'The Batman': Catwoman, The Penguin, And Riddler Rumored As Villains

Considering Matt Reeves hasn't finished his script for The Batman, speculating about what's in it may be foolish. So take with a grain of salt Collider's report (via THR's Heatvision newsletter) about the villains Batman will be facing, especially since their inclusion will immediately invite comparisons to Tim Burton's deeply weird Batman Returns.

The site says Penguin and Catwoman will be squaring off against Batman, whether he's played by Robert Pattinson or not. The Riddler is also rumored for an appearance, although that sounds a bit shakier. Penguin was played by Danny DeVito in Burton's 1989 film, and by Burgess Meredith in the Batman TV series. Most recently, Robin Lord Taylor gave a very different, and I think terrific, portrayal Penguin aka Oswald Cobblepot.

Michelle Pfeiffer gave a memorably sexy performance as Catwoman in Batman Returns, and nearly three decades later Anne Hathaway played the character, going strictly by her civilian name Selina Kyle, in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

Casting on these characters won't begin until Pattinson's deal has been inked, but the actor has yet to read a script. Reeves probably has actors in mind, and don't forget Josh Gad has been lobbying hard to play Penguin. It's hard to imagine him having time with all of the projects he has coming up for Disney, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see Reeves turn to an actress he's worked with before to play Catwoman. Perhaps Let Me In star Chloe Grace Moretz?

I'm of mixed minds on this. We only saw Catwoman on the big screen a few years ago, while using her and Penguin is a reminder of what Burton did with them. On the other hand, if Reeves' film is truly going to focus on Batman's detective skills then it makes sense to use two of the more relatable members of his Rogue's Gallery. Using Joker is out of the question right now until we see how Joaquin Phoenix's movie does, and a monstrous bad guy like Clayface doesn't make sense. I'm surprised he isn't using Riddler as a focus, instead. I've always loved the battle of intellects between Batman and Riddler, and a true superhero cat-and-mouse thriller would be something fresh.

I expect we're going to learn a lot about The Batman in a couple of months at Comic-Con, when Warner Bros. may have the entire Hall H stage to itself.  The Batman is set to hit theaters on June 25th 2021.