One of the earliest rogues to square off against the Caped Crusader, Strange was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1940 and yet after all this time has never appeared in a live-action adaptation of Batman. Despite inspired turns in the Animated Series, the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game and even 2017’s LEGO Batman, Arkham’s nefarious doctor has been overlooked in Hollywood. Until now?
There are few archetypes creepier than a doctor with a thirst for power. Strange would be the perfect vehicle for an examination of the Arkham Asylum, an area steeped in lore rarely used in the films. Strange is also one of the few characters in the Batman canon to learn Bruce Wayne’s true identity – and once armed with this knowledge, he proceeds to frame the Dark Knight.
In the comics, he’s also depicted as a maniacal devil with a penchant for experimenting on people, creating “Mandroids” and “Monster Men,” horrible mutations capable of going to war. Considering that Strange is currently featured in Fox’s Gotham, he’s not entirely alien to audiences, but here’s an opportunity to situate him front and center in audience’s minds.
So, where does this leave Deathstroke? Well, if you’ve ever played the expansion to Arkham City entitled Lockdown, you’ll know that Strange hires Deathstroke to kill Batman. Could a similar ploy be used here? There’s no reason to think otherwise, especially as Strange prefers to use his brain over his brawn and Deathstroke is ostensibly a gun-for-hire.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of Strange mercilessly framing Bats and using Deathstroke to corner him gets me very excited indeed.