herself as Doctor Harleen Quinzell.  If you’d want some lines of dialogue for Joker, all he needs to say is “Hello Harley.”

    Granted, this is what I would do if I was to direct a sequel to The Dark Knight, or any other Batman follow-up (that take place within the realistic universe Nolan has created).  This way, you can just as easily establish the character, without having to really worry about creating an arc for her. 

    That’s just my two cents as to how “easy” it would be to introduce Harleen Quinzell/Harley Quinn.

  • Yaya

    I would like to see Poison Ivy.  However, I envision her as a prostitute or high profile escort that kills her Johns.

  • Adam Frazier

    Scott, that’s kind of the point of the article… 

  • Adam Frazier

    No one could imagine Ledger as Joker or Hathaway as Catwoman… and that turned out pretty well. Nolan casts good actors first – I have no doubt Gosling would be fantastic in a Batman movie. 

  • Adam Frazier

    Tell that to Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans ;)

  • Why turn her into a prostitute? Because she is sexy she has to be a sex worker? Wasn’t Pam a scientist in canon before turning into Ivy?  I’d keep that background and make her into some kind of eco terrorist maybe.

  • I could maybe see it. Even if you don’t do the ‘she magically controls plants’ route. Make her some sort of chemist or crazed eco terrorist. After Bane, the city & bridges are all destroyed. Bombs have gone off all over the city, tunnels are collapsed. Ivy jumps on Ra’s bandwagon and decides Gotham has fallen to far to save. It’s time to let Nature take it’s course and of couse she can help speed up the destrction some how. IDK. It would definitely be a biiiig stretch but I would love to see a better live action take on Ivy. Lots of potental there where many people only write her as a crazed ex fiend.

  • JsironStories

    Mandy, thank you for being one of the few sane voices on this thread. The elements to make Ivy into an awesome live-action villain are already out there. 

    For some reason, people can’t seem to find a way to put femme fatales into films without making them sex workers. When did the whole world turn into a Frank Miller comic?! :p

  • Trexbytes

    ClayFace could have been used. In the Nolanverse he would have been a great master of disguise with all kinds of masks.

  • Ryan Gosling as Black Mask. He could play a smug rich boy like Bruce Wayne who turns into a head stomping psycho crime boss in a snap.

  • InvisibleZombie

    I always envisioned Paul Reubens as The Riddler! I wasn’t too pleased with the Carrey/Jones team-up. It always felt like they were both doing limp versions of The Joker and not interjecting Riddler and Two-Face with their own personas.

  • Hope the next director does better then Nolan I feel like Nolan threw off Two-face,which more could of been done with him and scarecrow

  • I agree….If Christopher Nolan was interested in a justice league movie he could of put superman at the end saving batman

  • I think Bradley Cooper or Ryan Goslling should be the next batman

  • KainDrake

    Nolan has said that he isn’t interested in being involved nor connected to the Justice League.

  • Bri

    I completely agree with what you’re saying about Edward Nash. Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassenberg would be a brilliant casting idea. I really think Nolan could do a lot with the Riddler character. And Idris Elba as Waylon Jones…genius!

  • liam

    i think that he is intending you to watch it again knowing he is Robin and pick up all the clues rather than develop him later, hopefully im wrong and he has no intention of finishing with batman and we will see a robin type film soon

  • As for how Joker would have fit in with Bane, had Heath Ledger not died, I don’t know, but I definitely could have seen a funny (NOT campy, of course) moment in which Joke makes his approach (like he did in The Dark Knight and did the “magic trick”) and tries to sell Bane on a partnership. Bane dispatches a goon, Joker reveals he’s wearing a vest of C-4, and a tense stand-off ensues. Now the funny part comes when Joker takes out his card, sets it on the table, and says, in the perfect delivery style he had, “Well, here’s my number… Call me, maybe.”
    C’mon, though it might sound corny, there were at least a couple moments in The Dark Knight that were funny like that, but because they were darker in tone it didn’t come across as camp. Delivered in the psycho style of Ledger’s Joker, it would have been so creepy you had to laugh.

  • Raydahbass

    I think the Rock would make a badass Killer Croc and Red Hood played by Jason Statham would make a bad ass movie with Blake (nightwing) taking them on with the help of Batman

  • Gekorecords

    I think Elijah Wood would make a good Riddler.

  • Filmfanatic

    I dunno why nobody’s interested to see Leonardo DiCaprio as the Riddler. He would’ve been the next villain in Nolan’s rendition. Sadly, Nolan only wanted a trilogy. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! We could’ve seen all these guys in action. Including, Hush and the Court of Owls. Ryan Gosling, for me, would be more epic as The Man Without Fear, Daredevil. While Bradley Cooper should rightfully be the next Green Lantern. Michael Fassebender is already perfect as the Master of Magnetism. His costume needs a complete revision though. 

  • Brooke

    *Spoiler alert*
    How can you introduce Robin and then end the series? Probably because Robin was introduced as a way for WB to make a fourth movie, without Nolan or Bale. The way the movie ends, I think we’re supposed to assume that he takes up the Batman mantle. “Anyone can be Batman,” they say that more than once in the movie, which is a strong hint that they are considering making further movies with a Batman who isn’t Bruce Wayne. And frankly, I’d kinda like that, as I loved Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance in the movie.

  • Ali Maserati

    When there wad speculation of the Riddler being cast Marshall Mathers said “When it comes to business I ain’t no fiddler… Tell them Batman biggies I wanna be the Riddler”. I think he would play the role of a dark twisted riddler incredibly well. If not I think Johnny Depp would be a good choice considering the vast amount of ‘strange’ roles he’s had, Edward scissorhands and Alice in wonderland etc

  • Johnny Depp as the Rittler!!!
    It should have been Rittler and Bane in this last trilogy!!
    Then I might of forgotten how muh it sucked ass cause the Joker wasn’t even mentioned!
    #Dead or Not it was disrespectful not to mention the Joker in the trilogy!

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  • mr man

    You CAN bring back the joker if you have an actor that CAN act. Unfortunately there aren’t that many mainstream actors that are required to act these days so who knows who really can anymore? as mentioned down there. robin williams could pull it off. he has actualy been quite creepy in a few movies. Johny dep going more maniacal/ less composed? Elijah wood was plenty weird in Sin City and if he can be humorous too then probably, shit even daniel radcliffe if he could be funny.

    I would like to see Shia lebeouf? get killed off in a movie. He would probably be great as a young asshole businessman that ignores batman regarding something and has to pay the price. 

  • Very good list.  I just don’t see how Mr. Freeze would work in a nolan universe, so that is the one choice I have an issue with.  

  • Perhaps you’re just cynical when it comes to professionalism of actors and actresses.  Linda Hamilton refused to appear in Terminator 3 unless her ex husband, who had an affair with another woman, was the director.

  • It’s funny I thought Diesel wouldve mad a great Bane( before seeing TDKR, obviously ).

  • I am not sure I agree.  Cobblepot absolutely could’ve replaced Maroni in the dark knight and with some nuance added to the character could have been just as effective.  Would have loved Paul Giamatti as Cobblepot.  

  • AlexiasLazar

    Clayface, as played by Bruce Jenner.

    Poison Ivy, as played by Anne Coulter.

    Firefly, as played by Macaulay Culkin.

    Man-Bat, as played by “The Situation.”

    Soloman Grundy… Cher of course!

  • If they ever decided to attempt to do Mr. Freeze, Christoper Lloyd would be perfect in my opinion.

  • KainDrake

    I’ve always though Patrick Stewart would have been an excellent Mr. Freeze.

  • Agreed.  I think Two-Face was interesting enough to make an entire movie from.  Nolan barely set him up in part 2, then cast him aside.  Shame, because the character was good, the actor was good, and the special effects were awesome!

    I would also like to see directors start using villains for more than one movie.  It doesn’t seem right that Batman completely defeats every villain in a single two-hour movie.  It doesn’t happen that way in the comics or the TV series.

    I know movies are different.  But it would give more depth and interest to sequels if we saw a villain defeated in the first one, but coming back stronger in the second.  Perhaps aligning with a new villain.  

    I think there’s unexplored connections here.

  • Honestly, I don’t think any Batman character deserves what Nolan has done. The Tim Burton treatment, however… ;)

  • Jeffrey WM

    I could see a movie with the Riddler and Hugo Strange as the main villian along side a host of side characters that would could aid them.  This movie would be a darker, bruital, more twisted of Nolans first three due to the other characters.  Zsasz, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy and Deadshot. Six villians for the Batman, Robin (or Nightwing), and Catwoman along with Gothams Finest.

  • Josh

    James Cameron?

  • Josh

    They did make an entire movie with Two Face; it was called “The Dark Knight.” His role in that made perfect sense in the context of the film and the world that Nolan had created. I had no issue with how the character was used.

  • Josh

    No and no. I have no real beef with Gosling, but Bradley Cooper needs to stop making movies, period. The guy is a one-trick pony. He’s terrible.

  • Josh

    An eco-terrorist would be a great way to ground the Ivy character in reality.

  • You know what I meant.  

    Two-Face didn’t arise until the last quarter of the movie and was killed 20 minutes later.

    Nolan made him incidental to the movie when he (Two-Face, not Harvey Dent) could have been an entire movie by himself.

  • Alex

    I liked his choices of actresses to play Harley Quinn. I remember after seeing The Dark Knight, I envisioned a story line where Batman does what ever with whom ever while it constantly flashes back to Joker’s therapy sessions with Harley and then her helping him escape after the credits

  • I noticed one of Bane’s henchman was a sniper taking people out from a distance. I thought they were gonna mention he was DeadShot and give a slight nod to him. that would have been cool. alas it was all in my head.

  • fedfan86

    It’s funny, I actually came on here to post this comment about Ivy but see someone beat me to it. With all the ecological issues in our society now, this character could have really been incredible. Just a scientist pushed too far by her superiors/governing bodies so she uses her expertise to retaliate.

  • right after the dark knight came out I immediately saw what could be done with villians in this world with the right actors and at first I thought of phillip seymor hoffman for the penguin but with more thought I would give it to Brendan Gleeson (mad eye moody). I loved him in the potter series and he was awesome for In Bruges as well. Also for the riddler I think bringing the detective aspect much more strength would be awesome. I think crispin glover could do a really great version but the fassbender suggestion is also a great idea. He might be tied up with Magneto though.

  • discoqueen

    what would be funny is if they picked another person to be the Joker and he turns out to be better than the last two. they could audition any one that is good at playing crazy characters for the role. The riddler would be fun, he could be like the tv shows mentalist villian Red John who commits murders with riddles and they can never catch him to the final end. The penguin would be cool especially if he teamed up with that girl who took over wyanes business and thats how he got his weapons etc. bat girl is not a villain but it would be cool to see her done better in a film and where she could be a love interest for robin, all though I always hate how bat man never gets the girl in the end he is single all his life with a once in a while fling with a woman.

  • Alabaster

    The Mad Hatter. If anyone here has played the Batman: Arkham City video game, then you know. That Mad Hatter. Nolan would have made him truly terrifying. A nolan-directed Batman movie with the Mad Hatter as the primary bad guy might even have to be classified as horror.

  • Alabaster

    I think that was just done to appease people who wanted to see it. Which is why he went with the John Blake, cop who works with Batman version of Robin, instead of the Dick Grayson, orphaned acrobat saved by Bruce Wayne version of Robin. Also, Nolan stated at some point that he felt Robin was just too campy of a character in general, and that as long as he was directing Batman movies, “there will be no Robin”.

  • i wish

    Hardy could have, and should have, been Black Mask. He’s also a Brit and can definitely play outside of a thug. That, or Dicaprio or Levitt as Hush.


    Here are some batman villains I would’ve loved to receive the nolan treatment, aside from the ones on the list…
    BLACK MASK-could’ve appeared as one of the mob bosses in the dark knight
    HUGO STRANGE-maybe he could’ve taken over Jonathan Crane’s position in Arkham
    SCARFACE (The ventriloquist)- This would be an interesting villain because honestly he commits crime with a puppet
    CALENDAR MAN- Since this guy’s been nothing but a joke of a character back in the day, I think he has so MUCH potential for a NOLAN UPGRADE. He’s by far one of the most realistic Batman villains out there…

    DEATHSTROKE (Slade)- I know he’s a Teen Titans villain but he would be cool in the BATMAN movies

  • Nomis1800

    I would’ve liked to see Hugo Strange, or Black Mask. Maybe a toned down Firefly just like Mr. Zsasz was in BB.

    And about Harley Quinn, when she was still alive I would’ve LOVED to see Britanny Murphy in the role!!!
    Sadly, she and Ledger both are gone.. Like it never may have been.

    TDKR is a very special film. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!! Nolan made a perfect trilogy :)

  • Kristen Bell as Harley Quinn. That is all.

  • The only villain I would have liked to see in Nolan’s Bat-trilogy is Hugo Strange, because he is much closer to Batman than many of Batman’s other kind of B- or C-list villains, since he knows Batman’s secret identity and who has managed to at least match wits with the Caped Crusader. I’ve noticed that Nolan only tends to pick villains who have had a larger impact on or closer relationship to the Dark Knight. Ra’s wants similar goals as Batman and almost plays a warped father figure. Joker is Batman’s opposite in every way and offers the ultimate challenge to Batman’s “no kill” rule, not to mention his responsibility for the death of the second Robin and crippling of Barbara Gordon in the comics. Bane, both in comic and movie, is the only villain who physically broke the Bat. Two-Face, at least in the second film and “The Long Halloween,” shows Batman’s attempt to finally secure Gotham’s legal system, ultimately pushing it further into darkness.

    That said, how are Mr. Freeze and Batman really emotionally related? Has Penguin ever really done much beyond being a thorn in the Bat’s side? Has the Riddler even done much to Batman beyond just solving more riddles?

    Obviously, I could be mistaken and I don’t know the comics THAT well, so if somebody wants to point out moments in the comic where these characters DO make a large impact on Batman’s character, be my guest.

    THAT’S what I love about Nolan’s trilogy: not just the realism, but the way the characters are used to effect Bruce Wayne on a very personal level, not just someone for Batman to chase around (See Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s movies).

  • Charlie

    I agree. You will notice that Nolan’s characters aren’t customed freaks with a lot of flash and no bang.
    Zsasz is hardly mentioned but he fits in Nolan’s universe as a serial killer that challenges Batman’s moral codes. Riddler is still a fun character and as many have said, he would bring out the “detective” in Batman which is why I believe how the DKR ends so other directors can possibly lead off the Batman groundwork that Nolan has paved forward. Keep away from campy and make the audience believe that a customed hero dressed like a bat could stop notorious and diabolic villians who have hellish personalities bent on destroying humanity.

  • I would have loved to seen Hugo Strange done by Nolan. I may be the only one saying this, but I think they should have put Zsasz as a villain in the movie. Not just on trial, but killing people. Batman could’ve put his detective skills to work. When I was younger I thought Clayface was a hideous villain and personally I would’ve liked to have seen the Nolan take on him, but I’m honestly not sure how well he’d be as a central baddie for a movie. He never struck me as the bad guy that could hold his own for a whole movie.

  • jerryofthewest

    Riddler as a device to coax Batman’s detective skills, yes. Mr. Freeze in an atmospheric, heartbreaking story, yes. And for me, most of all, Poison Ivy. Pllleeeaaassse.

  • Ashotjan

    Bane is a lackluster character and was a horrible choice for this last movie. Boring.

  • Negro

    Sure there are elements of the various Robin characters brought together to give us Blake, but Blake isn’t Robin. If anything the Blake character would be taking on the mantle of the Batman. In the trilogy Wayne has stated many times that he was interested in passing on the responsibility to another as soon as a suitable person came along.

  • Rellic

    the one that could’ve Played Harley Quinn, Unfortunately died in 2009, I Think Britney Murphy Would’ve been a great fit for Harley Quinn. and as for Mr. Freeze, I always Pictured Jeremy Irons.

  • Jecht315

    I gave you a up point only because of the Cher choice as Soloman Grundy

  • Phil H

    I like your article, indeed! But I must part with you on who could play Harley Quinn. Maybe I’m thinking too much on the Tim Burton side of things, but I’m sure Pauley Parrette could pull off a reality-grounded Harley Quinn.

  • bfg666

    Helena Bonham Carter.

  • bfg666

    Evans was the original reason why I thought the Cap movie would suck. Then I saw it and Evans suddenly became the least of this film’s troubles…

  • Aaron Versch

    I’d like to see Jude Law or Johhny Depp as the Riddler. Rooney Mera as Harley Quinn, Micheal Clark Duncan as Killer Croc and Bruce Willis as Mr Freeze.

  • Alex Stockwell

    I want to see Ben Foster as Mr. Zsasz. Yes, I know, there was a Victor Zsasz briefly in Batman Begins, but that wasn’t Mr. Zsasz, and you know it. Also, Alicia Witt as Poison Ivy.

  • I would like to see Hush, Hugo Strange or Riddler have the Nolan treatment. Pity it won’t happen

  • Joshua Cagan

    Ridler may have actually been in The Dark Knight, in the form of Mr. Reese (mysteries). He’s the one who figured out Bruce Wayne was Batman.

  • I agree that Hugo Strange would make a great villain. Of course there will be a Batman reboot in our futures and one way to make it great would be to use the “Prey” storyline from Legends of the Dark Knight. Great storyline, Hugo Strange, Catwoman, all around great story.

  • Ray

    You forgot Black Mask

  • I would of so gone with a Kristin Bell as Harley Quinn, maybe brought in another joker and they could of been “bonnie and clyde copy cat”

  • Leonardo Alonzo

    DeadShot was part of Batman: Gotham Knight, as was Killer Croc. It was mentioned that all of the fantastical, less reality-based villains were to appear in those shorts, but was part of the Nolan-verse.

  • The Creeper!

  • JMH

    I think that Poison Ivy would have made a good villain to thwart, or maybe Leonardo DiCaprio as the Riddler…

  • baronvg

    When I saw this pic of Michelle Trachtenberg, mt first thought was Harley Quinn

  • Raymundo

    i think the Penguin, Riddler and Killer Croc shoulda been done by Nolan instead of Bane and Talia. and if Ledger didn’t die and Joker shows up again in tdkr, Harley Quinn’s a definite addition.
    Mr. Freeze..i’m not too sure would look ‘right’ in a Nolan’s Bat-verse, the same with Poison Ivy. but, they’re NOT impossible. the one that just WON’T fit Nolan’s world is CLAYFACE.
    oh…and maybe Man-Bat, too.

  • J. Hayes

    I realize that Nolan’s creative interpretations and reinvention of characters (an element of his films I love, considering he still honors the characters’ core motives and idiosyncrasies) allows most of the villains to be used. However, I have to ask: how exactly do you modify Mr. Freeze to fit into the quandri-realistic mold of Nolan’s films? Or, for that matter, Croc? And, all the while- if you do reinvent them to fit that mold, do so in a way that doesn’t negate their potency? Personally, I think the following villains work best, in bigger or lesser roles: Penguin, Hugo Strange, Deadshot, Black Mask, Riddler.

  • Everyone was hoping for The Riddler, but there’s too much conceptual overlap with The Joker and, if you really ask yourself, do you actually give a shit about The Riddler?

  • Nick

    What if Harley Quinn was used to continue the Joker’s story? Think if she were the “Squeaky Fromme” to Joker’s Charles Manson. With him locked up, she could Zealously continue his mission (or anti-mission). Obviously we wouldn’t start with her origin story, and have her already BE Harley Quinn.

  • Nick

    Also, could Hush work in the Nolan-verse?

  • Nick

    That would be in the Tim Burton-verse, not Nolan-verse.

  • HebiR

    Riddler discovered Batman’s identity at one point in the comics, and had something of a breakdown because of it. My memory is vague on what happened exactly, but I think it had something to do with the knowledge no longer giving him power once he used it.
    I suspect RIddler would either need significant re-imagining to be the primary adversary, or be just one of the foes, as he is not as violent as most of the rogues, nor as prone to killing.

  • Warren B.

    I’m a little dismayed that you’re blaming Batman Forever on the original comics…

  • Kyte

    While I think Mr Freeze was originally fairly flat in the comics, I would direct your attention towards the animated series’ take on the character.

  • JHMP

    All of these choices I like other than killer croc but I could see the rest and possibly Hugo strange as a good villain…or deathstroke he would be good

  • Twinedan

    What about the Mad Hatter? or is he too “unrealistic” for Nolan

  • I think they could do well to make all of these dark charicters but the penguin and the riddler i dont think would work as solo and the actors piced for freeze maybe but i think many others would be better for the riddler maybe do edward norton i think he would fit well and he has done dark movies before so iim sure he would fit into it well as for the penguin i would like to see philip seemor hofman in the role but i heard he turned it down saying there are other actors more qualified then him and he is tall for a penguin but for nolans world he migh fit as the mob boss well

  • i agree with you fully she fits the role perfectly

  • BawstinBatman

    I think that Mr. Freeze would work fine in the Nolan universe. I would have liked to see a Black Mask and Penguin tag team with Freeze on the side. Roman Stonis, aka Black Mask, as the CEO of his parents company Janus Cosmetics, Wayne Enterprises biggest competition in Gotham. He could be funding a cryogenic project (perhaps weapons) headed by Freeze. Freeze ends up losing his wife in a freak accident and goes on a revenge rampage using the weapon(s) he developed, which would send stocks plummeting for Roman and his company. So Roman turns to the Penguin, who has been slowly building Gothams underground back up over the past 8 years, to get rid of Freeze and perhaps try to pull some shady business transactions with Wayne Enterprises to keep his competition down too. When things start to fail, Roman turns coo coo and sports a black mask. Maybe he discovers who Bruce Wayne really is and goes after him full force.

    I will say that TDNR was good enough for me though. If they were to make a 4th I would like to see something along these lines.

  • rickyb6292

    emma stone as harley quinn and jonny depp as riddler for me

  • Nick_1

    Great article. Well thought out and believable scenarios.

  • ryan

    before Christopher Nolan did anything the only batman villain i liked was bane so im happy

  • Jenn

    I would love to see Harley. But saddly I can only imagine Brittney Murphy as her. The fitting mobster moll. Light and bubbly with a twisted undercurrent.

  • Jenn

    I read that. It was in Hush. “What is the power of a riddle that everyone knows the answer to”. Makes sense.

  • Tim burton actually cast Williams for the 3rd movie, and you can even see concept art with him sporting a question mark shaved on the back of his head, but when wb and shoumacher took over, that dream ended

  • NatasjaB

    I could also see Rachel McAdams as Harley – or even Zooey Deschanel.

  • John

    Zsasz was in Batman Begins. He was let loose with the inmates at Arkam Asylum at the end.

  • moi

    TheRiddler idea would be almost perfect. Jim Carrey is an annoying prick so a new actor to characterize Riddler would be brilliant. I wouldn’t make Riddler so murderous. His murders would be almost unintentional, since his MO is to outwit everyone. Maracaibo had a good one; Hugo Strange. I’ll throw an even better one; The Black Mask.

  • moi

    Ratcatcher would be very challenging to pull off.

  • Dave

    I would love to see a live action version of the Ventriloquist and Scar Face. Come on – a guy with a split personality who projects his psychotic side through a puppet, how awesome would that be?

    I would also like to see a darker Poison Ivy, NOT like Uma Thurman’s drag queen performance. I would like to see somebody playing Ivy a bit more like the version in the Arkham Asylum video game.

  • Joshua

    I’ve always wanted to see a GOOD version of Poison Ivy in a Batman film. (I love Uma Thurman, but god was that iteration of Ivy just HORRIBLE.) I never expected Nolan to try her, though. His films brought Batman as close to reality as it could get, and I think Poison Ivy would have been too hard to pull off.

  • HugeFan

    HOW TDKR SHOULD’VE BEEN AND ENDED: The penguin should’ve been a sidekick villian with bane. It makes sense because copplepot was in competition with being wealthy with bruce and was hating on bruce, and if he helped bane and talia with their goal, then he could be perhaps the new prince of gotham (richest in gotham). Penguin being a gangster aristrocat and all, could offer bane and talia the money and resources they needed. And robin could’ve been investigating the connections penguin had and suspicous activity ultimately leading up to the end. When talia is confessing the master plan they had catwoman should’ve burst in with the motorcycle and ran it into bane pinning him against the wall, and then pull out her whip and say “paws off!” to talia and her and talia start fighting (after a while talia secretly gets away after releasing a smoke pellet and has a league of shadow bodygaurd or whatever replace her until the end of the movie where she dies in the truck.) then batamn recovers and bane recovers and they have their final epic showdown, meanwhile penguin sees the shit hitting the fan and sneaks away. But robin stops him outside or whatever and fights penguin and some goons. And you know what would happen there *fastfoward* After they show the bat blow up over the ocean, show security escorting bane (who is stray-jacketed) into arkham aslyum to his cell, and on their way they pass by new psychiatrist harlely as she is walking (one of the guards says hey harley), and doctor strange’s office (before he turns full blown evil), madhatter’s, penguin’s, scarecrow’s, and zsasz’s cell. Then after they place bane in, someone begins talking to bane and it’s two face. (turns out that fall didn’t kill him and they locked him away in there and decided to lie about him like they did). then the camera pans out, revealing it’s still daytime but what arkham asylum looks like with nolan’s vision. *then a fire will rise begins playing* when alfred looks to see bruce and selena sitting together, it should’ve been that bruce actually comes up behind alfred and rests his hand on his shoulder saying we need to talk or something like that. As bruce is talking explaining why he still needs to be batman sayin as long as there is breath in his body he is batman and etc. show clips of people rebuilding gotham, and show the people of gotham. show bruce visiting his parents’ grave, show gordon’s wife comming back to him pregnant (you comic readers out there know what that means), show catwoman on top of a building as a flying batamn shadow glides over her and she looks up, the people of gotham starting to look up, a hooded figure spray painting a green question mark as batman’s shadow flies by and they look towards it, show a woman in her heavily damaged greenhouse kneeliing at a plant (the criminals that bane let out of the prison/jails wrecked everything remember when they went on that rampage), and talia taking a knee as a hand touches her shoulder and she looks up, and then showing a panned shot of gotham with the bat signal and batman the flies up to the screen as the song ends. that would’ve been awesome.

  • Penguin is connected to Bruce Wayne through their families. The Copplepots was just has important as the Waynes. Thomas Wayne crippled the Copplepots or might had been Bruce’s Grandfather that did so the penguin holds a grudge against Waynes not Batman (he just foils his plans)

  • that statement right there should had banned Nolan from making any Batman movies…

  • Am I the only one that thought DKR was a terrible “Batman” movie but good “action” movie?

  • Cam

    Leonardo Dicaprio as The Riddler

  • Cam

    In my opinion Aaron Eckhart is one of the most underrated actors around today. I think his portrayal of Harvey Dent is iconic.

  • a nerd

    what they should of had was actual Bane the awesome mexican fighter beefed up on venom, the first time I saw TDKR Bane I thought it was some horrible joke

  • @TerryTheHat

    Is Killer Croc not mentioned in ‘Dark Knight Rises’?
    When Blake is saying about Gordon blabbering about some crocodiles in the sewer just after he leaps into the water away from Bane?

  • I can only see David Tennant as the Riddler. He has the right mix of mania, intelligence, darkness and can do darkly comic. The most defining moment I believe for the Riddler in the comics, for me, is at the climax of one of the stories. Batman comments something along the lines that in the end, Riddler was just a common thief. Riddler, never one for modesty, responds “Wrong. I am an *exceptional* thief!”
    Riddler just doesn’t work as murderous, however, he DOES work as a callous behind the scenes manipulator. I can see him putting some other villain on the firing line, not really caring if he lives or dies, as long as he provides the part of the puzzle the Riddler wants.
    As for other villains…. I have to go with Talia al’Ghul, coming to Gotham to not only finish her father’s work, but to get revenge on Bruce Wayne. And, like her father, she uses other villains as her local muscle… I think Firefly would be ideal… a murderous arsonist and explosives expert.

  • No, I hate Christopher Nolan’s treatment of the Batman universe. Why can’t The Joker have permanent white skin anymore? Why is Ra’s Al Ghul now pronounced “Roz”? Why does Batman have to talk like he has throat cancer? and why can’t Bane run off Venom anymore and why isn’t he Latin-American anymore? The last thing I want to see is Christopher Nolan ruining more of the characters that I love.

  • FromTokyo

    “a guy with a split personality who projects his psychotic side through a puppet, how awesome would that be?” That would be creepy-cool. I’d love to see it if they could do it right.

  • Michael

    First, do we know Bane died from that blast? Also, Javier Bardem as Hugo Strange might be interesting. Some form of teaming up may do well, however I could see Bane getting cross-ways with Strange in a brilliant-ego sense and being conflicted. That is if he lived. But Javier Bardem, come on.

  • phil

    I think the scarecrow should be on that list

  • Prophetofacrazedman

    i would love to see Victor Zzazz and or Hugo strange. The riddler would be a great tag team with great white or black mask.

  • Hugo strange and mr freeze and killer croc

  • kiri2391

    i think johnny depp would b a good riddler. also poison ivy deserves recognition too.

  • I could see Clayface as a henchman for a more sinister villain. Clayface would be a master of disguise.

  • I would love to see Mr. Freeze in a serious Batman movie. I don’t know why but Mr. Freeze has always been my favorite Batman villain. Its probably because he is the only villain that isn’t really crazy or a bad guy, he doesn’t want to just watch the world burn and he’s not just out to prove he’s smarter or better then batman. All he wants to do is find a cure for his terminally ill wife and to destroy the company and people that ruined his life. To me he’s not that much different from Batman, they both lost people they loved due to the actions of bad people which caused them to because the people they are now.

  • ^ that statement should ban you from the human race

  • thomas

    i’d go with michael c. hall as the riddler (dexter/gamer should prove his ability to play him)…would be a terrorist/thief ala hans gruber but would use riddles/puzzles to terrorise…

    and i would cast giovanni ribisi as the ventriloquist…could easily a split personality

    bob hoskins to play the penguin….

  • thomas

    i’d cast giovanni ribisi for the ventriloquist HANDS DOWN

  • thomas

    has the looks, lacks the acting depth

  • You’re an Idiot

    The conclusion of Harley Quin blew my mind. You are a genius, though when you think about it, they might have executed the Joker afterwards, so that would be invalid.

  • Viola Gold

    Mr. Hat? Is that you?

  • Mr. Freeze & Killer Croc? Just… no.

  • A. Pennyworth

    I know I’m in the minority here, but….the Chris Nolan Batman movies were really boring and uninspired in my book…and Heath Ledger was awful as the joker. There. I said it. Just one gut’s opinion, feel free to disagree. He turned Gotham City into Dullsville.

  • Eh, I’d rather not see the Riddler portrayed as yet another murderer. He’d have been better used in “TDK3” as a news blogger or vigilante fact-checker who gives Gothamites the threads to rip apart the lie behind the Dent Act. As his reputation spreads, his tactics would grow ever more elaborate–he’d go from a guy in a green hoodie posting sheets wherever they’ll catch attention, to a dapper man who hijacks TV signals every so often (a la V for Vendetta) to ask another riddle. Here’s the beauty part: nobody can silence him, because that’ll only prove him right! He’d probably go to press conferences and sit in the shadows, madly giggling to himself while Commissioner Gordon ties himself into knots at the podium.

  • vondode

    Killer Croc was featured in the Gotham Knight DVD that took place between the first two films. I wish Nolan would have had Dr. Quinzel there at the final moments when they were putting the joker in the van. With some little line like “Come on Mr. J.” or “Lets go for a ride Mr. J.” It would be interesting to find out what he thought would be in the third film, but given no reference to Harley Quinn was made I figured he wasn’t going in that direction. They are great films, but they each seem to be missing a certain something. It’s like he could have used a council of fans or at least sat down and watched the entire Batman: TAS show.

  • vondode

    I agree in a literal sense. I wish he would have had a semi creative view of the design of the city. In Begins it was Gotham City, and the next two films it was just any ole big city.

  • vondode

    At least have her there waiting with the van to take him to the asylum. Would have been interesting to see a shadowy glimpse of him in TDKR or at least a newspaper reference. I assume he left it very open incase they plan on using the same story line with a different director.

  • Matthew

    The Riddler should have been number 1 on the list. Other than that, it was a great list.

  • Mikhail Efimenko

    I think you’r describing nolan’s Anarky…

  • Mikhail Efimenko

    Actually,i expected to see Riddler in a post-credits scene in the TDKR.

  • I believe Poison Ivy should be the next main villain in the movies. In all the films its been male villains or the main villain is male. Poison Ivy is psychotic, she can kill with a kiss and control plants. Or have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy team together against the Dark Knight. But my vote is Poison Ivy.

  • vnllathndr31

    personally seeing Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr as Killer Croc would fit the bill if he had not made an appearance in the Dark Knight.

    Also, FamousMonster hit the nail on the head when he said Michael Fassbender as the Riddler. I feel the he would do an incredible job at doing his interpretation of the Riddler

  • vnllathndr31

    Exactly. Also in the comics, Robins true identity is Dick Grayson so having Blake be Robin would not match up with the original story.

  • Clayface: play him as some sort of hit man or unhinged actor, appearing throughout the movie. Always in the background, always a different person. Very Seven-esque. Think of that awesome assassin from Smokin’ Aces who would ‘wear’ people… yeah… like that.

  • BatmanFan

    I would love th see Michael Emerson as the Riddler

  • dryintherain

    I always thought Poison Ivy as some sort of eco-terrorist would have been cool to see in the films

  • I’d like to see, well, The Joker again. Either as he is in the recent Batman storyline by Snyder and Capullo, with his facing cut-off and strapped back onto his head (solves the problem of not having to use Ledger), or as the Jokerz, the gang of Joker obsessed criminals from the Batman Beyond cartoon. Hell, use the Jokerz as the henchmen and have them led by Harley Quinn.

  • HQ doesn’t necessarily need The Joker… she did have her own spin with Poison Ivy & Catwoman in Gotham City Sirens, you know.

  • Ricky Riccardo

    Neil Patrick Harris as Riddler… he could do it well.

  • what about poison Ivy?????

  • Olivia

    She’d be fantastic.

  • SickBoy

    The answer to all your questions (and to many others that bother the average Nolan-haters) is simple: the things Nolan changed (Bane not being latin-american and not running off Venom, the Joker’s permanente white skin etc.) are ridiculous and DO NOT work on screen, especially in a realistic, believable universe. I mean: permanent white skin? A mexican wrestler on a strenght-building drug? Seriously? This stuff is useless for the storytelling and simply screw up any possible suspension of disbelief.
    The things Nolan ADDED instead (like the growling quality of Batman’s voice) have a sense and DO work on screen.

  • Riddler is the most obnoxious idiotic villain Batman ever dealt with. When Penguin got out of prison and went straight, and Riddler tried to horn in, Batman told him to go away, that he wasn’t even a real villain or criminal, he was just a nut with a guilt complex that compelled him to leave obvious clues all over the place.

  • Tao_Te_Ching

    I don’t agree. All the villains you mentioned have something in common with the villains Nolan uses in his trilogy and are thus in a way represented. Penguin’s indirectly represented by all the mafia bosses Nolan portrays in the first and second movie, especially Falcone (whose name is derived from a bird as well). Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc are brutal, physically violent villains, like Bain. The Riddler and Harley Quinn are very similar to The Joker. Nolan wanted to avoid redundancies, and in his trilogy chose villains that were distinctly different from one other. If he had added all the characters you say, the movie would have become too confusing, and the plot less clear and powerful.

  • The only Batman villain that came off well from the “Christopher Nolan treatment”, was The Joker. So, I’d go ahead and say that it’s a good thing he didn’t take on any others.

  • I’m obviously not saying I’m glad Heath Ledger passed away, but for the sake of the film series I thought it was very cool that Joker wasn’t even mildly referenced in Dark Knight Rises. I love the Dark Knight series because it presents a radically different side to Batman, and as a lover of film and fiction I must say it worked out very well. They were extremely creative films. I think some of the bold critics of the films forget that film directors and screenwriters are allowed to make their own creative liberties with anything and everything they want to adapt… that is, as long as it’s not so outlandish that it doesn’t make sense–like Batman and Robin.

  • swooptie

    It breaks my heart that the one actress who could have nailed Harley Quinn has pass on along with Heath Ledger. How cool would it have been for Nolan to have Brittney Murphy play Harley to Heath’s Joker. Classic.

  • The whole realistic take to the batman franchise brought to the screen by Nolan I personally thought was amazing, I love the first two films (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) but I personally thought that the Dark Knight Rises let them down, Tom Hardy as Bane and Anne Hathaway as “catwoman” were spot on choices but how the film rolled out didn’t really appeal to me, The idea of a Realistic/Nolanesque Riddler would be plain and simply awesome, I personally think Jude Law would be a perfect actor to play the role, I also think they could include The Mad Hatter and portray him along with the riddler as very dark characters, not sure who would play him though.

  • I’d rather…Hugo Weaving as Mr. Freeze, he just has that menacing voice when was Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy….but Freeze wouldn’t fit in…so really Dr. Hugo Strange played by Jackman would be a great Dr. Strange…it just fits…not to mention Harley Quinn as well, but start her out as Dr. Quinzel, then she goes into insane obsession as Harley Quinn….

  • me

    poison ivy

  • DarkMoon

    I want to see Black Mask. Who else better to play him then Jackie Earle Haley. I always imagined Bruce Willis as a Mr. Freeze.

  • I could see Patrick Stewart as Mr. Freeze (think “Locutus of Borg”).

  • juepucta


  • I’m not the biggest comic person so I don’t know everything about the series, but from what I know of Killer Croc, he would have been PRRFECT played by Michael Clarke Duncan! That is until I looked him up because I forgot his name and figured out he died at age 54 after a heart attack. Man! That sucks, he was epic as The Kingpin in Daredevil! Then again, I’m not sure if Daredevil is DC, if so it wouldn’t make sense to have him as a super villian in 2 DC movies, but it still would have been nice. I think we might see Killer Croc as a “side villian” like scarecrow in Batman Begins, the seemingly undefeatable one that eventually batman defeats and has to beat who he is working for, a villian with more power, perhaps Penguin or The Riddler. I don’t imagine we will see any of Harley Quinn sadly because of Ledger’s passing.

    EDIT: found out Daredevil is Marvel

    EDIT (again): just found out Idris Eldra played that badass gatekeeper in Thor, I could definitely see him as a big reptile dude but he’s British, he might have to pull a Dr. House and speak with an American accent with Gotham being in America.

  • Chris

    This guy jumped into my head and nabbed my idea. I said phillip seymour hoffman should play the penguin when I was sitting in the theatre watching the dark knight. He’s gotta be one of the best actors out there right now.

  • Chris

    Ryan Gossling, you can kill yourself now for saying that….

  • Chris

    Joseph Gordon Levitt? Hugh Jackman? Ryan Gosling? Please no! That’s why there are bad movies, because of bad actors…. who ever wrote this must love MTV and stuff like that too.

  • I just wanted to point out that there was another one of the Batman rogues gallery of villians from the comic books that was portrayed in the Nolan trilogy (albeit with a really small role): Mr. Zsaz (Victor Zsaz) by Tim Booth in Batman Begins, also the crime boss Carmine Falcone is portrayed by Tom Wilkinson.

  • Who? I’ve never heard of Anarky. He doesn’t sound very stylish, though…the Riddler would at least be well-dressed when he hijacks the signal.

  • Miyah

    Poison Ivy? Im not saying Uma did a bad job, and Im one of those people that weirdly liked the old and new batman movies. But I think she deserves a reboot. In the video games her and Catwoman kinda have this weird friendship or acquaintanceship going on and it’d be nice to see that in film. Maybe do a backstory of how they met and maybe have Emma Stone play a younger Pamela Isley or Rachel McAdams depending on how far back in her life you’re trying to go, and with a more natural red hair color. Also more female batman characters good and bad. Like Talia al Ghul whom everyone thought was going to be played in the final batman movie. But we need more female heros and villains in these superhero movies

  • It’s actually spelled Victor Zsasz and he did appear in Batman Begins!
    Try watching the film again and this time pay attention to the court scene!


    1. Black Mask (definitely deserves a film)

    2. Riddler (could be kind of like the Arkham City version who uses riddles to test Batman’s mental and psychological abilities)

    3. Penguin (Arkham City version or like a gang leader)

    4. Hush (This would be a great villain if they were trying to also introduce Azrael!)

    5. Deathstroke (like a league of shadow member or assassin hired by Black Mask)

    6. Hugo Strange (Arkham City version)

    7. Killer Croc (because he’s cool like that)

  • i disagree with only one villain and that is danny devito’s peguin his performance i put just slightly ahead of ledger’s joker and my reason’s are as follows in the burton/schuemaker erea of batman films the villians were all ‘cartooned’ up except for the peguin devito is perfectly creepy as cobblepot and just to put this out there here is my ranking of batman films

    1 the dark knight for multiple reasons not the least of which is ledger’s joker

    2 batman returns again for devito’s peguin

    3 the dark knight rises once you realize that bane is simply talia al ghul’s mouth piece he becomes a much dark villian that and catwoman was corrected from batman returns although i kicked myself for not realizing they gave tahlia away when they said ra’s al ghul’s kid climbed out of the pit

    4 batman begins it was great to see ra’s al ghul even though his name is mispronounced

    5 batman forever mostly for val kilmer

    6 batman liked it despite the fact that jack nicholson weas 20 years to old and 25 pounds to large for the role
    7 batman and robin far far too many problems to list but here’s a few
    chris o donnel’s performance as jason todd
    batgirl is commisioner gordan’s daughter not alfred’s niece
    and arnold as mr freeze nuff said

  • johnny Depp would be much better suited to play the riddler

  • Thats what I hate about cinema-going audiences today, they all want movies to be “realistic”. To me making films “realistic” is just an excuse for people with no imagination. The main reason I liked the Marvel movies better was because they were actually faithful to the comics, whereas Nolan’s Batman movies were only loosely inspired by them. While I liked the Burton movies, the only medium that has truly done the comics justice is the DCAU of the 90s and early 00s, the Arkham games took this a step further by making it more grittier, as it didn’t have the restrictions of being an all ages cartoon.

    P.S. I’ll let you in on a little secret…
    Batman can never be realistic.

    “We think we understand the rules when we become adults. What we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination”

    – David Lynch –

  • benjamin3290

    Ugh I’m so sick of Johnny Depp. He needs to go away.

  • benjamin3290

    I wholeheartedly agree. The movie had a predictable plot and honestly had too much of a superhero flick feel to it. Sounds weird, but when watching TDK it doesn’t have the whole “yay for superheros and friendship and goodness” feel, whereas DKR definitely does.

  • Max Gonzalez

    agreed with you

  • Max Gonzalez

    yet the best catwoman was tim burton one, michelle pfiffer

  • Max Gonzalez

    nolan had planned to cast harley quinn, he was thinking in madonna to do that character

  • Max Gonzalez


  • Max Gonzalez

    it was the reason why he did commit suicide

  • Lucian

    No. Christopher Nolan ruined enough characters. He destroyed the Batman universe for me. His movies are complete crap. Tim Burton made the best live action Batman movies so far.

  • Máster Fray

    All, except Harley Quinn. Cloudly with a chance…

  • Kex Ukropov

    The girl who played Hit-Girl in kick-ass should be harley. That would be so much fun.

  • Jordan Herkowski

    I liked Batman Arkham City’s take on The Penguin where instead of wearing a monocle he had a broken bottle shoved into his face.

  • Ahmed

    sheri moon zombie has it all to be a perfect Harley Quinn , the height the crazy killer look , the evil beauty

  • Kameron Davis

    man i wish bane was in this list

    (im joking)

  • Che Kohler

    Is no one going to mention the mad hatter? I think Johnny would be better suited for that then the riddler or Benedict Cumberbatch or even perhaps an older version as played by John Hurt, since its not a physically demanding role..

    Black mask (i could see Michael Fassbender, Karl Urban or Guy Pearce) and victor zsasz (I really like Anthony Carrigan in Gotham) would also be interesting adaptations for the nolanverse..I also have a soft spot for anarchy

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