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50 Greatest Batman Villains

Dr. Simon Hurt

The Villain: A brilliant psychologist charged with creating a number of replacement Batmen for the GCPD, Dr. Hurt realised that Batman is fuelled by tragedy, and set about traumatising his candidates in order to make them better crime-fighters. Safe to say his methods aren't strictly "by the book"…

Movie Potential: Hurt's personal mission to defeat Batman and sub in a psychotic replacement could be the germ of an exciting story, with Batman held captive and forced to watch as his counterpart wreaks havoc upon Gotham.

The General

The Villain: An unhinged teenager with the mind of a strategic genius, Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong achieved notoriety by burning his military school to the ground before amassing an "army" of criminals and becoming one of Gotham's major crime bosses.

Movie Potential: It would be interesting to see Batman take on a younger foe than himself, so we'd keep The General moderately fresh-faced as he rises to prominence in Gotham's underworld. Ezra Miller would be a decent fit for the part.

Crime Doctor

The Villain: Bradford Thorne, a skilled surgeon with an unpleasant predilection for inflicting pain upon his patients. Initially created as a clownish character who would "prescribe" villains advice on how to commit better crimes, he has evolved into a sadist who uses his position to procure a ready supply of victims.

Movie Potential:
Demented doctors are always an unsettling prospect, so we'd cast Thorne as a serial killer with a taste for torturing his victims, with Paul Giamatti as our first choice to fill the role.

Sal Maroni

The Villain: A key figure in Gotham's network of organised crime, Sal "The Boss" Maroni is most notorious for throwing the acid that transforms a young Harvey Dent into the supervillain, Two-Face. A rival of the Falcone family, he plays a key role in seminal mob storyline, The Long Halloween .

Movie Potential: He was last seen in The Dark Knight as the crime boss who stepped in to fill the power vacuum left by the newly imprisoned Carmine Falcone. Both he and Falcone brought a welcome new dimension to Nolan's Gotham, and we'd like to see him crop up again in any future reboots.


The Villain: Speaking of mobsters, Carmine Falcone's daughter Sofia also takes her turn to terrorise Gotham, adopting the alter-ego of Hangman, a serial-killer targeting members of the GPD. Throw in her family connections, and she's a villain deserving of Batman's respect.

Movie Potential:
Including a female villain has the added benefit of possible sexual chemistry with the Bat. We'd cast Eliza Dushku in the role to maximise that possibility...

Tweedledum & Tweedledee

The Villains: Deever and Dumfrey Tweed are a pair of criminal cousins who bear a striking resemblance to each other. As you might have guessed, neither of them are terribly keen on physical activity, so they can often be found masterminding various schemes while their henchmen carry out the more arduous task of scuffling with Batman.

Movie Potential:
They might have cropped up in a cameo role during Tim Burton's reign, but we'd say it's unlikely this corpulent double-act will be appearing on-screen anytime soon. Although if they did pop in, we'd like it to be in a recreation of the scene in the Arkham Asylum comic-book in which they appear bonded to each other by a pair of electroshock helmets…

The Phantasm

The Villain: The alter-ego of Andrea Beaumont, who dons this grim disguise in order to avenge her father's death at the hands of one Jack Napier, a mob hitman who would go on to become The Joker.

Movie Potential: She's already been covered in the animated film Mask Of The Phantasm , but we'd love to see a live-action remake, with Noomi Rapace as Andrea Beaumont.

The Reaper

The Villain: Yet another Gotham playboy with a vendetta against the city's criminals, Judson Caspian is hell-bent on claiming revenge for the murder of his wife by taking out Gotham's street thugs on a nightly basis. His weapon of choice? The scythe from which he takes his name…

Movie Potential:
The scythe is a little melodramatic, but there's plenty of mileage in Batman having to take on a rival vigilante. We'd have Chris Pine subvert his heroic persona as the sneering yuppie in question.


The Villain: A delusional pyromaniac who believes he can see visions in the fires he starts, Firefly might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but he knows how to create his fair share of mayhem. With a flamethrower and grenade launcher among his typical equipment, he's quite the firestarter. A twisted firestarter.

Movie Potential: We're definitely talking secondary villain here, but Firefly (minus his ridiculous suit) would make for a suitably unhinged underling to a manipulative higher power. We'd have Elijah Wood tap into his Maniac persona to play him.

Spook II

The Villain: A former government operative pushed too far, Spook gradually loses his marbles to the point that he believes himself to be dead. Seeking revenge, he targets the heads of the various companies he blames for causing his death. Troubled man.

Movie Potential:
Ditch the daft ghostly costume, re-cast him as a common or garden nut and you've got a compelling foe on your hands. Given that he thinks he's already dead, The Spook has nothing to lose, making him a potentially dangerous opponent for Batman.

George Wales
George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.