We are getting closer to Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, every day. In order to go in blind and enjoy every twist and turn the film has to offer I’ve been staying away from news for the flick. I even passed the writing of the Film Spotlight over to our contributor Kris Greet so I wouldn’t accidentally get spoiled. While we slowly march to July 20th, lets change paces like we did for The Amazing Spider-Man and speculate on possible villains in a Batman reboot (which I don’t think will be very far away if this is indeed the last Nolan/Bale Batman adventure).

Nolan was very smart to stay away from villains that appeared in other Batman films with Batman Begins when he used Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow, two lesser known villains that still have a lot of history. I think a new director/writer team will do the same and stay away from Nolan’s main baddies, including the Joker, Ra, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and now of course Bane, at least for the first movie in a new series. I also think the new series will start with Batman already being established, maybe a short montage origin recap (as used in The Incredible Hulk). So, who might they bring into the mix to face off with the Dark Knight?

Professor Hugo Strange. Not to be confused with Marvel Comic’s Doctor Strange, Hugo Strange might not be a house hold name, but he definitely has his place among Batman’s classic rogue gallery having first appeared in 1940. Strange is an insane psychologist who invented a serum to drive his victims in to mindless killing machines and him obsession with Batman lead him to want to become him. He is as smart as he is insane and is a formidable opponent for the Dark Knight. To take things one step further, you can have Strange’s serum create some of Batman’s other classic villains, like Man-Bat or Clayface, giving the movie a more superhuman vibe which could separate it from Nolan’s super realistic take on the hero.

Man-Bat. Playing off my last entry of Hugo Strange, I think this combo of villains could work really well. On the flip side, if done right, Man-Bat could work for the main villain also. You can make Dr. Kirk Langstrom a Wayne Enterprises scientist who has the best intentions who accidentally mutates himself in to the Man-Bat. Of course this would be very similar to the movie Spider-Man’s Green Goblin, Doc Ock and the remake’s Lizard stories. But just think how cool a Batman vs Man-Bat fight flying across the Gotham skyline would be! None of Nolan’s villains were any bit as monstrous as this guy, none nearly as scary either. (and for Warner Brothers, just think of all the toys they could sell!)

Deadshot. Yeah, I know he was in the last season of Smallville, but who cares? The “second greatest assassin” in the DC Universe could give Batman a run for his money. Sure, I can’t see him being the main villain, but imagine he is sent to kill Bruce Wayne in public during the day. Bruce has to hide the fact that he is Batman, but still get out of the situation alive– maybe enter Robin or Batgirl to come to his aid? This would be another thing to separate a remake from Nolan, the introduction of the Batman “family” of allies. Of course, who would send an assassin to kill Bruce Wayne? How about…

Lex Luthor. Yes, Superman’s top villain. Why would he be in Gotham going head to head with Batman? Luthor could be bank rolling Hugo Strange or he could send Deadshot to take out the head of Wayne Enterprises, one of his top defense competitors. Hopefully Luthor will be in Zack Synder’s upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel, in a cameo and maybe he can do the same in a possible Batman reboot. Luthor could be in the background, pulling the strings, in all of the upcoming DC Comics movies creating an actual shared universe. Setting up an epic World’s Finest crossover with Superman and Batman, or maybe he could be forming the Injustice Gang to go head to head with the Justice League in a future crossover of all of DC’s top heroes.

If DC Comics and Warner Brothers are going to reboot Batman so soon after Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy, then they better give us something special. And Batman in a fantastic universe sharing scenes with the likes of Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman would be the perfect hook and give a reason for the reboot that no one would complain about. Now, who should play Bruce Wayne/Batman?