Ben Affleck is currently being rumoured to direct, co-write and star in a new Batman movie as part of the DC Extended Universe that launched with Man of Steel (2013) and continued this weekend with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Reviews on Affleck’s performance as the Dark Knight have been largely positive and for the Batman to have his own movie within this franchise seems like the next logical step, especially with the upcoming movie Suicide Squad, a movie built around the characters the Caped Crusader has locked up. However, Batman, unlike many superheroes, is largely defined by the success and complexity of the villains he faces and needless to say there are many, many brilliant super villains Batman has faced over the years and is why the prospect of a Suicide Squad movie is not only exciting but likely to be a success. Therefore the question is open, who should be the main villain for our man Bats to face-off in any prospective movie?
My vote…is for the Riddler! This choice is for several reasons, the first of which is that the Joker has been done to death and although is the favourite of most Batman fans they would risk being a little repetitive if they brought Jared Leto in for this one, even though his role in Suicide Squad may leave audiences begging for more. Plus, the audience will need a little flamboyance and colourful vibrancy to retain their interest as a more straight-forward villain, such as Deadshot, lacks dynamism for a good plot and pulls Batman further away from his comic book origins as it loses its flamboyant element, it would feel a bit like a cop movie than a superhero flick if the villain doesn’t have something extravagant in their nature.
I also believe it can introduce a side to Batman that we have never really had explored but is fascinating in the comics and that is the world’ greatest detective. The Joker challenges the sanity in Bruce Wayne’s actions as Batman, as he employs excessive and fantastical means to destroy i.e. dressing as a clown and blowing stuff up, whereas Batman employs much the same methods to stop it i.e. dressing up as a Bat and fighting bad guys. Two-face reflects the duality of a person that Bruce can also see in himself, the two lives Bruce Wayne lives in public and at night, one guy who wants to do things right and see justice, the other is just his animalistic nature something Batman fears in himself. Bane the physical challenge, Catwoman the love interest and I could go on, but something we have seen very little of is his detective work. Even Christopher Nolan barely hovered over it with a singular scene of taking fingerprints off a shattered bullet in the Dark Knight Triology, but most of these elements are done through computers these days so where is the detection? The detection lies in the riddles. The Riddler needs the Batman to know it was him who committed a crime, otherwise why else pull off what nobody else can if they don’t know it was you? He is the intellectual challenge to Batman, he pulls off crimes and the only clue he leaves is his riddle. This is special because an original riddle is not something you can necessarily type into a search engine online and get an answer, and so requires actual mind power, thus we would actually witness Batman having to think rather than collect evidence and plug into a computer. An awesome element to be able to explore.
Finally, it suits the way Batman is as we find him in Batman V Superman, assuming it will not be some kind of flashback or origin story. He is older and more aggressive, he does not have the same physical capacity to fight and so an opponent such as Bane is inappropriate. His aggressive side may also make it more of a test as he tries to be calm and clever in his deductions and analysis. Giving Bruce Wayne a more personal imperfection to overcome, going right to the psychological origins of the character and offering more to the plot.
So that’s my two cents on a potential villain for Batman to vanquish in the prospective Ben Affleck movie for DC Extended Universe. Do you agree with my choice of the Riddler? Who would you have and why? Do you think it will just be a suicide squad member? Are you looking forward to suicide squad? Should we even have a Batman movie because it has been done to death? Thanks for the read a let me know you perspective on Batman and his bad guys.