The Batman: Villains Rumored to Be Catwoman and Penguin

Penguin and Catwoman, the dastardly duo from Batman Returns, could once again haunt the Dark Knight in The Batman.

Batman Returns: Penguin and Catwoman

Catwoman and the Penguin might not be done torturing the Bat. According to THR, director and co-writer Matt Reeves (War of the Planet of the Apes) is preparing to reunite this dastardly duo for The Batman, which reportedly features “around half-a-dozen villains.”

Fans of Tim Burton’s 1992 anti-consumerist Batflick, Batman Returns, will certainly remember the first time these two animal-themed baddies teamed up against the Caped Crusader. Not only is their turn as Bat-villains remembered for Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito’s excellent performances, but for the much darker, more adult tone of their storylines. (A lonely, depressed Selina Kyle becomes Catwoman after being “murdered” by her fatcat boss and then revived by cats, while the deformed Oswald Cobblepot is tossed into the sewer by his parents and raised by penguins at the Gotham Zoo.) Let’s just say, these two ruined a Happy Meal or two for the concerned parents of the early ’90s. 

It’s unclear if Penguin and Catwoman are set to team up again in Reeves’ script or they both just appear in the movie. There’s also the question of whether Catwoman is playing a true villain in the movie. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises played with the notion of Catwoman as a rogue, depicting her more as an anti-hero trying to start a new life away from Gotham City. Recent Batman comics have also portrayed Catwoman more heroically, essentially turning her into a member of Batman’s crime-fighting family. In fact, the Bat and the Cat almost got married in 2018. 

Gotham, the Batman prequel TV series that ended earlier this year, also featured its own versions of Penguin and Catwoman, highlighting some of the characters’ zanier aspects. Interestingly enough, the recent comics from writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin have also been much kinder to the Penguin, who teams up with the Caped Crusader against a common enemy.

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As for who the other four-ish baddies might be, THR doesn’t go into detail in its report. If Penguin and Catwoman are set to take center stage in The Batman, it might be nice to see some B-list villains in the mix, perhaps some of the Dark Knight’s earliest comic book adversaries considering the actor who will most likely wear the cape and cowl next

If cast, Robert Pattinson, who just turned 33 a few days ago, would become the youngest big-screen Batman in movie history, and we’ve heard all along that Reeves wants to make a movie about a younger Bat early in his career. Since that indeed seems to be the case, maybe it’s time to dust off bad guys like Dr. Death, the first supervillain the Dark Knight ever faced, and The Monk, a creepy dude in a red hood who may or may not be a vampire. And then there’s Hugo Strange, the mad scientist who creates the violent Monster Men to terrorize Gotham City. Throw in a rumored Riddler appearance and you’ve got yourself a Bat-stew. 

Whichever villains end up stalking the Bat in the next movie, we’re really excited to see a younger Dark Knight facing off against a diverse group of baddies that highlight just how wacky or creepy things can get in Gotham. Maybe we’ll finally get that Kite-Man/Crazy Quilt team-up?

The Batman opens on June 25, 2021.

John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9