The Batman should place the spotlight on DC’s rogues’ gallery of villains instead of the titular hero. The upcoming Matt Reeves movie will feature Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight and it is hoped that it will successfully reboot the Batman franchise in the same way that Batman Begins did back in 2005. However, if it really wanted to put its own spin on things, it could do so by giving the DC Comics villains it features a chance to get some spotlight.
The Batman franchise has been rebooted on the big screen multiple times, with many of those reboots then getting their own sequels. The vast majority of those Batman movies, however, have placed the focus on Batman himself. Tim Burton’s 1989 movie dove into the reasons behind Bruce Wayne’s decision to suit up and fight crime while The Dark Knight trilogy also explored a more detailed and modernized version of that. Of course, it really does make sense for these movies to focus on the Caped Crusader’s timeless origin story considering that he is the primary character of them, but audiences now know the story and could use a change this time around. After all, if something has been done before – and done right – then why should they need to see it again?
The Batman has an opportunity to be the change that the franchise needs. Matt Reeves is reportedly crafting a dark trilogy of movies starring Pattinson’s hero that, judging by the trailer of the upcoming first film, promise to be grittier than previous iterations of the character. Granted, a Gotham-centered gritty crime drama is nothing less than you would expect from a Batman film but one way that The Batman could push things further and really stand out would be if it were to use Batman sparingly and, instead, focus on the villains of the piece instead – something that could lend itself nicely to the trilogy Reeves is building.
Audiences may be familiar with how Batman starts out in his crime-fighting career but what they don’t get the chance to see is just how much the city needs him, and a look into the life of criminality in Gotham City could be the key to solving that. Every Batman movie, of course, has a major villain or two, but none of those movies ever really showed viewers how the underworld of the city operated in great detail and how so many larger-than-life villains in one city interacted with each other. Batman has an iconic rogues gallery of movie villains that could benefit from some screen-time and giving it to them, particularly in a movie like The Batman, could benefit the franchise long-term.
Paul Dano’s Riddler is seemingly being set up as the film’s big bad but less is known about the roles that Colin Farrell’s Penguin, Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman and the army of thugs that Batman takes on the trailer will play, and that makes them every bit as interesting as The Riddler (if not more). If the film were to build an underbelly full of criminal interactions using these characters and more, be it wars between mob bosses like Falcone and Maroni or alliances between the likes of Catwoman and the Penguin, it would set up an incredibly vivid world full of unique dynamics showcasing Batman’s greatest villains that could easily be pulled from for future films. Furthermore, it could make for a more unique viewing experience that would instantly set The Batman apart from every previous Batman movie.