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Did The Batman Just Add Another Villain?

The Batman's rogues' gallery might have just gotten a bit more crowded.

Rumor-mongering website We Got This Covered is reporting that, according to its sneaky and ever-anonymous sources, the production is looking to add longtime Bats nemesis Clayface to the mix. The website further states that this will bring the total number of baddies ol' Bats (Robert Pattinson) will be facing in the movie to seven, and at this point, we're going to have to rewind just a bit.

This past June, we reported that WGTC's sources — who had allegedly gotten a look at a casting report for The Batman — had informed the site that no fewer than six villains would be appearing in the movie. It stands to reason that even if this were true, many (if not most) of them might be appearing in early, proto-villain mode, not having yet developed their full-fledged criminal personas; "sounds legit, maybe," we said.

The baddies that were said to be included at that time were Catwoman, Penguin, the Riddler, the Mad Hatter, Firefly, and Two-Face. In the intervening months, the report has proven to be at least partially correct: Zoë Kravitz was cast as Catwoman in October, Paul Dano landed the part of the Riddler at pretty much the same time, and in early November, it was reported that Colin Farrell was in talks to portray the Penguin. So far, so accurate.

Then, however, a funny thing happened: all of that villainous casting news stopped as if someone had turned off a faucet. It's unlikely that Warner Bros. and DC Films would crow publicly about all of their higher-profile castings while keeping the actors playing the smaller roles a secret, so it seems to us that there are only a few things that could be going on here.

Will The Batman really feature that many villains?

First: WGTC's initial report back in June could have been on the money, but The Batman's script — and its scope — might have changed in the interim. It could very well be that the filmmakers were planning on including all six of the baddies mentioned in that report, but have since decided to trim down the cast just a bit. These kinds of things happen all the time, and since The Batman is still in pre-production, it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

Second: the June report may have been accurate, but there's simply been a lull in casting before the cast is rounded out. We don't find this to be terribly likely, considering that the roles of Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), and crime boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) have all been filled. It's also been announced that Peter Sarsgaard (The Looming Tower) and newcomer Jayme Lawson have been cast in unspecified roles; if they had indeed been tapped to help fill out the rogues' gallery, that seems like the kind of thing that would have been made public.

Third: that report from June might have been a complete load of garbage, and the production's failure to cast half of the villains mentioned in it is illustrating this. If one were to have asked the average Batman fan before all the casting news broke to take a wild guess at six villains that might be up for inclusion in the upcoming movie, we're guessing that maybe four out of five would have correctly guessed at Catwoman, Penguin, and the Riddler.

It's also worth mentioning that even if the June report were accurate (and, as we made clear at the time, that's a pretty big if), this new rumor exists completely separate from it. All we have to go on is the word of WGTC's anonymous sources, and since no other media outlet on the planet has so much as gotten a whiff of any news that Clayface might be involved in The Batman, we're left with the conclusion that this rumor is suspect at best.

Of course, we've been wrong before, and it would be cool to see a villain like Clayface — who is normally depicted as a super-strong shapeshifter, and sometimes with a degree of mind-control ability — on the big screen. We expect this rumor to be put to bed fairly quickly, however; if there are any other major roles for the production to fill, we're likely to get news as to who will be filling them within the next month or so. The flick is expected to go before the cameras in early 2020, which (holy crap) is almost upon us, so we're thinking that principal casting is pretty much complete. 

Of course, we'll be here to fill you in on any Bat-developments that come down the pike. The Batman will flap into theaters on June 25, 2021.