Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by Lil Ginge
The Batman 2, or whatever The Batman sequel winds up being called, will surely be introducing some classic Batman characters like the first film introduced us to the new Carmine Falcone and The Riddler. And we will also see some new ones, like we saw Gotham City District Attorney Gil Colson and Police Commissioner Pete Savage, too. But, I definitely have some opinions on which characters I’d like to see in The Batman sequel.
Characters in The Batman sequel will need to fit into the gritty, neo-noir world crafted by director Matt Reeves. And that means the versions we see in the future film will look and feel substantially different than we may have seen them before.
These characters will also have to play well with Robert Pattinson’s moody, Kurt Cobain-inspired take on Bruce Wayne / Batman. I think the following five characters will do that quite nicely. Here are the five classic Batman characters I’d like to see in The Batman sequel:
- Vicki Vale
- Dick Grayson / Robin
- Barbara Gordon
- Poison Ivy
Why do I think these five particular characters would work great in The Batman sequel? Let’s take a deeper look into each one of them now.
Five Great Characters For The Batman Sequel
Vicki Vale’s first comic book appearance came in Batman issue #49, published in October 1948. Vale is a journalist, or sometimes a photo-journalist, with a romantic attachment to Bruce Wayne, the Batman, or both. She was Batman’s first major girlfriend on the silver screen, played memorably and admirably by Kim Basinger in Batman (1989).
Of course, The Batman featured Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz) in the role of Batman’s love interest. But the end of The Batman showed Batman and Selina riding off and going their separate ways – at least for now. And even if Selina Kyle is back in The Batman sequel – which is likely – there is plenty of room for Bruce Wayne to have another romantic entanglement.
The Batman’s identity remains a complete mystery to the people of Gotham City. It would be interesting to have a scoop-hungry Vicki Vale setting out to nail down The Batman’s secret identity. She could also fit in nicely if we see Bruce Wayne start to take on more of his “society” and “playboy” roles that we are used to from past Batman films.
After appearing in Batman, the Vicki Vale character has completely disappeared from Batman on Film. But I say there’s no better time to bring her back than the present. It’s also yet another element that can help distinguish this new Batman series from Christopher Nolan’s flawless Dark Knight trilogy.
Dick Grayson / Robin
Like Vicki Vale, it has been quite a few Batman movies since we have seen the character of Dick Grayson / Robin. The character debuted as Robin in Detective Comics issue #38 in April of 1940. He was created by Batman creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Robin is Batman’s longtime junior sidekick and is often presented as Bruce Wayne’s ward.
Dick Grayson / Robin famously (maybe infamously) appeared in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, both directed by Joel Schumacher. He was played memorably by actor Chris O’Donnell. But the character was somewhat whiny and difficult to like. Plus, considering the disdain for and outright mockery of Batman and Robin felt by many people (Lil Ginge included), there was good reason to send Dick Grayson back into Batman hiding for a while.
But the time is ripe to bring him back. The version of Dick Grayson and Robin in a sequel to The Batman will likely be much more serious, gritty, and brooding than the O’Donnell / Schumacher rendition. In fact, as Bruce Wayne continues to move in the direction of lightness and hope, it would be interesting to see how a grieving and angry Dick Grayson could play alongside him as a contrast.
Although a sort of junior partner character named Robin (Robin John Blake) appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, there was no traditional, costumed version of the character in Nolan’s trilogy. And while there was a reference to a dead Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we never saw anything but the fallen hero’s costume along with a tortured expression on Battfleck’s face. So it would be good fun to have Dick Grayson / Robin show up in The Batman sequel.
No Batman on film has yet done justice or really even made allusion to Barbara Gordon. Batgirl made her first appearance in Detective Comics issue 359 in a story called “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!” in January of 1967. She was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino. She also featured prominently in the Batman television series, played memorably by Yvonne Craig.
We know virtually nothing of police Lieutenant James Gordon’s (Jeffrey Wright) background or family in The Batman. Although Wright plays the role with his usual grace and charm, we don’t really know much about who this Gordon is beyond his being a good cop in a city filled with bad and corrupt ones like Commissioner Savage.
Introducing Barbara Gordon into the mix would, at the very least, be a chance to help deepen the relationships between Lieutenant Gordon and Batman and allow us to get to know Gordon’s character better. Is he close with his daughter? Are they estranged? And would she ultimately become Batgirl in this universe, or maybe even Oracle?
There’s a lot director Matt Reeves could do with Barbara Gordon in this Batman world. Especially since we know the Joker exists and may play a factor in future sequels as well. Moreover, it would give the team a chance to easily introduce another prominent black woman into the mix (Tessa Thompson for the role, anyone?) along with characters like James Gordon, Selina Kyle, and progressive Gotham City Mayor Bella Real, and more diversity and inclusion are always a good thing.
When it comes to villains to consider for The Batman sequel, I can think of no better option than Hush. Hush, whose alter ego is Dr. Thomas Elliot, first appeared in Batman issue #609 in January 2003. He was created by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.
In the comic book portrayal of Hush, Thomas Elliot is a former childhood friend of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Elliot suffered abuse from his parents and displayed a genius-level intellect growing up. He attempted to murder both his parents (successfully killing his father), but his mother was saved by Dr. Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father.
The intervention of Thomas Wayne enraged Elliot. He also resented Bruce Wayne inheriting his parents’ fortune, which Elliot was unable to do. After learning from The Riddler that Bruce Wayne is also Batman, Elliot adopts the Hush persona and teams up with The Riddler to destroy Elliot’s sworn enemy, Wayne.
I like the idea of Hush being the mastermind villain of any sequel to The Batman. The fact that his grudge is against Bruce Wayne personally is a nice continuation of the thru-line that began with The Riddler’s hatred of the Wayne family in The Batman.
Plus, the fact that Elliot and Wayne were childhood friends – not that Battinson seems like the type to have many friends or be especially good with them – could further help to explore and develop the psychology of Bruce Wayne.
I can think of a number of actors who could be great for the role that are around Robert Pattinson’s age. These include:
- Michael B. Jordan
- Kit Harrington
- Adam Driver
- Donald Glover
- Eddie Redmayne
While Jonah Hill was considered for both The Penguin and The Riddler, he’s another terrific actor who may be able to tap into his more serious side to play Dr. Elliot / Hush.
Poison Ivy is a Batman villain we have seen on the big screen before, but not done in a serious way. And I think she could also be a perfect fit for a contemporary take on the Batman considering the dire threats of climate change in 2022 (and beyond).
Dr. Pamela Isley, whose alter ego is Poison Ivy, was created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff. She made her debut in Batman issue #181 in June 1966, during the height of the Adam West and Burt Ward Batman television show craze.
Poison Ivy was famously and sort of hilariously (but not really in a good way) played by the incomparable actor Uma Thurman in Joel Schumacher’s uproarious debacle Batman and Robin in 1998. Along with George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Thurman helped set Batman on film back seven years (but ultimately also helped get us the iconic Dark Knight trilogy, a stunning and positive development).
The Riddler plotline touched on climate change in The Batman. This was done with the essential plot point of the destruction of Gotham’s seawall and the subsequent devastating floods that filled the city. So, it makes sense to continue the climate change theme in future Batman films. As an eco-avenger, Poison Ivy is the perfect villain to help further this plot or subplot.
Sticking close to Rober Pattinson’s age, some of the top flight women actors that could potentially take on the role of Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy include:
- Emilia Clarke
- Emmy Rossum
- Ana de Armas
- Evan Rachel Wood
- Emma Stone
I suppose Jennifer Lawrence could pull it off too, being one of the best actors of her generation. But Jennifer Lawrence may even be a little too iconic for the role at this point. (But also, hey, why not, we love her!)
Other Characters In the Next Batman Sequel
It’s hard to say what other characters we may see in the sequel to The Batman. It seems quite evident that we will see the return of characters from the first film such as Oz Cobblepot / The Penguin (Colin Farrel), The Riddler, Selina Kyle, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Bella Real, The Joker, and Commissioner Gordon.
Other potential characters include old Batman friends such as the other Robins (Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damien Wayne, and Carey Kelley), Lucious Fox, Harvey Bullock, Dr. Leslie Thomkins, Renee Montoya, Commissioner Loeb, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Officer Sarah Essen.
We may also even see the return of some other characters from Christopher Nolan’s Dark knight trilogy including villains like Ras al Ghul, The Scarecrow, Bane, and Talia al Ghul. Or perhaps we will see other villains like Mr. Freeze, Dr. Hugo Strange, Clayface, Mad Hatter, or even Killer Croc.
About The Batman (2022) Film
The Batman (2022) is the latest reboot of The Batman franchise for production company DC Films, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery. The film was directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman. The Batman’s production reportedly cost somewhere around $185 – $200 million.
The Batman is a mix of genres. It is primarily a superhero suspense thriller but with many different elements incorporating genres and subgenres like horror, neo-noir, political and journalistic thriller, and psychological drama. It is the first Batman film that doesn’t primarily fall into the action-adventure superhero genre.
The plot and characters of The Batman were influenced by a number of different comic book sources. These source materials include Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, Ego, Zero Year, Dark Victory, and When In Rome. The last of these is primarily a Catwoman story, developing her overall relationship with Gotham’s top mobster, Carmine Falcone.
If you like this article on characters I’d love to see in a sequel to The Batman, make sure to check out my article on the character Commissioner Pete Savage.