Matt Reeves’ The Batman introduced us to a younger version of Bruce Wayne played by Robert Pattinson. The main antagonist of the film was an out-of-the-box take on The Riddler, played by Paul Dano. Instead of the quirky japes and eccentric game show-like behavior Jim Carrey brought to the part in 1995’s Batman Forever, Dano’s Riddler was more like a socially isolated serial killer. While riddles were still involved, Reeves had a more serious take on the villain.
We also got a different take on the Penguin, aka Oswald Copplepot, played by Colin Farrell. Again, this Penguin is a far cry from the last time we saw the Penguin in a featured role on the big screen: when Danny DeVito played him in 1992 Batman Forever. Farrell’s Penguin is getting his own HBO Max series.
We know that Reeves and Pattinson are making The Batman 2. What villain(s) will Batman face this time? Let’s discuss some likely candidates, and who should play them.
1. Mr. Freeze: Played by Rhys Ifans
Matt Reeves has talked about being interested in Mr. Freeze, so a lot of fans think he’ll show up in The Batman sequel. To date, the only live-action appearance of Mr. Freeze was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campy version in 1997’s Batman and Robin. Reeves likely has a more serious version of Mr. Freeze in mind, and Rhys Ifans would be perfect to play him.
We’ve seen Ifans play cold and calculated (no pun intended) characters before; just look at his work as Otto Hightower on House of the Dragon. A doctor specializing in cryogenics, Mr. Freeze is not your usual high strung Batman villain; he is calm, collected, and has sympathetic motives.
During a laboratory mishap, Freeze accidentally lowers his body temperature to sub-zero levels in an attempt to save his terminally ill wife, making him unable to live outside of a specialized suit. He first turns to crime in an attempt to cure his wife. Is he a ruthless villain or a sympathetic widower? Ifans could bring both aspects of the character to the fore.
See also Ifans’ role as Luna Lovegood’s quirky father Xenophilius in the Harry Potter movies. When his daughter is captured by Death Eaters, Xenophilius betrays Harry Potter to save his daughter. Ifans has already played a character who does questionable things for those he loves, just like Mr. Freeze. Not to mention he has comic book villain experience, having played Dr. Curt Connors/ The Lizard in The Amazing Spider Man.