It has already been announced that The Batman (2022) is going to get a sequel. If you’re anything like me, you loved the new reboot and are eager to see what comes next. Perhaps you too have been looking around for any scrap of info you can find around the internet. Maybe you too have delved into the world of Batman comics and games to begin speculating your own ideas.
The following are my own ideas, in outline form, mostly based on the comics, for what I think should/ought to happen in the coming The Batman 2. If I’m right at all, it’s accidently on-purpose; if Matt Reeves wants any help developing the sequel and the series, I’m fully available and on board.
This post will have some spoilers for The Batman movie, the Arkham videogame series, and several comics which focus on early career Batman. You’ve been warned.
My guesses about the sequel hinge on roughly 4 questions:
- Who is the villain?
- Who is the love interest?
- Are we expanding the Bat Family?
- How does Batman grow from the story?
Who is the Villain?
There are a few obvious choices for the villain– including the Joker (who has appeared in every Batman movie series so far) who made a brief appearance at the end of the first film. The second obvious choice would be Penguin becoming a bigger player, which he is obviously set to do. Another one, mostly due to an interview with the director, is Mr. Freeze.
Out of these obvious choices, my favorite would be Penguin. We need to see Gotham recovering– including who is stepping in to fill the power vacuum now that Falcone is dead. Cobblepot would make an ideal choice for the mob machination movie. I could even see other mobster-like villains making an appearance, such as Black Mask. But I’m hoping his story is explored more in the Gotham PD show– which I’m expecting to do a lot of heavy lifting. If anything, my favorite reason for why Cobblepot should be the villain is further down, but…
He’s not my favorite. None of the predictable answers are. I want someone a little more left-field, someone who hasn’t appeared on film before, but someone who would continue the serial killer horror vibes of the last film. Victor Zsaz would make a decent choice of this– as would Clayface (perhaps as an actor who uses his excellent make-up and special effect skills to kill people in the Gotham media crowd). I could even see a Red Hood villain (who would inspire someone later) who wants to continue cleaning up Gotham’s streets– one who is perhaps trying to hunt down the main villain(s) of the story.
But my personal favorite would be Mad Hatter. Taking his dark whimsy and making it into a realistic psychopath would bring in major female characters as his “Alices.” This brings me to:
Who is the Love Interest?
We’ve now had Catwoman as Batman’s first romance in this series. While Zoe Kravitz was excellent and I look forward to seeing her reprise the role in a later outing, there are several other love interests we haven’t seen yet. Personal favorites we haven’t seen: Talia Al Ghul, Vicky Vale, and Andrea Beaumont .
In case you forgot or didn’t know, Andrea Beaumont was the love interest who also happened to be the Phantasm in the animated film Mask of the Phantasm. Andrea has never made another debut in anything Batman, as far as I’m aware, and I would like her to be canon in more than just that movie. Bringing her in would make for a great way to focus in on the mob storyline if the main villain is Penguin. Batman would need to stop her, find out she’s his love interest, and then still try to stop her from killing Penguin. It would be beautiful– and it will probably never happen.
As much as I do want to see the Talia storylines come alive, I think she’ll need to wait this one out. To bring her in would mean that we would need her dad, Raz Al Ghul to come in, along with the brotherhood of shadow. I think that would take a whole movie on its own– Possibly even The Batman 3!
Vicky Vale is the reporter and one of the canon romances of Bruce Wayne that I would like to see come back. A version of her appeared in the 1989 movie; Bruce has dated her in various comics and in the Arkham game adaptions. Having a reporter who gets into trouble researching the Bat and trying to hunt the serial killer Mad Hatter makes her my favorite option for the love interest in the coming film.
Are we expanding the Bat Family?
I sure hope so.
If nothing else, Lucius Fox is an indispensible part of the Bat family, right along with Alfred. For his introduction to work, we would need to see Wayne Industries come into more focus in film. An option for this might be to follow the New 52 storyline which had Bruce’s uncle Phillip Kane (perhaps Phillip Arkham or Phillip Wayne in this case) want his nephew to take on more responsibility, more of a public face. Regardless of how we get there: Lucius Fox needs to run R&D for Batman. At an absolute minimum.
Personal hopes: we see Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Harvey Dent brought into the fold.
Harvey Dent needs to be around for more than just being Two-Face. Having him show up during this film as the lawyer who wants to make Gotham a better city and not get attacked until the end of the film, if at all.
Dick Grayson canonically enters Bruce’s life in year three of Batman. If The Batman was a year two film, then it is actually perfect timing to see the first Robin appear. Ideally 16-17 years old, Dick sees his parents demise (perhaps at the hands of a villain like Penguin) and is taken in by Bruce Wayne, who is perhaps on a date to see the Flying Graysons with Vicky Vale. Over the course of the film we see how Dick reacts dangerously, perhaps trying to go after the criminal element on his own before being given the tools and some basic training by Bruce, becoming the first Robin. (Or maybe he discovers the Batcave and just takes some stuff.) I want this more than anything because I want to see Nightwing on the big screen at some point. (He’s my favorite character.)
I also hope to see Barbara Gordon. She may or may not become Batgirl in this outing, but seeing Gordon’s daughter want to take up the same crusade as her old man– and his weird bat-friend– before landing in some serious trouble in which she needs to be saved (whether by Penguin, Mad Hatter, or another villain) would be an ideal way to introduce a character who is necessary for several of the best storylines in the Bat-family history. Not to mention, she is supposed to get her own film in 2022– but with a different Batman…
How does Batman grow from the story?
The thing that makes The Batman still stand out to me is that Batman/Bruce didn’t just figure out how to be Batman or how to beat the bad guy of the movie– it was the first Batman film where I felt like the character(s) actually grew.
Batman learned that he needed to become more than just “vengeance,” he needed to become a symbol of hope to a city with so little. He needed to be a hero.
I’m hoping that this emotional trend continues with further movies. The reason most superhero films are growing stale for me is that we keep seeing the rehashed storyline of “person x is hero y and needs to learn how to beat villain z; they are in love with a and they are struggling with how to be the best y they can be.”
“Bruce Wayne is Batman and needs to learn how to beat Bane (and Talia); he is in love with Catwoman/Secret Talia and they are struggling with how to be Batman after being laid low.”
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Dark Knight Rises and that whole trilogy (and most Batman movies)– but there’s a reason I hesitate before I go watch anything by Marvel or DC now. It’s hard to change up the formula enough to be both satisfying and unpredictable.
Seeing the final conflict not have to do with Riddler at all, but with vigilantes who appear to be as influenced by Batman in their actions made for a jaw-dropping moment.
Seeing him then go on to help those who were suffering due to the storm and the destruction of the flood walls showed growth that we haven’t seen yet in any Batman film, at least. It would be ideal to see Batman finish the film perhaps not even as the one who brings the villain to justice, but the mentor who allows Robin and/or Batgirl to make the final decision, trusting that they would. Or even just something that shows that he has learned to let people in who aren’t Alfred (perhaps after having to break it off with Vale because he can’t trust her yet and doesn’t want his secret to get out).
But what do you think? Who would be the best villain? Who would be the best love interest? Are they going to expand the Bat-family? Discuss all this and more in the comments below!
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Cover image owned by Warner Bros. Pictures.