Don’t Expect The Villains To Take Center Stage In The Batman 2

Typically, discussion on comic book films is almost always centered around what’s coming up next or how pieces will connect to a larger universe — but Matt Reeves is keeping his cards close to his chest. I’d argue this is for good reason, as teasing villains or establishing a larger universe out of his vision of Gotham doesn’t seem to be the priority for him. 2022’s “The Batman” showed Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne as a relatively young and new vigilante who’s only been Batman for two years.

Though it gave us Colin Farrell’s The Penguin, Paul Dano’s The Riddler, and Barry Keoghan’s The Joker in one film, it also did so with a tremendous amount of restraint — especially for a film with nearly 3-hour runtime. These villains’ presences in Reeves’ adaptation are merely secondary to the explorations of Batman as a cultural figure versus the psychological torment that comes with choosing a life of vengeance. Yes, “The Batman” is a superhero movie, but it was, more importantly, a character study that had as much to say about the darkness of our protagonist as it does about the villains he fights. The first film was a great jumping-off point for these themes, and we’d hope that the second film should follow through and take these ideas to the next level.

That’s not to say spin-offs are entirely off the table. “The Penguin” series on HBO is expected to start shooting later this year, which will certainly bring us more insight into the criminal underbelly of Reeves’ Gotham. Will it tie into “The Batman 2” or plant important seeds for the future of this franchise? That remains to be seen. For now, we can rest easy that “The Batman 2” will remain a Bruce Wayne movie.

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