What’s next for The Batman universe?

This post contains some light spoilers for The Batman so go watch that glorious film and return before checking out this post.

The Batman has had it’s first weekend and has gone on to have a successful start to it’s run in cinemas pulling in an impressive $248 Million worldwide, with $128 million in just America, making it the second biggest opening of the pandemic era (source: Box Office Mojo). A sequel seems just a matter of time away from being fully announced with director Matt Reeves already seemingly talking to WB about his plans for what could be next (as he talks about in an interview with The Independant). There’s a couple of villains teased throughout the film, and with such a young Batman there are plenty of stories that could be told.

The Joker

Joker is such a renowned character in the DC universe, he is Batman’s biggest adversary and has been apart of some of the strongest films and a true fan favourite. We saw Joker in Arkham Asylum in this film, as played by Barry Keoghan, we didn’t get a proper look at the character, but I think it’s still a while away before he is the big bad in a film, if he will be at all. The role brings a lot of pressure because of the performances of Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix and Jack Nicholson, which brings a lot of eyes. A character we have seen a lot of so could benefit from just being in the background, similar to how Penguin is in this film.

Mr Freeze

Mr Freeze is one of those characters that fans love but we have never got a good adaptation in live action. The Arnold Scwarzenegger version in Batman & Robin was an disappointing depection, relegating the character to awful ice related puns constantly. Matt Reeves has spoken about his interest in the villain and that it could suit this grounded Gotham, especially as the city is currently flooded, would make a lot of sense and something fans are clamouring to see.

Court of Owls

I, like most people, felt like there was a solid chance that Court of Owls could have appeared in this film. They’re typically involved in the corruption of Gotham, and have been pushed recently and will make an appearance in the Gotham Knights game set to be released this year. Because we have dealt a lot with the corruption in Gotham in The Batman it would be a surprise if we went straight into this next, but could benefit from being the third film as a threat that has always been there in the background.

Hush

It straight up said ‘Hush’ on the screen during one of the Riddler’s videos, a direct easter egg for the villain. Someone who isn’t the biggest of Batman villains but would at the very least make for something new. The comic run, by Jeph Loeb, is one of the newer stories, that recieved the animated treatment in 2019. His story would be a perfect fit for this gritty and realistic story, but perhaps is a little too similar of a mystery to what we saw in this so would make for a better third film in this series.

Robin

In a recent panel for the film, Robert Pattinson said he would want a Robin that was age appropriate so he would actually be a boy instead of Batman just hanging out with a guy a couple of years younger. It makes sense, people are after a story like Death in the Family or Under the Red Hood, but we are a long way away from those because you have to care about the Robin we get first, but I would be fascinated to see a good live action Robin, something we didn’t get in Nolan’s trilogy and got a weirdly adult one in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Catwoman

At the end of The Batman we see Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman riding off to Bludhaven, a place which tends to be the home of Nightwing, a character we definetly aren’t getting just yet when we haven’t even had a Robin. I would be interested to see a sequel series where we see what Catwoman is up to while Batman is trying to sort out the mess that is Gotham. This could introduce the other Gotham City Sirens, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (although if Joker isn’t full Joker yet it’s unlikely Harley would be about) or a Black Canary.

Poison Ivy

A character it feels like we have never seen a few times, would perhaps benefit a little bit from being a side character like Penguin was in this film. Her power set would perhaps mean she is unlikely to appear in anything soon, as Reeves wants a gritty version, but if Mr Freeze can work then there’s no reason Ivy couldn’t either.

Scarecrow

Scarecrow was a big part of the The Dark Knight trilogy, appearing in all 3 films. He never quite took the centre stage being the straight up big bad of a film that Batman had to defeat. Always an interesting villain, but Reeves would struggle to make a version that too different to what we’ve seen already, so it might be cool to see once again but ultimatelt feels unlikely.

Bane

There was a little tease of Bane when Batman seemingly put venom into his body in the final action scene of the film, the chemical that Bane uses to make himself bigger and makes him more aggressive. Obviously we saw him as recently as The Dark Knight Rises in 2013, so seems unlikely that he would appear once again on the big screen, but could make an appearance in the spin-offs.

Spin-Offs

We already have a couple of spin-offs in the works that we know about. Colin Farrell is returning in his role as Penguin in a series which will see his rise in the mob world, whether that’s a prequel or not we don’t know but where we leave the Penguin in this film is an interesting place and I would like to see a continuation of what he does next now he will be trying to take over the mob world.

There was a Gotham PD series in the works but it seems to have changed to being about an Arkham Asylum which could include Joker and The Riddler, as that’s where we have seen them currently being held, it’s also likely there are some other big villains that could be being held there with the likes of Hugo Strange being a likely character that could appear.

So there’s a few areas that I want to see coming soon, as well as some spin-offs we already know are in the works. This universe is very much in the early days and we will have plenty of spin-offs to come and more films in this universe if it continues as strongly as it’s started, with a director and creative filmmaker like Matt Reeves at the helm, the future for this part of the DC franchise is bright.

What would you like to see next in this new Batman universe? and what villains would you like to see in a sequel?

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