One of Batman’s earliest adversaries and certainly one of his most well known, cat-burglar Selina Kyle/Catwoman is particularly noteworthy for doubling as Bruce Wayne’s most consistent love interest. The character has featured in both previous Batman film series, specifically appearing in Batman Returns (portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer) and The Dark Knight Rises (portrayed by Anne Hathaway). Catwoman being absent from the DCEU would be a very odd and disappointing exclusion, so hopefully Ben Affleck & Geoff Johns can find some place for her in the upcoming Batman solo film.
Who Should Play Her: Rebecca Hall
Aside from what a pleasure it would be to see Affleck share an onscreen reunion with his The Town co-star, Hall is an immensely talented actress who could offer much to the role of Catwoman and the character’s dynamic with Batman. After recent standout performances in The Gift and the aforementioned The Town, any film lover in right mind should be clamoring to see more from Hall, and while the role of Catwoman, a greedy and manipulative anti-heroine, would be mostly uncharted territory for the actress, I have nothing but the utmost it would be within her capabilities as an actress.
2. Ra’s Al Ghul
Discounting The Joker, Ra’s Al Ghul is the Dark Knight’s greatest adversary. Sustaining his centuries long existence through the use of rejuvenating Lazarus Pits while leading eco-terrorist organization The League Of Assassins, The Demon’s Head seeks to cleanse the Earth in order in order to rebuild civilization from the ground up. As a result, he acts a black mirror to Batman’s crusade to rid Gotham City of crime; Al Ghul recognizes their similarities, and has thus attempted to persuade the vigilante to become his heir from time to time. Given the exploration of Batman’s descent into darkness throughout Batman V Superman, Al Ghul would be a fitting addition to the Batman series going forward.
Who Should Play Him: Ghassan Massoud
Relatively unknown to American audiences, the Syrian actor would have the honor of being the first
performer of Middle-Eastern origin to portray the very Arabic Al Ghul in live action. However, you
are very mistaken if you believe this choice is based on ethnicity alone; Massoud demonstrated
dramatic acting chops in his role as the historic Saladin in Kingdom Of Heaven, and what he could offer the role of Ra’s Al Ghul would be quite the treat to see realized in the DCEU.
3. The Riddler
Mostly recognized in the context of Frank Gorshin’s campy performance in the 1966 Batman television series, Edward Nygma/The Riddler’s last cinematic translation in Batman Forever was not exactly a villain to write home about. The DCEU is in a prime spot to correct this; if The Riddler were to hypothetically appear in the DCEU, its quite likely the character would be distanced from the camp of Gorshin and Carrey, and instead give way to a more calculating, genuinely deranged villain (BBC’s Sherlock provides an excellent exploration of what a Batman film featuring a well done Riddler could resemble in the third episode, The Great Game).
Who Should Play Him: Alan Tudyk
Primarily known for comedic roles, Tudyk nonetheless proved himself capable of portraying a fantastic villain through his turn as Alpha in the series Dollhouse. Even without this is mind, Tudyk’s background in comedy and his relatively harmless appearance could benefit him in the role of The Riddler, given the character’s background as a nerd abused by his father and his occasional flare for pompously sadistic quips.
4. Vandal Savage
A 50,000 year old Cro-Magnon gifted with immortality, Vandal Savage has held several identities throughout the fictional history of the DC universe and proved a consistent menace to several of DC’s heroes. Given this, it seems a natural fit for Savage to eventually be adapted into the DCEU, hopefully with a suitable amount of build-up beforehand. The character recently appeared as the main antagonist of DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, though hopefully this won’t preclude the possibility of a
Who Should Play Him: Ian McShane
McShane has regularly and almost always memorably proven his ability to play villainous characters, even when the film surrounding that character isn’t up to far (e.g. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). The British actor certainly possesses both the rugged appearance and commanding
screen presence necessary for Savage, and seeing someone of McShane’s talent involved with a CBM is nearly always a delight.
Warner Bros. seems to be holding back on including Green Lantern and his associated mythos into the DCEU; this is understandable giving the first attempt at bringing the character into the world of a film was a notorious failure. Despite this, it would be a shame if this exclusion were to last for a long period, as numerous elements of the GL universe are ripe for live-action treatment. The character’s archenemy, Thaal Sinestro (previously played by Mark Strong in the aforementioned 2011 film) is one of the best villains in DC’s arsenal and those involved in the DCEU would be fools not to find some place for this character in the franchise.
Who Should Play Him: Richard Armitage
While primarily known to audiences for his part in The Hobbit series, Richard Armitage proved himself more than capable of playing a villain during his recent turn as Francis Dolarhyde on Hannibal. While Armitage is not terrible well known among American audiences, him in role of the DCEU’s Sinestro could provide a breakthrough into the mainstream and a more than worthy cinematic interpretation of the character.
6. Captain Cold
The Flash (as portrayed by Ezra Miller) is clearly set to have a prominent role in the DCEU going forward, and so it seems inevitable that arguably his most prominent adversary is destined to make an appearance as well. Leonard Snart, AKA Captain Cold, is unique among DC’s cadre of villains in that he is essentially an average, run-of-the-mill thug who just happens to own a super weapon, and thus
any potential Flash film featuring Cold could feel refreshingly small scale in approach.
Who Should Play Him: Walton Goggins
(Credit goes to @TheRealRoscoe for this one)
Primarily known for his role in several FX television series (The Shield, Justified, Sons Of Anarchy) and collaborations with Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight), Walton Goggins has shown himself to be highly talented actor with a great range. His expertise with playing sympathetic/multifaceted villains make him a strong fit for Captain Cold, while his evident comedic instincts would be fitting of the presumed lighthearted tone of the upcoming Flash movie.
Slade Wilson/Deathstroke is a villain who could serve a variety of roles within the DCEU; main antagonist, side villain, or even the anti-hero lead of a low-budget, R-rated film. Regardless of which capacity he ends up filling, it would be a massive error in judgement to not find some place in the franchise for Deathstroke, a character who in recent years has arguably become one of the most popular villains in DC’s stable among non-comic fans.
Who Should Play Him: Ray Stevenson
Despite fitting the Hollywood leading man archetype rather well and certainly possessing the required talent, Ray Stevenson boasts a less than impressive filmography, including appearances in three rather unimpressive comic book adaptations (Punisher: War Zone as the titular vigilante and Volstagg in both Thor films).An actor of Stevenson’s talent definitely deserves an opportunity to redeem his past mistakes, and a role as the DCEU incarnation of Deathstroke, especially as the star of a Dredd-style solo film, could be exactly that.
8. Black Manta
Black Manta is archenemy of Aquaman, most notable for being the father of Aquaman’s protege Kaldur’ahm, and the slayer of his son Arthur Curry Junior. The King Of Atlantis’ presence in the DCEU surely means Manta must be due for an appearance somewhere down the line, ideally in the upcoming Aquaman solo film helmed by James Wan. Manta’s personality, origin, and even name vary depending on the version; the only constant is his frankly awesome design. Whatever incarnation of Black Manta serves as the inspiration for the DCEU’s, the final result is sure to be a treat.
Who Should Play Him: Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker is a plainly fantastic actor whose involvement is sure to elevate any film no matter it’s quality otherwise. Whitaker has never shown any sort of negative disposition towards blockbuster film-making, but as of yet he has not partaken in the superhero movie boom of the 2010’s. Were this suggestion to become reality, Black Manta would certainly prove a more memorable villain if played by an actor on Whitaker’s level, while the less experienced leads Jason Momoa and Amber Heard could benefit from the presence of an accomplished co-star.
Based on the goddess from Greek mythology of the same name (mostly known for her role in Homer’s The Odyssey), Circe is one of the more prominent members of Wonder Woman’s rather limited rogues gallery. A vastly powerful witch with a penchant for transforming hapless men into pigs, her narcissism perfectly contrasts Diana’s love for all living beings, while her magical abilities are a fitting counterpoint to the warrior Wonder Woman’s fighting prowess. While Wonder Woman’s first adversary in the DCEU will likely be Ares, that doesn’t mean an eventual appearance by Circe should be kept off the table.
Who Should Play Her: Juliet Landau
Most famous for her role as deranged vampiress Drusilla in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Landau is an immensely gifted actress unfortunately lacking in widespread exposure. Having experience with DC comics adaptations through her role as the similarly villainous witch Tala in Justice League Unlimited, Landau’s great range makes her a prime fit for Circe. She is able to pull off childish behavior and subtle, seductive eeriness in equal, occasionally simultaneous, measure, and a role in a film on the scale of Wonder Woman would allow her a breakthrough into the widespread public consciousness she so sorely deserves.
Arguably the overarching antagonist of the DC universe, Darkseid appearing in the DCEU is an eventuality, no way around it. Batman’s nightmare sequence in BvS strongly hinted at the villain’s imminent arrival, while his lieutenant Steppenwolf has been confirmed to be the main antagonist of Justice League. Whether he is positioned as the final threat the heroes of the DCEU must face or a more singular antagonist in Justice League, Darkseid will be coming to life on the silver screen sooner rather than later, and any fan of DC comics out there is surely burning with anticipation.
Who Should Play Him: Charles Dance
A rumor circulating a few weeks prior to the publication of this article posited that Charles Dance is in the running for a DCEU role; while the validity of the rumor is rather questionable, but if there is any grain of truth to it, Dance is a rather perfect choice to play Darkseid. The British actor has had a long acting career both in film and on stage, and throughout these many decades as an actor, he has proven himself more than adept at playing villains. While Darkseid will undoubtedly succeed at appearing malevolent, Dance playing him could result in an interpretation of the character more nuanced than usual, which all can surely agree would be more than welcome.