Now that Matt Reeves has found his Bruce Wayne in Robert Pattinson, done deal or not, the writer-director has turned his attention to The Batman‘s rogues gallery of villains, which will include the Penguin and Catwoman, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision newsletter.
The Penguin and Catwoman were previously featured in Tim Burton‘s Batman Returns, where they were played by Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer, respectively. Two decades later, Anne Hathaway played Catwoman in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises, although the character was never referred to as “Catwoman.” Instead, she was called either “The Cat” or her real name, Selina Kyle.
As for the Penguin, otherwise known as Oswald Cobblepot, the character was played by Burgess Meredith in the original ABC television series as well as the 1966 spinoff film, while Robin Lord Taylor played embodied the character on Fox’s Gotham.
Reeves won’t begin casting Batman’s rogues gallery until Pattinson closes his deal, which is believed to be imminent. This despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, the Twilight star hasn’t even read the script yet, because it still isn’t quite finished. But surely Reeves shared his plans with Pattinson when the two met, and it’s safe to assume he already has actors in mind to play the villains. The real question is whether Reeves will gender-flip the Penguin or perhaps another antagonist, such as the Riddler, who has also been rumored to make an appearance — though that remains unconfirmed. After all, Reeves will have to keep some surprises up his sleeve and save something special for the sequel, just like Nolan did by waiting until the second film in his Bat trilogy to introduce the Joker and Two-Face.
Josh Gad hasn’t been shy on social media about lobbying to play the Penguin, and I think he’d make an excellent choice, though I could say the same about Jonah Hill and even Melissa McCarthy. All three of them would make a great comic book villain. Regarding Catwoman, it’s anyone’s guess, but can you imagine what someone like Saoirse Ronan could do with that role? She earned three Oscar nominations before her 25th birthday, and would be a very intriguing choice, though she has largely avoided big-budget franchise films. Then again, so has Pattinson.
Mackenzie Davis could also be interesting, and she has been on the verge of a comic book movie for some time, having most recently passed on a role in Marvel’s Black Widow that eventually went to Florence Pugh. Before that, the Terminator: Dark Fate star was eyed for Domino in Deadpool 2 as well as a role in Drew Goddard‘s planned Sinister Six movie.
Again, I haven’t heard that any of those actors have met with Reeves — unlike Ansel Elgort, the star of WB’s The Goldfinch and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story, who met with the director to discuss the title role — they just come to mind as strong possibilities, based on interest they’ve received for past studio tentpoles.
Warner Bros. will release The Batman on June 25, 2021. Stay tuned for more casting news, because with production starting this fall, it’s about to get crazy ’round these parts.