Before we start thinking about who we might see in the third Christopher Nolan film, let’s talk about the character we probably won’t be seeing. Quick, grab a pen and paper and write down as many members of Batman’s rogues’ gallery as you can think of. I’ll wait.
With two movies under his belt, Christopher Nolan has fairly well established his big screen Gotham City. The movies have a dark and dangerous mood to them, much like the city itself. The tone is fairly serious and plays to a more realistic idea of Batman (at least as realistic as a dude in a suit fighting crime can be). It seems pretty certain that they will want to keep with the same mood and tone in the third movie. As such there are some villains that I just don’t think can fit into this version of Gotham.
Cross off of your list:
Anyone with “powers”
The movies have played it pretty straight with the villains they have chosen. So far they have all been incredibly resourceful dudes who use weapons and violence and mind games to battle the caped crusader. None have had special augmentations or abilities (it was never stated whether Ra’s had any life sustaining powers or not, only that his “idea” was immortal). Suddenly throwing in a character who can shoot mud from his hand or command plant life is going to be jarring for an audience. If you can explain the powers away with drug use or technology, we may still be in business, but if it’s a part of you you’re probably out.
Anyone who doesn’t look like a person
So far all of our rogues have looked like more or less like normal people. Two Face had his scarring, but it wasn’t anything that helped him. It was just half of his face blown off. Scarecrow had a mask and Joker had his makeup and Ra’s had his beard. They all look like someone you could potentially see in the real world. This has nothing to do with costumes, as a good wardrobe department could take the most ridiculous costume and make it work within the story. I’m doubting the third movie will throw in a giant man-bat, a walking pile of mud, or an alligator man.
Anyone with a distracting gimmick
All Batman Rogues have a gimmick. Some characters can downplay them, and some really can’t. They are that gimmick and if you take it away they don’t really make sense anymore. Scarecrow worked because his gimmick is fear. That’s a basic human emotion. Not distracting. The Joker’s gimmick is being a clown. This was only touched on with his costume and his playing cards. There were no acid spitting flowers or circus hideouts. It was downplayed so that it wasn’t distracting. Two Face’s gimmick is duality. In the past this has gone as far as twin henchmen and always robbing things with names like Deuces Wild and the Second National Bank. But at its core it is all about that coin, and that’s what the movie focused on. Now let’s think about another villain, the Mad Hatter. His gimmick is Alice in Wonderland. His entire motive revolves around looking for his Alice and he often quotes Lewis Carol. His gimmick isn’t something that can really be boiled down into a simple emotion and without it the character just doesn’t work. You could have a guy who uses mind control hats, but without the Alice stuff it’s just not the Mad Hatter anymore. And this movie is about Batman, not Alice in Wonderland. We don’t want the audience’s minds wandering to other movies or other Mad Hatters.
So with those things in mind, who do we have left? Any who of those villains could be the best fits for the next movie? See my picks tomorrow! And if you wish to amuse yourself in the meantime check out the Wikipedia page for the list of Bat Family enemies (you know, in case you had trouble making a list of your own) and enjoy the insanity of the foes of lesser renown.