In a BATMAN movie, the villains are almost as important as the hero. So, we are geeking out over the choices made by Matt Reeves for his BATMAN movie, and the people he’s getting for the cast.
In a way, it would have been very difficult for Reeves to include the Joker in his planned BATMAN movie, which casts Robert Pattinson (TWILIGHT, THE LIGHTHOUSE) as the Caped Crusader. For starters, Joaquin Phoenix currently is owning the role in theatres as part of Todd Phillips’ JOKER. But also, between Phoenix, Jack Nicholson, Jared Leto and the late Heath Ledger, the character has been so well-defined. He can go on the shelf.
So, Matt Reeves, instead, will dust off a couple of Batman villains we haven’t seen on screen for a while. Who is Reeves going with, and who has been cast? Let’s dive into the latest on the criminals who will make life difficult for the Dark Knight.
The Riddler / Paul Dano
Though the character has become popular again thanks to the TV show "Gotham," the Riddler hasn’t been seen on the big screen since Jim Carrey brought him to life in an over-the-top performance in Joel Schumacher’s BATMAN FOREVER. The villain, obviously, uses riddles and elaborate clues to stay ahead of Batman, and Reeves has said in interviews that he wants to explore the "detective side" of the DC hero, so including Riddler makes sense.
Paul Dano is an unexpected choice, as franchise superhero movies haven’t really been his forte in the past. This has us encouraged that Reeves is attempting to make a non-traditional comic book movie that relies heavily on gifted character actors. The last time someone tried that, we got Christopher Nolan’s masterful BATMAN BEGINS.
The Penguin / Colin Farrell
Speaking of unexpected casting, the rumors currently say that Colin Farrell is in talks to play Oswald Cobblepot in Matt Reeves' story. Here’s where we begin to wonder what the tone of Reeves’ BATMAN movie will be. BATMAN movies, in the past, have either been dark and brooding, or campy and surreal. When you include a strange villain like the Penguin, you start to think campy, but we might be surprised.
Farrell, meanwhile, has dabbled plenty in franchise movies (like FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM) and even played a villain in a DAREDEVIL movie that didn’t do so well. He must see something special in Matt Reeves’ approach to the Batman myth if he’s willing to step into the shoes of another comic book villain. Again, his casting has us very intrigued.
Catwoman / Zoë Kravitz
At the risk of overcrowding a comic book movie, Matt Reeves is going to fit at least three classic villains into his story (and possibly more, if more news breaks as production ramps up). And for his third part, he has cast Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne.
Catwoman has been very important to Batman’s legacy over the years, as a rival and a love interest. It sounds like when we catch up with Batman at the start of this new movie, Pattinson’s hero will be firmly established as Gotham’s protector, so his relationship with Catwoman might be down the line and fascinating to explore. Kravitz has been a terrific actress and really turned heads in HBO’s "Big Little Lies," so we are extremely excited to see what she brings to this classic role.
Matt Reeves will begin production on his BATMAN movie soon, and it will arrive in theatres on June 25, 2021.