The Batman had a terrific weekend making $134 million at the US box office and over $250 worldwide. Now, as a new week starts, it’s natural for fans and film pundits alike to post ideas and fancast of what we could see in the sequel (because with these numbers and praise, the film is getting a sequel).
I will use the breadcrumbs Matt Reeves left in the film, and THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE BATMAN!!!!
Using the legacy of comic books was important to Reeves and co-writer Peter Craig when creating the story as this first outing was inspired by The Long Halloween, Batman: Ego and Year One were the main comics, but there were snippets of Earth-One and Zero Year and a brief mention of Hush.
I’d continue the Zero Year and Earth-One thread for this sequel. Plus comics like Hush and The Court of Owls with Dark Victory and the Batman Animated Series episode Heart of Ice are embedded as well.
They survived the great flood, but Batman is needed more than ever with a gang war terrorising Gotham. One man going by the name of Mr Freeze will do anything to save his wife and a serial killer called Hush, proclaiming the death of Bruce Wayne on Christmas Day.
I am weary of the winter/Christmas setting compared to Batman Returns, but this setting would fit so perfectly, and it’d be six weeks after the flood with Gotham in an awful place. Additionally, Greig Fraser would produce some incredibly iconic and beautiful shots in whites, blacks and blues in snow and winter weather.
The Birth of Batman and Bruce Wayne
The face of Robert Pattinson’s Batman when a Riddler goon quoted his line was pure horror and realised that when interrogating Paul Dano’s Riddler, the wrong people see him as their saviour and not the fear. As stated in his monologue, Bruce needs to be more than just vengeance making way for Batman to be born.
That includes the signal to the people of Gotham hope that their city will be a little bit safer while still being used as a toy of fear for criminals.
As for Batman’s statement, crime in the city did get much worst as not only is he dealing with a gang war fighting over territory around Gotham, but more psychopaths are coming out, including two villains, Mr Freeze and Hush.
As for Bruce Wayne (as much as we love our sad, emo boy), following Riddler revealing his family’s history, he becomes more noticeable around the city. He works with Mayor Bella Real (Jayme Lawson) to use the Renewal foundation to help rebuild Gotham.
These appearances are still rare as Bruce is still getting used to being in public again but in crowds of people suffers from panic attacks. His appearances make him a bigger target, especially for the serial killer Hush, who states Bruce Wayne’s death on Christmas Day.
Introducing Harvey Dent
There are a lot of job openings that the mayor needs to fill, and following the death and reveal of bent DA Gil Coulson (Peter Sarsgaard), she goes for the top District Attorney in the country and Gotham native Harvey Dent to help her clean up crime in the city.
While born and raised in Gotham, Dent made his name as the youngest DA in the country, making Metropolis the safest city in the United States. Before revealing in an interview with Vikki Vale is the reason he’s returned home because a Bat Man isn’t going to be around forever, but proper law and order will and use the mayor’s campaign slogan of “real change”.
This Dent was Bruce’s closest friend growing up though a bit of a dick from time to time. Returning as the favourite son, Dent is cocky and fall of piss and vinegar as he helps with Bruce’s social skills.
I want at least one and a half movies before we get into the Two-Face territory, as it’ll be good to get to know Dent as a character. While he’s extroverted in public, in private, he’s dealing with his Dissociative Identity Disorder, hiding it from everyone. However, “Bad Harv” appears near the end of the film as he kills someone.
Dent is an interesting, complex, fun character to play. Any of these men would do a terrific job – Nicholas Hoult (came runner-up to Robert for Batman), Andrew Garfield (would bring so much to the character and his chemistry with Pattinson would be fantastic) or John David Washington (did a terrific job working together on Tenet).
The Growth of Crime
The mixture of the flood and the gaping hole left in Gotham following the murder of Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), a gang war rises across the city for territory similar to Year Zero, the animated Harley Quinn series, and I’m sure the Arkham games covered this as well.
Four factions are fighting for control of the city. They would be Colin Farrell returning as Oz Cobblepot, using Dark Victory but changing a little would be the introduction of Sofia Falcone as Carmine’s younger sister rather than daughter, once framed now released rival Salvatore Maroni and leader of the Black Mask gang, Roman Sionis.
Each of them wants to make a claim, Oz because he wants to be his own boss, Sofia keeping the Falcone legacy alive, and Maroni is a veteran wanting to grab what he wants back.
Meanwhile, Sionis was one of Batman’s Year One enemies, but during the flood, he escaped from Blackgate and returned to the open arms of a secret organisation that his family were a part of called The Court of Owls.
With their help, Black Mask was able to do the Owls and restore order in Gotham with their power and influence.
What’s great is even though Sal Maroni was introduced briefly in The Batman and we saw TV coverage, we never saw his face, which was a smart move. So it leaves casting open with my pick being Steve Buscemi; he’s a similar age as Turturro and would do an excellent job.
Meanwhile, as for Sofia, getting someone like Marisa Tomei would kill in the role, while people still think and see her as Aunt May, it would be a completely different role. Plus, she delivers in everything she does and being from Brooklyn and growing up in New York in the 70/80s, she’d have loads of fun.
Finally, Paapa Essiedu would be fantastic as Sionis. He could easily play a crazed, menacing rich kid because he played a son of a gangster and was charming and professional in the brilliant Gangs of London.
Elsewhere, Batman has his hands full with a villain going by the name of Mr Freeze. I’d use the tragic backstory from the BTAS episode The Heart of Ice of Victor Fries, a scientist who places his terminally ill wife Nora into a special freezing cell and cryogenically freezing her until he finds a cure. However, all his research was destroyed during the flood and exposed his body to a freezing solution.
Luckily Gotham is experiencing the harshest winter in history, making Freeze’s life easier as he and his wife can only survive in sub-zero temperatures. Yet, he needs money to support his research, so he robs banks for funds and labs for equipment.
I’d want someone who can be both cold and heartless when his goggles are on but once he’s with his love or talking to Batman out of costume has the emotion to show his goal is simply saving the love of his life and that person to me is Giancarlo Esposito.
Finally, a serial killer known as Hush leaves a message with his final victim stating, “Bruce Wayne will die on Christmas Day.”
I wouldn’t change much to the character’s backstory, but using the info given in The Batman, Dr Tommy Elliot is a trained surgeon. After seeing the news footage of The Riddler exposing Thomas Wayne had his father killed, all he wants is revenge on Bruce for this injustice.
Not even Bruce explaining what really happened changes his mind, so Tommy meets Riddler in Arkham, and he wants to know everything about Bruce. From that moment, he kills wealthy men who look like Wayne and socialites in the lead up to Christmas Day.
As for casting, I wanted to be a regular dude and be able to pull off someone with the eyes and hunger to gain revenge for his father, and Jesse Plemons came to mind.
He’s a top actor with a CV in different genres and is always solid, but he has never gotten into the CBM/ franchise movies and this would be a property under Reeves he could really stretch himself as an actor.
As well as the DA, Gotham needs a new commissioner, but instead of going on the wishes of elected mayor Real in promoting Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), Police Chief Mackenzie Bock decided to place someone he can trust in the role with Gillian Loeb becoming Commissioner.
The main reason is that he doesn’t let a man in a costume get in the way of police work, but also he’ll be going after and stopping these gang wars.
The only issue is he’s a corrupt cop as he’ll go for everyone besides Maroni as it would be revealed to be on his payroll. This would be another character that has appeared in Year One and Earth-One and Dark Victory.
Because the role won’t be that big, just popping up throughout the film, it could be played by a character actor.
Moreover, you have Rupert Throne, made popular in BTAS, finally makes his big screen debut, having previously written in the original script of the first Warner Bros film in the 80s. This time instead of the better known gangster, we see him as a member of Mayor Real’s core team.
What would also be revealed in the film is he is a member of The Court of Owls and helps Black Mask where he can, and I’d be looking at Essiedu’s Gangs of London co-star Ray Panthaki.
Again like everyone in that show, Panthaki does a terrific job in the role of Jevan Kapadia, who is pulling the strings behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly in London. This would be similar to Throne, someone who helps Real achieve her goals whilst pulling the strings and keeping the interests of the Court going.