As we get closer and closer to our eighth live-action version of Batman, it’s time to think ahead of even this movie and ask: what villains would we love to see appear next on the big screen? We’re all more than aware of iconic bad guys like The Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Two-Face, but surely there are more characters out there to explore in Batman’s world.
Here are five that come to mind, all of whom we wouldn’t mind seeing in a future live-action Batman flick.
A ruthless and sadomasochistic serial killer, Victor Zsasz is a well-known inmate of Gotham’s Arkham Asylum and a recurring rogue of the Caped Crusader. Zsasz marks a tally across his body for each person he has killed and would definitely lean into the much darker and less kid-friendly Batman that DC has been going for since the Dark Knight trilogy.
Zsasz made a small appearance in 2020’s Birds of Prey and was played by Chris Messina, but he didn’t reach the full potential of a man scarred with tally marks notating previous kills. One can only hope that a future iteration of the villain will yield a darker and more in-depth character study.
Clayface is one of the best-known Batman villains to still have not made a feature film appearance. Clayface has had many different people take up the mantle, but for me the best one is still the original: Basil Karlo. A disgraced former actor who got so enraged that one of his iconic roles was to be recast in a remake, he attempted to kill everyone involved in the remake. That would feel especially enjoyable as Batman approaches his umpteenth remake with the umpteenth Bruce Wayne casting.
A giant mass of orange clay is something that can be done nowadays on-screen without looking silly or dumb. Characters like Groot, Rocket, and even the apes from Planet of the Apes look seamless these days, aka #GiantClayfaceNow, please.
An insane professor who turned to crime (much like all Batman villains), Professor Hugo Strange would also provide something new to Batman’s live-action adaptations. Strange’s best known depiction in modern media is his role in the Batman Arkham games, where he is a formidable foe capable of brainwashing others. What makes this version so compelling is that he knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman.
This arc hasn’t been done yet on screen and would really allow for a Spider-Man: No Way Home scenario in which our hero is finally outed to the public.
This may just be more wishful thinking, but surely a man who is obsessed with moths and calls himself Killer Moth would be a perfect fit for a dark Batman movie.
Killer Moth is a really fun character, and he views himself in most versions as the “anti-Batman.” He has a Mothcave, a cocoon gun, a Moth-Signal, a Mothmobile (!!!) ⏤ he’s literally that enjoyable. However, if filmmakers do proceed with a live-action Killer Moth, you can bet that he won’t be in his signature purple and lime green spandex.
A much lesser-known Batman villain, Lonnie Machin / Anarky fancies himself a revolutionary and political leader. His extreme views and ideology work as a foil to Batman in a similar way to The Joker. In the modern day, the character takes on a V for Vendetta-esque ideology and believes that complete political upheaval is the best way for change to take place.
This would work perfectly in a live-action Batman, especially in a world where as an audience we’ve seen The Joker upwards a million times. It may not be the most obvious choice, but it would be a great character to throw into the mainstream.
After all, it’s clear that Batman movies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so why not start to mix things up a bit?