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Who Could Play Iconic Batman Villains In The DCU

The gallery of Batman’s rogues is a place for fascinating acting performances.

Filip Pęziński

11 April 2024

Who Could Play Iconic Batman Villains In The DCU

The Brave and the Bold, directed by Andy Muschietti, is set to be the film that introduces Batman into the revitalized DC universe under James Gunn’s leadership. For now, we don’t know much about the plot of the planned spectacle, so it’s the perfect time to let our imagination run wild and have fun casting iconic Batman villains. Let us know what you think about these ideas. Feel free to propose your own as well.

Joker – Diego Calva

Of course, I’m well aware that, like ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER comic book antagonist, the Joker is a cult icon of cinema, and throughout its history has been portrayed by titans of acting like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, and Barry Keoghan (but not you, Jared). So, any potential actor stepping into the role in the DC Universe would face a daunting task. However, I also can’t quite imagine Batman without the Joker. Therefore, here’s perhaps an unconventional suggestion: Diego Calva, known for his work in Babylon. I see the right amount of madness in his eyes, and his physique has the potential for the prince of crime.

Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie

James Gunn once said that his Harley will remain Margot Robbie, so if the character appears in a Batman film within the DC universe, it will undoubtedly be her, as she embodies the perfect cinematic incarnation of the character.

Poison Ivy – Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa, an icon of contemporary pop, is increasingly flirting with cinema. She has already made guest appearances in Barbie and Argylle. Perhaps it’s time for a bigger role? And when she recently dyed her hair red, she became the perfect cinematic incarnation of Pamela, in my eyes (and not only mine). Let’s not forget that the modern version of Ivy is also Harley Quinn’s partner, so pairing Lipa with Margot Robbie would be a truly headline-worthy event.

Pingwin – Jesse Plemons

The Penguin is another character from Batman’s rogues gallery who can boast great portrayals on the big screen. In 1992, we could admire Danny DeVito in this role, and three decades later, Colin Farrell. I have no doubt that Jesse Plemons could create an equally interesting and distinct interpretation of this villain.

Two Face – Alexander Skarsgård

Here we have a character who, in my opinion, has never been fully utilized on the big screen. Two-Face, as portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones, was a poor imitation of the Joker, and Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal was cut short by Christopher Nolan before he fully transformed into his alter ego. So, there is a lot of room for exploration, and without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest actors of his generation, Alexander Skarsgård, would excel at the task.

Riddler – Domhnall Gleeson

Wonderfully overplayed in Batman Forever, perfectly reinterpreted in the 2022 Batman. In the DCU, he could finally be close to the comics, and the key to that could be Domhnall Gleeson, whose physique perfectly suits the character.

Mr. Freeze – Paul Bettany

I love Mr. Freeze’s portrayal by Arnold Schwarzenegger more than I’d care to admit publicly. However, it doesn’t change the fact that this fully campy version of the character should make way for something more serious. For the task, I would invite Paul Bettany, even if he’s already tied to Marvel for years.

Ra’s al Ghul – Esai Morales

If we stick to James Gunn’s suggestion that the solo Batman film in the DCU will be based on Grant Morrison’s run, then alongside the Dark Knight, we’ll see his son, and thus the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul. The iconic Batman antagonist has only appeared once on the big screen so far – Liam Neeson portrayed him in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. While Neeson created an interesting portrayal, it was very far from the comic book image of the character. I think Esai Morales, whom we could see in the latest Mission: Impossible installment, would depict him much more intriguingly.

Talia al Ghul – Priscilla Quintana

Damian Wayne’s mother is Talia al Ghul. Previously portrayed by Marion Cotillard, in my opinion, the least interesting villain of Nolan’s trilogy. Again – I would like to see a character somewhat closer to the comics, and I would choose Priscilla Quintana, whom I met in the great Based on a True Story.

Scarecrow – Caleb Landry Jones

I love the Scarecrow as portrayed by the now Oscar-winning Cillian Murphy, but I like the character enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing him on screen again. Perhaps in the interpretation of Caleb Landry Jones, who excels at playing such off-putting characters.

Bane – Miguel Ángel Silvestre

The fact that I don’t like Bane from Batman and Robin probably won’t surprise anyone, but I’ll add somewhat controversially that I’m also not a fan of Tom Hardy’s interpretation from The Dark Knight Rises. I would like to finally see a Bane close to the comics, and one of the defining aspects of this character is his Latino heritage. Hence, I suggest Miguel Ángel Silvestre, a star from Sense8.

Mad Hatter – Will Poulter

I consider it a real crime that the Mad Hatter has never appeared on the big screen. This character has great potential to be a truly repulsive villain, a disgusting pedophile, and a lover of Lewis Carroll’s prose. I think Will Poulter would be up to the task.

Catwoman – Jodie Comer

Another role with a deserved history in cinema. Today – in the neighboring universe of Matt Reeves – it’s played by Zoë Kravitz, an actress almost torn from the pages of Frank Miller’s iconic Batman: Year One. In the main DC universe, I would therefore opt for an actress with a completely different type of appearance, fitting into a more classic image of this character.

Hugo Strange – Hugo Weaving

The ideal Hugo Strange, the sinister director of Arkham Asylum, has long been Andy Serkis in my mind, but he has found his place as Alfred in Matt Reeves’ film. Hence, the idea for a no less attractive alternative in the form of the namesake of the comic book character, the always excellent Hugo Weaving.

Filip Pęziński

Filip Pęziński

Raised on Burton's "Batman," Verhoeven's "RoboCop" and Lester's "Commando." Lover of superhero movies, Star Wars and the work of the Wachowski sisters. The best movie he has ever seen in his life is "In Bruges".

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