Warner Bros. Pictures might be trying to turn a corner with its DC properties, but one tradition they aren’t breaking from is multiple rogues; meaning the creative brain trust endeavoring to get Batman right apparently have little mind for keeping The Batman’s cast of bad guys compartmentalized.
Screenwriter and Forbes contributor Mark Hughes described Matt Reeves’ intentions, saying Reeves wants more than two villains in his film, and might not stop at three or four. Hughes tweeted his assertion on Wednesday.
Yep, The Batman is peppered w/multiple villains, not just 1 or 2 (which I wrote a/b on January 17 at Forbes, but for some reason fans & outlets barely reacted to the news). I know a/b 3 of them for sure + there are others filling in Gotham’s population in cameos/supporting roles.
— Mark Hughes (@markhughesfilms) February 27, 2019
Outlets may not have reacted as Hughes wanted. Fortunately, we did, just as we’ve noted The Penguin is the prime prospect for the villain to beat — accompanied by a plus-one. But this report of the narrative going beyond three is rather new.
If the case, Reeves could be taking a page from Fox’s Gotham which is all about the villains. Gotham, though, as an ongoing series not constrained by a single installment with a finite runtime can develop its version of the Rogues Gallery into something substantive. We see the steady rise of Robin Lord-Taylor’s Penguin and, by the end, he’s been around long enough to get acquainted.
You can’t exactly cram that into a 2-3 hour movie. And it hasn’t worked out well in the past; look no further than Suicide Squad or Batman & Robin.
Then again, Birds of Prey has essentially the same set-up between Black Mask, Zsasz, and Harley (even if she is supposed to play the hero). Cathy Yan could have the secret sauce for juggling so many names. DC is not a connected universe the way it once was (so they say) but that doesn’t mean directors can’t compare notes.
Hughes mentioned cameos, prompting Batman News to put forth the idea the cameos by villains only serve to further Batman’s detective work. Cameos could help establish the presence of a rogue, and build a world while saving someone for later. However, since Batman Returns, a denser Gotham of villains led to a cluttered story and quality suffered.
We pointed this out before and really hope Reeves doesn’t mess this up. Everybody will find out for sure if he does in June of 2021.
Which villains would you like to see in Reeves’ The Batman?