Click to viewWhen it comes to discussion about what should happen in the follow-up to The Dark Knight, all of the (so far entirely baseless) rumors seem to be centering around all the old familiar characters: Catwoman? The Penguin? The Riddler? Come on, people. Batman's been around for almost 70 years, can't he deal with some other bad guys on-screen for once? Under the jump, we look at five villains that Christopher Nolan really should - but probably won't - consider for future silver screen stardom.
Never mind the garishly-dressed evil-doers that people normally associate with Gotham City's protector; any future Batman film should stick with the more grounded version of n'er-do-well that we've seen in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Sure, the Scarecrow still had his fear gas and the Joker had his trademark make-up, but even both of those were given a more realistic and believable treatment that you could fall for without requiring too much of a suspension of disbelief. That's why the villains we want to see are less about the visual pizazz and more about the psychological problems they'd pose Mr. Wayne's popular alter-ego.
Professor Hugo Strange: A mad psychiatrist who knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman but wants him dead so that he can take over as Batman himself? That's exactly the kind of thing we're looking for. Although this relatively-unknown character was created before the Joker and appeared in various comics and cartoons, he's never really gotten his due - But perhaps Nolan could fix that.
Deadshot: Another bad-guy with a mental twist, Floyd Newton may be better known to comic fans nowadays as a member of Gail Simone's Secret Six, but he started life as the world's second-greatest assassin and a man with a secret: He wanted to be caught so that he would be killed for his crimes and freed of his compulsion to kill. What A-List Hollywood actor would turn down that kind of a role?
Prometheus: Grant Morrison's "Anti-Batman" would need some visual reworking to fit into Nolan's version of Batman's world, but the basic idea of an "anti-Batman" is still a compelling one: A child whose criminal parents were gunned down in front of him by cops, leading him to devote his life to destroying law and order, would make the perfect counterpoint for Christian Bale's troubled crimefighter.
Deacon Blackfire: This forgotten 1980s character from The Cult miniseries offers up the chance to take the "Citizens for Batman" idea from The Dark Knight to its logical conclusion. Blackfire was a preacher who rallied the homeless of Gotham City into an army that declared a real war on crime, bringing bloodshed and chaos to the streets and leaving Batman in the middle of a conflict where he wanted neither side to win.
Gorilla Boss: The mind of a mob boss in the body of a gorilla, this... Okay, I'm joking. My final pick would be Lex Luthor. Yeah, I know there may be trouble freeing him up from the Superman movies, but Luthor offers not only an intellectual challenge to Batman, but a corporate challenge to Bruce Wayne, if you bring in the LexCorp/LuthorCorp mythology of the character. And in addition, Warners would get to do some of that crossover between movies stuff that Marvel have driven fans wild with lately. Where's the downside?