'Batman' Solo Film To Include Several Iconic Villains, Probably The Joker

Warner Bros. and Ben Affleck are currently hard at work developing a new Batman solo film after the actor made his debut as Gotham's most famous son in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The latest news regarding the blockbuster is very exciting, too, because it's now been teased that Ben Affleck, who is both directing and playing the lead, and Geoff Johns, the Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics, are planning on making the "definitive" Batman film.

To do that, they want to include a plethora of villains from Batman's back catalog, with Birth.Movies.Death reporting that "many, if not most, members of Batman's rogue's gallery will be making appearances in the film."

The publication went on to add, "Affleck and Geoff Johns, who has been working with him on the film, want to make the definitive Batman film. They want to tell the ultimate Batman story, and to do so they're going to bring in all the big guns. They're going to have a big, sprawling Bat universe already in place."

It had previously been speculated that Ben Affleck's Batman film would actually revolve around the comic-book arc Batman: Under the Hood, which saw the Caped Crusader's right-hand man Robin/Jason Todd brought back to life after his death several years earlier. But he was re-imagined as a brutal and violent villain known as the Red Hood, who Batman then has to try and bring to justice.

The latest rumor puts that speculation to bed, even though Robin's presence in Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe has been confirmed ever since Ben Affleck's Batman was seen forlornly looking at his former partner's empty suit in a case in the first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

This appeared to confirm the death of Robin at the hands of The Joker, especially since the message that was scrawled on his suit read, "Hahahahahaha. Joke's on you Batman."

Jared Leto has already been cast as The Joker. In fact, he will make his debut as the villain in the upcoming blockbuster Suicide Squad, which is due out in August. The trailer for the film has already teased that Ben Affleck's Batman and Jared Leto's Joker will go toe-to-toe in the film, and it's widely believed that they will come up against each other numerous more times in the DC Extended Universe.

It's now thought that many of the villains for the solo Batman film will come from Arkham Asylum. This means that it could include the likes of The Joker, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, or Harley Quinn.

Several of these foes have already been cast and will make their debuts in Suicide Squad, as Margot Robbie has been cast as Harley Quinn, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje will play Killer Croc, and, of course, the Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto will play The Joker.

There's quite a lot resting on the solo Batman film. While Ben Affleck's debut as the superhero in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was roundly praised, the blockbuster itself was critically mauled by journalists, and it only went on to score 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

But while it has so far made $862.9 million at the box office, that sum is below the $1 billion target that Warner Bros. had sought before it was released.

Batman films have, more often than not, excelled at the box office, with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy recently taking in $2.464 billion between 2005 and 2012. A Batman film with a huge roster of iconic villains would almost certainly appeal to the same number of moviegoers and would help to put Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe back on track.

[Image via Warner Bros.]