The Batman has its Batman in Robert Pattinson, but there are plenty of villain roles to fill for the superhero with arguably the best set of villains of any hero from DC or Marvel. Director Matt Reeves is expected to have multiple villains in The Batman, with Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler seen as the most likely three. So which actors should star alongside Pattinson in this new Batman universe?
The Penguin has been around as one of Batman’s primary villains for a while now (since 1941 in the comics), and the character might be the best bet to be the main villain in The Batman. There are a few excellent candidates that stand out.
For a while now, Josh Gad has been playfully throwing his hat into the ring for the role of Penguin in Reeves’ Batman film, mostly on Twitter with multiple tweets hinting that he wants the role—including most recently saying he could take on Pattinson’s Batman. Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter that his son is in the same class as Gad’s daughter, adding that the two are “good friends,” so there’s a relationship there. And it’s not like Gad isn’t an accomplished actor that would just be thrown into a part because he’s friends with the director, so he should be considered the favorite for Penguin right now.
It’s well documented how much Jonah Hill can transform himself—particularly his physical appearance—for a role, and it’d be interesting to see him take on playing the Penguin. A-list actor or not, Hill is a recognizable name and a good draw that would likely get most fans excited and help out at the box office. Hill might command a higher salary than most for the role, though.
The Penguin is basically a criminal mastermind mob boss, and Stephen Graham would be fantastic in that role. If Reeves is aware of Graham’s portrayal of the notorious Al Capone on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (which I’m sure he is), he’s likely very intrigued to at least meet with him to see if the vision he has for the part is a fit with the 45-year-old actor.
Catwoman is a versatile character that has a complex relationship with Batman that can go in a number of directions, and there are many actresses that would probably do great in the role. Ashley Greene (who starred in Twilight, which may hurt her with Pattinson already cast), Annalynne McCord, Ana de Armas, and Alexandra Daddario are other options not listed below.
Given her roles in comedies like Community, Alison Brie can probably bring a slight twist to Catwoman to make the well-known character feel a little different—which might be good after the job Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway have done in the role. Brie’s shown she has the athleticism for a part like Catwoman during her time on GLOW. And while she doesn’t look it, being a few years older than Pattinson is a plus.
Look and height aren’t everything, but Janet Montgomery is in a good range for Catwoman height at five-foot-seven, and she has an athletic build for the role. Montgomery has shown her talent throughout the past several years, and she certainly has the acting chops to step into an A+ role in what’ll be one of the world’s biggest movies. One downside might be that Montgomery looks a lot like Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), but that’s not a huge deal, especially if the characters aren’t even connected among DC’s movies.
Over two years ago, Haley Bennett posted a picture of Catwoman on Instagram, which led many people to believe she’d been cast in the role. While that hasn’t happened yet, she clearly has the ability to play the role at a high level. Like Montgomery, Bennett is also five-foot-seven—which happens to be the height the last two Catwomans hit (Pfieeiffer is five-foot-seven and Hathaway is five-foot-eight).
There’s been some thought that the Riddler will be the main villain in The Batman, and it might be the toughest role for Reeves to fill because of the character’s attitude and outlook.
To pull off a difficult role like Edward Nigma, Warner Bros. might want an experienced actor that’s played a variety of roles over the years. Since he broke out in Heathers over 30 years ago, Christian Slater has starred in a number of shows and films—including recently playing a mysterious alter-ego type of role in the series Mr. Robot, which could be similar to the Riddler.
David Tennant is a fan-favorite for the Riddler, and a quick Google search brings up a bunch of results and user-created images as Tennant photoshopped into the supervillain. The Tenth Doctor would have the wit necessary for the character, and some people think Tennant looks like the Riddler from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game.
Bill Hader has always been a pretty well-known actor, but starring in HBO’s Barry has seemingly given him a boost in terms of popular opinion of his ability as an actor—he’s now in the discussion among the best performers on television. Hader would be able to make the Riddler funny yet serious in The Batman.
While Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler are speculated as the three main villains for The Batman, the rogues gallery of villains could easily include Poison Ivy. And most people probably agree it’s time Poison Ivy was back in a movie for the first time since the disappointing Batman & Robin in 1997.
Carice van Houten
Like a few characters listed as potential contenders for other parts, Carice van Houten has played in a number of roles with one role in particular standing out when in connection with The Batman. The Red Priestess Melisandre from Game of Thrones had to be seductive on multiple occasions, which happens to be a lot of what Poison Ivy is about. However, it certainly wasn’t all seduction for Melisandre, and it’s not all just seduction for Ivy—van Houten has shown she can play a range of emotions, even within a resolute character.
Megan Fox has long been attached to a couple of DC villains: Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Strong rumors even swirled at one point that said Fox was taking the part of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, and she could probably play Selina Kyle over a decade later, too. But more recently, Fox has been seriously connected with Poison Ivy, a role she would be convincing in (and she happens to also be 33 years old like Pattinson).
Ultimately, Reeves might want to go with an older Poison Ivy to better match the age of Pattinson and the other characters in his film, but Madelaine Petsch might be perfect if Warner Bros. thinks she’s ready for a huge role. Petsch even posed in a peta2 photoshoot in which she dressed in attire that looks a lot like Poison Ivy, and the look appears natural.
Harley Quinn and the Joker
What’s a Batman universe without the Joker and Harley Quinn? I’ll have more on this in a future article, but I think Reeves’ Batman movies will be connected to Margot Robbie’s Harley and Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming Joker, or potentially Jared Leto’s Joker if he’s up for it. Jeremy Irons and J.K. Simmons are reprising their roles as Alfred Pennyworth and Jim Gordon in The Batman, and it seems like there’s some semi-continuity throughout the DCEU.