Top Ten Best/Worst Batman Villains for Future Batman Movies

April 14, 2008 at 6:40 pm (Movies, Television, Top Ten)



Recently I did a post about the Top Ten best and worst ideas for villains in Spiderman 4. It got a lot of attention, and today in Journalism I got bored on Mr. Harris’ laptop so I looked up Batman on Wikipedia. Here are some villains that may or may not be good ideas for the film series.

Top 5 Best-


  1. Talia Al Ghul-Ras Al Ghul’s daughter, being as they incorporated Ras into Batman Begins, it would make sense.
  2. Harley Quinn-The Joker’s apprentice, it may be hard to incorporate, but I believe she would translate well.
  3. Hugo Strange-One of the few people who know Batman’s secret identity, this madman also creates giants, and enjoys long walks on the beach…
  4. The Mad Hatter-Although it may be a little rough translating to the big screen, this madman could be transferred correctly with the right actor and be made into an interesting character.
  5. …Okay, Batman’s had a lot of movies, a lot of the good ones have already been taken.


Top 5 Worst-


  1. The Ventriloquist and Scarface-This villain(?) and his puppet are a notorious crime duo, and I just don’t really think they could be in it without the movie being a comedy.
  2. Calendar Man-Almost as bad in adaptation and Scarface, this villain only performs crimes on certain days of the year!
  3. Captain Stingaree-He’s a pirate.
  4. Mr. Freeze-This one would be disastrous if he was played by the wrong actor, say Arnold Schwarzenegger, OH WAIT!!!
  5. Film Freak-The funny thing about this guy is that he’s a film freak that impersonates other bad guys (a wimp) and gets killed by Bane, the biggest and strongest villain of them all.




  1. dragonshensei said,

    I guess you looked into this after we saw that clip from the show in Mr. Harris’s room?

  2. Daniel's Critical Corner said,

    It would be nice to see Batman VS. A lesser known
    villain, that’s FOR SURE. Always the usual suspects
    in these movies… Just different variations on
    the same thing… Yawn. LOL !!! I’m all for “The
    Mad Hatter ! Now… Who would play him ?

  3. earl said,

    Yea, pretty much. I still think it was really funny Film Freak got killed by BANE! That and the Ventriloguist was killed. I just don’t see how he’d fight.

  4. earl said,

    THanks for the comment Daniel. That was kind of the point I was getting at, they’ve used a lot of the major villains in the show, practically the only ones they haven’t used are the ones that they’re afraid to. When I wrote The Mad Hatter I instantly thought Hank Azaria or Dana Carvey, but with the newer series taking on a darker tone, it would be a little hard. It would probably resemble something like Jim Carrey’s performance as the RIddler. I think they could pull it off though.

  5. Spiceitup said,

    I would love to see Scarecrow and Bane in a Batman movie. With the Comics and tv series moving darker and darker, it seems that the movies should as well. And no matter how powerful some charaters are, i would rather have an insane Joker trying to kill me than freakin Scarecrow!!!!

  6. earlman27 said,

    Well Scarecrow’s dark side was definitely explored (in fact it was the first time Scarecrow was explored) in Batman Begins. As far as Bane goes, he’s not too deep of a character, not emotionally wrought like the Joker, he’s just this beefed up guy. Not too much to explore. I am definitely looking forward to The Dark Knight, I might even see it twice.

  7. dave said,

    I’d like to see them try and do the Riddler again.

  8. Kirsten said,

    yeah I would def. love 2 see a diffrent variation of the villains in this new batman movie series, like the harley quinn suggestion, tht def. sounds like a good move. even the one villain clayface is not such a bad idea if only somebody could manipulate his origin a little bit, he could really be a meaningful empathetic characer

  9. earlman27 said,

    IGN did a really good article about this, and how they could make seemingly impossible villains to incorporate into Nolan’s world very realistic and in his style.

  10. BatmanVillains said,

    Jocker rules .. but than again so does Pinguin

  11. pedro said,

    for the 3rd movie i want 2 see batman vs the riddler or penguin. i perfer the riddler though. the riddler could be played by johnny depp

  12. earlman27 said,

    IGN had a really good article about Phillip Seymour Hoffman maybe playing the Penquin. I don’t know. The way The Dark Knight left off I’d be happy even if they didnt make a sequel.

  13. Ocmod said,

    Riddler played by Johnny Depp
    Talia al Ghul played by Natalie Portman
    Ebeneezer Darrk plated by Jet Lee
    Mad hatter played by Leonardo DiCaprio
    Black Mask played by Hugo Weaving or Viggo Mortensen

    What do you think

  14. earlman27 said,

    Very interesting take Ocmod. In fact very interesting. I could totally believe in your Riddler idea as long as Depp wasn’t TOO whimsical, Portman would make sense, however she does look a lot like Maggie Gylenhal, Ebeneeser’s character sounds a lot like the leader at the temple Bruce was in in Begins, Mad Hatter could work if played correctly, maybe a different actor, and Black Mask could totally work. Those are great ideas.

    IGN did a great article about putting in the more whimsical villains into Nolan’s universe. I found it very interesting, maybe you would too.

  15. nolanator said,

    The Riddler would be cool, even though Jim Carrey did a great job doing him in Forever.

  16. earlman27 said,

    He did do a great job in forever, however that version wouldn’t quite mesh with Nolan’s vision. You’ve gotta ground it, and make it more realistic, less whimsical. IF they could do that, he’d be a great villain.

  17. Ed said,

    Batman should not have anymore Al Ghuls. Ras wasn’t even that good a character (I mean in general). It should be Penguin or Riddler those two are awesome villains, real and demented personalities.

    I don’t even know if another Batman would be a good idea. The two most recent have been so good I fear a third may ruin it unless they are real careful. Everybody knows that even though Forever had big stars it still wasn’t half what the first two were.

  18. Germ1984 said,

    IMDB has posted rumors… Jolie as Catwoman, Depp as Riddler, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Penguin

  19. rohan said,

    i wod like 2 see som larger than life villains, some one who is a monster like killer croc, bane with the combination of a villains who we can relate to like riddler, cat-women. i think mr freeze can make up for a good movie storyline.

  20. kenneth said,

    this is what think the plot needs to be for a future batman film:
    protecter.Bruce seals the batcave and return being the CEO of Wayne Enterprises full
    Mean while, the Joker escapes from Arkham by shooting a policeman and taking his keys.But is later shot and killed just outside the gates.Bruce hears this
    and think about being batman again, with Alfred trying to help.But later desides he will not.
    The next night, Bruce is invited to a Welcoming Party for a new D.A.(Phillip Harris)But it is later moved to Wayne Manor due to pay rates for the first location.Bruce falls in love with his new employee, Selina Kyle, which he call love at first sight.(I will post somemore later.)

  21. earlman27 said,

    Interesting theory, even though you might should read my stance on the writers bringing back the Joker.

    BTW, do you by any chance work for Alec Baldwin?

  22. dragonshensi said,

    Interesting, but I don’t think it will work. The whole Joker idea anyway.

  23. The James said,

    *sigh* It looks as thought I shall have to be the simon cowell of this post

    Batman must stop being gotham protecter.Bruce seals the batcave and return being the CEO of Wayne Enterprises full time

    -Would never happen

    Mean while, the Joker escapes from Arkham by shooting a policeman and taking his keys.

    -How would he get the gun?

    But is later shot and killed just outside the gates.
    Ok, I have a few things to say about this one
    1) This is not a real sentence
    2) Are you referring to the Joker getting killed?
    2b) if so, then what is the point in even bringin him into the movie if you are gonna kill him right away

    Bruce hears this and think about being batman again

    -how would hearing his enemy get killed make him wanna become batman?

    The next night, Bruce is invited to a Welcoming Party for a new D.A.(Phillip Harris)But it is later moved to Wayne Manor due to pay rates for the first location.

    Ok, this is just entertaining. I shall continue to laugh at this for days on end! Lemme see if I get this stright….they invite him to the party….then decide to movie it to his house to save money?

    Thats like me telling earl “Hey the rest of the posse is coming over to my house, wanna come? really? oh, then lets just have it at your place that way I don’t have to clean!”

    Bruce falls in love with his new employee, Selina Kyle, which he call love at first sight.(I will post somemore later.)

    Boy did he get over the last girl quickly! Also, I thought he was against having a girl…it would put her in danger or distract him from crime fighting or something.

  24. The James said,

    My comrade (babcom) and I have an idea that is much better than “kenneth’s”

    Bacon based villians!

    Think about it! Batman vs. BACONMAN! He has the power to create and control bacon with his mind. He could trap batman in a bacon cage and he would have to eat his way out of it. It would be awesome!

  25. dragonshensi said,

    James no offense but could you grow up a little?

  26. BabCom5 said,

    I fail to see what James height has to do with this topic about Batman villains. No offense of course. 😉

  27. earlman27 said,

    I should just ban your comments Babs.

  28. BabCom5 said,

    no matter. I’m grown up enough for the both of us. I am the sum of a man and a midget.

  29. Iggy said,

    I second the motion to ban Babcom.

  30. BabCom5 said,

    I’ve already banned myself from my own blog. What more do you want Iggy. When will your reign of terror upon my deeply disturb soul end. TIS MADNESS!

  31. earlman27 said,


  32. Iggy said,

    My reign of terror will end when you pluck my black heart out of my carcass.

  33. dragonshensi said,

    You guys are a little creepy. No offense

  34. earlman27 said,

    I’ll say it. You are very creepy. Tim Burton has nightmares about you. Benecio Del Toro wets himself thinking about some of the dumb things you say.

  35. dragonshensi said,


  36. BabCom5 said,

    Everyone is odd or strange in their own way. We all must come to except everyone no matter if their different than us.

  37. earlman27 said,

    Even Martin Luther King Jr. would give you an “Ehhh….”.

  38. BabCom5 said,

    When was Martin Luther King Jr. ever a stereotyped Canadian? Was it when he was oot and aboot?

  39. Iggy said,

    No offense taken.

  40. Swany said,

    Going back to Batman villains because clearly this blog morphed into something different. I believe that the Calender man could in fact be used in the next batman movie. Yet only in a scene in the beginning of the movie where calender man is caught by Batman while planning to blow up a memorial on Independence Day. Commissioner Gordon askes Batman what this guys deal was and Batman replies “Just another whack job, this one says he only disturbs the peace on holidays”. Implying that Batman has established himself as the outlaw gaurdian of Gotham City. As far as a main Villians I think Ras Al Ghuls daughter would be a good secret villain and Black Mask to be the main one.

  41. earlman27 said,

    I don’t know what you’re saying about “morphed into something different”. This isn’t a Batman blog, this is just a blog on everything cool in my opinion. You’re idea sounds pretty interesting.

  42. Continentalop said,

    Ok, I have thought about this long and hard and the villain I think the main villain in the next Nolan Batman movie should be…(drum roll please)…the Penguin. Yeah, I know a lot of people out there are against the Penguin, and I know Chris Nolan has stated that he believes the Penguin would be one of the harder villains to pull off, but I humbly disagree. Bare with me as I list the reasons why I think he would work and why I think he is one of the best, most unappreciated Batman foes, as well as counter some familiar criticism about him:
    1) He is realistic: The thing about the Penguin, like almost all of Batman’s Golden Age foes, is that technically he his not a super-villain – he is an arch criminal. And there is a big differenced between the two. A super-villain is just the evil version of a super-hero, someone who possesses powers and abilities beyond us, while an arch-criminal is a specific type of criminal in the real world but shown in a larger than life manner. Catwoman is the femme fatale/cat-burglar writ large; Joker is the psychotic anarchist criminal; Two-Face is the idea of victim turned criminal; hell, Batman isn’t even a superhero in the original comics or Nolan’s series, he is a classic pulp masked vigilante, more akin to the Shadow, the Spider, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro than Superman or Spider-Man. The Penguin fits right in there with that same vibe, since he represents the professional, organized criminal (with an added touch of being flamboyant and stylish). Having said that, it makes it easier for me to believe that a flamboyant gangster with an gun hidden in an umbrella fits Nolan’s universe more than a man with a freeze gun or a woman who can control plants does.

    As an arch-version of a gangster, have the Penguin be the new crime boss in Gotham. With all the chaos that the Joker caused, it wouldn’t be that hard to believe that the underworld would be turning to someone to bring order and help them reorganize, and I could even see the normal citizens and politicians of Gotham support him. After the fall of Saddam in Iraq, chaos reigned in Iraq and one of the big fears amongst our politicians and military experts was that the people of Gotham would turn to a strongman and dictator preferring tyranny to anarchy. Same thing happened in Germany after WWI when Hitler rose to power. Well, after Batman smashed the mobs to only have the Joker fill their void; I can easily see the people of Gotham saying they wouldn’t mind a strong organized crime boss keeping the crooks in line – they might still have crime but at least the wouldn’t have anarchy. And from such roots tyrannies are built.

    2) He is both dangerous and intelligent: The Penguin in his early history wasn’t nearly as ridiculous or as incompetent as he is now. In his first couple of appearances he killed people, maybe not as often as the Joker but he definitely had a ruthless streak. He also was the first villain to actually escape from Batman and outsmart him. The Joker got busted by Batman in all of his first appearance (or at least appeared to mysteriously die), but not the Penguin; an actual running theme in all of Penguin’s early stories was that he somehow managed to escape. This only stopped after the editorial staff demanded that the Joker stop killing people and the Penguin stopped getting away because they felt it showed that crime did pay.

    The other thing about being intelligent means he plots. He has his own goals and ambitions which do not always involve Batman. What realistic plots could Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane or Deadshot have? I mean, Bane and Deadshot would have only one goal/plot – kill Batman. Doesn’t really give the screenwriter’s much to work with. The Penguin, on the other hand, would want to pull of crimes, become the boss of Gotham AND kill Batman (or at least neutralize him). Plenty of more material for the screenwriters to work with.

    3) “But isn’t he ridiculous and corny?”: He was not nearly as cheesy as Joker was in the late 40’s through the 60’s. Sure he used trick umbrellas, but Joker was doing just as corny things, like having his own utility belt or trying to have a contest with Clay-Face. And while Joker was allowed to be updated and modernized, for some reason the Penguin has been forced to stay in same old character-mold when Burgess Meredith did him. That would be like letting the Caesar Romero interpretation of the Joker be the definitive one.

    However, if I can offer a suggestion to help make the Penguin relevant again, it would for him to lose the top hat and tuxedo (or at least not wear it all the time). When he originally appeared that was the clothes of choice for a sophisticated gentleman going out on the town, but not anymore. He should be dressed in sartorial splendor by today’s standards, wearing Armani and Brioni suits, with Seville Row shirts and an expensive Burberry coats, and replacing his cigarette holder for expensive cigars. I mean if Lex Luthor can get a makeover and not have to wear the lab coat or the grey smock he wore when he first appeared, why does the Penguin have to so fashionably out of date?

    And yes he has a funny name and appearance, but who says criminal masterminds have to be scary looking? I mean, look at the history of the mob in the U.S and you’ll see that most crime bosses had funny nicknames and were not that intimidating looking: Tony The Ant, Joey the Clown, Murray “the Camel” Humphreys, Vinnie the Chin, etc. Crossed them, however, and you’d be wearing concrete shoes at the bottom of Gotham Bay. Make the Penguin a short, sartorially aware crime boss who earned his nickname because of his walk (imagine Vito from the Sopranos) and uses an umbrella as a cane just like how some people use a putter as a cane.

    And the thing about the Penguin is that he supposed to be underestimated. It is the reason the umbrella was chosen as his weapon – it serves as a metaphor for the Penguin’s character and nature. Like his umbrellas, the Penguin appears as something completely harmless and even mundane, but also like his umbrellas it actually conceals something very deadly that people completely underestimate. The umbrella doesn’t have to be outfitted with a hundred different weapons, just the ones he had when he first appeared – a concealed blade and gun (plus it is weighted to be used as a bludgeon).

    Besides, who says ridiculous looking people can’t be powerful or scary? I mean, the world was terrorized by a short little Corsican in the early 19th century, and in the 20th century an Austrian painter with a Charlie Chaplin moustache and a tendency to yell comically during rallies became the greatest villain in history.

    4) Go back to the basics: Just like how Nolan only used those elements from the Joker that would fit his version of Batman, so could Nolan cherry pick through the Penguin and only use those elements that mesh with his vision. I mean, Nolan pretty much discarded anything about the Joker post 1940’s, getting rid of the entire Red Hood origin and focusing only on his first couple of appearances. Well, the same could be done with the Penguin: hell, his real name of Oswald Cobblepot wasn’t revealed until 1981 in DC Comics Blue Ribbon Digest, along with his origin of being a rich kid raised by an over protective mother. For 40 some years he wasn’t hampered by that ridiculous back-story and tacky name, but instead was just a sophisticated criminal who had an interesting nickname and gimmick (umbrellas and birds). That leaves you plenty of room to reinterpret him.

    Like the Joker, they should avoid an origin story and have the Penguin entire as a complete character. And also like the Joker, it should be a story about the rise of the Penguin (similar to his very first appearances in the 40s). The Penguin appears, is underestimated by even the other criminals, and before anyone knows it he is the head of crime in Gotham City.

    5) “But the Penguin isn’t a physical threat for Batman”: Many people will say that the Penguin would not be as intimidating or as dangerous as the Joker, and wouldn’t scare the audience as much as the Joker did, or have them view him as a big enough threat. I have to say yes and no to that idea. Yes, on a personal one-on-one basis the Penguin is not going to give Batman as good as fight as the Joker, but than again the Joker wasn’t that much of a physical threat to Batman either. The Joker in the Dark Knight mostly challenged Batman’s belief system, not his physical safety. Also, who says that a great villain has to be a physical threat? I mean, Goldfinger and Blofield are probably Bond’s greatest challenges, and they are no matches for him physically. Same with Moriarity, Sherlock Holmes arch enemy, and Superman’s foe Lex Luthor.

    Plus, why should the Penguin be required to fight Batman one-on-one? If the Penguin truly is a criminal mastermind he would avoid confronting the Dark Knight any way he could. Why fight a master of martial arts? Instead, a smart crime boss would instead have henchmen and minions fight Batman, and some of those guys could be pretty tough. Think of Bond movies where the main villain always had one or two really tough henchmen who served him.

    Or look at gangster movies like the Godfather or the Untouchables, where the big boss isn’t always the toughest guy out there. Vito and Michael Corleone are not fighters like Sonny, but ruthless crime bosses who command killers like Luca Brassi and Al Neri. Sure they are capable of killing people, but usually by being cunning and taking people by surprise. They are not soldier’s however (excluding Michael’s stint in the marines, of course) but manipulators. The same with Al Capone in the Untouchables: he might bash someone’s head in at a meeting, but that doesn’t display his toughness as much as his willingness to kill and be ruthless. He isn’t dumb enough to take on Elliot Ness himself, but instead sends his own killers such as Frank Nitti against him and his Untouchables.

    Instead of having the Penguin physically confront Batman, have some of his henchmen confront the Caped Crusader. Amongst his servants could be a who’s who of tough-guy character actors: Chuck Zito, Danny Trejo, Kimbo Slice, Tyler Mane, Brock Lesnar, etc. Plus, who is to say the Penguin has to be the only villain in the movie? I mean, I could easily see him harboring hatred for both Batman and a female cat burglar who won’t bow to his rule, or him having a couple of tough enforcers that work for him (maybe one who is a “deadshot with pistols and the other has a rare skin disorder that makes him look like an alligator or crocodile).

    6) The Penguin could represent a new type of villain and be more relevant: The Joker (and Scarecrow and Ra’s al Ghul) are basically metaphors for terrorism and the anarchistic, nihilistic forces out there. And since 9-11 that has been the public’s biggest worry. But since the collapse of the economy I believe people will have find someone new that they hate more, and that is CEOs, the heads of Wall Streets and politicians. Basically, all of the powerful people who they feel control their lives and they are powerless to stop because they are too rich and connected. And the Penguin can represents those forces much better than any other Batman foe could. Just like in the 50’s and 60s in such movies as Underworld USA and Point Blank, where the underworld used as a metaphor for the corporate world, so could the Penguin be used to represents the heads of businesses and the hedge fund managers who manipulate the government for their own profit.

    And like the Joker who had a philosophy why he did all of this (he was a nihilist who wanted to throw Gotham in anarchy), the Penguin would be a man who believes everyone has a price – even Batman. Sure, sometimes the price isn’t money, but if you find the right leverage anyone can be bought. Think Don Corleone, “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” The Penguin is the ultimate businessman.

    7) And finally, look at the fake 1940’s Orson Welles’ Batman trailer on youtube. How can you say he doesn’t work as a Batman foe after looking at Edward G. Robinson’s “version” of the Penguin:

    Sorry to ramble on, but I am a big fan of the Penguin and think he has been getting a short end of the stick.

  43. earlman27 said,

    I don’t really mean this mean, but you really need to talk to a girl sometime or go outside.

  44. Beau Reed said,

    lol hey a nerds a nerd an i like the penguin idea. I’d prefere a movie dedicated to a new hero, Say Nightwing (Not the hero but the very unknown villian with the same name) Black Mask, Tally Man, and Bane. The Penguin could take over Dents place as district attorny as his role most be a political one if its every to be pulled off. THey only other way you could do him is to make him a Arms dealer in leage with Black Mask. Have Black Mask responsible for the Death of Nightwings entire family (save his son) Nightwing has took the mantle as the cities hero and leads a rouge group of excops and civilians against the mobs of the city. He has a few confrontation with Batman, as he belies he is now a villian. This is a short and incomplete idea but i think i’d be a good idea and a substitue for Robin. Pull in Bane as a hired enforcer and have a emotional ending wher Nightwing realises he’s not the hero the city needs as he kills a defensless black Mask for revenge.

  45. Jon said,

    Black Mask, Clayface, Deadshot, and/or Hush all seem like good ideas. I also think Talia Al Ghul and Hugo Strange are good ideas too. Another one I would consider would be Killer Croc although I think it would be kinda hard to pull off.

  46. Jon said,

    KGBeast is also pretty cool.

  47. Jon said,

    Prometheus, Great White Shark, and The Tally Man could also be mentioned.

  48. Rick said,

    I think Hugo Strange could be a great addition to the next Batman movie! Though I wont write a full page on reasons why like Continentalop….

  49. alejandro said,

    Hugo Strange + Selina Kyle + Joker + Scarecrow + Talia en la 3.

    penguin, calendar man & riddler no!

  50. JokerFan44 said,

    Mad Hatter would be interesting to see

    WARWICK DAVIS as mad hatter hed be all like selling mind control hats to everyone in the city activate them GO KILL BATMAN

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