Bat-School: Let's cast the next one!

This article contains SPOILERS for the ending of The Dark Knight, but that’s okay, because surely you’ve seen it by now, right?

Tell me what characters you’d like to see in the next movie … and cast them.

Given Batman’s fugitive status at the end of The Dark Knight, I think it’s about time he met Selina Kyle, a.k.a Catwoman.

And I’m not talking about the Selina Kyle from Batman Returns, who was nothing like the Selina Kyle from the comics (even though Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Catwoman is hot, hot, hot, hot, hot).

And I’m not talking about the version of Selina who’s a hooker-turned-thief from the often inspired but childishly vile imagination of Frank Miller in Batman: Year One.

I’m talking about the Selina Kyle from the pages of two of my all-time favorite Batman stories, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, which really set up the “mobsters and freaks” dynamic that works so amazingly well in The Dark Knight.

Photo stolen from this guy

As written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, this Selina Kyle is a gorgeous society girl who steals partly for thrills, partly to rile up Batman in more ways than one, and partly because she just happens to be …


the illegitimate daughter of Carmine “The Roman” Falcone, played quite awesomely by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins.

How awesome is that? It would fit in perfectly with what Team Nolan has already established in their Batman universe, and, like I said, I think Bruce Wayne needs a gal like Selina Kyle in his life after the events of The Dark Knight.

(The thought of seeing a scene of Selina Kyle played against Michael Caine’s Alfred makes me happy.)

And my pick to play Selina is …

… Rachel Weisz.

(Going back in time a bit, I remember telling my friend Lauren shortly after we’d seen Batman Begins that I wanted Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Selina Kyle. My wish of seeing Maggie in a Batman movie did come true, but she was cast as Rachel Dawes instead.)

Rachel is a phenomenal actress who’s no stranger to physicality in movies; see the Mummy flicks and Constantine for examples. (Also notice how the latest Mummy movie felt woefully flat without her.)

She’s beautiful in a timeless kind of way, and she can be ridiculously sexy, and I can really see her fitting right in with the likes of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.

And since Nolan likes to present realistic versions of the characters, I can see her burglar outfit being more in line with the one Adam Hughes draws so beautifully:

It’s cool and it’s functional and it’s not silly or slutty.

Just imagine a now-fugitive Batman still taking his fight to the mob but dealing with interference from Catwoman, all while Bruce Wayne romances Selina Kyle on the society circuit. Work that in with her lineage that I whited out above, and you’ve got a winner.

And since Catwoman and the Riddler worked so well together (as characters) in the Loeb/Sale miniseries Catwoman: When in Rome, I’d put the Riddler in the next Batman movie, too.

Not as the flamboyant Frank Gorshin version from the old TV series, and certainly not the ridiculous Jim Carrey version.

No green suit.

No purple cane shaped like a question mark.

I’d make the Riddler a master strategist.

Ra’s Al Ghul challenged Batman’s will.

The Joker challenged Batman’s very soul.

I want the Riddler to challenge Batman’s mind.

Can you imagine a story where the Riddler sets up twisted mind-games to toy with Batman’s brain, with twisted, catastrophic results if Batman fails?

Think about the tone and the mood that Christopher Nolan built in The Prestige, and then imagine what he might do with the Riddler in one of his Batman movies.

I think it would be awesome.

And my choice for the Riddler is …

… Casey Affleck.

Earlier this year I ended up buying two Casey Affleck movies on the same day: Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

In the former, he goes capably toe-to-toe with Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris; in the latter, he holds his own like a champ against one of the most fascinating Brad Pitt performances you’ll ever see.

Take the confidence he showed in Gone Baby Gone and mix that with the nearly-creepy oddness — which grew into more confidence over the course of the film — he displayed in Jesse James and you’ve got one scary customer who could absolutely send chills down our spines.

I know that some of you will jump on this and say that he’s not an obvious choice.

But do you know who else wasn’t an obvious choice initially?

Heath Ledger.

And we all know how that worked out, now, don’t we?

So, yeah. Those are my picks for the villains and actors for the next Batman movie: Rachel Weisz as Selina Kyle and Casey Affleck as one seriously dangerous Riddler.

Your turn!


  1. Jim says:

    Love Rachel Weisz. One of the most talented and versatile actresses working today. She would be a perfect Catwoman. As for Casey Affleck, great choice as well.

  2. John says:

    Thanks for the comment, Jim!

    Casey Affleck really impressed me in both of those movies. (And he was the funniest part of Ocean’s Thirteen.) I think he’s ready for this.

    And Rachel Weisz … yeah. She’s got it all.

  3. Awesome choices—and that pic of Casey Affleck makes me come around looks-wise. I know I said I didn’t see it before, but I’ve changed my mind. :) Even though I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything—so just basing it off of looks and your word that he’s good. :)

    Totally agree with you about Catwoman … I love that Catwoman outfit, too.

    Hmm, choices, choices …

    Catwoman I agree with.

    I’m a big fan of Winona Ryder.

    Would she work? ;;shrug;;

    How about Famke Janssen? Yeah, yeah, she’s Jean Grey, but still. :)

    I would love to see Hush, if they could swing that somehow—I know the backstory makes it kind of weird, including how many characters (that aren’t established in Nolan’s Bat-world) would need to be established, but they could swing it somehow, right? I mean, Hush doesn’t have any powers …

    This is Hush (red-haired guy, left):

    Ewan McGregor:

    Or even … Sean Patrick Flannery?:

    I’d also like to see Deadshot—but seeing how I can’t find a pic of him without a mask, no suggestions. :)

  4. Bret says:

    Casey Affleck…good choice…personally I think Guy Pearce would make an excellect Riddler as well. Also (and we’ve discussed this) Phillip Seymore Hoffman as the Penguin. Not the squatty, disgusting, fish-eating joke he has become in depictions of late. But rather, a sophisticated classy british arms dealer in league with the mob.

  5. Kerstin says:

    Casey Affleck has surely come into his own since Gone Baby Gone (which I just saw last week and LOVED) and Jesse James. Great choice for the Riddler. I also like Bret’s suggestion of Guy Pearce. He has a sort of creepy mysteriousness about him.

    I also agree Philip Seymore Hoffman would be awesome as a creepy penguin, but another choice pops into my head and may not be conventional. Robin Williams. He’s surely made a great leap into the more suspensful, weird characters, and I’d love to see what he could with something like this and NOT be the silly joke making character we all see him as. Just a thought.

    Selina. Rachel Weisz would be good. She’s sexy and could really make it work. For some reason though, I keep getting a picture of Thandie Newton in my head for that role. I think she would be awesome as well.

  6. Tim Rakei says:

    I don’t know all the versions of the Batman characters, but what impressed me about the Pfeiffer Catwoman was that she was not deliberately created by Selina Kyle but sprang forth from her as a second personality of whom the Kyle personality seems to have remained unaware. This dementia causes you to take a second look at Batman and think wait a minute, to what point is this man really in control of himself? It’s an illuminating contrast.

  7. Boggs says:

    I would like to see Talia show up and I think Famke Jannsen would be an awesome choice, but she is probably too old.

    I think a role like Talia or Catwoman could be interchangable in helping Batman, but more people would know who Catwoman is, making her a better box office draw. I agree that if they use her, the Loeb/Sale version should be used.

    I think Carla Gugino would make a good Catwoman.

  8. Kareem says:

    Although I don’t want another film (leave perfection be, says I), I ultimately see how that’s pretty much an impossibility.

    I think the right direction to go would probably be to create a totally new villain for the films. I’d love for the Nolans and Goyer to have the freedom to do what they feel is a real challenge to Batman.

    I don’t really have casting choices in mind for the rogues gallery, simply because Two-Face, Ra’s Al Ghul, and the Joker are ultimately Batman’s greatest nemesis, and I can’t seem to think past them. I think Nolan and Goyer knew that, which is why the Joker is left hanging.

    Although Heath Ledger is now a God, I think he’d want the character to go on. I know that’s just my opinion, but consider the facts: When an actor like Ledger gives his all the way in which he does to this film, you feel that he would’ve encouraged other actors to take up the purple suit and give it their best too. They are big shoes to fill obviously, but someone has to do it sooner or later. And it doesn’t always work out well. Poor Brandon Routh is still stuck in the shadow of Christopher Reeve, and we all hope he’ll someday get the chance to show he’s worthy of wearing the S. We are in a similar predicament now with Ledger. But, sooner or later, someone will have to step forward and perform the Joker in a Batman film. And I’d rather have Nolan and Goyer say they had the integrity to keep with their original trilogy/story/vision than have them make excuses for the next few decades as to why the third movie sucked.

    I don’t really have anyone in mind for a recast, though. Matt Damon would probably be an awesome Joker, because he seems, like Heath, fearless in his work.

    And, just because the dude is awesome, Crispin Glover. :-)

  9. John says:

    Stephanie: Ewan McGregor as Hush?! What check do I have to write to Hollywood to make this happen? Brilliant. Brilliant. Especially given how Dini’s been making him more dangerous than ever in the pages of Detective Comics. Awesome. Awesome.

    Bret: Guy Pearce would be awesome in anything. He played such a smug villain in The Count of Monte Cristo and he’s definitely got good rapport with Nolan (as evidenced in Memento). I’d love to see him in one of these movies. And yes, Phillip Seymour Awesome as a dapper, dastardly Oswald Cobblepot would rock. Did you see him in M:I III? Talk about a bad guy … yeesh.

    Kerstin: You just blew my mind. Thandie Newton was on my Selina short-list, along with Rosario Dawson. And I’d love to see Robin Williams as Dr. Arkham, the nut in charge of the asylum. Scary. And yes, he’d also make a great Penguin. Excellent suggestion.

    Tim: Thanks for dropping by! I loved the Pfeiffer Catwoman, too, and I liked how that movie played up the theme of duality. But I didn’t care for Burton’s version of her origin. I love the movie, but I love it as a Tim Burton movie with Batman characters rather than as a Batman movie.

    Boggs: You just messed up everything. Now I can’t see anyone but Carla Gugino as Selina, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of her. Probably because I’ve always wanted her to be Lois Lane (with Jim Caviezel as Superman). But wow, she’d be an amazing Loeb/Sale Selina. And Rachel Weisz would make one hell of a Talia, I think.

    Kareem: Excellent suggestion about Goyer/Nolans creating a new villain. I’d like to see what they could come up with. It would definitely keep the film more about Batman. I wonder what they could do with Hugo Strange, or another round of Ra’s Al Ghul. Matt Damon as The Joker is an inspired choice because, just like you said so well, he’s fearless and brings that total physical and emotional dedication to his work. He’s a lot like Ledger and Bale in that way. Your summary of the Joker situation couldn’t have been better stated. And yes, poor Routh … dude got screwed.

  10. Travis says:

    I agree with you perfectly. Actually, believe it or not as soon as I saw TDK I was hoping to see Catwoman in the next movie. I did some research and decided that Rachel Weisz would be the best Catwoman. Shannon Sossamon took second place in my book. And I know it’s the obvious choice but I do like someone more like a Johnny Depp for the Riddler.

  11. Ed says:

    Here’s what I think. Micheal C. Hall (Dexter) as The Riddler, Angelina Jolie as Catwoman, Joe Pesci as The Penquin, Thora Birch as Harley Quinn, Guy Pearce as Mr. Freeze, Scarlett Johannsen as Poison Ivy.

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